Moto G Stylus 5G (2024) Review


Moto G Stylus 5G (2024) Intro

The 2024 version of the Moto G Stylus 5G from Motorola is here, and it comes with several meaningful upgrades over its predecessor that make it a better mid-range phone. As usual, however, its strongest selling point is the embedded stylus, which Motorola has improved to be more responsive this year.

But the question is whether the stylus is still the only thing going for the new Moto G Stylus 5G, or if there is something more to win buyers over and draw them away from the competition.

Well, the good news is that this generation comes with brand new cameras, which perform surprisingly well for a Moto G phone. You also get some of the best battery life on the market right now if you opt for the new G Stylus, and some other noteworthy benefits.

The bad news is that, for the most part, the competition offers more for what you are paying. For many users, the cons of the Moto G Stylus 5G (2024) might outweigh the pros, especially when it comes to the software update situation. So, let’s see what we have here.

Table of Contents:

Moto G Stylus 5G (2024) Specs

Pretty good for $400

Moto G Stylus 5G (2024) Design and Display

New look and an impressively bright display


The 2024 generation of the Moto G Stylus 5G comes with a design overhaul. The back panel is no longer plastic, instead, now it comes with a vegan leather (silicone) surface that is softer to the touch and naturally less prone to slipping out of your hands or pocket. The frame is still plastic, though, so it is not exactly premium-feeling all around.

The camera island looks as if the vegan leather was a bed cover that’s been gently placed on top, outlining the edges. This is the same approach and look we saw on Motorola’s premium Edge 50 series that was released earlier this year. The island is also bigger than on the previous generation, so that it can house the larger lenses for the main and ultra-wide cameras.

Size-wize, the new Moto G Stylus 5G is considerably thinner and lighter compared to its predecessor, with its girth being 8.3mm and 190g weight vs the 9.2mm and 202g of the G Stylus from 2023. It used to be a more difficult phone to hold, but I can safely say that the 2024 G Stylus 5G definitely feels more comfortable in the hand with this change.

It is still a pretty big phone, however, measuring 162.6mm x 74.8mm, which is a similar height to the Galaxy A35 5G, but narrower by about 3mm. 

Of course, I also tried to use the stylus, even though I am not a stylus kind of guy. I’ve got to say, though, editing photos in Lightroom Mobile and taking notes throughout the day were probably two use cases that made me think about owning a stylus phone. The one here seemed to work alright for my needs, but I don’t think it is good enough for other creative work, as it is not exactly the most precise one out there.

Motorola has reduced the latency of the built-in stylus, making it more responsive, which made using it a noticeably more pleasant experience. The stylus menu has also been improved, and it now appears when you drag the stylus out of the phone—a useful shortcut that saves a bit of time.

You can find the Moto G Stylus 5G (2024) in two colors:

  • Caramel Latte
  • Scarlet Wave

Unfortunately, the unboxing experience does not come with the same treatment as with Motorola’s more premium Edge handsets that even release a nice scent when you open their box. With the Moto G Stylus 5G (2024) you just get the phone itself and a USB-C cable. Of course, you also get a SIM tool.

The display of the Moto G Stylus 5G was already pretty good, especially with its 120Hz refresh rate. That said, it was lacking as far as contrast and colors were concerned. Thankfully, this time Motorola has added an OLED panel, replacing the old LCD one from the predecessor.

The new display looks significantly better, as you would expect when switching to OLED. I had a great time watching videos and even some Netflix shows while commuting to work and back. I was also a bit surprised by how visible the 2024 G Stylus display was outdoors, so props to Motorola for increasing the brightness levels.

The bezels are mostly uniform, with the bottom one being a bit thicker. It is not exactly the seamless premium look of higher-tier phones, but at this point all bezels are slim enough to not be an eyesore, at least by my standards.

As already mentioned, the new G Stylus is very visible in bright conditions, which was further confirmed during our display lab tests, where the phone hit around 1200 nits. This even beats Samsung’s Galaxy A35 5G and by no small margin at that!

Moto G Stylus 5G (2024) Camera

Better than I expected

The 2024 Moto G Stylus 5G still comes with a 50MP main camera, but now it has optical image stabilization (OIS). There’s also a new 13MP ultrawide camera that replaces the old 8MP one, which comes with a Macro Vision mode for macro photography.

Sadly, you can no longer record at 4K 30FPS, unlike with the 2023 version of the phone. The highest resolution right is 1080P with a maximum frame rate of 120FPS (for slow motion). This is a bit of a bummer, but phones of this caliber are never really good at 4K footage (not yet, at least) anyways, so I can let that part slide—might as well stick with what’s actually high-quality performance.

Okay, admittedly, the ultrawide camera on the new G Stylus is not exemplary, but I would go as far as to say that the images coming out of it are actually usable. It does seem to expose for the highlights more, struggling to bring out more detail in the shadows, resulting in a darker image, but still—not too bad.

The main 50MP camera, on the other hand, is much more impressive. Besides the 2024 G Stylus’ bright display, the image quality from the main camera was the other aspect that took me by surprise. Photos look plenty sharp without going over the board with the post processing. Even the 2X crop mode produced clear images.

Colors from the main camera appeared accurate to me, and the HDR performance seems to be good, although the shadows are still too dark for my liking, making some darker areas appear almost black.

Another surprising part was the photos taken with the Macro mode. You cannot get in extremely close to the subject since the minimum focusing distance is not that short, but the images you can take are pretty good in my book.

Lastly, we have the selfie camera, which offers plenty of detail and true-to-life colors. I have no complaints here.

Video Quality

Video Thumbnail

Much of the camera performance and behaviour that I noticed when taking stills was also true for video recording. That includes the difference in image quality between the ultrawide and main cameras, the colors, HDR performance and the 2X crop mode.

Video stabilization can work well as long as you don’t challenge it too much. If you start moving around a lot, though, you will notice the footage gets jitters every now and then, which is very characteristic with cheaper phones.

Moto G Stylus 5G (2024) Performance & Benchmarks

The necessary sacrifice

Motorola has decided to give the 2024 G Stylus 5G the same Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 chipset (released in 2022) that was also featured on the 2023 model. I presume this was a way to keep the price the same as last year, allowing the several other upgrades visible in its spec sheet.

Despite its rather old low-tier chipset, the 2024 Moto G Stylus did quite alright in my day-to-day use of it. It handled mobile gaming just fine, even though some had to be toned down in settings. More taxing applications such as Lightroom Mobile and CapCut were also useable. I wasn’t a fan of the occasional stutter while navigating the UI or using the camera, though, especially for a phone that costs $400.

The silver lining is that the lag was really only occasional and it did not happen while using the system’s stylus features, which are what make this phone stand out anyways.

Performance Benchmarks:

Now you get 8GB of RAM instead of the 6GB from before. The storage situation remains the same, though, with 256GB of internal storage and the option to increase that storage via a microSD card (2TB maximum).

Moto G Stylus 5G (2024) Software

Besides the aforementioned lag, there is one more major reason I would avoid the Moto G Stylus (2024) and that is the 1 year of software updates. In other words, you won’t go any further than Android 15, given that the phone comes with Android 14. At least you get 3 years of security patches, but come on now… it is 2024 and we have phones like the Galaxy A35 5G offering 4 years and Google’s Pixel 8a with seven years of major OS updates.
As for the software itself, you get  Motorola’s skin on top of Android, which includes some neat features like specific gestures for opening the camera app or turning on the flash. I’ve always liked those about Motorola phones. The bad part is that, unlike the Pixel 8a, you won’t see any neat AI features on the 2024 Moto G Stylus 5G. The ugly part is that Motorola tries to push a ton of bloatware apps during the startup process, most of which you can skip, but not all.

Moto G Stylus 5G (2024) Battery

One of the best parts about this phone

The 2024 version of the Moto G Stylus 5G is an absolute unit when it comes to battery life! It took me to days to make it fall below 10%, and that was no surprise after I saw where it ranks based on all of the other phones we have tested so far. It is in 4th place!

Much to attribute to its long battery life is the 5,000 mAh, which is massive, and the timid chipset inside. I played quite a bit with the camera and some less demanding mobile games like Wild Rift, which the phone could run well (at least on medium settings), and it still had plenty of juice at the end of the first day.

PhoneArena Battery Test Results:

Motorola has increased the charging speeds this time, going from 20W to 30W for the wired charging. You also get 15W wireless charging, which is quite the thing at this price point.

PhoneArena Charging Test Results:

Moto G Stylus 5G (2024) Audio Quality and Haptics

Like many mid-range Android phones, the G Stylus 5G (2024) supports Dolby Atmos, which seems to help make the sound richer with a bit more umph in the bass line. There is little to no distortion in the higher volume levels, but I was expected a little more as far as maximum volume goes.
Thankfully, the 2024 Moto G Stylus is one of those rare examples of a phone that still rocks a 3.5mm headphone jack, which you can use to plug in a pair of nice wired headphones. You also have Bluetooth 5.1, which is not exactly the latest version of Bluetooth but still offers great stability and good range for a smooth wireless headphone experience.

The vibration motor inside the new Moto G Stylus 5G is nothing to brag about, and I personally opted to turn vibrations off except for when the phone is ringing. I am a fan of haptic feedback, but if it does not feel tight, strong, and precise, I just get rid of it.

Should you buy it?

The Moto G Stylus 5G (2024) is not a bad phone. It has many great things going for it such as the bright and beautiful display, pretty good main and front-facing cameras, and some of the longest lasting battery you will find in this segment and in general.

However, despite all of its benefits, I cannot overlook the fact that you only get 1 year of Android updates. I also don’t like that Motorola tries to push bloatware onto the user. There’s also that mediocre chipset performance, which is even more apparent when you compare it to the main competition.

Speaking of competition, Google and Samsung simply offer more for your money. Yeah, the Pixel 8a costs $100 more, but you get 7 years of Android updates and a flagship-level processor inside! And with that much better chipset also come the increasingly important AI features.
The Galaxy A35 5G, on the other hand, might not have as bright of a display, but it comes with an IP67 water and dust resistance rating, a more durable display, and 4 years of Android updates. Meanwhile, the camera performance is arguably similar. And all of that for the same price.

So, it really comes down to how much you want to use a stylus, which is just like any previous iteration of the Moto G Stylus. It will probably win you over with its niche. Either that, or with its awesome battery life. But for anything else—you can do better.

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