Motorola has been making cellular phones since they were big bulky affairs that needed to be installed in cars or briefcases. So naturally, it was also one of the first companies to eagerly embrace the new era of mainstream smartphones in the late 2000s. Motorola's 2009 release of the Droid was instrumental in turning Android into the dominant force it is today, and that's grown into a wide range of devices covering every conceivable price range and need.
However, the company particularly makes its mark among the best budget Android phones. In fact, Motorola's budget-friendly phones have elevated it to the third-biggest smartphone brand in the U.S. And with a variety of wallet-friendly devices offering a range of features, there is something for everyone.
Our picks for the best cheap Motorola phones for any budget
Moto G Stylus 5G (2022)
Well-rounded specs with a stylus
The Moto G Stylus 5G (2022) offers similarly impressive specs as the rest of Motorola's lineup with the extra twist of a built-in stylus. The 6.8-inch screen provides an expansive canvas to work on, the performance is more than adequate for everyday work and play, and the battery should easily get you through a couple of days of typical usage.
- Smooth FHD+ 120Hz display
- Built-in stylus
- All-day battery life
- Thick bezels
- Single down-firing speaker
- Slow charging
The Moto G Stylus 5G (2022) is a well-rounded phone capable of handling just about anything you throw at it. It's equipped with a 6.8-inch FHD+ display that offers a 120Hz refresh rate. All that screen real estate makes it the perfect size to take advantage of its highlight feature, including a built-in stylus.
With 8 GB of RAM and a Snapdragon 695 processor, the Moto G Stylus 5G will be able to keep up with your day-to-day usage. Motorola has also packed in a 5000 mAh battery for some impressive battery life. So you will have no issue making it through a full day of heavy usage or up to two days with regular use. The Moto G Stylus 5G has a triple rear camera setup with a 50 MP main camera with built-in Optical Image Stabilization (OIS); it also has an 8 MP ultra-wide camera, a macro camera, and a 16 MP front-facing camera.
The device feels solid and sturdy in hand, but it also has large bezels surrounding the device. It has only one speaker at the bottom of the device, so don't expect a well-balanced sound. The built-in stylus is on the thin side, which means people with larger hands might not feel as comfortable using it.
The Moto G Stylus 5G is our premium pick due to its combination of power, all-day battery life, a built-in stylus, and 5G cellular connectivity. It can also take good-quality pictures, especially in good lighting conditions.
Motorola Moto Edge (2022)
Excellent performance at an affordable price
The Moto Edge (2022) is one of the most wallet-friendly phones you can buy, but its low price doesn't mean you're skimping on power. While it's not a serious gaming phone by any stretch, it's got everything you need to handle most everyday tasks without breaking a sweat, plus a fantastic OLED display with an unusually high refresh rate.
- Amazing performance for the price
- All-day battery life and then some
- Very lightweight at only 170g
- Camera system isn't great
- Plastic doesn't feel premium
- Tops out at an IP52 rating
The Moto Edge (2022) has the capabilities to be one of the best budget devices on the market. You can routinely find this device for $350, which is one of the best devices you can find at that price. The Mediatek Dimensity 1050, coupled with 8GB of RAM, has the power to handle most tasks you would need from a smartphone. It won't provide the best graphics fidelity for games, but it also won't actively prohibit you from playing your favorite titles.
You also get a fantastic 6.6-inch FHD+ OLED display with a refresh rate of 144Hz. The true standout here is the inclusion of the 144Hz refresh rate, which beats most other devices on the market, including premium devices. At only 170g, this device is incredibly light due to its plastic body. You also get a triple camera setup with a 50MP primary lens that can take decent photos. The Moto Edge (2022) is an amazing device, especially when you can find it on sale.
Motorola Moto G 5G (2022)
The sweet spot in Motorola's G Series lineup
The Moto G 5G (2022) is the sweet spot in Motorola's G series lineup, making some reasonable compromises that result in a device that gives you a good bang for your buck. While the 720p 90Hz display is a weak point, it still delivers smooth performance, solid battery life, and fast 5G connectivity.
- Fluid 90Hz display
- Great Battery Life
- MicroSD card slot
- Lackluster 720p display
- Thick bezels
- Single down-firing speaker
The Moto G 5G 2022 delivers great value for the price. Powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 700 processor and 6 GB of RAM, this phone has the chops to deliver the performance when you need it the most. The Moto G 5G has a 720p 6.5-inch, 90Hz display.
Motorola equipped the Moto G 5G with a 50 MP main shooter on the back. It also has a 2 MP ultra-wide lens, a 2 MP macro lens, and a 13 MP selfie camera to round out the camera. You can expect all-day battery life with its 5000 mAh battery. The G 5G has a fingerprint sensor built into the power button. While it comes with 256 GB of storage, it also has a Micro SD slot for expanded storage.
The Moto G 5G has some of the same issues our premium pick suffers. It has rather large bezels surrounding the display and only has one bottom-firing speaker. Speaking of the display, while 720p isn't uncommon in the budget segment, it isn't as sharp as a 1080p or higher display. Nevertheless, it doesn't detract too much from the viewing experience and feels smooth due to its 90Hz refresh rate.
Running on Android 12, with a promised upgrade to Android 13, the 2022 edition of the Moto G 5G offers a value that may be too tempting to pass up.
Moto G Play 2023
Solid performance at a budget price
The Moto G Play features entry-level specs that are impressive for a phone in its price range. For example, it has an exceptionally long battery life, ample performance to handle basic everyday tasks, and a nice upgrade over its predecessor's single-lens camera.
- Amazing price
- Fluid 90Hz display
- Expandable storage
- Comes with Android 12
- Can stutter and lag
The G Play 2023 is Moto's long overdue update to the Moto G Play 2021. This is for those who need a solid device and are sticking to a tight budget. The G Play 2023 has a 5000mAh battery and a Mediatek Helio G37 processor, so while it's far from the fastest in the lineup, it can make it days between charges and still handle all the basic tasks you may need. It's not really ideal for more than casual gaming, and it can be a bit sluggish at times, but the performance for the price is still fantastic. The 6.5-inch display tops out at 720p, but Motorola included a 90Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling.
You also get a 16MP main lens, a 2MP macro lens, and a 2MP depth lens for your camera needs. It comes with Android 12, which is two versions newer than the previous Moto Play, but still lags behind the latest phones. It's slated to get Android 13 eventually, but as with most of Motorola's phones, it will stop at that single update, after which you'll only get the necessary security patches. Still, for less than $200, the Moto G Play (2023) is a phone that can get the job done and last for days.
Moto G Stylus (2023)
The cheapest stylus-equipped phone around
Motorola has cut quite a few corners to make the Moto G Stylus (2023) a budget smartphone, but this one is still hard to beat if you want a stylus-equipped phone without spending a lot. The 720p display and 4GB RAM are nothing to write home about, but at least you still get a decent camera system, a 90Hz screen refresh rate, and great battery life.
- Smooth 90Hz display
- Great battery life
- Headphone jack included
- No 5G support
- Middling 720p resolution
- Only 4GB RAM
If you're on a tight budget but like the idea of having a stylus, then the Moto G Stylus 2023 edition is worth a serious look. Although the 2022 version had slightly better specs, that one's still stuck on Android 12. However, this year's model ships with Android 13, and Motorola promises it will eventually get Android 14. Although the MediaTek Helio G85 processor and 4GB of RAM inside aren't the most impressive specs, the phone still manages to offer decent performance for everyday tasks — as long as you're not expecting it to be a gaming powerhouse.
On the back of the Moto G Stylus, you'll find a 50 MP main shooter joined by a 2 MP macro lens. Around the front, you get a 6.5-inch HD+ IPS display with a 90Hz refresh rate. While the faster display is a nice bonus in this price range, it only offers a resolution of 1600 x 720. It also packs in 64 GB of built-in storage, which is expandable with a Micro SD card, and you get a 5000mAh battery for all-day battery life and a fingerprint sensor built into the power button.
Motorola Moto G Power (2022)
Reliable and sturdy with extreme battery life
As the name suggests, the Moto G Power is all about extended run times, but that doesn't come just from a larger battery cell, but rather lower-performance components that sip less power. It won't break any speed records, but it's an affordable phone that can easily last three days on a single charge.
- Excellent battery life
- Almost stock Android
- Headphone jack
- Underpowered chipset
- Dim 720p display
- Stuck on Android 12
The Moto G Power (2022) runs on a MediaTek Helio G37 processor and packs in 4 GB of RAM and a 6.5-inch 720p display with a 90Hz refresh rate. Around the back, you will find a 50 MP main camera, a 2 MP depth camera, and a 2 MP macro lens. It comes with 64 GB of storage which is expandable with a Micro SD card. Most significantly, though, despite using a 5000mAh battery that's similar to its siblings, the Moto G Power can easily last up to three days on a single charge thanks to its lower-power components.
This device shipped with Android 11 and has since received an Android 12 update, but sadly, that's where it ends. Still, even though it's a bit slower than the 2021 model, it beats out its predecessor due to the newer Android version and longer support.
Moto G Pure
A no-frills option that's cheaper than most feature phones
The Moto G Pure is an older phone, but it also has a price tag that puts it below the cost of many feature phones, especially considering how often you can find it on sale. It's limited by its lower storage capacity, RAM, and processor, but it's a solid choice for folks who just want a basic smartphone on a budget and don't need to run a lot of apps.
- Extremely affordable
- Stock Android experience
- FM radio
- Stuck on Android 12
- No NFC support
- Lackluster cameras
The Moto G Pure is the little sibling to the Moto G Play, with a MediaTek Helio G25 processor and 3 GB of RAM. Purists will enjoy the almost stock version of Android that this uses, and while the 4000mAh battery is smaller than most Moto phones, it still easily delivers two days' worth of battery life. Still, the lower internal storage capacity and RAM make this best suited for folks who only want to perform relatively simple tasks like texting and calling, checking emails and social media, and capturing photos.
It sports a 6.5-inch 720p display with a 5MP front camera, a 13 MP main camera, and a 2 MP depth camera around the back. It also packs in FM radio capabilities, although it's conspicuously lacking NFC support. That means no mobile payments or fast pairing with NFC-capable accessories. The Moto G Pure shipped with Android 11 and only received its Android 12 update in late 2022 — and that's where it's going to stay, with only needed Android 12 security patches going forward for the next couple of years. Still, since the G Pure can be found for as little as $110, it makes for a great companion device or a child's first smartphone.
A device for your budget
When looking for a budget phone, you need to find one that checks all the boxes. It needs to be fast, take good pictures, and last all day. Of course, a budget device won't have all the bells and whistles of a premium phone, but these phones can and will get the job done.
If you're looking for 5G connectivity and a stylus, the Moto G Stylus 5G (2022) has you covered. It can be found for as little as $250, and it's one of the most well-rounded devices in the group, easily making it our top overall pick. The Moto G 5G 2022 offers solid performance and great value for the price, and it can typically be found for a little less if you shop around.
If you're willing to spend a bit more, the Moto Edge (2022) delivers 5G connectivity that can challenge the best 5G phones without sacrificing performance. With a great display, long battery life, and a chipset that can keep up with you, it's the best device on this list, hands down. However, the best part about Motorola's phones is their longevity; all the devices in this roundup will easily get you through a day's use and often much more.