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Hands On with the 2023 moto g 5G & moto g stylus

moto g 5G moto g stylus Comments  

The moto g stylus (2023) is quite a different phone from last year's model. As I mentioned earlier, the screen is noticeably smaller; stylus does not equal huge screen anymore. But there are other "downgrades" as well, in areas like display resolution and cameras.

Why? What hasn't changed is that this phone is about offering a 4G phone with something extra. This phone exists because carriers like Cricket and Consumer Cellular are not rushing to get everyone on 5G the way the bigger brands are. What has changed is that, in 2023, if you're paying $250 or more for a phone, you expect it to have 5G. So it makes sense that Motorola did what was necessary to bring price down to $200 (unlocked).

moto g stylus (2023)  

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I like that the g stylus has a much more rounded design than the boxy moto g 5G, although the phone still feels on the thick side. The back has a nice shimmer effect and a silky matte texture that looks and feels nice. I wish the bezels around the display were a tad thinner. Still, it feels well-made. I appreciate that the camera hump doesn't stick out too much.

The "Midnight Blue" color isn't very "midnight" to my eye. When the shimmery back catches the light it can be quite a bright blue, and the sides are a lighter shade of blue. The Glam Pink is close to a rose gold, but pinker.

I worry that the fingerprint reader embedded in the lock button (same on the moto g 5G) is too small to be fast and reliable, but I haven't tested it, so it could be fine.

Naturally, pulling out the stylus triggers a little pop-up menu of stylus-related shortcuts. Motorola claims to have improved the latency when using the stylus. I tried the notes app briefly and the stylus seems to work well. The stylus itself is quite long but also quite thin.

moto g stylus: stylus stuff  

There's not much to say about the software that I didn't already just say about the moto g 5G. The stylus software is all that's different, and it hasn't changed much since last year.


If you're looking for a $200 phone with something extra and don't care about 5G, this is probably worth a look. The extras you get aren't just the stylus, but the 50 megapixel main camera and 90 Hz display refresh.

But if you're upgrading from a previous moto g stylus or other stylus phone, beware that the screen may be smaller than your old phone, and this may have other specs that aren't as good. If that's you, I suggest waiting to see if Motorola comes out with a 5G stylus model in a few months. Based on past years, that seems likely, and that model may offer a better upgrade path for existing stylus-phone lovers.

Perhaps that's why Cricket is the largest carrier that will offer this one (probably for less than $200).


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