Motorola is expanding its Moto G smartphone lineup once more, this time with 2022 models of the Moto G 5G and Moto G Stylus 5G. It’s not an exaggeration to say that modern budget phones owe much of their success to the original Moto G. That initial model from 2013 revolutionized what people should expect from a sub $200 smartphone. The Moto G looked good, was well constructed, and had shockingly good specs for the money. If there ever was a perfect budget phone, the Moto G is about as close as one has ever gotten.
While subsequent Moto Gs haven’t been quite as magical, that certainly hasn’t stopped Motorola from growing the lineup as quickly as possible. Motorola currently has 11 Moto G handsets listed on its U.S. website, two of which have launched in 2022 already. Following updated models of the Moto G Power and Moto G Stylus that launched earlier this year, Motorola is now unveiling new versions of the Moto G 5G and Moto G Stylus 5G.
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Right off the bat, the Moto G 5G and Moto G Stylus 5G stand out for their prices — and not in a good way. The former starts at $399, while the latter starts at $499. The $399 Moto G 5G is significantly more expensive than the LTE Moto G Power and Moto G Stylus, both of which retail for $199 and $299, respectively. And for its part, the new Moto G Stylus 5G is $100 more expensive than its predecessor by the same name. Such huge price hikes suggest massive under-the-hood improvements, but in reality, the two new Moto Gs look like more of the same.
Moto G 5G (2022)
Starting with the Moto G 5G, the cheaper of the two Motorola handsets is an interesting product. Instead of a more commonly used Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, the Moto G 5G is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 700. The Dimensity 700 is an octa-core chip with two high-performance cores and six power-efficient ones. It’s a fine piece of silicon, but it was first announced in November 2020 and is based on the older 7nm fabrication design. It’s also joined by 4 or 6GB of RAM and a choice between 64 or 256GB of storage (which you can expand up to 1TB).
The display is odd, too. It’s fairly large at 6.5 inches and has a 90Hz refresh rate, but the resolution is limited to just 1600 x 720 HD+ and features an LCD panel. It’s a similar story for battery life. The 5000 mAh battery is fantastic, but with just 10W wired charging speeds, getting back to a full charge is bound to take a while.
Other specs are a continuing mix of good and bad. The 50MP primary camera sounds promising, but it’s joined by two throwaway 2MP macro and depth sensors. The IP52 water resistance rating and 3.5mm headphone jack are nice to have, but there’s no NFC for Google Pay.
Moto G Stylus 5G (2022)
As you’d expect for a phone that costs $100 more, the new Moto G Stylus 5G has more impressive specs in almost every regard. In place of an aging MediaTek chip is the Snapdragon 695. Not only is it nearly a year newer than the Dimensity 700, but the 6nm design means it should be faster and more efficient in daily use. The Moto G Stylus 5G also goes up to 8GB of RAM and has base storage starting at 128GB (also expandable up to 1TB).
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Also improved is the display. While it’s still an LCD panel, it’s bigger at 6.8 inches, has a faster 120Hz refresh rate, and is much sharper thanks to a Full HD+ resolution. The 5000 mAh battery is the same, though Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 support allows for faster charging times. Camera-wise, the Moto G Stylus 5G gets a 50MP main camera, 8MP ultra-wide/macro camera, and a 2MP depth sensor. It has the same IP52 water resistance rating and 3.5mm headphone jack, and you do get NFC for Google Pay.
Moto G 5G & Moto G Stylus 5G Availability
Motorola’s targetting an April 28 release date for the Moto G Stylus 5G, followed by the Moto G 5G hitting store shelves on May 19. Unlocked models will be available at Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart — in addition to various carrier availability at AT&T, Xfinity Mobile, Spectrum Mobile, and more.
While the Moto G 5G and Moto G Stylus 5G might look fine in a bubble, it’s difficult to see these competing well with other budget handsets available today. The OnePlus Nord N20 5G (although exclusive to T-Mobile) delivers a Snapdragon 695, an AMOLED display, and 33W wired charging for just $280. The $449 Galaxy A53 5G is even more competitive, offering a 120Hz AMOLED screen, a 5000 mAh battery, 25W charging, and four years of OS updates — a massive improvement over the one Android update promised for the Moto G 5G and Moto G Stylus 5G. That’s not to say there isn’t a market for Motorola’s two latest handsets, but given how much the company’s asking for them, these both feel like more of a letdown than usual.