Moto G Stylus (2023) Hands-On: Motorola’s Cheapest Stylus Phone Yet



The Moto G Stylus moved to a less expensive spot in Motorola’s inexpensive cellphone lineup, dropping to $200 whereas preserving notable options just like the stylus, a 50-megapixel principal digicam and an enormous 5,000-mAh battery. This makes the brand new cellphone $100 cheaper than final 12 months’s $300 mannequin, however with specs which can be roughly akin to final 12 months’s 4G-only model. The Moto G Stylus additionally doesn’t exchange final 12 months’s $500 Moto G Stylus 5G regardless of the practically equivalent nomenclature.

I spent a couple of hours taking part in with the Moto G Stylus, and essentially the most noticeable cuts seem like a transfer from 128GB of inside storage to 64GB of area on this 12 months’s mannequin, together with a lower in RAM from 6GB to 4GB. Regardless of the drop in storage, you’ll be able to add a microSD card for extra room, although there isn’t a technique to improve the RAM.

The included stylus is useful, and ejecting the pen instantly launch a notes app, even when the cellphone is locked. As soon as unlocked, a stylus app menu pops up, offering fast entry to the notice utility, a handwriting calculator, Google Maintain and the power to snap a screenshot. A minimalistic handwriting keyboard can be out there, letting you scribble into textual content fields whereas the software program interprets it into textual content.

Moto G Stylus with annotated screenshot

The Moto G Stylus gives quick entry to take and edit a screenshot.

Mike Sorrentino/CNET

The Moto G Stylus is powered by a MediaTek Helio G85 processor — and it seems to be somewhat sluggish on first impression. Varied apps like Instagram, Messenger and the online browser all load superb, however once I began taking part in Marvel Snap there was a noticeable lag, even at medium or low graphics settings. Fortunately the slower efficiency didn’t stop me from with the ability to use the cellphone for many duties, which was the most important deal-breaker once I reviewed the $170 Moto G Play.

The cellphone’s 50-megapixel principal digicam is paired up with a 2-megapixel macro lens. On the entrance is an 8-megapixel shooter. As I’ve solely had the gadget for a couple of hours, early take a look at photographs within CNET’s workplace with the primary digicam got here out superb. The digicam app additionally features a night time mode and portrait mode, however I must attempt them out as I proceed to check the cellphone. 

Plant wall taken with the Moto G Stylus

The plant wall in CNET’s workplace, taken utilizing the Moto G Stylus.

Mike Sorrentino/CNET

Moto G Stylus photo of bookshelf

A bookshelf in CNET’s workplace, taken with the Moto G Stylus.

Mike Sorrentino/CNET

Cheaper telephones usually skimp on the cameras. So whereas these early pictures are good, I nonetheless need to see how the Moto G Stylus’ pictures prove in additional conditions.

As for software program, Motorola in any other case gives a reasonably clear model of Android 13 with the Moto G Stylus whereas nonetheless preserving the entire firm’s ordinary gestures like twisting to launch the digicam or making a “chopping” movement along with your hand to activate a flash mild.

Being out there unlocked at this value, with barely any noticeable bloatware (compelled apps or video games which can be preloaded) might make this a greater total deal for a cellphone purchaser on a good funds. 

Moto G Stylus notes app

When ejecting the stylus from the Moto G Stylus whereas locked, the notes app launches for fast notes.

Mike Sorrentino/CNET

Like different Moto G telephones, this one can be projected to get one main software program replace and three years of safety updates.

It’s, nevertheless, value noting that this model of the Moto G Stylus comes up in opposition to the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G, which has many comparable options together with 5G compatibility. Whereas we have not but examined the A14, it is going to be attention-grabbing to see if this Moto’s stylus, software program and efficiency present sufficient worth to make it a compelling choose regardless of the shortage of contemporary 5G connectivity.