Moto G Stylus (2023) vs. Moto G Stylus (2022): This is a weird one

When it comes to buying a smartphone, 5G is all the rage. However, not everyone needs a 5G phone, which is where devices like the Moto G Stylus (2023) come in. The phone is one of the latest budget 4G LTE options available from Motorola and the successor to last year's Moto G Stylus (2022).

That said, don't get these phones confused with the 5G-toting Moto G Stylus 5G (2023) and Moto G Stylus 5G (2022), which are a little more expensive. Unlike those devices, the Stylus (2023) and Stylus (2022) are powered by weaker chipsets and have quite a number of compromises to get them down to lower prices. Some of these may be dealbreakers, but you may have to look over them at this price point. Still, these may be among some of the best Android phones under $300 that you can buy.

So, now that we got that out of the way, the choice comes down to these two LTE models. Will you go for last year's Stylus model with the newer chipset, or will you spring for the latest model with the older chip? Well, to be honest, it's not as easy of a decision as you'd think, so hopefully, our comparison can help you choose your next phone if it comes down to these two.

Moto G Stylus (2023) vs. Moto G Stylus (2022): Design & display

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Hands on with the Moto G Stylus (2023)

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

 Like the 5G models, the Moto G Stylus (2023) and its predecessor have pretty different designs. The former is a good-looking phone that looks nearly identical to its 5G counterpart and other 2023-model Motorola phones. Both are largely made of plastic, but unlike the 2022 model, the Stylus (2023) has a soft, frosted back instead of a glossy one, meaning you're less likely to cover it in fingerprints.

Both phones have similar colorways, with the 2023 model coming in Blue and Rose Gold, while the 2022 model comes in Twilight Blue and Metallic Rose. They also have, you guessed it, built-in stylus pens. However, with the smaller 6.5-inch display on the 2023 mode, it's shorter, narrower, and thinner than its predecessor, which makes it a little easier to hold in your hand.

While some might prefer the larger 6.8-inch LCD on the 2022 model, which has a sharper Full HD+ resolution. The Stylus (2023) has a shorter display with only an HD+ resolution, so it's not as sharp as its predecessor. Both displays have the same 90Hz refresh rate and have fairly larger bezels surrounding them.

Moto G Stylus (2023) vs. Moto G Stylus (2022): Hardware & specs

Moto G Stylus (2023) display, outdoors

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

Interestingly, the Moto G Stylus (2023) is a bit of a downgrade when it comes to hardware and specs. The phone launched with the MediaTek Helio G85, which is about a year older than the Helio G88 found in the 2022 model. It also comes with just 4GB of RAM instead of 6GB, like on the Stylus (2022). It also only has half the built-in storage at 64GB, although both support expandable storage.

That said, the chips perform very similarly, so the slight downgrade shouldn't really matter very much. The Moto G Stylus (2023) does pretty well with everyday tasks and even with some light gaming.

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CategoryMoto G Stylus (2023)Moto G Stylus (2022)
Display6.5-inch HD+ (1600 X 720), LCD, 90Hz refresh rate6.8-inch FHD+ (1080 x 2460), LCD, 90Hz refresh rate
ChipsetMediaTek Helio G85MediaTek Helio G88
Storage64GB, expandable128GB, expandable
SoftwareAndroid 13Android 11
Rear Camera 150MP wide-angle, f/1.8, 0.64μm50MP wide-angle, f/1.9, 0.64μm
Rear Camera 28MP ultrawide, f/2.2, 1.12µm, 118˚
Rear Camera 32MP macro, f/2.4, 1.75μm2MP depth, f/2.4, 1.75μm
Selfie Camera8MP, f/2.0, 1.2μm16MP, f/2.2, 1.0µm
Water ResistanceWater-repellentWater-repellent
Battery & Charging5,000mAh, 15W wired charging5,000mAh, 10W wired charging
Connectivity5G, Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi 55G, Bluetooth 5, Wi-Fi 5
SecuritySide-mounted fingerprint, face unlockSide-mounted fingerprint, face unlock
Dimensions162.89 x 74.08 x 9.19mm170.2 x 75.9 x 9.5mm
ColorsMidnight Blue, Glam PinkTwilight Blue, Metallic Rose

One difference between them is that the 2022 model launched running Android 11 despite releasing in 2022. And because it will only receive one major OS update, it likely won't receive Android 13. Meanwhile, the 2023 model launched with Android 13 and will eventually be updated to Android 14, giving it quite an advantage with software and features.

Audio is also much improved on the Moto G Stylus (2023) thanks to the stereo speakers. With Dolby Atmos support, the phone has nice, loud audio that sounds great.

Battery life is about the same between the phones, as both sport 5000mAh batteries with up to two days of use between charges. However, the newer model has the upper hand with 15W wired charging.

Moto G Stylus (2023) vs. Moto G Stylus (2022): Cameras

Moto G Stylus 2022 photos

(Image credit: Motorola)

The Moto G Stylus (2023) has fewer rear cameras than its predecessor. Both devices have a 50MP primary camera sensor, but the aperture is slightly wider on the newer model, allowing it to pull more light. Both also have 2MP auxiliary cameras; a depth sensor on the 2022 model and a macro camera on its successor. However, last year's Stylus comes with an 8MP ultrawide camera, which the new model unfortunately lacks.

Regarding camera quality, the 2023 model takes fairly decent images for a $200 smartphone. They're not great, but they're not terrible either. Images offer plenty of color without going overboard, a decent amount of dynamic range, and good detail. Macro and night shots are also pretty good.

I can't speak on the 2022 model's camera quality, but it can't be too far off from the latest model. Of course, the camera system is more versatile with the ultrawide camera, able to capture much wider photos.

Moto G Stylus (2023) vs. Moto G Stylus (2022): Which should you buy?

Moto G Stylus 2022

(Image credit: Motorola)

If you skipped all that and just came to read the conclusion between this comparison, well, you're probably wondering about the headline and why I say this is a weird one. That's because normally, the newer phone should have better specs, making it an easy choice between the two. However, that's not the case here.

The Moto G Stylus (2022) has the upper hand with a better display, marginally better chipset, more RAM, more storage, and an ultrawide camera, the latter of which isn't too common among budget Android phones. But compared to the newer model, you'll miss out on Android 13, stereo speakers, and the speaker design. If none of that really matters to you, particularly the software part, then I would be more inclined to suggest the 2022 model.

Still, the Moto G Stylus (2023) isn't a bad phone, and I was surprisingly pleased with its performance for a $200 phone. So you can't really go wrong with either phone, but if you're all about specs, the 2022 Stylus might be the phone for you.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.