moto g stylus m logo

Motorola Moto G series deserves the best

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Motorola is, by all accounts, a brand that’s on the rise right now. LG’s exit from the smartphone game opened the door for Moto to podium in the US market, just behind Apple and Samsung. It’s even more optimistic in the budget market, with Motorola climbing to the undisputed second place.

However, the budget market portfolio itself is starting to feel left behind. Partnerships and low prices drive sales rather than innovation or real excitement. Being on the timeline for all things Android, it’s hard not to feel that the Moto G series deserves better.

See also: The best Motorola phones you can buy

So many side steps, little progress

Google Apps Motorola Moto G 2022

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Motorola clearly hasn’t forgotten the Moto G series – just the things that made it popular in the early days. In fact, Moto started pushing 2022 versions of its budget-friendly devices just a few months after completing a review of the 2021 lineup. When the phones arrived at my doorstep, I couldn’t shake the feeling, “Oh, I’ve seen this before.”

For the most part, you’ve seen it before. Sure, I can give Motorola credit for unifying its design language, but that’s about the only change visible in the 2022 series. The camera bump has moved a bit here, and there are some new colors and textures, but that’s where the changes slow down. Motorola’s Moto G series has chosen to remain the same while its competitors bring features to the budget table.

See also: Google and Samsung entered the golden age of budget phones

The Moto G Power (2022) is a great example of what goes wrong Motorola. It has an official IP52 rating, and the primary camera jumps from 48MP to 50MP, but the HD+ panel is back for another year, shrinking by a tenth of an inch. Regardless of your thoughts on incremental changes, moving from the Snapdragon 662 in 2021 to the MediaTek Helio G37 in 2022 is a serious regression. It puts weaker numbers across the board, while its closest $250 competitor – the Galaxy A13 5G – adds faster network speeds to the mix. No, Samsung’s budget phone isn’t perfect, but it adds features year after year to stay relevant in a competitive market.

Motorola’s Moto G Stylus 5G picked up the most significant upgrade in 2021 when it launched with 5G support. However, it did not specify the end of the 4G LTE version – Motorola is now updating both. Instead of bringing to market a budget-friendly design stylus phone, Motorola is repeating the same flaws on two different models. It’s embarrassingly big, and 5G speeds don’t do much to make you look beyond processors that were weak. Especially the LTE version 2021, which, like the Moto G Power, has reduced its chipset compared to its direct predecessor.

Motorola clearly hasn’t forgotten the Moto G series – just the things that made it popular in the early days.

Other flaws extend across the Moto G series, and they only enhance how far the phones fall. You still can’t find NFC support on a single Moto G device – not Play, Pure, Power, or Stylus. This means no mobile payments in an era where cash is no longer a feature. Motorola’s poor charging speeds have also been a constant problem for us. It features “TurboPower” fast charging but pulls the curtain back to reveal just 10W of power.

All this does not mean that Motorola does this everything wrong. We have good things to say about the hardware. Motorola makes the plastic body look and feel better than most others, and I appreciate that the Moto G Stylus has a round stylus that fits into its slot in any direction. The Moto G series has embraced that more is better, at least when it comes to RAM and storage. The Moto G Power (2022) picked up additional RAM and doubled the base storage, while the Moto G Stylus (2022) went from 4GB to 6GB of RAM.

Learn more about the competition: The best budget phones you can buy

Support for stagnant software

Pure Moto G Cameras & Buttons

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

When it comes to software updates, the tide is rising. We are no longer in a world where people upgrade their phones every two years. As such, Google and Samsung now offer three or more years of Android updates and security patches on their budget lists. Motorola, on the other hand, is content to let the Moto G series sink.

It promises to update only one Android version with two years of security patches. Some of Motorola’s flagships come with the same little promise. This means that if you choose the Moto G Power (2022) or the Moto G Stylus (2022), you will see Android 12 – and that’s it. Both phones launched with Android 11 after the latest version was already available, and they are in no hurry to update. Samsung’s Galaxy A13 5G is only slightly ahead of Android updates, offering two years instead of one, but its security promise is second to none. You’re looking at four years of regular patches on two Motorola, yet the phones cost the same.

Motorola’s commitment to modernization is waning in an era when competitors offer four years of support.

While Motorola’s update commitment is largely missing, we’ve had almost every good thing to say about its Android look. My UX is one of the lightest skins out there, given the Google-owned Motorola days. It looks and looks a lot like Pixel UI and offers plenty of room for customization.

See also: What is my user experience? All you need to know

One of My UX’s best features may also be one of the most underappreciated: the Moto app. It is a complete application intended to guide you through the program. It’s easy to overlook, but it’s a useful tutorial that few other phones seek to match. It’s a shame that this level of care and attention has not been put into the long-term support of their products.

Motorola once had a lot of innovations. I remember spending hours on the Moto Maker website customizing a phone that I had no reason to buy. Now, partnerships with Verizon, T-Mobile and others keep the Moto in the public eye rather than unique building materials or fun designs. Motorola probably just needs a new competitor to keep it alert. It may not have the ability to keep pace with Samsung’s budget-friendly innovations, but the real threat to Motorola’s position may be the only way to push the Moto G series forward.

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