Motorola's phone lineup is quickly getting out of hand. The company's prowess for making some of the best cheap Android phones remains intact, but Motorola is putting out so many variants that it can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. It's only more confusing when the Moto G Stylus 5G and Moto G Stylus (2021) both come out within just a few short months of each other with more similarities than differences. So, if you're trying to figure out which one is the more worthwhile purchase, we're here to help you see through the confusion.
Moto G Stylus 5G vs. Moto G Stylus (2021): Price and availability
The Moto G Stylus 5G comes hot on the heels of the Moto G Stylus (2021). The Moto G Stylus (2021) launched just earlier this year on January 14 for $300. Only five months later to the day, the Moto G Stylus 5G launched for $400. The price difference is considerable, but the addition of 5G isn't the only difference setting the two phones apart.
Moto G Stylus 5G vs. Moto G Stylus (2021): In-depth specs
The Moto G Stylus 5G might have that extra thickness and weight because, where the Moto G Stylus (2021) packs a 4,000mAh battery, the Moto G Stylus 5G instead packs a 5,000mAh battery. That larger battery could see the Moto G Stylus 5G last longer on a charge than the Moto G Stylus (2021), though it'll also take longer to charge as both phones top out at 10W fast-charging.
Another thing that may help the Moto G Stylus 5G last longer is the Snadragon 480 chipset inside. While we haven't done any direct comparisons between this new chipset and the Snapdragon 678 in the Moto G Stylus (2021), the two chips likely perform relatively close to one another, with the Snapdragon 480 just bringing 5G support to the table.
That said, the Snapdragon 480 is built with smaller transistors than the Snapdragon 678, so it may run more efficiently than the chipset in the Moto G Stylus (2021). Even if the processing cores perform similarly between the two phones, the Moto G Stylus 5G's Adreno 619 should give it a leg up in graphics, as should the 6GB of RAM and 256GB of storage it comes with at the $400 price point. That's double the storage and 50% more memory, two things that could easily help justify the $100 price increase.
|Moto G Stylus 5G||Moto G Stylus (2021)|
|Operating System||Android 11||Android 10|
|Display||6.8-inch LCD 2400 x 1080||6.8-inch LCD 2400 x 1080|
|Processor||Snapdragon 480||Snapdragon 678|
|Memory||4 or 6GB||4GB|
|Storage||128 or 256GB||128GB|
|Rear Camera 1||48MP||48MP|
|Rear Camera 2||5MP macro||2MP macro|
|Rear Camera 3||8MP ultra-wide||8MP ultra-wide|
|Rear Camera 4||2MP depth||2MP depth|
|Connectivity||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.1||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Bluetooth 5.0|
|Ports||USB-C 2.0||USB-C 2.0|
|Audio||Loudspeaker, 3.5mm headphone jack||Front-ported speaker, 3.5mm headphone jack|
|Battery||5,000mAh, 10W charging||4,000mAh, 10W charging|
|Water Resistance||Water repellant||Water repellant|
|Dimensions||169.54 x 77.48 x 9.35mm||169.8 x 77.9 x 9mm|
|Colors||Cosmic Emerald||Aurora Black, Aurora White|
Beyond those internal differences, you won't find too many more hardware differences. Both phones have plastic frames and backs, offer minor water resistance, charge over USB-C connection, feature side-mounted fingerprint scanners, have Wi-Fi 5 connectivity, and bring the Moto G Stylus family's signature feature: a built-in capacitive stylus for more precise input.
The camera setup is different, but only slightly. The layout of the sensors on the back is altered, with the Moto G Stylus 5G going for a square layout and the Moto G Stylus (2021) stacking three in a column with one off to the side. That said, both phones feature near-identical camera hardware with a 48MP primary sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide sensor, and a 2MP depth. Both have macro sensors, but the Moto G Stylus (2021)'s is only 2MP while the Moto G Stylus 5G's is 5MP.
There's a software difference that we'll get into a little more in-depth below, but just note that the Moto G Stylus (2021) comes with Android 10 while the Moto G Stylus 5G comes out of the box running Android 11.
Moto G Stylus 5G vs. Moto G Stylus (2021): Future readiness
Despite only being a few months newer than the Moto G Stylus (2021), the Moto G Stylus 5G is already set up to last a good deal further into the future. When the Moto G Stylus (2021) launched, it was already on outdated software, as Android 11 had already been released. Since Motorola is only promising one major software update, the Moto G Stylus (2021) is likely to just get an update to Android 11 and never go beyond that. Meanwhile, the Moto G Stylus 5G has Android 11 now and will eventually get Android 12, giving it that much extra software support into the future.
Then there's the matter of 5G. 4G LTE isn't exactly dead, so the Moto G Stylus (2021) will likely continue to work on networks just fine as long as the phone functions. But, the Moto G Stylus 5G will get opportunities to use 5G speeds (even though it doesn't support the fastest mmWave), which can be a big upgrade for some applications, like streaming and cloud gaming.
Moto G Stylus 5G vs. Moto G Stylus (2021): Which one to get?
The differences may seem pretty marginal between the Moto G Stylus 5G and the Moto G Stylus (2021), but there's enough leaning in favor of the Moto G Stylus 5G to justify its increased price.
The Moto G Stylus 5G should operate smoother, run for longer, and have a longer lifespan with operating systems updates and network connectivity. That's an extra $100 well spent. Of course, at that price, it will have to contend with many other great Android phones under $400.
Moto G Stylus 5G
More for your money
The Moto G Stylus 5G brings enough meaningful upgrades to justify the uptick in price over its predecessor. It should run smoother and stay up-to-date longer, giving you that much more lifespan for your money.
Moto G Stylus (2021)
Cutting costs and longevity
The Moto G Stylus (2021) will save you a bit of money without leaving you holding a significantly inferior phone. You'll miss out on 5G, but it's not necessarily a game-changer quite yet, so the phone should do for casual use.
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