Something changed when Motorola launched its two latest handsets, the Moto G Stylus and the Moto G Power; there’s no longer any numbers in the branding. Only last year we saw the company, based out of Chicago, bring out the Moto G7 and before that we got the Moto G6, preceded by the Moto G5 and G5 Plus. Although a Moto G8 is happening, it’s not going to land in the US market.

What we like

  • Looks stunning
  • Impressive battery life
  • Super competitive price


What’s not so good

  • Could do with more software features
  • Lacking NFC capability


Moving away from numbering the names, Motorola has decided to highlight the key feature of the phone in the name. The Moto G Power has a huge battery and therefore it gets the name power. If you’d not figured it out yet, the Moto G Stylus comes with a stylus.

Moto G Stylus comes with a stylus.

As Patrick Holland notes for cnet, there’s more than just a naming style that pulls these two phones together. What you get with both of them is pretty much the same phone – they both come with the same RAM, processor, fingerprint reader, screen, and selfie camera. What’s more worth talking about is what makes the pair of budget phones different.

You save $50 when you go for the Moto G Power, which is $250 compared to the Moto G Stylus that’s priced at $300 – neither handset is going on sale in the UK or Australia at the moment. When it comes to looks, the Moto G Power has a solid yet reserved feel and is finished in Smoke Black, whilst you’ll look a tad flashy with the Moto G Stylus’ Mystic Indigo phone. 

The integral feature of the Moto G Stylus is useful to make your scrolling and navigation a lot more precise and efficient. A lot of users aren’t really into styluses, and you can easily use the phone and appreciate it without having to rely on it. 

Should a person who doesn’t like a stylus actually buy this phone? It’s kinda like buying a drop-top car and never driving with the roof down.

Logically, that’s probably why Motorola launched both phones at the same time. Need a solid battery life? Go for the Moto G Power. Looking for stylus precision and want to do digital sketching? Pick yourself up the Moto G Stylus. What’s not really featured with the stylus is a software package that shows off its worth. Having more apps that could harness the stylus from a software perspective would add more value. 

Looking at it from another angle; the Moto G Stylus is definitely not a $300 version of the Galaxy Note 10.

What makes the Moto G Stylus and G Power different

  • Price – the Moto G Stylus is $300, the Moto G Power is $250
  • Battery – in the Moto G Stylus the batter is 4,000 mAh, in the Moto G Power it’s 5,000 mAh
  • Storage – the Moto G Stylus comes with 128GB whilst the Moto G Power gets 64GB
  • Camera – the selfie camera is the same but the rear cameras are different
  • Extras – you get a stylus with the Moto G Stylus
  • Color – the Moto G Stylus is Mystic Indigo and the Moto G Power comes in Smoke Black

The novelty factor of the Moto G Stylus

If it wasn’t obvious by now, the main feature of the phone is its stylus. They’re not that common, with only the Galaxy Notes and LG’s Stylos also coming with the digital pen. For the Galaxy Note 10, you’d pay at best $950, and the LG Stylo 5 was released at $299 last year and now has big discounts. On the spectrum of phones with a stylus, with the Galaxy Note 10 at the top end, and the LG Stylo at the other, the Moto G Stylus lands much closer to the Stylo end of things when considering both functionality and price. 

On the Motorola handset, the stylus sits flush to the bottom right and opens easily with a hook which in turn can trigger a simple Notes app for doodles, writing notes, and doodling. Using the stylus, you can also find your way around the phone’s screen, make additions to your screenshots, and put edits on your photos. You don’t get a Bluetooth connection with this stylus in the same way you do with the S Pen on the Galaxy Note 10 so you can’t use it as a remote for taking photos. 

Image credit: news.myseldon.com

There’s the Cinemagraph feature on the Moto G Stylus, giving the option to hold parts of the scene in place whilst others keep moving. The stylus can be used to shade videos with a lot more accuracy than is afforded by your finger, but is the Cinemagraph really taking off?

Looks-wise, the Moto G Stylus is rather lovely

Both the Moto G Power and the MotoG Stylus come with a full HD display of 6.4 inches with a little hole punch for the selfie camera. It looks premium and modern.

For charging, you get a USB-C port, there’s a headphone jack, and the back has a fingerprint reader embedded in the Motorola logo. You don’t get wireless charging, NFC connectivity, or any certification for dust or water resistance – although there is a “splash-proof” coating that should be able to deal with some water drops. 

The 128GB storage that you get with the Moto G Stylus is impressive, and you expand the storage up to 512GB if needed. The color scheme, Mystic Indigo, is genuinely gorgeous. It’s safe to say this is the best looking phone that Motorola has ever brought to market. 

You get thick bezels around the screen but they’re still thinner than on the iPhone 11. What we’d call the forehead and chin of the phone have a chunky quality, but you’re not stuck with the Motorola branding on the front like they gave us with the Moto G7 last year.

Battery life and performance of the Moto G Stylus

The Moto G Stylus is powered by the Snapdragon 665 processor and is equipped with 4GB of RAM with the Android 10 OS. Motorola has included some of its own touches such as the Moto Gametime feature that stops you from getting distracted by notifications as you play. Performance tests were carried out by Holland and the Stylus came out on top when paired against the Moto G7, but wasn’t able to keep up with the Google Pixel 3A or the Samsung Galaxy A50.

To play games like PUBG, internet browsing, and streaming over YouTube, you should have no problems at all. To play PUBG, with the “smooth” graphics setting and a medium frame rate setting, you’ll have no problems either. A game like Alto’s Odyssey might see some animation stuttering. 

Everyone talks about the battery life of the Moto G Power, but the battery in the Moto G Stylus is nothing to stick your nose up at with 4,000 mAh. A single charge can last up to two days, depending on your usage.

Image credit: cnet.com
Image credit: cnet.com

The three cameras on the back of the Moto G Stylus

You get a 48-megapixel, wide-angle camera as your main rig on the Moto G Stylus, which comes with pixel binning, a technique that combines the light detail from four pixels and puts it into one. It means that the photos you take in medium- and low-light conditions should suffer with less noise. There’s also a macro camera, the same as on the Moto G Power, plus an ultra-wide-angle lens that’s known as the Action Cam that works best for video, in the same way as a GoPro. The cool thing about it is you don’t have to be filming in landscape, your roll will get auto-rotated.

On the surface, the primary camera you get with the Moto G Stylus has more versatility than what you get with the Moto G Power. However, comparing photos that are taken in good light and any differences when presented on the phone screen aren’t really discernable. Put the images onto a computer screen and you might see a little more pop and contrast on images taken with the Moto G Stylus. 

You also get Night Vision, but you’re not going to get a green, infrared scene on your phones. You get a helping hand when you’re shooting in low light, being able to grab extra details, and enhance the sharpness and brightness. When you actually try to use it, it can be a little hit-and-miss, with a lack of consistency that you’d get with a higher-priced phone.  

A standout feature that you get with both of the phones is the macro camera – you can use it to get ridiculously close up when shooting photos or videos. The focus you’ll get in your shots will be wonderfully unexpected.

You do need to moderate your expectations, though. The camera setup on the Moto G Stylus is good for the price you pay for the phone and it beats the cameras of the Moto G Power. However, you can get your hands on a Google Pixel 3A discounted to $300 at the moment and you get one of the best cameras for any phone at any price point.  

Motorola Moto G Stylus specs vs. Moto G Power, Moto G7, Samsung Galaxy Note 10

Motorola Moto G Stylus Motorola Moto G Power Motorola Moto G7 Samsung Galaxy Note 10
Display size, resolution 6.4-inch LCD; 2,300×1,080 pixels 6.4-inch LCD; 2,300×1,080 pixels 6.2-inch LCD; 2,270×1,080 pixels 6.3-inch AMOLED; 2,280×1,080 pixels
Pixel density 399ppi 399ppi 403ppi 401 ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 6.24 x 2.98 x 0.36 in 6.29 x 2.98 x 0.38 in 6.18 x 2.96 x 0.31 in 5.94 x 2.83 x 0.31 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 158.55 x 75.8 x 9.2 mm 159.85 x 75.8 x 9.63 mm 157 x 75.3 x 8 mm 151 x 71.8 x 7.9 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 6.77 oz; 192 g 7.01 oz; 199 g 6.07 oz.; 172 g 5.93 oz; 168g
Mobile software Android 10 Android 10 Android 9.0 Android 9.0 Pie
Camera 48-megapixel wide-angle, 2-megapixel macro, 16-megapixel ultra-wide angle 16-megapixel wide-angle, 2-megapixel macro, 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle 12-megapixel, 5-megapixel 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (ultra-wide angle), 12-megapixel (telephoto)
Front-facing camera 16-megapixel 16-megapixel 8-megapixel 10-megapixel
Video capture 4K 4K 4K 4K
Processor Snapdragon 665 Snapdragon 665 1.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 632 Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, or Samsung Exynos 9825
Storage 128GB 64GB 64GB 256GB
Expandable storage Up to 512GB Up to 512GB Up to 512GB No
Battery 4,000mAh 5,000mAh 3,000mAh 3,500mAh
Fingerprint sensor Back Back Back In-screen
Headphone jack Yes Yes Yes No
Special features Stylus, Action Cam Water repellent with P2i nano-coating; TurboPower charging S Pen stylus; Wireless PowerShare; hole punch screen notch; water resistant (IP68)
Price off-contract (USD) $300 $250 $299 $949