Motorola hasn’t had a lot of success with midrange devices lately, but it’s trying again with the Moto G Stylus 5G — 2023 edition. It’ll sell for $399 unlocked for a variant with a healthy 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage (carriers will sell a variant with 128GB of storage and either 4 or 6GB of RAM) and comes with a 6.6-inch screen, updated rear camera system, and Qualcomm’s new midrange Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 chipset for 20 percent faster performance than last year’s model. Oh, and a stylus, of course.
The 2023 G Stylus 5G has a slightly smaller screen than last year’s edition — a 6.6-inch display versus 6.8 inches — though it’s still a 1080p LCD with a top refresh rate of 120Hz. The drop in screen size is actually a good thing: 1080p really isn’t enough resolution for a huge screen, and the bezels on this year’s device are a little smaller. I think it’s a net positive, even if you’re a fan of massive screens.
There’s a new 50-megapixel main camera sensor with larger pixels than the previous generation (good), though it loses the optical image stabilization present in the 2022 version (not so good). But on the bright side, Motorola has done away with useless low-res macro and depth sensors and done the sensible thing here: combined them into one in the ultrawide camera. The 8-megapixel ultrawide doubles as a macro camera and also does the job of depth-sensing to help with portrait mode shots. Bravo, Moto.
In other good news, the Moto G Stylus 5G is one of the last midrange phones to offer a headphone jack, and it now comes with stereo speakers for when you’re listening unplugged. Motorola says that the stylus actions are now “simpler and more natural,” but actual stylus features seem similar to last year. There’s also a MicroSD slot, a huge 5,000mAh battery, 20W fast-ish wired charging, and NFC. Motorola says the G Stylus 5G will get one OS version upgrade and three years of security support — same as last year and a far cry from the five years of security updates you’ll get on Samsung’s midrange Galaxy A54 5G.
All in all, it’s a promising update — and we could use another good option in the midrange class to give Samsung and Google a run for their money. The 2023 Moto G Stylus 5G goes on sale June 2nd at Cricket Wireless first, with availability at AT&T and T-Mobile later on. It’ll be sold unlocked from Motorola, Amazon, and Best Buy starting on June 16th.