Motorola's Moto G Stylus 5G (2022) Comes With Three Unexpected Numbers

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Motorola has added two new models to its affordable Moto G series, with the Moto G Stylus 5G and Moto G 5G both promising speedier data connections without losing sight of the phone-maker's value commitment. A far cheaper alternative to Samsung's S Pen-enabled Galaxy S22 Ultra, the Moto G Stylus 5G may not match the Samsung on pure specifications, but then again it's also less than half the price.

That's not to say it's quite as attainable as before. Compared to the old Moto G Stylus, this 2022 edition nudges the sticker up a little. It'll cost $499.99, Motorola says, initially unlocked but eventually through Cricket Wireless, Dish, Boost Mobile, Republic Wireless, Verizon, AT&T, US Cellular, Xfinity Mobile, Spectrum Mobile, Google Fi, and Optimum Mobile later in the year. That's one of the big numbers for today's launch, though the stylus presents the second.

For the Moto G Stylus 5G, a pen and a faster connection

Though you might question just how many people still want a digital pen with their smartphone, Motorola says the stats suggest the answer is clear. A full 95% of Moto G Stylus owners regularly use the pen, according to the company's research. So, it's been kept on this 2022 Moto G Stylus 5G, complete with a useful silo in the body of the smartphone for storage, and there's a new Live Message feature that records you sketching out a message.

It works on the 6.8-inch Max Vision FHD+ display, which — for the first time on a Moto G series device in North America — supports a 120Hz refresh rate with auto-adjustment. Inside, there's a Snapdragon 695 5G chipset, with support for Sub-6 and C-Band 5G on the unlocked version of the phone. A second version will have mmWave 5G support.

The primary camera is a 50-megapixel sensor with optical image stabilization. It's joined by a 118-degree ultra-wide and a macro sensor, plus a depth sensor for better portrait-mode shots. Motorola says there's a fourfold improvement in low-light sensitivity. A 5,000 mAh battery is standard, as is a splash- and spill-proof IP52 rating.

The downside, as we've seen from Motorola before, is software support. The Moto G Stylus 5G starts out strong, with Android 12 that has little in the way of customization or modification. Motorola adds its own My UX tweaks, with Peek Display and Swipe to Split, Twist to Capture in the camera, and Fast Flashlight, and there's Lenovo ThinkShield for Mobile, but generally, this is Android as Google intends it.

Problem is, our third surprising number is that Motorola is only promising one OS update: you'll get Android 13 when that's released, but that's all. Security updates will be more generous — up to three years of releases every other month — but Motorola keeps getting criticism for its Android commitments yet maintains it's giving what its audience wants.

The Moto G 5G (2022) promises more affordable fast speeds

If the stylus doesn't appeal, meanwhile, and the price tag is too high, the Moto G 5G could fit the bill. It's a mere $399.99 unlocked, though will eventually be offered through Cricket Wireless, Dish, Boost Mobile, Republic Wireless, AT&T, Xfinity Mobile, Spectrum Mobile, US Cellular, Consumer Cellular, Google Fi, and Optimum Mobile in the coming months.

It swaps the Qualcomm chipset for a MediaTek 5GC chip, with Sub-6 5G support. The display is slightly smaller, too, at 6.5-inches and HD+ resolution; it also tops out at a 90Hz refresh rate. There's a 50-megapixel camera on the rear, with dedicated depth and macro sensors.

Two versions — one with 64GB of storage, the other with 256GB — will be offered, both with a microSD slot capable of handling up to 1TB cards. It'll have the same IP52 rating and 5,000 mAh battery, which Motorola says should last for up to two days of typical use, and will also come with the same commitment to a single Android OS update down the line.