You could argue that Motorola made budget phones worth buying when it launched the original Moto G in 2013. That device was a marvel at the time—for under $200, you could get a smartphone that didn't suck. Suddenly, everyone was making $200-300 phones that also mostly didn't suck. Today, the mid-range space is much more crowded, and Moto has sometimes failed to make a splash with the annual Moto G revamp. This year there are three new G-series phones, including the Moto G Power. Arguably, this is the device with the widest appeal. There's no stylus included, but it's got more muscle than the G Play, and it has a big honkin' battery.
Every budget phone has its own mix of features and compromises, and this difference in the cocktail from model to model and brand to brand makes them unique. Some combinations are better than others, though, and the Moto G Play comes very near striking an ideal blend. It has good performance (for the price), pleasant software, fantastic battery life, and a big screen, all for just $170. But there is one big drawback: Motorola can't even keep up with Google's minimum requirements for updates a mere two months after the phone's release.
This story was originally published and last updated .
Carriers and manufacturers are super excited to sell you a 5G phone, even if there's very little benefit to buying one in 2021. The feature has slowly trickled down to sub-flagship phones, and Motorola recently started selling its cheapest 5G device yet: the Motorola One 5G Ace. At a price of $400, it's competing directly with phones like the Galaxy A71 5G, Pixel 4a, and Pixel 4a 5G.
The Motorola One 5G Ace isn't a terrible phone, but it does fall behind the competition in many areas, all in pursuit of 5G connectivity — something that just isn't that important right now.
Google Fi always has a few Motorola phones in stock at very affordable prices to cater to anyone who'd be willing to give the carrier a spin. Well, a fresh wave has arrived, all three of them well under MSRP, and it includes the brand's first 5G entry on the network.
Most of you have probably heard of those ultra-chunky, utilitarian-looking CAT phones, but CAT is a construction equipment company, not a phone manufacturer. Bullitt Group produces those phones for CAT, and it is now licensing the Motorola name for rugged phones as well.
Mixed reality experiences continue to play their roles in helping us understand concepts, tell stories, market products, or in just letting us hang out with a virtual Pomeranian for a hot second. For Android phones, that means having Google certify that your phone supports its ARCore APIs. We've got our first batch of new supported devices for 2021 right here.
You'd think that Motorola, with its comparatively light Androidskin, would be quicker at delivering software updates, right? Well, you couldn't be more wrong. If its flagship phone, the Edge+, ranks poorly on our update tracker, it's best not to expect too much from its budget devices. However, the company has managed to fall short of even the lowest expectation by only just releasing Android 10 for the Moto One Macro in 2021.
LineageOS is the most popular custom ROM around, as it has extended the life of many phones and tablets that would have otherwise been abandoned. Even for phones still receiving software updates from the original manufacturer, Lineage can sometimes work better than the stock software, and it's a popular option for 'de-Googling' Android devices. Since our last roundup, several more phones have been added to the official Android 10 build roster (and a few have been removed).
Shortly after Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon 870 — a slightly tweaked version of last year's flagship Snapdragon 865 — the first phone powered by it has been announced. The Motorola Edge S just made its debut in China, but we may see it arrive in other markets in the future.
LineageOS is the most popular custom ROM around, and for good reason. It has extended the life of many phones and tablets that would have otherwise been abandoned, and even for phones still receiving software updates from the original manufacturer, Lineage can sometimes work better than the stock software. Since our last roundup, LineageOS 17.1 has arrived on eight more devices, including the OnePlus Nord and 2013 Google Nexus 7.