Moto drops G8 name for its new G Stylus and G Power budget phones

Moto G Stylus
(Image credit: Future)

Motorola has revealed two new budget smartphones for this year’s lineup: the stylus-packing Moto G Stylus and the big battery Moto G Power, both coming soon in ‘Spring 2020’ (Q2 2020).

Yes, both phones have dropped the G8 moniker - which is a surprise, given we’ve already seen the Moto G8 Plus launch in late 2019. Motorola is getting away from generational names - which makes sense, since these new handsets inherit plenty from the Motorola One line that debuted last year, like cameras and specs.

The Moto G Power is the cheaper of the bunch at $249 (about £190, AU$370), while the Moto G Stylus will retail for $299 (around £230, AU$440). Absent are any of the traditionally cheaper versions, like a Moto G Play phone, but it seems Motorola is going for more specialized budget phones with clearer appeal than just releasing a packed lineup and letting consumers decide which is best for them.

  • See how the G Stylus and G Power compare to their predecessors in the Moto G7 line
  • Compare the G Stylus to the gold standard in stylus phones, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10

Moto G Power

(Image credit: Future)

Budget phones with clearer roles

The Moto G Stylus is the first cheap phone in some time to come with a stylus. The stylus doesn’t have any physical buttons, Bluetooth connectivity, or smart features - but it gives more precision than fingers when browsing and drawing. There’s a bit more functionality, too, like the new Moto Notes app that launches when the stylus is pulled out.

The Moto G Power is the more traditional of the pair; like the Moto G7 Power and others before it, this phone is built around a colossal 5,000mAh battery. But it’s also gotten several upgrades over its predecessor: a FHD+ display, 4GB of RAM, and an improved camera suite.

That goes for both phones, which pack a trio of lenses – though the G Stylus’ camera suite is slightly superior. In addition to main and ultrawide shooters, the G Stylus and G Power inherit the macro lens for close-up shooting from the Motorola One Macro. Both phones have a 16MP selfie lens tucked into a more discrete punch-hole for a definitely modern look.

Otherwise, the phones are respectably specced: both pack Qualcomm's Snapdragon 665 chipset, a 6.4-inch LCD display, and the G Power packs 64GB of storage and the G Stylus has 128GB of space, either expandable up to 512GB via microSD. While Motorola hasn't improved charging tech - both will come with 10W chargers in box - even the G Stylus gets a battery boost with its 4,000mAh capacity.

David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.