Moto G Stylus 5G Review: Great Specs For $500 But Limited Software Updates

    Motorola’s Moto G Stylus 5G has every thing you need from a sub-$500 cellphone at first look. At $500 (which roughly converts to £320 and AU$560) it has higher-end options usually discovered on dearer telephones, together with a 6.8-inch display with a 120Hz refresh fee and a 50-megapixel digicam with optical picture stabilization. You additionally get a built-in stylus, a characteristic that Samsung is now solely offering for its luxe $1,200 Galaxy S22 Ultra. The cellphone has nice battery life in addition. It all sounds nice for the cash, however there are some vital particulars to bear in mind should you go along with this cellphone.Motorola sells the Stylus 5G unlocked with a roomy 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM. It additionally features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 chip, which is mostly extra highly effective than the MediaTek one included within the $300 4G-only Moto G Stylus from earlier this yr. Its 5G assist consists of sub-6 and C-band frequencies. A Verizon model will even assist millimeter-wave 5G.

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    Moto G Stylus 5G Review: A Good $500 Phone That Could…


    LikeOptical picture stabilizationDolby Atmos and a headphone jackBuilt-in stylus with software program options

    Don’t LikeOnly one promised software program improveVideo high quality is not nearly as good because the photographsTall display could also be awkward

    All this makes the cellphone match proper in with midrange rivals such because the $450 Galaxy A53 and final yr’s $449 Pixel 5A with 5G. But not like Samsung and Google, which each decide to years of software program updates, Motorola solely guarantees one main software program replace to its G line of telephones. This implies that whereas the Stylus 5G is delivery proper now with Android 12 and can ultimately get Android 13, you will solely obtain three years of safety updates as an alternative of any further characteristic upgrades.Motorola says this could possibly be a perk, providing stability and consistency with its menus and interface. But even should you purchase a less expensive cellphone, you should not need to sacrifice updates since you most likely need it to final so long as potential.This makes the Moto G Stylus 5G price contemplating if you wish to maintain onto the cellphone for 2 or three years, nevertheless it’s a harder promote in order for you a cellphone that’ll be viable for longer. It has lots of the finest Android 12 options, together with the choice to customise menus to your favourite coloration, and a long-lasting battery. And if a stylus is vital to you on prime of that, this cellphone could possibly be the most effective choose for you.The Moto G Stylus 5G has a number of completely different apps optimized for the stylus.
    Mike Sorrentino/CNET
    Tall cellphone with an enormous batteryThe Moto G Stylus 5G is a tall and skinny cellphone, making it straightforward to carry and even textual content with one hand. I’m usually a fan of telephones with screens longer than 6.5 inches as a result of it is simpler to observe movies and browse. But the form of the cellphone leaves its prime half uncovered, which might make it simpler for a thief to grab should you’re not paying consideration.I can alleviate this by utilizing the stylus and the cellphone’s handwriting recognition keyboard as an alternative, which will get me a greater grip on the physique. Yet that comes on the expense of pace and accuracy in comparison with contact typing and autocorrect. Putting the cellphone in a case paired with a PopSocket, or one thing related, may additionally assist with that security concern.Otherwise the display is nice for watching and studying content material, particularly because it gives the choice to spice up the refresh fee as much as 120Hz. Motorola additionally gives choices for utilizing a dynamic refresh fee relying on the way you’re utilizing the cellphone or a 60Hz choice, each of which devour much less energy on the battery.The Moto G Stylus 5G has a 5,000-mAh battery.
    Mike Sorrentino/CNET
    Yet with a beefy 5,000-mAh battery inside, the cellphone simply made it by means of a number of full days of heavy utilization with 120Hz on always. I watch lots of YouTube, play video games, take video calls, seize photographs and movies and even on my longest day it nonetheless had 30 to 50% capability once I was able to go to mattress. I averaged simply over 3 hours of display time every day however with much less intensive utilization patterns I’m certain the cellphone may simply final properly right into a second day.

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    While all that additional energy is nice, it is price noting that the Stylus 5G does cost extra slowly than rival telephones. You get an influence adapter — one thing that is disappearing from most cellphone bins these days — nevertheless it’s a 10W charger with a USB-A to USB-C cable. Motorola stated that you should use a unique energy adapter with the cellphone, however the most pace it will probably cost is 15W. By comparability the Galaxy A53 additionally has a 5,000-mAh battery and may cost at as much as 25W, however it’s essential to purchase an influence adapter individually. When I ran the Stylus 5G right down to 0%, it took roughly 2.5 hours to cost it as much as 95% utilizing the included charger.Shockingly, there is a headphone jack included, one thing that is virtually nonexistent for telephones on this worth vary. Motorola consists of Dolby Atmos, which will be utilized to particular headphones and audio system that you simply join.The stylus contained in the Moto G Stylus 5G.
    Mike Sorrentino/CNET
    Stylus options are good, however lack influenceThe Moto G Stylus 5G features a stylus, however the most effective factor about it’s its devoted slot within the cellphone. When you take away the stylus, you will see a menu of shortcuts together with an choice to take a screenshot to annotate, take a notice or open a coloring guide app. Motorola can also be launching a Live Message characteristic, which helps you to create an animated drawing and ship it out by means of a favourite messaging app. I used to be simply in a position to make these, and ship them to pals the way in which I’d ship a GIF. My pals discovered the animations amusing however this is not one thing I’d do daily.The stylus is neat, nevertheless it’s arduous for me to think about utilizing it regularly. If it’s essential to signal a digital doc, it is now straightforward to get that accomplished with a service like DocuSign, Microsoft Office or Google Docs. Unless you completely want a stylus, you would be higher off contemplating the sub-$500 telephones that do not embrace one. The Moto G Stylus 5G has a 50-megapixel essential digicam, an 8-megapixel ultrawide digicam and a 2-megapixel depth sensor digicam.
    Mike Sorrentino/CNET
    Stable picturesThe largest enchancment on the Moto G Stylus 5G over final yr’s model is with the inclusion of optical picture stabilization. This reduces hand shake whereas taking photographs, serving to forestall movement blur.The essential 50-megapixel digicam on the again of the cellphone is accompanied by an 8-megapixel ultrawide and a 2-megapixel depth sensor digicam. On the entrance is a 16-megapixel selfie digicam.I took the cellphone to a canine park, the place I wanted to maneuver shortly to get photographs of the puppies. I shot loads of nice canine photographs, together with of my pal’s canine Mel who bought notably aggressive with a soccer toy.Photo taken on the Moto G Stylus 5G.
    Mike Sorrentino/CNET
    Mel, the canine pictured right here, would not let some other canine close to this soccer. Photo taken on the Moto G Stylus 5G.
    Mike Sorrentino/CNET
    I additionally took the cellphone to a Korean barbecue restaurant in addition to to a karaoke night time, the place I used the cellphone’s Night mode to assist seize extra element in darker indoor settings. It captured the entire particulars of the meal, however on the theater the outcomes had been extra saturated. There’s a noticeable blur on objects that had been farther away.Night mode on the Moto G Stylus 5G.
    Mike Sorrentino/CNET
    Night mode on the Moto G Stylus 5G.
    Mike Sorrentino/CNET
    Photo taken on the Moto G Stylus 5G’s front-facing digicam.
    Mike Sorrentino/CNET
    The front-facing digicam additionally captured lots of element whereas I made faces on the digicam.Video is not the cellphone’s robust go well with. You can select between 30 and 60 frames per second, however in any other case it is restricted to 1080p for seize. Last yr’s Stylus 5G consists of 4K video recording, so I used to be shocked that characteristic did not stick round. The footage I took on the canine park was OK, however wasn’t notably detailed even in good lighting. I would not anticipate to seize something greater than quick video clips that could possibly be shared with pals or household.Limited software program assist hurts an in any other case good phoneEven although the cellphone’s stylus, good pictures, bigger display and better refresh fee all suggest it, it is arduous for me to disregard Motorola’s dedication to only one main Android replace.I used a Moto Z2 Play as my private cellphone again in 2018. When it developed bugs, the slower software program updates meant I could not be assured these points could be resolved.Motorola pledges safety updates for 3 years, which can no less than be certain that the Stylus 5G is not susceptible to most malicious threats. But Samsung pledged to assist Galaxy A telephones for 4 years whereas Google gave the Pixel 6 three years of software program updates and 5 years of safety updates. Motorola is woefully behind as compared.Unless you crave the stylus and need a cellphone for $500 or much less, I counsel ready a number of extra weeks till after Google I/O. It’s rumored Google will announce a less expensive Pixel 6A, probably within the $450 to $500 worth vary. Motorola’s $400 Moto G 5G, sans stylus, will even launch within the coming weeks. Once these telephones are launched, we’ll have a greater general thought which is the most effective cellphone on this worth vary. 

    Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2022) vs. Samsung Galaxy A53 5G, Google Pixel 5A with 5G, Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2021)

    Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2022)

    Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

    Google Pixel 5A with 5G

    Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2021)

    Display dimension, decision

    6.8-inch LTPS LCD FHD Plus; 2,460 x1,080 pixels; 120Hz

    6.5-inch AMOLED 2,400×1,080 pixels; 120Hz

    6.34-inch OLED; 2,400×1,080 pixels; 60Hz

    6.8-inch LCD FHD Plus; 2,400×1,080 pixels; 60Hz

    Pixel density





    Dimensions (Inches)

    6.65×2.98×0.37 in

    6.28×2.94×0.32 in

    6.1×2.9×0.3 in

    6.67×3.05×0.39 in

    Dimensions (Millimeters)

    168.9×75.8×9.3 mm

    159.6×74.8×8.1 mm

    156.2×73.2×8.8 mm

    169.54×77.48×9.35 mm

    Weight (Ounces, Grams)

    7.58 oz; 215 grams

    6.67 oz; 189 grams

    6.45 oz; 183 grams

    7.67 oz; 217.5 grams

    Mobile software program

    Android 12

    Android 12

    Android 11

    Android 11


    50-megapixel (broad), 8-megapixel (ultrawide/macro), 2-megapixel (depth)

    64-megapixel (broad), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 5-megapixel (macro), 5-megapixel (depth)

    12-megapixel (broad), 16-megapixel (ultrawide)

    48-megapixel (wide-angle), 5-megapixel (macro), 8-megapixel (ultra-wide angle), 2-megapixel (depth sensor)

    Front-facing digicam





    Video seize






    Snapdragon 695 5G

    Exynos 1280

    Snapdragon 765G

    Snapdragon 480 5G











    Expandable storage

    Up to 1TB

    Up to 1TB


    Up to 1TB


    5,000 mAh (10W wired charger included)

    5,000 mAh (charger not included)

    4,680 mAh (18W wired charger included)

    5,000 mAh (10W wired charger included)

    Fingerprint sensor










    Headphone jack





    Special options

    5G-enabled; OIS for essential digicam; NFC for Google Pay, Stylus

    5G-enabled; IP67 score; helps 25W wired quick charging, Samsung Pay

    5G-enabled, IP67 water score, Dual Sim

    5G-enabled, Stylus,

    Price off-contract (USD)





    Price (GBP)

    Converts to £320


    Converts to £345

    Converts to £285

    Price (AUD)

    Converts to AU$560


    Converts to AU$620

    Converts to AU$515

    Moto G Stylus 5G: $500 Phone Gets Higher-End Features at a Midrange Price

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