Motorola Moto G Pro / G Stylus review

GSMArena team, 25 July 2020.

Squeaky clean Android One

The Moto G Pro is part of the Android One family, which is supposed to ensure swift updates whenever the next Android version gets out. That's not always the case, though, but there's another advantage of the Android One devices, and that's the pure, clutter-less Android experience. In case you are looking for a vanilla Android smartphone, this one will deliver. It's also important to note that the US variant called Moto G Stylus is not part of the Android One program.

Motorola Moto G Pro review

Still, Motorola did add a couple of customizations and features to the clean Android as it usually does. Once you setup the phone and open up the general settings menu, you will be prompted with two messages on the top - one will take you to a menu to choose your preferred navigation method and also explaining the new gestures while the other takes you through the neatly organized Moto-specific features.

Home screen, general settings, recent apps, notification shade - Motorola Moto G Pro review Home screen, general settings, recent apps, notification shade - Motorola Moto G Pro review Home screen, general settings, recent apps, notification shade - Motorola Moto G Pro review Home screen, general settings, recent apps, notification shade - Motorola Moto G Pro review Home screen, general settings, recent apps, notification shade - Motorola Moto G Pro review
Home screen, general settings, recent apps, notification shade

The gestures are the usual ones from Google with the back gesture executed from either side of the display. There's also a slider for the back gesture sensitivity that determines how close to the edge you have to get for the system to register a back gesture. Or, you know, you can always stick to the good ol' software navigation buttons.

Moto options - Motorola Moto G Pro review Moto options - Motorola Moto G Pro review
Moto options

Back to the advanced Moto features now. They are split into several categories with the Moto actions one being the biggest one. Among the usual ones like launching the camera with a twisting motion of the wrist or turning on the flashlight with a double karate chop motion, there's one fairly new addition to the list and that's the one-handed mode, which you can activate with a single swipe from the center of the screen.

Two other screen-off gestures that are worth mentioning, although not new, are the lift-to-unlock and the media controls. If you have the face recognition unlock method set up, you can pick up the phone from the desk and once you raise it, the screen will turn on and the front-facing camera will start scanning for your face. That's a quick and easy way to unlock the device. Whereas the volume rocker can act as a media control button when the screen is off. That's probably the only OEM that lets you do that and we really like it.

Moto Actions - Motorola Moto G Pro review Moto Actions - Motorola Moto G Pro review
Moto Actions

The Moto Display section holds two more options - one called Attentive display, which you've probably guessed what that means. The screen will stay on and won't dim while you are looking at it. Assuming you are reading an article, you won't have to touch the display to prevent it from turning off.

Peek Display, on the other hand, is all about the locked screen. It lets you interact with notifications and even reply to messages from the locked screen. The UI is reminiscent of an Always-on display and you can check real quick if you have a notification or just see the time by tapping on the display or moving the phone altogether. The apps and notifications that let you interact with them will appear in small circles in the lower half of the display. It's a really neat feature if you want to do a quick reply or dismiss a notification without having to unlock the phone. And, of course, there's an option to ask for credentials when sending a reply to someone.

Moto Display - Motorola Moto G Pro review Moto Display - Motorola Moto G Pro review Moto Display - Motorola Moto G Pro review
Moto Display

Speaking of the display, Motorola finally fixed its Dark Mode. Now all settings menus are in dark gray and the notification shade as well. Previous iterations of the software didn't change the color of the settings menus for some reason so it's good to see the Dark Mode up and running as it should. Sady, you won't be gaining any battery life in the process as this is an LCD panel. It will be much easier on your eyes at night, though.

Stylus pen options and software

Don't expect a lot of customizations surrounding the stylus pen. Once you pull it out, a small bubble will appear on the right side of the screen. This bubble contains four shortcuts. One will let you do a quick note with the usual customizations regarding the writing, the other one is Google Keep, the third one takes a screenshot and the fourth takes to to the Moto Note app where you will find all your previous notes.

Motorola Moto G Pro review

Unfortunately, there's no way to add more shortcuts to the said bubble but you can set a specific app to launch when you pull out the pen.

Motorola Moto G Pro review

The pen itself works fine and consistently. Sure, it's nothing like the Galaxy Note's pen in terms of usability and accuracy, but we don't expect it to. It's definitely a useful tool for anyone looking for a budget, productivity-oriented smartphone.

Performance

The Moto G Pro comes with last year's Snapdragon 665 chipset based on the 11nm manufacturing process. The chip employs an octa-core CPU with 4x 2.0 GHz Kryo 260 Gold cores and 4x 1.8 GHz Kryo 260 Silver cores while the GPU-intensive tasks are handled by the Adreno 610.

There's only one memory configuration available, and that's 4GB of RAM with 128GB of internal storage. The latter seems to be more than sufficient considering that microSD card support is also at hand.

Additionally, the chipset is borderline acceptable at this price because there are a couple of alternatives with more powerful and newer Snapdragon 700-series chipsets. Here's how it holds against the similarly-priced competition.

GeekBench 4.4 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5G
    7963
  • Realme 6
    7815
  • Realme 6 Pro
    7027
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
    6639
  • Motorola One Zoom
    5802
  • Motorola Moto G Pro
    5687
  • Samsung Galaxy M31
    5487

GeekBench 4.4 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5G
    2863
  • Realme 6 Pro
    2643
  • Realme 6
    2606
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
    2429
  • Motorola One Zoom
    2084
  • Motorola Moto G Pro
    1516
  • Samsung Galaxy M31
    1510

GeekBench 5.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5G
    1927
  • Realme 6
    1726
  • Motorola One Fusion+
    1705
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
    1694
  • Realme 6 Pro
    1666
  • Motorola One Zoom
    1534
  • Motorola Moto G Pro
    1385
  • Samsung Galaxy M31
    1315

GeekBench 5.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5G
    616
  • Realme 6 Pro
    565
  • Realme 6
    548
  • Motorola One Fusion+
    542
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
    521
  • Motorola One Zoom
    509
  • Samsung Galaxy M31
    349
  • Motorola Moto G Pro
    311

AnTuTu 8

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5G
    318117
  • Realme 6
    288931
  • Realme 6 Pro
    268785
  • Motorola One Fusion+
    267980
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
    253271
  • Samsung Galaxy M31
    195284
  • Motorola One Zoom
    180000
  • Motorola Moto G Pro
    173611

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5G
    38
  • Realme 6
    31
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
    30
  • Realme 6 Pro
    30
  • Motorola One Fusion+
    27
  • Samsung Galaxy M31
    16
  • Motorola One Zoom
    15
  • Motorola Moto G Pro
    13

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5G
    32
  • Realme 6 Pro
    27
  • Realme 6
    27
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
    26
  • Motorola One Fusion+
    25
  • Samsung Galaxy M31
    14
  • Motorola One Zoom
    13
  • Motorola Moto G Pro
    12

GFX 3.1 Car scene (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5G
    21
  • Realme 6 Pro
    18
  • Realme 6
    18
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
    17
  • Motorola One Fusion+
    16
  • Samsung Galaxy M31
    10
  • Motorola One Zoom
    8.1
  • Motorola Moto G Pro
    7.1

GFX 3.1 Car scene (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5G
    17
  • Realme 6 Pro
    16
  • Realme 6
    16
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
    15
  • Motorola One Fusion+
    14
  • Samsung Galaxy M31
    9.2
  • Motorola One Zoom
    7.1
  • Motorola Moto G Pro
    6.6

3DMark SSE OpenGL ES 3.1 1440p

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5G
    3294
  • Realme 6
    2570
  • Realme 6 Pro
    2506
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Lite
    2467
  • Samsung Galaxy M31
    1599
  • Motorola Moto G Pro
    1127
  • Motorola One Zoom
    972

Reader comments

  • Tina
  • 10 Feb 2022
  • rU7

Amazon not only has cases for the Moto5G Stylus phone. It does have the (3 pack) "Tempered Glass" Protectors *Anti-scratch, Bubble Free* from the company "Supershieldz"

  • Itsjustkristi
  • 23 Nov 2021
  • 75K

Very disappointed in the phone. This is my 4th Moto g stylus due to my insurance. I cannot upgrade to a different phone until I have had this one for 3months unfortunately I have not been able to keep one that long. The screen is way too frag...

  • Varga
  • 14 Sep 2021
  • swn

No.