Moto G Stylus 5G review: A good phone, but Motorola sells better ones
Moto G Stylus 5G review: A good phone, but Motorola sells better ones
12:42

Moto G Stylus 5G review: A good phone, but Motorola sells better ones

Phones
This is the Moto G stylist 5G. And as the name suggested has a stylist and well, five leaks. I spent a week with the stylist 5G and here's my review. [MUSIC] It cost $400 in the US which makes it one of the most affordable 5G phones. From Motorola and is the same price as the Motorola one 5g Ace, which does not have a stylus. So, if the Moto G stylus five please seems familiar, it's because it's the follow up to January's Moto G stylus we did not have 5g. But this new phone is much more than just adding 5g to the old phone. In fact, there are a number of significant and minor improvements, which I'm gonna get into later. But first, let's go back to past me and see what my impressions were after a couple hours with the phone. First, it's green. It's kinda like kinda No, not like emerald green. Actually, the color is called cosmic Emerald. So Yeah, clearly I am off to a wonderful start to this review. It's a little heavy, not like burdensome heavy. It's not the heaviest phone this year, but compared to the one that came out. [MUSIC] Earlier this year, this is definitely heavier. This one has a bigger battery than the one does. The phones wait kept on creeping up on me all throughout this review and I think part of that comes from the fact that this new phone has a larger 5000 milliamp hour battery than the old non 5g version which only had a [MUSIC] A 4000 milliamp hour battery. I think the idea behind it is by increasing the battery size on this new phone and then having that new 5g connection which is going to drain the battery, you're going to get about the equivalent battery life on the new phone as you would with the Non five key version. That's a lot of keys. Anyway, at least that's one of the reasons it's heavier but let's check back in with me later in the week.>> It's a big battery. You are reminded of this battery every time You picked this one up because it's a hefty phone. It's not the heaviest phone, but if it's heavy without a case, it's only going to get heavier when you put a case on it, that's just something to think about. That's just math, and the body is plastic of Motorola, I think does plastic so well for these, quote unquote budget phones. It is. Fingerprinting, that's one downside. Yep, I could just hear you guys typing. People are gonna put a case on it, Patrick, let it go. Just like Elsa, I'm gonna let it go, the same way you take it out of the cases still gonna have your fingerprints from like a year ago. You said you were gonna let it go. Okay, let me fingerprint this as, you can see the camera bumps are a little bit different than others 5G has a square camera bump in the top left corner, which is a little more like the Motorola one, 5G Ace. And now, let's talk about the title character, the stylus, the stylus on this is completely a cylinder. Versus the one that came out in January. It's got like a cylinder bottom but the one in January it's got like a flat top. This new completely round stylish from top to bottom is so much easier to put back in the phone. Whereas I got to put the one back in the non 5G model [MUSIC] Depending on [MUSIC] how I put it in, it kind of gets stuck to the last parts flat. Yay, innovation. But all this leads to a deeper and more important quick. Yes still trying to figure out why I need a statement. I mean, if you're gonna get a phone that has a stylus and has the word stylus in the name of the phone, then yeah, it's kind of important. But here's me a few days into the review. [MUSIC] I guess here's the dilemma. What do I use this for? Yeah, there's like Notes app, there's coloring book apps I guess., If you have a child you can give your phone with your stylists and they can colour it in for kids. This makes sense. I mean sound like there's a small part they could lose. Adults could colour that's the thing now. Yeah, I'm pretty, certain colouring book is a. Adult thing not like adult like you know adult but like you know adult. Yeah, I feel bad if I don't use the stylus like, Is this like a convertible car and I just don't take the top down ever wanted to get a convertible car to help me with my existential stylist and convertible car. Crisis. I call it the best the best Stylus, my CNET colleague, my friend, former DJ, senior editor like Lexy Savvides. She's gonna set me straight on the appeal of a phone Stylus, but I usually use the Stylus and or the pen But i usually use Stylus and can I guess as The actual pen for note taking for quick writing, like jotting things down. I like to take notes by typing so this could work. Usually it's something to do with food. [LAUGH] It's usually something urgent like, quick, I need to write down our takeout order. I don't have a pen or pencil anywhere. I need to do this quickly. Note to self, make sure Alexi has enough food. What would you recommend As I'm not completely new to a stylist but I really want to live that stylists life. Hashtag stylists life. I think for me the biggest thing that I like to experience when I have anything to challenge people that are experiencing. The first time use the responsiveness and the accuracy when you are writing on the screen. Okay, so Lexi gave me a new outlook and I really wanted to try to live that hashtag. stylist, life stylist, you and I were gonna become friends. But then my new friendship hit a rough patch I found my Apple Pencil and I got my old iPad out and I just wanted to kinda compare the experience and yeah, let's just get us out of the way. The price of this pencil alone is like a third of the cost of the Moto G Stylus 5G. That said when I go to write words on the Moto G Stylus 5G. It is they don't look great and it's not an enjoyable experience for me. Maybe it's the latency. Like maybe I'm not feeling that responsiveness Lexi was talking about. I'm not giving up on it. I wanna be clear. I'm gonna try to live the hashtag stylus life. That said when I use the Apple Pencil on the iPad All it does is it feels like I'm writing on paper except I'm writing on glass. The difference comes down to I actually feel like I'm writing on my iPad, whereas on the Moto G stylus 5G feels like I'm learning how to write. Hopefully we're gonna go out and take some photos today. And not only live the hashtag stylist, life live the Camera life. Hashtag, let's talk cameras. On the back are four cameras and they're the same ones down on the Moto G stylus, except the macro camera gets a slight bump in resolution. The main 48 megapixel camera is It's pretty decent. Actually, it's very similar to other moto cameras in the sense that it combines multiple pixels into one. This makes for less image noise, brighter photos and better detail that I've gotten some pretty great shots out of this. Camera. There's also an ultra wide camera which is okay., details aren't great. In fact details are often soft and mushy and the image quality isn't anywhere near what the main camera can do. And a great example of this are these photos I took of these trees. So here's a photo from the main camera of the trees, you can see when we zoom in, there is a lot of detail you can make out the individual leaves Even in groupings, here are the same trees taken with the ultra wide camera. Now, the camera does offer a more dramatic perspective which you can see here. However we take a close look at the leaves. You can see the groupings are kind of just mush together. You can't make out individual leaves in those clusters. Also on the back is a depth camera. Now this doesn't take pictures on its own, but combines with something like the main camera for portrait mode photos, which are actually pretty good. The final camera on the back is a macro camera which to me feels much more like a novelty than in something that you're gonna use a lot. In fact, if the ultra wide and macro camera had image quality that was on par with the main camera, then that would be an entirely different story. On the front is a 16 megapixel selfie camera, which takes some pretty good photos. The Motor G Stylus 5G shoots HD video, so no 4k. But that brings me to one of my favorite features on the camera. And that's called dual capture. And that allows you to film simultaneously with the front facing camera and one of the back cameras, so you could do a your reaction and also see what you're reacting to. And there's different ways to lay it out but I like you can put the selfie camera on the top half and what you're reacting to on the bottom half Let's talk about a couple other things here, one is battery life. The larger battery did pretty well, even with 5G. This phone has no problem making it through a day, bot a single problem. It's made it through a day and a half very easily. At the time I'm recording this video. I'm still running battery tests on the Moto G stylus 5G. So you wanna see what those results are, check out my written review on cnet.com. Some other considerations [MUSIC] The daily use the Moto G stylus 5g handle pretty much anything I threw at it. Even when I was playing games with intensive graphics. It has Android 11 out of the box and when we ran benchmark testing for performance, the processor scored a little lower than the non 5g version. However, the Stylus 5G has more RAM and a better KPU and it scored higher in gaming benchmarks. So let's talk about the other title character, and that would be the 5G. Cuz that's gonna be the reason a lot of people wanna get this phone. I would caution you, if you're buying a phone to get 5G Check what your carrier coverage is like in your area. Check what the pricing is like if you have friends or neighbors who have 5g, what their experiences are like, because it's gonna vary wildly. And that was my experience with the Moto G stylus 5g. I ran it here on T mobile's 5g network in South Carolina and Speeds weren't great. Oftentimes it actually jumped back down to LTE. But that speaks much more about t mobile's coverage than it does the phone because other 5G phones from other phone companies have had similar results. And let's talk about the display the display especially if you're outside, well, it's it's hard to see it's not very bright. If you're wearing the sunglasses, you're gonna have trouble seeing it at all. So after a week, what do I think of the Moto G stylus 5G? Well, it's a good phone. I mean, first it costs $400 which is great. Second, it has all the things you like about Motorola like those Moto shortcuts. And it has this new security layer from Motorola's parent company, Lenovo, and can pretty much do everything you'd want to phone to do. In fact, at $400 It comes with features that more expensive phones lack. It has a headphone jack. It has expandable storage. In the box, you get both a cable for charging and a wall charger. So, yeah, there's that But if you don't care about 5G whatsoever, and you just want a stylus phone, I'd recommend considering the Moto G stylus. It's $100 less. In fact, when I'm recording this video right now, it only costs $279. On the flip side, if you don't care about a stylus and all you want is a 5G phone, that's not gonna break your budget. I would recommend looking at the Motorola one 5G ace. And I just want to be clear that my recommendations don't mean that the Moto G stylus 5G is bad. It's just that Motorola offers better options for some people. And as far as my stylus conundrum, well, my pal Alexi said it best. I think I used to judge. People for using technology in ways that I didn't do. And that is a completely misguided way to look at technology because it's really what you get out of it, what it provides for your life. That's all I've got. If you are interested in the Moto G stylus 5G, check out our link in the description, but now I wanna hear from you. What do you think of the phone? What do you think of how it compares to other budget phones from Motorola? Throw your thoughts in the comments.

Up Next

Best Android Phones of 2022: Samsung, Google, OnePlus and More
1203459317449832-laz1jqjqlhclzhrpcncs-height640.png

Up Next

Best Android Phones of 2022: Samsung, Google, OnePlus and More

I Tried Emergency SOS via Satellite on the iPhone 14
applestuffsos-00-05-43-11-still006

I Tried Emergency SOS via Satellite on the iPhone 14

How to Pick the Best iPhone for You
yt-applestuff-v4

How to Pick the Best iPhone for You

Pixel 7 Pro Review: Google's Best Phone Gets Better
white Pixel 7 on a green table against a dark background

Pixel 7 Pro Review: Google's Best Phone Gets Better

Google Pixel 7 Review: Same Great Value
pixel7-7

Google Pixel 7 Review: Same Great Value

Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro: First Look
thumb8

Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro: First Look

Comparing iPhone 14 Pro and 13 Pro Max cameras
iphone14vsiphone13camcompare-00-00-36-21-still002

Comparing iPhone 14 Pro and 13 Pro Max cameras

iPhone 14 Pro vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra: Camera Comparison
14-pro-vs-s22-ultra-camerasthumb.png

iPhone 14 Pro vs. Galaxy S22 Ultra: Camera Comparison

iPhone 14 is Missing These 5 Features
top5iphone14missing-00-00-00-00-still001

iPhone 14 is Missing These 5 Features

Tech Shows

The Apple Core
apple-core-w

The Apple Core

Alphabet City
alphabet-city-w

Alphabet City

CNET Top 5
cnet-top-5-w

CNET Top 5

The Daily Charge
dc-site-1color-logo.png

The Daily Charge

What the Future
what-the-future-w

What the Future

Tech Today
tech-today-w

Tech Today

Latest News All latest news

Best Android Phones of 2022: Samsung, Google, OnePlus and More
1203459317449832-laz1jqjqlhclzhrpcncs-height640.png

Best Android Phones of 2022: Samsung, Google, OnePlus and More

Scuba Diving With the Apple Watch Ultra
scuba-thumb-3

Scuba Diving With the Apple Watch Ultra

Neuralink Explained: Elon Musk Plans to Tap Our Minds With Brain Implants
221128-yt-neuralink-curtainraiser-v2

Neuralink Explained: Elon Musk Plans to Tap Our Minds With Brain Implants

Best Gaming Laptops of 2022: Gifts for Gamers at Any Budget
screenshot-2022-11-24-at-11-39-06.png

Best Gaming Laptops of 2022: Gifts for Gamers at Any Budget

Seen the New 2023 Prius? Here's Why It's Turning Heads
2023-prius-reveal-b-roll-toyota-mp4-00-00-39-19-still001

Seen the New 2023 Prius? Here's Why It's Turning Heads

Check Out the Three Best TVs for Every Budget
besttvs22-00pic

Check Out the Three Best TVs for Every Budget

Most Popular All most popular

Meet a Mind-Bending Hybrid: The Sono Sion Solar-Grid EV
sono-sion-00-09-01-10-still220

Meet a Mind-Bending Hybrid: The Sono Sion Solar-Grid EV

Comparing Apple Watch Ultra to the Series 8
vscnetthumb-applewatches

Comparing Apple Watch Ultra to the Series 8

5G Comes to Microsoft's Surface Pro 9
screenshot-2022-10-28-at-11-58-40.png

5G Comes to Microsoft's Surface Pro 9

Apple Watch Series 8: What the New Temperature Sensor Can and Can't Do
221026-site-apple-watch-8-in-depth-body-temperature-hands-on-2

Apple Watch Series 8: What the New Temperature Sensor Can and Can't Do

Why I Switched to iPhone
abrar-1

Why I Switched to iPhone

I Swam With a Deep-Sea Robot Designed to Outlast Humans
oceanonekthumb

I Swam With a Deep-Sea Robot Designed to Outlast Humans

Latest Products All latest products

First Look at Archer's Midnight Air Taxi
midnight

First Look at Archer's Midnight Air Taxi

Holoride Hands-On: VR in the Car Is Like a Disney Ride
holoride-00-00-03-12-still003

Holoride Hands-On: VR in the Car Is Like a Disney Ride

Hands-on With All of Microsoft's New Surface Devices
surfacepro9-event-00-00-04-05-still004

Hands-on With All of Microsoft's New Surface Devices

Microsoft Introduces Surface Studio 2 Plus
surfacestudio

Microsoft Introduces Surface Studio 2 Plus

I Used Meta Quest Pro: Here's What It's Like
questpro-00-03-30-13-still004

I Used Meta Quest Pro: Here's What It's Like

Fitbit Sense 2 First Look: New Software Makes a Difference
fitbit-aroll-00-00-46-14-still001

Fitbit Sense 2 First Look: New Software Makes a Difference

Latest How To All how to videos

MacOS Ventura Continuity Camera Turns Your iPhone Into a Webcam
1203246975312353-pnmdl8bwygpxcjffhlcf-height640.png

MacOS Ventura Continuity Camera Turns Your iPhone Into a Webcam

How to Clean Your Keyboard's Sticky Keys
3keyboards

How to Clean Your Keyboard's Sticky Keys

How to Play Games from PlayStation Plus on PC
psstill

How to Play Games from PlayStation Plus on PC

How to Delete or Disable Your Instagram Account
phoneonorange

How to Delete or Disable Your Instagram Account

Fix Your iPhone Screen With Apple's Self-Service Repair Kit
dsc00641

Fix Your iPhone Screen With Apple's Self-Service Repair Kit

How to Buy a Budget Laptop in 2022
budgetlaptops-00-08-35-15-still001

How to Buy a Budget Laptop in 2022