Motorola Moto G Pure vs. Moto G Stylus: Which Budget Phone is Better?

The Motorola Moto G series has long been a go-to choice for budget-friendly Android smartphones. Within the latest lineup, the Moto G Pure and Moto G Stylus aim for the same accessible price points, starting at $109.99 and $169.99 respectively. But which gives you better value for money?

I‘ve compared these two affordable Motorola phones across several key areas to help you decide which is the better bargain buy.

At a Glance: Moto G Pure vs Moto G Stylus

Before diving into the details, here is a high-level overview of how the Moto G Pure and Moto G Stylus specs stack up:

FeatureMoto G PureMoto G Stylus
Release DateOctober 2021May 2023
Screen Size6.5" HD+6.5” HD+
Rear Camera13MP50MP wide + 2MP macro
Front Camera5MP8MP
ProcessorMediaTek Helio G25MediaTek Helio G85
Battery4,000 mAh5,000 mAh
Android Version1113

On paper, the Moto G Stylus has beefier specs nearly across the board when it comes to display, cameras, performance, and storage. But specs aren‘t everything. Let‘s analyze how these differences translate to real-world usage.

Price and Value Comparison

With a $60 difference in retail pricing, the Moto G Stylus commands a 55% premium over the Moto G Pure. However, it does deliver upgrades in almost every area.

The newer Moto G Stylus packs significantly more processing power, RAM, internal storage, better rear cameras, modern software, and 17% extra battery capacity. These improvements justify paying extra if you can afford the Moto G Stylus.

But if every dollar counts and your usage is basic, the Moto G Pure gets the essentials done and is easier to recommend based solely on value.

  • Our Pick, based on overall value: Moto G Pure

Cameras: Moto G Stylus Captures Better Photos

The Moto G Stylus sports a 50MP main wide-angle camera accompanied by a 2MP depth sensor for portrait shots. Around front is an 8MP selfie cam.

Comparatively, the Moto G Pure has to make do with a 13MP main cam, 2MP depth helper, and 5MP selfie shooter.

In real-world tests, the Moto G Stylus delivers pleasing images with accurate colors and crisp details in good lighting. The 50MP resolution gives you extra room to crop or digitally zoom. Its camera app also provides useful modes like spot color, cinemagraph, and pro mode.

Photos from the Moto G Pure often look dull or grainy by comparison. And even minor digital zoom becomes noisy. The lower megapixels give you less flexibility for editing or cropping.

  • Our Pick, for best camera performance: Moto G Stylus

Display and Design: Virtually Identical

You‘ll be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the Moto G Pure and Moto G Stylus displays. Both utilize the same 6.5-inch 20:9 LCD panel at 1600 x 720 HD+ resolution.

Stylistically, the Moto G Pure has a hole-punch selfie camera, while the Moto G Stylus houses it in a teardrop notch. But otherwise, expect thin bezels all around and no major ergonomic differences.

The rear shell features a nice 3D texture on both phones, which adds grip and resists fingerprints. And you‘ll find a handy Google Assistant shortcut key on the left side.

Overall, Motorola played it safe by carrying over virtually the same utilitarian design used in past G series models. Neither phone aims to wow in terms of aesthetic innovation. But they get the job done.

  • Our Pick, in a tie: Moto G Pure = Moto G Stylus

Performance: Moto G Stylus Loads Faster

The MediaTek Helio G85 inside the Moto G Stylus gives it a significant boost for navigating Android 13 and running apps. In benchmarks, it delivers over 3x higher scores than the Helio G25 chip inside the Moto G Pure.

Likewise, having 4GB RAM versus 3GB keeps more apps actively cached in memory on the Moto G Stylus. You‘ll notice less reloading and smoother multitasking.

Gaming frame rates are also bound to be higher on the Moto G Stylus given its superior processing architecture. Casual games should pose no issue for either phone, but graphics-intensive titles will favor the Moto G Stylus.

The only downside is that neither phone supports 5G connectivity. You‘re limited to 4G LTE data speeds at best. But for the price, excellent 4G coverage is reasonable.

  • Our Pick, for best performance: Moto G Stylus

Battery & Charging: Long-Lasting with Slow Charging

A 5000 mAh battery keeps the Moto G Stylus powered up for 1-2 days comfortably. And the Moto G Pure achieves nearly as long off a 4000 mAh cell. Standby time is especially impressive on both models.

However, charging speed is a universal weak spot. The included 10W adapters take a painfully long time to replenish these large batteries, needing almost 2 hours for a 0 to 100% charge!

Faster 15W charging would‘ve been a welcome addition. But alas, a trade-off had to be made to hit lower price targets. Just be sure to plug them in overnight.

  • Our Pick, in a tie: Moto G Pure = Moto G Stylus

Software: Better Future-Proofing

As you‘d expect from phones launching 1.5 years apart, the software stories differ. The Moto G Pure ships with dated Android 11 and relies on occasional security patches.

By contrast, the Moto G Stylus launches with the newest Android 13 OS and guarantees a major update to Android 14 down the road. This gives you better future-proofing and longer usability.

Motorola‘s excellent Moto Experiences are also bundled in, like twisting for the quick capture camera and flashlight chop. These genuinely handy additions enhance Android in ways Google doesn‘t.

My only gripe is how Motorola litters both phones with annoying bloatware you can‘t uninstall. But overall, the Moto G Stylus clearly provides superior software.

  • Our Pick, for best software: Moto G Stylus


For shoppers seeking an affordable phone with modern essentials under $200 outright, either the Moto G Pure or Moto G Stylus are great options.

The Moto G Stylus justifies its premium with a significantly better triple camera, faster performance, and future-proof software. I can recommend it to anyone looking for the most phone their money can buy.

But if you just need calling, texting, maps, and light web browsing, the Moto G Pure covers the basics admirably while saving you $60. Its rock-bottom pricing and outstanding battery life make this a bargain hunter’s delight.

At the end of the day, assessing your must-have features and budget will determine which one suits you best. Hopefully breaking down their pros, cons and key differences here steers you towards the right choice!

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