Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G review

The Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G, as you might have pieced collectively, is a cellphone with a built-in stylus and 5G. It’s a barely upgraded model of the 4G-only, 2021-edition Moto G Stylus (I’m sorry, that’s actually how these telephones are named).

The Stylus 5G features a few extra {hardware} upgrades along with 5G connectivity, together with a much bigger battery, extra storage and RAM (256GB and 6GB on the model I examined, respectively), and a more moderen Snapdragon 480 processor. There’s a brand new stylus-friendly GIF creator mode, which is enjoyable. Enjoyable is sweet! Nevertheless it kind of seems like the identical cellphone: the rear digital camera array is similar except for a distinct macro sensor, its 6.8-inch display is identical, and general dimensions are comparable.

This places the G Stylus 5G in a form of awkward spot. At $399, it sits between the $279 G Stylus and the $1,000 Galaxy Word 20 (the subsequent step up in order for you a stylus along with your cellphone), but it surely doesn’t go far sufficient to obviously supply greater than the budget-friendlier model. Efficiency and battery life are a bit higher, however these aren’t actually weak spots for the 4G model.

Verge Rating

6.5 out of 10


Good Stuff

  • Nice battery life
  • Useful stylus options
  • Wholesome efficiency

Dangerous Stuff

  • Solely two years of safety updates
  • Not a big improve over the 4G-only model

Having 5G is good, too, however the worth is diminished when you think about that the G Stylus 5G is just assured two years of safety updates. That’s about when 5G within the US will begin getting good, so most of us can get away with a 4G gadget for the subsequent couple of years.

All of it provides as much as cellphone with no compelling case to advocate it.


The cellphone’s 1080p LCD panel lacks the good distinction of an OLED.

Moto G Stylus 5G display and efficiency

The G Stylus 5G is an enormous cellphone — large with a capital B. Its 6.8-inch show is about as massive as they arrive, no less than till all of our telephones begin folding and increasing into bizarre little Transformer-style tablets. It’s a 1080p LCD panel that’s simply tremendous — missing the good distinction of OLEDs however nonetheless usable in vibrant daylight situations.

Battery life is excellent, due to a big 5,000mAh cell. Utilizing it on Wi-Fi I’ve gotten 4 hours of screen-on day out of it and it’s solely right down to 36 %. You may actually get two days’ price of use out of it — together with comparatively heavy use on mobile knowledge — and even a full day of very demanding use appears affordable.

For $400, you actually ought to get greater than a few years of assist on your gadget

Efficiency is sweet, too; leaping between apps is fast and easy, and heavier duties like zooming out and in of Google Maps reveals solely a little bit of stuttering. There’s minimal however noticeable shutter lag within the digital camera app, which seems like an issue this cellphone shouldn’t have, however not sufficient to break anybody’s day.

The G Stylus 5G ships with Android 11 and can solely be supported with one main OS platform replace and two years of safety updates. That’s an sadly brief lifespan, particularly contemplating that Samsung’s Galaxy A-series telephones are actually assured 4 years of safety updates. For $400, you actually ought to get greater than a few years of assist on your gadget.

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The cellphone’s stylus options are fundamental however make it simpler to do issues like add handwriting to an Instagram story put up.

A few aspect notes on the Stylus 5G’s 5G connectivity: at launch it’ll work on Verizon and T-Cellular’s 5G networks however will function as 4G-only on AT&T. Motorola says AT&T 5G assist will probably be obtainable “within the coming months.” It’s not appropriate with any of the networks’ mmWave 5G (the tremendous quick, hard-to-find selection), however that’s not an enormous loss. Extra importantly, it’ll work with the C-band 5G frequencies Verizon and AT&T will begin utilizing on the finish of the yr.

The Stylus 5G’s stylus options are fundamental however enough. The capacitive stylus is spring-loaded into the cellphone’s decrease proper nook and mechanically brings up a fast menu of choices while you take away it. Should you’re on the lock display, you’ll be able to jot down a be aware with out having to unlock the gadget, which is helpful. You received’t discover productiveness options or neat methods like wi-fi management a la the Word sequence, however fairly some helpful shortcuts to seize a GIF or doodle on a screenshot. They’re helpful and truthful for the worth.


There are normal vast, ultrawide, macro, and depth cameras on the Stylus 5G’s rear panel.

Moto G Stylus 5G digital camera

The Stylus 5G affords three rear cameras — a 48-megapixel f/1.7 normal vast, 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultrawide, and a 5-megapixel macro — together with a 2-megapixel depth sensor and 16-megapixel selfie digital camera. The 4G G Stylus has a 2-megapixel macro digital camera, however that’s the one distinction between them.

Very similar to the 4G model, the Stylus 5G takes good images in plentiful mild with a stunning stage of element, due to the best way it processes 48-megapixel photographs into 12-megapixel information. The ultrawide digital camera is good to have, although its photographs could be a little noisier in difficult lighting situations, and the macro digital camera continues to be underwhelming, regardless of the modest decision increase.

Grid View

The primary digital camera is vulnerable to some drastic colour shifts with even barely totally different compositions of the identical scene and topic — in a single shot my orange cat is orange, and within the subsequent one taken at a barely totally different place, he abruptly appears blue. This occurs extra incessantly in blended lighting situations, which many cameras will battle with, but it surely popped up simply typically sufficient in my testing to harass me.


The Moto G Stylus 5G doesn’t fairly do sufficient to face out.

The 4G-only G Stylus is an efficient deal for $279, and there’s nothing actually mistaken with the $399 G Stylus 5G, but it surely’s tougher to justify its increased price. With solely a few years of safety updates assured, this cellphone will solely see the start of really good 5G within the US. It’s a pleasant step-up choice if you happen to’re inclined towards a stylus cellphone and the Word isn’t in your price range, however for most individuals, I’d advocate both sticking with the 4G-only mannequin for a few years or trying right into a 5G cellphone with just a little extra longevity.

Stylus fanatics on a price range have choice within the Moto G Stylus 5G

Should you’re extra within the large display and battery than the stylus, you could possibly save fairly a bit and go along with the Moto G Energy (2021). Its processor isn’t nearly as good and also you miss out on the ultrawide digital camera, however if you wish to cowl the fundamentals for a few years, it’ll do.

However, if you happen to can afford to spend just a little extra and also you do need to get quite a lot of years out of your cellphone, the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G is a good decide. It has an enormous, pretty display, 5G, and comes with a beneficiant assist coverage. Stylus fanatics on a price range have choice within the Moto G Stylus 5G, however most others may do higher elsewhere.

Images by Allison Johnson / The Verge

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