Motorola has added two new phones to its portfolio —the Moto G Stylus 5G and the Moto G 5G – but one look at the direct competition from Samsung, Apple, Google, and even TCL makes it abundantly clear that Motorola’s phones aren’t competitive for their asking price. While both the phones are meaningful iterative upgrades, bringing improvements such as a higher refresh rate screen, a 50-megapixel primary camera, and a healthy 5,000mAh battery, their specs just don’t match up to the competition.
The $499 Moto G Stylus 5G offers a 6.8-inch 120Hz LCD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 SoC paired with 6GB of RAM, a 5,000mAh battery, and a triple camera system highlighted by an optically stabilized 50-megapixel sensor. For $50 less, the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G offers a 120Hz OLED display and a quad-camera system with a 64-megapixel main camera. The Galaxy A53 also offers a more useful 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, sitting alongside a pair of 5-megapixel cameras for depth capture and macro shots. The Pixel 5a offers a reliable camera experience, polished software with a generous software support window, and an OLED panel. Then there’s the $429 iPhone SE 3, which offers a blazing fast flagship chip, a reliable 12-megapixel camera, and the silky smooth iOS 15 experience.
Related: Motorola Is Launching Two New 5G Moto G Phones, Starting At $399
But raw hardware comparison is only half the picture here, and it would be unwise to disregard the Moto G Stylus and Moto G 5G on a few specs where they lag behind. There are two crucial parameters that absolutely don’t make any sense, and drastically reduce the appeal of Motorola’s new phones. The first red flag is the software. Both the Moto G phones boot stock Android 12 out of the box. While a pure Android experience has its own legion of fans, custom skins like One UI 4.0 offer a ton of additional features and scope for customization, while the software on Pixel phones comes with its own set of exclusive features. But it’s the update cycle that’s more concerning. Motorola has only promised one major OS upgrade for the Moto G Stylus 5G and Moto G 5G, which means the train for getting new features and experiences stops at Android 13, which is slated to arrive later in 2022.
Stumbling Where It Matters
In comparison, Samsung will deliver four major Android OS updates for the Galaxy A53, the Pixel 5a will get guaranteed version upgrades until 2024, while the iPhone SE 3 (2022) will receive iOS upgrades for at least the next five years. Next in line is the charging situation. Both the Motorola phones feature a 5,000mAh battery without wireless charging support. But the real issue is the charging output, which has been capped at a meager 10W. Juicing up that beefy battery will easily take a few hours. The Galaxy A53 goes up to 25W, the Pixel 5a 5G maxes out at 18W, while the iPhone SE also supports fast-charging up to 18W as well.
Those are still not the best figures the industry has to offer for that price, but Motorola appears to have totally lost any semblance of competitive spirit here. Were it not for carrier deals and discounts, it would be hard to recommend Motorola’s new mid-rangers, especially for folks hunting for an unlocked device. Yes, carrier offers can sweeten the deal for Motorola’s phones with bundled data and calling benefits, but the rivals one-up Motorola here as well. Take for example Samsung, which is currently offering free noise-canceling Galaxy Buds Live earbuds with the Galaxy A53 on its online store. Motorola’s phones, despite bringing updates over their predecessors, just aren’t as aggressive as their rivals, all of which command a better reputation and have better devices for nearly the same price or even less.