Moto G hands-on: Motorola just announced two budget phones, and one has a stylus

The newest G household telephones from Motorola: On the left, the Moto G Stylus; on the correct, the Moto G Power, which has a 5,000-mAh battery.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Motorola Moto G household of phones has a historical past of discovering that candy spot between well-considered requirements and an inexpensive value. Over the previous three years, the Moto G5 Plus, Moto G6 and Moto G7 confirmed us simply how good finances telephones could be. Last yr, the finances panorama bought extra crowded when Google launched the Pixel 3A and 3A XL. And just lately there’s been an uptick in rumors that Apple will launch a finances iPhone 9 (aka the iPhone SE 2). So it is vital for Motorola to maintain pushing its G line of telephones forward. And to its credit score, the Chicago-based firm took a major step ahead Friday by launching two new additions for US and Canadian clients: the $300 Moto G Stylus and the $250 Moto G Power.

The telephones aren’t a radical reimagining of smartphone design just like the Motorola Razr foldable phone. But after utilizing each handsets for just a few hours, it grew to become apparent what number of similarities the Moto G Stylus and G Power have. Both have a 6.4-inch full HD display. And as an alternative of a notch, the telephones have a hole-punch show for a selfie digital camera. It’s much like what Samsung did on its Galaxy telephones in 2019. I can not wait to see what custom wallpaper people make for that hole.

Power-wise, every has a Snapdragon 665 processor, 4GB of RAM and runs Android 10 with Moto’s considerate additional touches. There’s even a brand new gaming mode known as Moto Gametime that limits distractions for a greater mobile gaming expertise.

On the again is a fingerprint sensor, on the entrance is a 16-megapixel selfie digital camera and on the underside is a headphone jack. The new telephones lack the generational naming of earlier G telephones. For instance, the successor to final yr’s Moto G7 Power is not the Moto G8 Power and is as an alternative simply the Moto G Power. But there nonetheless is not only a plain Moto G, aka a Moto G8, to fill the opening between the Moto G8 Plus and Moto G8 Play that were released in October 2019 outdoors the US.

Moto G Stylus is a lower-priced Galaxy Note

The most blatant distinction between the 2 telephones is that the Moto G Stylus has… nicely… a stylus. And the Moto G Power does not. The stylus suits into the underside proper nook of the phone and hooks open simply with a fingernail.

There are solely a pair telephones that include a built-in stylus. Probably the best-known one is the Galaxy Note 10, which prices greater than 3 times as a lot. There’s additionally the 2019 LG Stylo 5, which just like the Moto G Stylus prices $300 (although yow will discover it on sale for half that, and even much less).

Unlike the S-Pen on the Galaxy Note 10, the Moto stylus does not join with Bluetooth and depends solely on capacitive contact for interactions. When you pull the stylus out, you possibly can set it to set off the Notes app to open with out unlocking your phone, or have it open a stylus menu with shortcuts.


The capacitive stylus can be utilized for navigation, writing, drawing and picture modifying.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Notes app is fairly primary, however you possibly can create drawings, write notes or simply doodle. For years, Motorola has had a digital camera characteristic known as Cinemagraph that lets you file a video after which select elements of the video to stay static. If you have ever been on Instagram, you could have probably seen an advert that does one thing related. You can use the stylus to shade out elements of the video with rather more precision than you possibly can utilizing your finger.

The stylus may also be used to navigate the phone, markup screenshots and edit pictures. I hope Motorola creates extra distinctive and enjoyable methods to benefit from the stylus.

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Hands-on with the finances Moto G Stylus and Moto G Power


The Moto G Stylus additionally has a triple rear digital camera. There’s a 48-megapixel fundamental digital camera, which mixes teams of 4 pixels to create a 12-megapixel picture. The concept is to assist enhance picture sharpness and brightness. There’s additionally a 16-megapixel ultrawide “action” digital camera and a built-in macro digital camera that permits you to get as shut as 2 centimeters (just below an inch) to your topic.

The G Stylus has 128GB of storage and a 4,000-mAh battery that Motorola claims will final two days of standard use on a single cost.

The Moto G Power has a behemoth battery

If you are searching for much more battery life than the G Stylus affords, then it’s best to take into account the Moto G Power. It packs a 5,000-mAh battery that Motorola claims can final over three days of standard use after a single cost.

The G Power additionally has 64GB of storage and a triple rear digital camera. There’s a 16-megapixel fundamental digital camera, an 8-megapixel ultrawide-angle digital camera and a built-in macro digital camera. Obviously, not all cameras are equal and extra cameras does not essentially imply higher pictures.


The Moto G Power in Chicago on a snowy day.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Both telephones will probably be accessible this spring unlocked and we sit up for testing out the cameras, the batteries and that stylus as soon as we get our arms on them once more.

Originally printed final week.

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