Samsung has the premium stylus phone market pretty much cornered with the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the past Note devices. However, there are some more modest (and affordable!) phones with built-in pens. Down in the mid-range market, there’s a battle going on between stylus phones, and it’s a pretty close fight. Here’s a comparison between the Moto G Stylus 5G and the TCL Stylus 5G.
Before we start, how about some reviews?
We’re going to dive into the differences between these phones in this comparison, but if you want to know more about each phone, Android Headlines reviewed both of them. Here’s the review for the TCL Stylus 5G, and there’s the review for the Moto G Stylus 5G.
|Moto G Stylus 5G||TCL Stylus 5G|
(1080 x 2460)
| 6.81-inch LCD|
(1080 x 2460)
|Processor||Snapdragon 695||Mediatek Dimensity 700|
|Charging Speeds||Quick Charge 3,0||18W|
|Software||Android 12 (My UX)||Android 12 (TCL UI 4)|
|Rear Cameras||50MP main|
2MP depth sensor
5MP depth sensor
|Dimensions||168.9 x 75.8 x 9.3mm||169.6 x 76.5 x 9mm|
Moto G Stylus 5G vs. TCL Stylus 5G: Design
Let’s start off with the designs for these phones. TCL and Motorola went in two completely different directions with the designs for their phones. The Moto G Stylus has a glass back that’s similar to most modern Motorola phones launched recently. The glass curves to meet the frame. This is neat because the glass plays with the light in a pleasing way.
TCL takes a different approach to its phone. Instead of glass, there’s a flat plane of plastic on the back. It has an almost industrial look and feel to it. This back also plays with the light but in a different way. It reflects the light almost like glitter. The plastic appears to have a sandstone texture, but it’s perfectly smooth to the touch.
You’re getting two completely different design aesthetics with these phones. The Motorola phone is more focused on fashion while the TCL has a more industrial design.
Moto G Stylus 5G vs. TCL Stylus 5G: Display
The designs of these phones are like night and day, but the displays are very similar. Both of these phones have fairly large LCD panels with nice colors and contrast.
When it comes to color saturation, both displays are pretty much neck and neck offering rather punchy colors. In terms of contrast, the Motorola G Stylus pulls ahead ever so slightly. While that’s true, the TCL’s display is a bit brighter making it better for sunlight viewing. Also, the TCL Stylus has better viewing angles; the Moto G Stylus’ display loses brightness quickly once you start turning the phone.
The Motorola manages to pull a victory in the refresh rate department. The TCL Stylus’ display caps out at 60Hz, but the Moto G Stylus has a peak refresh rate of 120Hz.
What the TCL Stylus has going for it is NTXVISION. This is the technology that TCL uses on its TVs to upscale SDR video to HDR which is an incredible feature to have.
Moto G Stylus 5G vs. TCL Stylus 5G: Speakers
There’s a clear winner here, and it’s the Motorola Stylus 5G. The speaker isn’t as good as the one on the Galaxy A53 5G, but it’s still a decent player. There’s considerable attention to the bass without it becoming too muddy, and distortion is kept to a minimum. What’s impressive about this is that it’s a single bottom-firing speaker. Without the assistance of a secondary speaker, this phone is still able to produce a full, loud, and punchy sound.
Moto G Stylus 5G vs. TCL Stylus 5G: Performance
The TCL Stylus is rocking the mid-range MediaTek Dimensity 700 SoC, and the Moto G Stylus is using the Snapdragon 695 SoC. So, both of these phones are using cheaper chipsets.
The TCL Stylus’ performance was stellar. During the review process, there were very few instances of lag throughout the software. The phone glided through the software smoothly, and it was absolutely surprising for a phone so cheap.
When it came to gaming, we were able to get good gameplay from most games, and that included some graphically intensive games. We even installed Genshin Impact, one of the most visually pleasing games, and it was playable. Don’t get us wrong, there was a lot of lag, but being able to navigate and play the game on the limited hardware is a feat all its own.
Moving over to the Moto G Stylus 5G, performance was also smooth. The phone is able to navigate through the software without any hassle. Any instances of lag or stutter are few and far between.
In terms of gaming, the Motorola is able to run graphically intensive games smoother than the TCL. Running games like Marvel Future Revolution led to several instances of stutters, but it’s more than playable. The same can be said for Genshin Impact. The game still had stutters, but it ran just a bit smoother than on the TCL Stylus.
Moto G Stylus 5G vs. TCL Stylus 5G: Camera
When we’re talking about the cameras on these phones, it’s a pretty close match. Neither phone will be able to compete with an iPhone or Pixel, but they’re both decent shooters. When it comes to getting quick point-and-shoot shots, you won’t see many glaring differences between the cameras.
Upon closer inspection, the Moto G Stylus produced images with more color on more occasions. In several cases, the TCL’s pictures were pretty flat when it comes to the colors. Also, there was more digital sharpening in the TCL’s photos compared to the Moto G Stylus’ pictures.
This isn’t to say that the TCL Stylus has a bad camera. Also, this phone’s ultrawide camera was able to pull more pleasing results compared to the Moto G Stylus’.
When it comes to low light, neither phone performed particularly well or poorly. Both phones were able to brighten up the scenes and restore some lost details in the pictures.
Overall, if you’re looking for more colors in your pictures on a regular basis, then you’ll like the camera for the Moto Stylus.
Moto G Stylus 5G vs. TCL Stylus 5G: Stylus features
We can’t have a stylus phone smackdown without focusing on how these phones use their built-in pens. All in all, the TCL Stylus has a better stylus experience. Writing with the Moto G Stylus, you’ll find that it gets confused with short strokes. Sometimes, the short strokes will disappear or just not register. That’s not an issue with the TCL Stylus.
Also, you have plenty more tools to take advantage of the pen on the TCL phone. The Moto G Stylus comes with the basics: screenshot tool, live message writer, GIF maker, coloring book, cinemagraph shortcut, and a basic note-taking tool.
The TCL Stylus puts more of a focus on what you can do when you take out your pen. It comes with 13 tools that you can choose from. You have the basics like a note taker, screenshot tool, and GIF maker. However, there’s a tool to let you take a screenshot of a certain area on the screen and it has the same for screen recording. There’s a tool to let you enter split screen mode and one that turns the current app into a floating window.
If you don’t want to use the basic note-taking app, there’s also a shortcut to the Nebo note-taking suite. The last features let you magnify the screen, view your handwritten notes, draw on a screenshot, type a note, and there’s also a handwritten calculator. You just get much more utility from the TCL Stylus.
Moto G Stylus 5G vs. TCL Stylus 5G: Battery
When it comes to battery life, this is where the Moto G Stylus pulls another victory. The TCL Stylus has a respectable 4,000mAh battery, but the Moto G Stylus has a much larger 5,000mAh battery.
During the review period, we were able to pull about eight hours of battery life from the Motorola G Stylus. However, for the TCL Stylus, we struggled to get past four hours of screen-on-time.
There are also ways to get even more mileage out of your Moto G Stylus’ battery. We have a how-to guide to help you get the most out of this phone’s battery.
Moto G Stylus 5G vs. TCL Stylus 5G: Software
Moving onto the software, we have two different takes on the Android operating system. The Moto G Stylus uses Motorola’s My UX Android skin. This skin is basically stock Android with some of Motorola’s features thrown in. There’s a different theme editor, additional quick settings, and more. However, the experience is close to stock.
The TCL Stylus, on the other hand, is using the fourth generation of TCL UI. This takes Android in a completely different direction. TCL heavily customized the UI, so you won’t have any of the Material You design influence. Because of this, you won’t be able to make use of the Dynamic Color feature even though TCL UI 4 is based on Android 12.
You can’t go wrong with any software in this case. Both versions have features that the other doesn’t. If you like an experience closer to stock Android, then you should go for the Moto G Stylus. However, if you want a more experimental take on the software, then you’ll want to go for the TCL Stylus 5G.
All in all
Both phones were able to pull some victories in different departments, and you won’t really go wrong with any of these phones. The Moto G Stylus was able to pull more victories for its battery performance, speaker, and performance.
You’ll be able to play more graphically intensive games with less hassle, and you’ll be able to play those games for longer thanks to the larger battery. Also, we can’t forget about the 120Hz display. The Moto G stylus is more of a powerhouse.
However, the TCL Stylus is a better phone if you’re planning on using the stylus more. The writing experience is smoother in general compared to the Moto G Stylus, and it comes with many more tools to use the stylus to its fullest extent. Not only that, but you also have the added benefit of NXTVISION.