$500 Moto G Stylus 5G and $400 Moto G 5G Get 50MP Cameras With Android 12
The newest Moto G phones have impressive specs, but the company's only committed to one software update.
Mike SorrentinoSenior Editor
Mike Sorrentino is a Senior Editor for Mobile, covering phones, texting apps and smartwatches -- obsessing about how we can make the most of them. Mike also keeps an eye out on the movie and toy industry, and outside of work enjoys biking and pizza making.
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Motorola revealed two Moto G phones Thursday, both of which appear to position the Moto G line as a budget-to-midtier alternative to Samsung's Galaxy A series and the $450 Galaxy A53. The $500 Moto G Stylus 5G and the $400 Moto G both come with 50-megapixel main cameras, high refresh screens and -- notably rare, even at these prices -- headphone jacks. Yet Motorola says both phones are only committed to get one software update to Android 13, which is disappointing when Galaxy A and Google Pixel phones are committed to years of support.
International pricing wasn't immediately available, but $500 converts to roughly £380 or AU$670.
The new Moto G Stylus 5G is positioned as the bigger sibling to the $300 Moto G Stylus, without 5G, which launched earlier this year. Along with the built-in stylus implied in its name, the phone has a 6.8-inch screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, optical image stabilization to help avoid shaky photos, a 5,000-mAh battery and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 chip. Joining the main 50-megapixel camera are an 8-megapixel ultrawide and macro camera and a 2-megapixel depth sensor, while the front has a 16-megapixel selfie camera. The phone will start at 128GB of built-in storage, with a microSD card slot available to expand that up to 1TB.
The unlocked model of the Moto G Stylus launches on April 28, supporting sub-6 and C-band flavors of 5G. The Verizon model, coming later, will support the fast but harder-to-find millimeter wave. The phone will be available in steel blue and seafoam green.
The stepdown Moto G 5G includes a 6.5-inch screen with a 90Hz refresh rate, a MediaTek processor and the same 5,000-mAh battery. It starts with 64GB of onboard storage, which can be expanded with a microSD card. The main 50-megapixel camera on the back joins a 2-megapixel macro camera and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. On the front is a 13-megapixel selfie camera. The phone lacks NFC, so it won't be able to make contactless payments.
The Moto G 5G goes on sale on May 19 for $400 as an unlocked model, and with 5G support for sub-6 and C-Band. It comes in moonlight gray.
Motorola says the Moto G line is particularly popular in North America's prepaid and retail unlocked market, noting at a press event for Thursday's reveal that the Stylus has been its bestselling Moto G phone. Although some of the specs for the two 2022 Stylus models overlap, a Motorola representative said they're different enough that people should be able to decide between the lower-price and higher-price versions.
The Moto G Stylus is a rare example of a stylus-enabled midrange phone line. Samsung only offers the Galaxy S22 Ultra, which works with the S Pen stylus, for a substantially higher $1,200.
While we'll reserve judgment on these phones until we've had time to test and review them, the update commitment is puzzling. Motorola will give these phones three years of security updates, so the phones will still be usable after receiving their one major software update to Android 13. But even in the sub-$500 price range, you may want to hold onto a phone for as long as possible. Knowing you'll only have a few years of support is something to take into account regardless of your phone's price.
Watch this: Hands-on with Motorola's 2021 budget phone lineup