Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2022) review: a good, midrange stylus phone

The Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G gets some significant upgrades in this year’s model, taking it firmly into midrange territory. If you’re looking for a well-performing stylus phone but the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra feels like overkill, then the G Stylus 5G is what you want.

Don’t confuse the Moto G Stylus 5G (2022 edition) with last year’s Moto G Stylus 5G or this year’s non-5G Moto G Stylus (2022). Somehow, these are all distinctly different phones. While the previous Moto G Stylus 5G wasn’t much of a step up spec-wise from last year’s 4G-only G Stylus, it’s a different story this year. This time around, the G Stylus 5G includes an upgraded Qualcomm chipset, a stabilized main camera, and more RAM. That doesn’t sound like much, but those improvements help to really set the G Stylus 5G apart from the $300-and-under budget class.

Naturally, those upgrades come with a higher price: $499 for the unlocked version with 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM, a steep increase from last year’s $399. But I think that extra $100 makes the Stylus G 5G into a worthwhile midrange phone rather than a forgettable device on the high end of the budget range. It’s more of a Galaxy Note Light rather than an inexpensive phone that happens to have a stylus tucked inside.

The G Stylus 5G’s 6.8-inch screen is an LCD panel with a fast 120Hz maximum refresh rate.

The G Stylus 5G features a huge 6.8-inch screen with good-enough 1080p resolution and a fast 120Hz refresh rate. Scrolling and animations look smooth as a result, and the phone does use that top 120Hz rate fairly often in auto mode, which is easier on battery life than leaving 120Hz enabled at all times.

This screen is an LCD, so blacks are not as dark, and contrast isn’t as rich as…