Moto G Stylus evaluate: Motorola swaps battery life with note-taking

Moto G Stylus evaluate: Motorola swaps battery life with note-taking

With the launch of the Moto G Stylus ($300 at Finest Purchase) and Moto G Energy ($250 at Finest Purchase), Motorola did one thing a little bit bizarre to its telephones: It eliminated all of the numbers from the cellphone’s names. Final 12 months, the Chicago-based firm launched the much-beloved Moto G7. The 12 months prior there was the Moto G6 and earlier than that the Moto G5 and G5 Plus. And whereas there really is a Moto G8, it is not destined for the US.


  • Beautiful design
  • Stable battery life to date
  • Nice worth

Do not Like

  • Stylus wants extra software program options
  • No NFC

In lieu of numbers, Motorola hit on a distinct naming scheme: Put the cellphone’s most important function into the identify. For instance, the Moto G Energy has a big battery, therefore the phrase energy. And the Moto G Stylus, as you most likely discovered, has a stylus.

However these two telephones have far more in widespread than the dearth of numbers of their names. At their core, the Moto G Stylus and Moto G Energy are the identical cellphone. They’ve the identical processor, RAM, display screen, fingerprint reader and selfie digicam. However issues get fascinating whenever you examine the variations between the 2 funds telephones.

At $250, the Moto G Energy is $50 cheaper than the $300 Moto G Stylus. (The Stylus shouldn’t be on sale within the UK or Australia.) The Moto G Energy seems to be quiet and reserved in its Smoke Black end whereas the Moto G Stylus and its Mystic Indigo coloration give off a flashy vibe.

I admire the important thing function of the Moto G Stylus. The stylus provides a stage of precision that makes navigating the cellphone extra environment friendly. Now, I am not an enormous stylus particular person and this function is not for me. However that is OK, as a result of the Moto G Stylus remains to be a stable featured funds cellphone.

I have been debating whether or not or not I would suggest the Moto G Stylus to somebody who would not desire a stylus. It could be like shopping for a convertible automobile that you simply by no means meant to drive with the highest down.

I’ve to imagine that is why Motorola launched each the Moto G Stylus and Moto G Energy on the similar time. If you happen to want a cellphone with excellent battery life, get the Moto G Energy. And when you love the precision of a stylus or get pleasure from sketching, the Moto G Stylus is ready for you. However the stylus appears to be missing software program options that would make it extra helpful. I want extra apps took benefit of the stylus at a software program stage.

Perhaps one other method of claiming that is that the Moto G Stylus is not a $300 Galaxy Observe 10.

Moto G Stylus vs. Moto G Energy: Key variations

  • Moto G Stylus prices $300, the Moto G Energy prices $250
  • Moto G Stylus has a 4,000-mAh battery, the Moto G Energy has 5,000 mAh
  • Moto G Stylus has 128GB of storage, the Moto G Energy has 64GB
  • Except for the macro digicam, the Moto G Energy and Moto G Stylus have totally different rear cameras
  • Moto G Stylus has a built-in stylus
  • Moto G Stylus is Mystic Indigo, the Moto G Energy is available in Smoke Black

The Moto G Stylus is a little bit of a novelty

The marquee function of this cellphone is the stylus. The one different telephones that I do know of with a built-in stylus are the Galaxy Observe line of telephones from Samsung and LG’s Stylo collection of telephones. The Galaxy Observe 10 begins at $950 and final 12 months’s LG Stylo 5 prices $299 however could be discovered closely discounted. On the stylus cellphone spectrum with the Galaxy Observe 10 on one finish and LG Stylo 5 on the opposite, the Moto G Stylus falls near the Stylo facet of issues each by way of worth in addition to what you are able to do with the stylus.

The stylus matches flush on the underside proper nook of the cellphone. It hooks simply open and may set off a reasonably primary Notes app that you need to use to create drawings, write notes or simply doodle. The stylus will also be used to navigate the cellphone, markup screenshots and edit images. Not like the S Pen on the Galaxy Observe 10, there is not a Bluetooth connection, so you do not get options tapping the button on the stylus to take an image.


On the left is the Samsung Galaxy Observe 10, on the appropriate is the Motorola Moto G Stylus.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Motorola has a digicam function referred to as Cinemagraph that means that you can report a video, then select components of the video to stay static. You should use the stylus to shade out components of the video with far more precision than simply utilizing your finger. However what number of Cinegraphs are individuals actually capturing?

The Moto G Stylus is gorgeous

Just like the Moto G Plower, the Moto G Stylus has a 6.4-inch full HD show with a hole-punch that homes the selfie digicam. The design offers the cellphone a contemporary and premium look.

It has a USB-C port for charging, a headphone jack and on the again is a fingerprint reader disguised because the Motorola emblem. It would not have wi-fi charging, NFC or an IP score for mud or water resistance. It does have a “splash-proof” coating, nevertheless, that was in a position to deal with a few waters drops that I deliberately poured on it.


Do not submerge the Moto G Stylus. It ought to be high-quality if a number of drops of water get on the cellphone.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Impressively, the Moto G Stylus comes with 128GB of storage and helps expandable storage as much as 512GB. The Moto G Stylus is available in Mystic Indigo, which seems to be beautiful. That is the most effective wanting Moto G funds cellphone ever.

The display screen is surrounded by thick bezels which might be really thinner than these on the iPhone 11. The brow and chin are a bit chunky however at the very least Motorola did away with having its identify on the underside of the cellphone like final 12 months’s Moto G7.

Moto G Stylus efficiency and battery

Energy-wise it has a Snapdragon 665 processor, 4GB of RAM and runs Android 10 with a handful of largely useful touches by Motorola just like the Moto Gametime function that helps cut back distractions whilst you’re taking part in a recreation. In our efficiency assessments, the Moto G Stylus fared higher than final 12 months’s Moto G7, however nonetheless fell behind final 12 months’s Google Pixel 3A and Samsung Galaxy A50.

Geekbench v.4.Zero single-core


Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Geekbench v.4.Zero multicore


Longer bars point out higher efficiency

In on a regular basis use, I had no drawback taking part in video games like PUBG, browsing the online or watching YouTube movies. For PUBG I had graphics set to “clean” and the body price at medium and I had no issues. However after I performed Alto’s Odyssey, generally animations stuttered.

Whereas the Moto G Energy will get all the eye for its battery, the Moto G Stylus isn’t any slouch with its 4,000-mAh battery. I am nonetheless operating precise battery assessments on the Moto G Stylus, however in my use it simply lasted two days on a single cost.

I am going to replace this piece with remaining outcomes and rankings once we end operating our video assessments for battery life.

Moto G Stylus’ triple rear cameras

The Moto G Stylus has a 48-megapixel most important wide-angle digicam that makes use of a way referred to as pixel binning to mix the sunshine info from 4 pixels into one. The benefit is that the cellphone can take images with much less noise in medium-to-low-light conditions. The cellphone additionally has a macro digicam just like the Moto G Energy and an ultrawide-angle digicam referred to as Motion Cam for capturing video (suppose Go Professional). What’s neat is that you simply need not maintain your cellphone in panorama place whenever you movie. It doesn’t matter what orientation you could have your cellphone, the digicam rotates the video accordingly.

On paper the primary digicam on the Moto G Stylus is extra versatile than the one on the Moto G Energy. However for images taken in good gentle, it is exhausting for me to see the variations between images on a cellphone display screen. Once I examine photos on a pc display screen, I discover that the Moto G Stylus renders images with a pinch extra distinction and pop.


The primary digicam on the Moto G Stylus renders issues with a pleasant pop to paint and distinction.

Patrick Holland/CNET


The 48-megapixel sensor makes use of pixel binning to mix the sunshine info type 4 totally different pixels into one.

Patrick Holland/CNET


The HDR on the Moto G Stylus works effectively.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The cellphone additionally has an evening mode referred to as Night time Imaginative and prescient. No it would not flip the whole lot right into a inexperienced infrared scene. As an alternative it might assist in low-light conditions to seize further element, sharpness and brightness. In use, I discovered the mode hit-or-miss. It isn’t as constant because the evening mode discovered on barely pricer telephones.

Maybe my favourite function on these telephones is the macro digicam, which can be utilized to take images and movies of issues ridiculously shut up. I am actually astonished on the photographs and focus the cellphone was in a position to get.

However I need to align your expectations. The digicam system on the Moto G Stylus is respectable for the value and it is higher than the one discovered on the Moto G Energy. However the Google Pixel 3A, usually $399, could be had for $300 proper now and has among the best cameras discovered on any cellphone at any worth. 

Motorola Moto G Stylus specs vs. Moto G Energy, Moto G7, Samsung Galaxy Observe 10

Motorola Moto G Stylus Motorola Moto G Energy Motorola Moto G7 Samsung Galaxy Observe 10
Show measurement, decision 6.4-inch LCD; 2,300×1,080 pixels 6.4-inch LCD; 2,300×1,080 pixels 6.2-inch LCD; 2,270×1,080 pixels 6.3-inch AMOLED; 2,280×1,080 pixels
Pixel density 399ppi 399ppi 403ppi 401 ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 6.24 x 2.98 x 0.36 in 6.29 x 2.98 x 0.38 in 6.18 x 2.96 x 0.31 in 5.94 x 2.83 x 0.31 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 158.55 x 75.Eight x 9.2 mm 159.85 x 75.Eight x 9.63 mm 157 x 75.Three x Eight mm 151 x 71.Eight x 7.9 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 6.77 oz; 192 g 7.01 oz; 199 g 6.07 oz.; 172 g 5.93 oz; 168g
Cell software program Android 10 Android 10 Android 9.0 Android 9.Zero Pie
Digital camera 48-megapixel wide-angle, 2-megapixel macro, 16-megapixel ultra-wide angle 16-megapixel wide-angle, 2-megapixel macro, 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle 12-megapixel, 5-megapixel 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (ultra-wide angle), 12-megapixel (telephoto)
Entrance-facing digicam 16-megapixel 16-megapixel 8-megapixel 10-megapixel
Video seize 4K 4K 4K 4K
Processor Snapdragon 665 Snapdragon 665 1.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, or Samsung Exynos 9825
Storage 128GB 64GB 64GB 256GB
Expandable storage As much as 512GB As much as 512GB As much as 512GB No
Battery 4,000mAh 5,000mAh 3,000mAh 3,500mAh
Fingerprint sensor Again Again Again In-screen
Headphone jack Sure Sure Sure No
Particular options Stylus, Motion Cam Water repellent with P2i nano-coating; TurboPower charging S Pen stylus; Wi-fi PowerShare; gap punch display screen notch; waterproof (IP68)
Value off-contract (USD) $300 $250 $299 $949

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