The revamped Moto G Stylus 5G launches with a $399 price tag

The revamped Moto G Stylus 5G launches with a $399 price tag
It’s only been half a year since Motorola released the updated G Stylus, and it’s achieved considerable popularity with its robust (if conservative) feature set. Now, the company is back with the next iteration of the stylus-wielding device, featuring enhanced ergonomics, a better battery, and 5G connectivity—all with just a modest price bump to $399.

Redesigned stylus and better software integration

The biggest changes may be in the phone’s namesake stylus, which offers a sleek redesign and more capable software. Notably, the stylus is symmetrically round as opposed to oval, and this allows you to insert the stylus from any orientation—you don’t have to align it a certain way to slot it back in.

On the software side of things, Motorola has added more integration with Moto Notes, including a new ruler tool for drawing straight lines, as well as the ability to turn photos into outlines, which you can then color in. Beyond this, there’s also the Galaxy Note-esque floating button with a versatile range of customizable shortcuts (such as Google Maps destinations or links to call specific contacts).

Like its predecessor, the Stylus 5G rocks a 6.8-inch LCD display with Full HD+, 1080p resolution. It’s not cutting edge, but it’s expansive in size, with plenty of room for sketching or writing notes. Motorola has also added a Super Brightness feature that will automatically kick in for extra viewability when needed.

Moto is debuting the phone in a single color, Cosmic Emerald. The shimmery hue shifts colors from green to black depending on the angle. Other than the color, the design philosophy is essentially identical to its Motorola brethren, with gently curved edges and glossy plastic.

Modest upgrades across the board...

Camera-wise, the Stylus 5G rocks the same four-lens setup that’s become a staple across Motorola’s lineup, including a 48MP main sensor with pixel binning. Backing it up are a 8MP wide-angle lens, 2MP depth sensor for portrait and AR, and a 8MP macro lens. This represents a small upgrade in the sensors and lenses used, and the setup should yield perfectly good results.

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On the software side, the Stylus 5G offers a new Dual Capture for simultaneous recording from both the front and back cameras, along with a new Spot Color Video mode that will allow you to shoot videos with just one hue.

Another major bonus is that 256GB storage comes standard, which should ensure ample space for all your photos, doodles, and apps. There’s also a considerable boost to 6GB of RAM, up from 4GB, to offer enhanced multitasking and overall smoother performance, along with a bigger 5,000mAh battery. Motorola has been something of a dark horse for battery life, and if its reputation is anything to go by, the Stylus 5G should easily last all day, all night, and then some.

… and some noticeable absences, too

That’s not to say the Stylus 5G’s spec list won’t raise any eyebrows. Firstly, Moto’s decided on a Snapdragon 480 SoC, which is technically a downgrade from the SD678 on the last Stylus model. Still, the SD480 is a newer processor with more recent transistor technology (8nm versus 11nm), so the phone should theoretically handle most usage just fine.

Less excusable is the lack of NFC, which has grown close to indispensable (even more so in this day and age). Skipping over contactless payments is surprisingly common within Motorola’s roster, and it looks like the unfortunate trend continues here.

Motorola has really been announcing more phones than anybody else, but it’s worth considering that these releases form a cohesive effort across the midrange spectrum, and across localities. This strategy of tailored devices to target region-specific niches has been well received so far, and the new Moto G Stylus 5G is a natural extension of this arc.

The $399 price tag is low, but not super-low

The Stylus 5G faces stiff competition from the likes of the Pixel 4a 5G, or even Motorola’s own One 5G Ace—both capable devices priced in a similar range. The value proposition will largely come down to how much merit you place in having a stylus. Regardless, though, Motorola’s latest effort is in line with its recent releases, offering a solid set of specs and features at an accessible price point.

If Motorola’s new offering seems enticing, you’ll be glad to know that the device will be available unlocked for $399 at a wide range of third-party retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo, and Walmart, in addition to the brand’s own website. As for carrier deals, the phone will also be available for direct purchase from most major carriers, including AT&T and T-Mobile. Select carriers will also have a version with 128GB of storage and 4GB of RAM, though the 256GB/6GB variant is standard.

Verizon is conspicuously missing; the phone is compatible with Verizon’s low- and mid-band 5G network but not the high-band mmWave. The carrier won’t sell the device directly, but you shouldn’t have any compatibility issues should you choose to buy it unlocked.

The Moto G Stylus 5G will be available next week, starting June 14th.

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