Moto G Stylus 5G 2024 vs. Stylus 5G 2023: A bigger upgrade than you think

A lot of times when a new smartphone comes out, it's not a huge leap over its predecessor. This is especially true with midrange phones, as companies try to keep costs down by using cheaper parts and opting for older chipsets. With the Moto G Stylus 5G 2024, Motorola may have borrowed the same chipset from its predecessor, but nearly everything else has changed to the point that you wouldn't know these phones are only a year apart.

So what does this mean for the Moto G Stylus 5G 2023? While its successor makes quite a leap, is the phone still worth buying for someone looking to save money on their next phone purchase? Lets take a look.

Moto G Stylus 5G 2024 vs. Stylus 5G 2023: Design and display

The Moto G Stylus 5G 2024 next to the Stylus 5G 2023

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

When it comes to design, these two phones could not be any more different. The Moto G Stylus 5G 2024 features Motorola's new design language, moving away from typical plastic found on many cheap Android phones and instead going with vegan leather. It's really just a fancier, textured plastic, but it feels soft in the hand and keeps the phone from getting too warm or too cool. The phone also has a plastic frame, but you won't know that at first; it looks and feels like brushed aluminum, which adds to the rather premium look of the phone.

By comparison, the Moto G Stylus 5G 2023 looks a lot more conventional. The back is constructed with plastic but made to look like frosted glass, so the color sort of shifts a bit when light hits it. The back panel curves into the frame, which is also plastic.

However, the differences also extend to the front of these phones. The display on the 2024 model is a hair larger at 6.7 inches, but you wouldn't know it just from holding the phones side-by-side, as they're nearly the same size. That's because the Moto G Stylus 5G 2024 has much smaller bezels around its display, giving the phone more than a 93% screen-to-body ratio. With bezels this small, you'd think this was a flagship phone, especially when compared to the 2023 model, which has much larger bezels and a more prominent chin.

The Moto G Stylus 5G 2024 next to the Stylus 5G 2023 displaying the settings menu

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

The display technology has also been upgraded between the phones. The 2024 model has moved to an OLED panel while retaining the 120Hz refresh rate and Motorola's flicker prevention feature—a staple for PWM-sensitive users. Compared to the Moto G Stylus 5G 2023, this new display is punchier and much more vibrant. Contrast seems to be dialed up a bit, so you can lose some of the details in darker parts of content, but overall the screen quality is pretty good.

The 2023 model has a good display for an LCD panel, and while it doesn't get as punchy as the 2024 model, it still has decent color reproduction. That said, you may want to set the display to Saturated in the settings to give content a bit of a boost.

Meanwhile, both displays have 120Hz panels, so the navigation of content is as smooth as you can imagine. The Stylus 5G 2024 does have the benefit of an in-display fingerprint sensor which is impressive for an Android phone under $400. It works surprisingly well and about as quickly as the side-mounted sensor on the 2023 model. The only downside is that it's oddly placed on the display, quite close to the bottom.

Despite quite a few upgrades on the Moto G Stylus 5G 2024, the phone weights a little bit less than its predecessor at 190g. Still, at 202g, the 2023 model doesn't feel particularly heavy, but you may have to get used to how light the 2024 model feels in hand. I imagine this is due to the type of plastic used on the back, which feels more like a light fabric than anything.

For protection, the Moto G Stylus 5G 2023 misses out on an IP rating, but the 2024 model comes with IP52, which is fine for light splashes and the like. Just don't go swimming with either phone.

Moto G Stylus 5G 2024 vs. Stylus 5G 2023: Specs and performance

The Moto G Stylus 5G 2024 next to the Stylus 5G 2023 with pens sticking outtylus 5G 2023

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

Surprisingly, Motorola opted to keep the same chipset on the Moto G Stylus 5G 2024. Normally, I would question this decision, but after using the phone, my concerns were quickly allayed. The performance of the Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 is spectacular and much better than I remember after using the 2023 model, which also performed quite well. The biggest difference here is likely the 8GB of RAM on the Moto G Stylus 5G 2024, two more than its predecessor, and likely giving the phone a nice boost when running apps.

That said, you won't really run into any issues with either phone, even when playing graphics-intensive games. Honkai Star: Rail runs quite well, even on the highest settings, although you may experience a little wonkiness on the 2023 model. Still, you'll be able to get through plenty of tasks without issue on these phones, but the extra RAM on the 2024 model is helpful.

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CategoryMoto G Stylus 5G 2024Moto G Stylus 5G 2023
OSAndroid 14Android 13 (upgradeable to Android 14)
Display6.7” FHD+ (2400 x 1080), OLED, 120Hz refresh rate6.6” FHD+ (2400 x 1080), LCD, 120Hz refresh rate
ChipsetSnapdragon 6 Gen 1Snapdragon 6 Gen 1
Storage128GB/256GB, expandable128GB/256GB, expandable
Rear Camera 150MP wide, f/1.8, OIS, 2μm Quad-Pixel50MP wide, f/1.88, 2μm Quad-Pixel
Rear Camera 213MP ultrawide+macro, f/2.2, 120° FOV, 1.12μm8MP ultrawide+macro, f/2.2, 1.12μm
Front-facing Camera32MP wide, f/2.4, 0.7μm (1.4μm with pixel binning)16MP wide, f/2.45, 1.0μm
AudioDual stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos, 2 mics, FM radioDual stereo speakers, Dolby Atmos, 2 mics, FM radio
ProtectionGorilla Glass 3, IP52Water-repellant design
Battery & Charging5,000mAh, 30W wired charging, 15W wireless charging5,000mAh, 20W wired charging
Connectivity5G (sub-6), Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi (2.4GHz & 5GHz), NFC5G (sub-6), Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi (2.4GHz & 5GHz), NFC
SecurityFingerprint sensor, face unlockFingerprint sensor, face unlock
Dimensions162.6 x 74.8 x 8.3mm162.83 x 73.77 x 9.19mm
ColorsCaramel Latte, Scarlet WaveCosmic Black, Rose Champagne

Both phones come with Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, and 3.5mm headphone jacks. They also have dual stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support, and audio sounds great from both devices.

On the software side, the 2023 model was recently updated to Android 14 at the time of writing, which is the only major OS upgrade the phone will receive. That said, the phone will continue to receive security updates roughly every other month for another two years, so there's that.

It's a similar story for the Moto G Stylus 5G 2024, although the phone runs Android 14 out of the box and will eventually get Android 15. Motorola has added a number of new software tweaks with this version of Android 14, as the UI is somewhat different from that of the 2023 model. The differences on the Moto G Stylus 5G 2024 include a new (optional) layout for the quick settings panel, AI-generated wallpapers, lock screen widgets, a new look for the Settings menu, and more. It's not a massive overhaul, but it's a much cleaner look and gives Motorola a bit more individuality.

The newer model also has features like Moto Unplugged and Smart Connect, which is the rebranded version of Ready For. This allows the phone to connect to computers, TVs, and monitors for easily moving files, streaming apps on a larger display, browsing via a mobile desktop UI, and much more. Unfortunately, this is still not available on the 2023 model, and it's unsure why the UIs are so different between the phones.

The Moto G Stylus 5G 2024 next to the Stylus 5G 2023 displaying the quick settings menu

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

Of course, both phones come with styli, but the 2024 model gets a redesign with a thicker body, making it look more like an S Pen. Motorola says it should have more contact area and improved software for better responsiveness, but overall, the experience between the two phones is roughly the same and nothing like you'd find on an actual S Pen.

Keeping the lights on is a 5,000mAh battery, an attribute shared by both devices. You should be able to get through a day of use and perhaps even more, depending on your habits. Motorola improved the charging speed for the 2024 model, giving it 30W wired instead of 20W, making it faster than some of the best Samsung phones, although not as fast as some other Motorola phones. The phone even has wireless charging at 15W, something you don't often see at this price point (even the Motorola Razr Plus only has 5W wireless charging).

Moto G Stylus 5G 2024 vs. Stylus 5G 2023: Cameras

The Moto G Stylus 5G 2024 next to the Stylus 5G 2023

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

Both phones feature fairly similar camera setups, aside from the added resolution in the ultrawide sensor on the 2024 model. Still, image quality gets a huge boost thanks to OIS and PDAF on the primary sensor. As you can see from the images below, the 2024 model produces bright and detailed images, which have a level of crispness that images from the 2023 model lack.

Last year's Stylus tends to process images with more warmth, and the phone seems incapable of pulling in as much light, so details are lost a bit in darker areas, which the 2024 model is able to brighten up and highlight thanks to better dynamic range. I've also noticed that images from the Stylus 5G 2024 are a bit truer to life, which I often prefer in images.

Neither phone has a telephoto lens, but you can see how the Moto G Stylus 5G 2024 is able to retain more detail in the statue and the building behind it at 2x zoom. Interestingly, this is where the Stylus 5G 2023 model produces a cooler image than the 2024 model; all the while, the Stylus 5G 2024 continues to have a more accurate representation of the scene.

The difference in detail becomes more apparent with low-light and nighttime images. In the photo of the boat on a river, you can better make out the ripples in the water and even some of the details of the trees in the background. On the 2023 model, the water looks quite muddy and there's virtually zero detail in anything on the other side of the river. White balance also seems slightly off and there's an unappealing green-ish tint on the boat.

In this final image, the Eiffel Tower is slightly blown out on the 2023 model, while the Stylus 5G 2024 manages to retain a good amount of detail. The image is also much more brighter on the newer phone without overdoing it and reigning in noise as much as possible. The clouds appear much more dramatic on the Stylus 5G 2023, but the rest of the image is rather dark.

The 2024 model also has a few extra features not found on its predecessor. One of these features is the Auto Enhance, which attempts to improve images by adding extra processing via Google Photos. This might have been useful on the Stylus 5G 2023 to help punch up image quality a bit, but I find that you can go without it on the newer model.

Moto G Stylus 5G 2024 vs. Stylus 5G 2023: Which should you buy?

The Moto G Stylus 5G 2024 next to the Stylus 5G 2023

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

Motorola's Stylus models are some of the best value phones money can buy, short of the Pixel A-series. In 2023, I was pretty impressed with the Stylus 5G, but I never found myself particularly attached to it. That has changed with this newer model, as the phone feels like Motorola is teetering on the cusp of midrange and flagship.

Despite having the same chipset, the Moto G Stylus 5G brings more RAM, better cameras, a vibrant OLED display, wireless charging, and a better-designed stylus, making this phone a clear winner between it and its predecessor, especially when you can get it for the same launch price.

That said, if you're looking for a cheap Android phone, you can get the 2023 model for even less now that its successor is available. But if you're stuck choosing between these two phones, I would suggest grabbing the newer and much better Stylus 5G 2024.

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.