Moto G Stylus overview: Beautiful cellphone with good cameras, however fundamental stylus

Moto G Stylus overview: Beautiful cellphone with good cameras, however fundamental stylus

With the launch of the Moto G Stylus ($250 at Finest Purchase) and Moto G Energy ($250 at Motorola), Motorola did one thing somewhat 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 truly is a Moto G8, it isn’t destined for the US.


  • Gorgeous design
  • Stable battery life thus far
  • Nice worth

Do not Like

  • Stylus wants extra software program options
  • No NFC

In lieu of numbers, Motorola hit on a special naming scheme: Put the cellphone’s predominant function into the identify. For instance, the Moto G Energy has a huge battery, therefore the phrase energy. And the Moto G Stylus, as you in all probability discovered, has a stylus.

However these two telephones have way more in widespread than the shortage 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, fingerprint reader and selfie digicam. However issues get fascinating once you evaluate the variations between the 2 finances telephones.

At $250, the Moto G Energy is $50 cheaper than the $300 Moto G Stylus. (The Stylus isn’t 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 shade give off a flashy vibe.

I respect 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 individual and this function is not for me. However that is OK, as a result of the Moto G Stylus continues to be a stable featured finances cellphone.

I have been debating whether or not or not I would advocate the Moto G Stylus to somebody who would not need a stylus. It could be like shopping for a convertible automobile that you just by no means supposed 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 identical time. Should you want a cellphone with excellent battery life, get the Moto G Energy. And if you happen to love the precision of a stylus or take pleasure in 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.

Possibly one other approach of claiming that is that the Moto G Stylus is not a $300 Galaxy Word 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
  • Other than the macro digicam, the Moto G Energy and Moto G Stylus have completely 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 Word line of telephones from Samsung and LG’s Stylo sequence of telephones. The Galaxy Word 10 begins at $950 and final 12 months’s LG Stylo 5 prices $299 however may be discovered closely discounted. On the stylus cellphone spectrum with the Galaxy Word 10 on one finish and LG Stylo 5 on the opposite, the Moto G Stylus falls near the Stylo aspect of issues each by way of worth in addition to what you are able to do with the stylus.

The stylus suits flush on the underside proper nook of the cellphone. It hooks simply open and may set off a reasonably fundamental 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. In contrast to the S Pen on the Galaxy Word 10, there is not a Bluetooth connection, so you aren’t getting options tapping the button on the stylus to take an image.


On the left is the Samsung Galaxy Word 10, on the fitting is the Motorola Moto G Stylus.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Motorola has a digicam function known as Cinemagraph that means that you can document a video, then select elements of the video to stay static. You need to use the stylus to shade out elements of the video with way 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, nonetheless, 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 needs to be wonderful 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 attractive. That is the very best trying Moto G finances cellphone ever.

The display is surrounded by thick bezels which can be truly thinner than these on the iPhone 11. The brow and chin are a bit chunky however no less than 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 principally useful touches by Motorola just like the Moto Gametime function that helps scale back distractions whilst you’re enjoying a recreation. In our efficiency exams, 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 downside enjoying video games like PUBG, browsing the online or watching YouTube movies. For PUBG I had graphics set to “clean” and the body charge at medium and I had no issues. However once 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 exams on the Moto G Stylus, however in my use it simply lasted two days on a single cost.

I will replace this piece with remaining outcomes and scores once we end operating our video exams for battery life.

Moto G Stylus’ triple rear cameras

The Moto G Stylus has a 48-megapixel predominant wide-angle digicam that makes use of a method known 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 known as Motion Cam for capturing video (assume Go Professional). What’s neat is that you just need not maintain your cellphone in panorama place once you movie. It doesn’t matter what orientation you’ve got your cellphone, the digicam rotates the video accordingly.

On paper the principle digicam on the Moto G Stylus is extra versatile than the one on the Moto G Energy. However for images taken in good mild, it is laborious for me to see the variations between images on a cellphone display. After I evaluate photos on a pc display, I discover that the Moto G Stylus renders images with a pinch extra distinction and pop.


The principle 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 completely different pixels into one.

Patrick Holland/CNET


The HDR on the Moto G Stylus works properly.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The cellphone additionally has an evening mode known as Evening Imaginative and prescient. No it would not flip every part right into a inexperienced infrared scene. As a substitute it will possibly assist in low-light conditions to seize further element, sharpness and brightness. In use, I discovered the mode hit-or-miss. It is not 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 truthfully astonished on the pictures 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 first rate for the worth and it is higher than the one discovered on the Moto G Energy. However the Google Pixel 3A, usually $399, may be had for $300 proper now and has the most effective cameras discovered on any cellphone at any worth. 

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

Motorola Moto G Stylus Motorola Moto G Energy Motorola Moto G7 Samsung Galaxy Word 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
Digicam 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 notch; waterproof (IP68)
Worth off-contract (USD) $300 $250 $299 $949

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