Moto has made a great comeback in recent years to produce some of the best phones on the market. Its strength is its diversity – you can buy a £100 or £800 Moto phone depending on your needs and tastes.
The memories of the classic Motorola RAZR are long gone. Moto now focuses on a consistent design ethic, close to stock Android and, often, incredible value for money. The Moto G series is a consistently excellent choice for those looking for a genuinely excellent budget phone.
But Moto also makes the more expensive X and Z line to cater to all tastes. The Z line also brings the unique Moto Mod compatibility that allows you to buy and use magnetic accessories with your phone, from zoom lens camera to loudspeaker to projector.
Here are the best Moto phones you can buy in 2018.
1. Moto G6
At just £219, Motorola is offering a fantastic phone in terms of combining design, specs and software.
It might not be waterproof, but a water repellent coating is better than nothing and the G6 looks and feels much more expensive than it really is. You get a decent 18:9 screen, fingerprint scanner, dual cameras and decent battery life to boot. 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage won’t be enough for everyone but you can upgrade for just £20 with the Amazon model.
The Moto G6 is a mid-range bargain.
Read our Moto G6 review.
2. Moto Z2 Play
The Moto Z2 Play is a great mid-range smartphone; it features a gorgeous design, premium build and the Moto Mods support provides extended functionality based on what you require from the smartphone, from extra battery power to an improved speaker and even a built-in projector.
Despite the smaller battery, the Snapdragon 626 processor is incredibly efficient and we comfortably lasted a day on a single charge, and when we did run out it was quick to top up thanks to the included fast charging tech. It holds its own against competitors in our benchmark tests, and real world use is decent.
Read our Moto Z2 Play review.
3. Moto G6 Plus
It’s not perfect by any means – we noticed occasional sluggish performance in some apps, while the camera was a touch slow in opening and struggled to deal with shake – but there’s a huge amount here to like.
The design is smart and lightweight; the screen is big and sharp; battery life is solid and fast charging impressive; you get twin camera lenses and a decent portrait mode, along with a bunch of gimmicky camera modes that are less reliable but lots of fun.
All for this £269! It’s a fantastic deal, and a great phone for the money.
Read our Moto G6 Plus review.
As a software experience, the Moto Z2 Force is excellent. But the Moto Mod ecosystem means you’re spending a hell of a lot on accessories that are only useful for the lifetime of the device.
It’s also far too expensive, even before mods. Practically every other smartphone manufacturer sells a flagship device for less, and sometimes considerably less.
If money is no object and you love the idea of mods and like the reassurance of an unbreakable screen, the Z2 Force will be the phone for you. For everyone else, there are cheaper high-end phones out there from Samsung, Google and OnePlus with better battery life and better cameras.
Read our Moto Z2 Force review.
5. Moto G6 Play
The Moto G6 Play is a great little surprise of a phone. It holds its own next to the other two G6 phones and has better battery life (and a cooler fingerprint sensor).
The 18:9 display and premium (but plastic) design means it feels just as well-made as phones double the price but doesn’t compromise on performance to do so.
With a headphone jack as a plus, a minus is micro-USB but we’ll forgive that on its strengths and can recommend the G6 Play as one of the best budget phones of 2018.
Read our Moto G6 Play review.
6. Moto X4
We’re pleased to see that Motorola has revived the Moto X. For the most part, we like the new glass design and the specs and features are good for the £350 price – it looks like a more expensive phone.
Waterproofing and the dual-lens camera sets this apart from rivals, and we like the 5.2in screen size for comfort and practicality.
It’s slower than the Honor 9, and has half the storage as standard, but if you’d prefer the water-resistance over the extra speed, the Moto X4 is a great choice for anyone that can’t afford the hefty price tags of the current flagships.
Read our Moto X4 review.
The Moto G5S Plus has now been succeeded by the excellent Moto G6, but it remains an option for those looking for a cheap phone.
As it stands, the new and old phones are priced the same at £219 which makes the G6 a no brainer but we’d expect the G5S Plus to drop very soon. So you could pick it up at under £200 making it a budget option.
The G5S Plus combines build quality, photography and performance well.
Read our Moto G5S Plus review.
8. Moto G5
There’s plenty of competition in Android’s budget market, but the Moto G5 is still one of the best. The build quality alone feels like it belongs on a much more expensive phone, while the fingerprint gesture controls genuinely improve the Android experience.
The benchmarks and battery hold it back, but they’re not unreasonable given the price. You’ll find better specs in Chinese phones, but if you don’t need a dual-SIM phone and you want the peace of mind of a proper UK warranty, it’s a solid choice.
It’s a steal, but the Moto G6 Play is better and newer for not much more.
Read our Moto G5 review.
9. Moto G5S
The G5s is a good-looking, well-built phone that suffers from below-average performance. Its cameras are good, though, and it has a decent screen.
The main problem is that you can get a faster phone with better specs for the same money, so it’s hard to recommend it unless you find it significantly cheaper.
Read our Moto G5S review.