Motorola unveiled the 2022 version of its popular Moto G Stylus phone that has welcomed features like a high refresh rate display, a bigger battery and a higher resolution main camera. But it also comes with a less impressive processor, lacks NFC for contactless payments and runs on Android 11. All this makes for a curious hardware upgrade but the good news is that it still costs $300. (International prices weren’t immediately available, but that converts to roughly £220 or AU$420.)
For years Motorola was a reliable designer of affordable phones, making smart compromises to keep its phones affordable. For $250 to $300 you’d get so much. Whatever a Moto G phone lacked compared to more expensive flagship phones, it seemed worth the money you were saving.
But now it’s 2022. Other phone manufacturers, including Google, OnePlus and Samsung, have figured out that recipe and introduced phones that match or exceed what Motorola is releasing. At the same time, it feels like Motorola’s recipe is in need of a revamp. The Moto G Stylus (2022) certainly has an appealing price, but it lacks the mojo and sparkle of previous Moto G phones like the Moto G5 Plus or Moto G7.
Compared to the Moto G Stylus (2021) the new Stylus seems less like an upgrade and more like a continuation of last year’s phone. The bigger 5,000-mAh battery in the Stylus (2022) is impressive, but the phone has a different processor: the MediaTek Helio G88 chip. According to benchmark tests for other phones with the Helio G88, the new processor isn’t as battery efficient as last year’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 678 chip which the Stylus (2021) had. So any gains made by the larger battery might be moot. We’ll have to see once we can test it.
The Moto G Stylus (2022) has a new 50-megapixel main camera, which is two more pixels than the camera on last year’s Stylus. But the new phone can only record 1,080p video whereas the Stylus (2021) was able to capture 4K video. This downgrade might be another consequence of the MediaTek processor.
The Moto G Stylus (2022) has a 90Hz high-refresh-rate screen, which is a great addition. But the new phone still lacks NFC for things like Google Pay, which in 2022 seems like a big miss. Add in a commitment to one major OS update after Android 12 and the Moto G Stylus (2022) seems like Motorola may have made one too many compromises to keep the price low.
But specs only tell part of the story. I look forward to testing the new phone out and seeing what its improvement and rough spots are like to actually use. The Moto G Stylus (2022) is now available to order unlocked at Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart and Motorola’s website.
Moto G Stylus (2022) key specs
- 6.8-inch FHD Plus display
- 90Hz high refresh rate screen
- 5,000-mAh battery
- MediaTek Helio G88 processor
- 6GB of RAM
- 128GB of storage
- Expandable storage up to 512GB
- Two colors: metallic rose or twilight blue
- 50-megapixel main camera
- 8-megapixel ultrawide or macro camera
- 2-megapixel depth sensor
- 16-megapixel selfie camera