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Motorola adds 5G to its Moto G Stylus

Motorola will offer the $400 Moto G Stylus 5G as a more affordable alternative to the $1,000 Samsung Galaxy Note 5G.

Motorola has announced a 5G version of its stylus smartphone as the vendor tries to win over budget-conscious consumers.

This week, Motorola introduced the Moto G Stylus 5G at $400, positioning the phone as a more affordable alternative to the Samsung Galaxy Note 5G. The Note 5G is a stylus smartphone that sells for $1,000.

There are other 5G models that sell for less. The Samsung Galaxy A32 5G goes for $280, for example. But those models don't offer a stylus.

Motorola said the Stylus 5G targets a niche audience that would like features associated with top-tier smartphones but cannot afford them.

"The value angle that they are targeting is a good one, but the market itself is just so difficult," said Gartner analyst Tuong Nguyen. 

The Stylus 5G runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 processor and comes with 4 or 6 GB of RAM and 128 or 256 GB of storage. It has a quad-camera system with a 48-megapixel primary sensor and a 6.8-inch display.

The smartphone will get two days of battery life off a single charge and will run Android 11. 

The Stylus 5G will be available on Monday at selected retailers and generally available later in the year.

Motorola trails Android phone makers Samsung, OPPO and Xiaomi in the smartphone market. Each had a share of more than 10%, with leader Samsung topping 20%, according to Gartner. Lenovo, which owns Motorola, had just 2.5%.

Side view of Motorola's Moto G Stylus 5G smartphone and stylus
Motorola has designed the Moto G Stylus 5G smartphone for people who want a stylus and 5G at mid-tier prices.

Nguyen said that Motorola had become less competitive since the flip phone days, when it made its name with the Motorola Razr -- introduced in the U.S. in 2006. Motorola recently released a foldable smartphone also called Razr, but that model has not caught on.

"The brand has significantly eroded over the years," Nguyen said.

Since the original Razr's heyday, Motorola went through financial troubles and ownership changes. Google bought Motorola in 2011 and cut thousands of jobs because of the losses it accrued. Google sold Motorola to Lenovo in 2014.

Maxim Tamarov is a news writer covering mobile and end-user computing. He previously wrote for The Daily News in Jacksonville, N.C., and the Sun Transcript in Winthrop, Mass. He graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in journalism. He can be found on Twitter at @MaximTamarov.

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