Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2023) review bloatware hell

Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2023) review bloatware hell

Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G: A Budget Phone with Bloatware Woes

Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G

Motorola has always been known for offering budget-friendly smartphones with solid specifications, and their Moto G Stylus 5G is no exception. Packed with features like ample storage, 6GB of RAM, a powerful Snapdragon processor, and even a charger and headphone jack, this phone seems like a steal at just $399. However, there is one glaring issue that dampens the overall experience: bloatware.

Bloatware, or pre-installed applications that come with the phone, plagues the Moto G Stylus 5G. From the moment you set up the device and organize your homescreen, you are bombarded with prompts to download more apps. Folders with innocent names like “entertainment” and “shopping” seem convenient at first, but upon closer inspection, they turn out to be apps themselves. This excessive pre-loading of apps becomes tiresome and intrusive, detracting from the user experience.

One such app is Swish, a service that Motorola includes in their budget phones. Swish features apps that masquerade as folders, pulling in apps you may have already downloaded and aggressively pushing you to install more. Even after completing the setup process, you will come across a persistent notification urging you to finish setting up your phone and download additional apps.

Shopping, entertainment, and GamesHub apps masquerading as folders

The MotoHub app is another culprit in the bloatware saga. Positioned as your new home screen, it promises a “daily dose of entertainment” and “the latest news updates.” However, it quickly becomes an annoyance with a full-screen widget occupying one of your homescreen pages. This widget, along with other unwanted apps, exemplifies the frustrations of dealing with unnecessary pre-installed software.

While it is true that some users are familiar with removing bloatware, not everyone possesses the technical knowledge to do so. For those less tech-savvy, these apps and widgets become permanent fixtures on their phones, negatively impacting their overall experience. This design choice by Motorola seemingly aims to capitalize on users’ inability to uninstall these apps easily.

Remove the bloatware, and the Moto G Stylus 5G becomes a respectable budget phone. Available at a discounted price of $299 on Motorola’s website, it offers 6GB of RAM and performs admirably in various tasks. The camera app may be a bit slow, and the image preview in low light conditions can be laggy, but overall, it delivers satisfactory results. The stylus functionality adds a unique touch, allowing for note-taking and precision tasks.

Sample photos taken with Moto G Stylus 5G

The Moto G Stylus 5G excels in daily tasks, effortlessly capturing memorable moments and offering practical features like Google Wallet for convenient payments. Its battery life is impressive, lasting through even the busiest of days. However, these positives are overshadowed by the frustrating bloatware experience.

It’s understandable that Motorola may have partnered with InMobi, the company behind Swish, to subsidize the cost of the phone and equip it with higher-end components. But it raises questions about the affordability of a device that sells at a $100 markdown from its MSRP. The inclusion of excessive bloatware undermines the overall value proposition and leaves a sour taste in the mouths of consumers seeking a hassle-free smartphone experience.

Ultimately, despite its benefits, the Moto G Stylus 5G’s bloatware issues make it difficult to recommend as a budget phone. For most people in the market for an affordable device, opting for a discounted Google Pixel 6A might be a better choice, sparing them the inconveniences caused by excessive pre-loaded apps.

Photography by Allison Johnson / The ENBLE

Agree to Continue: The Burden of Accepting Terms and Conditions

Every smart device now requires users to agree to lengthy terms and conditions, typically unread agreements that accompany the device setup process. In the case of the Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G, you are presented with several agreements and consent requirements that most users breeze through without fully understanding or negotiating.

To use the Moto G Stylus 5G, you must accept Motorola’s Privacy & Software Updates. Additionally, you have the option to customize Motorola’s support on your phone, enable Google Assistant features, and join Motorola’s user community for push notifications and benefits. Imposing as these consent agreements may seem, they are relatively standard in the realm of smart devices.

Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G agreements

In total, you encounter five main agreements and have the option to bypass twelve other consent requests during the setup of the Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G. While it is essential to be mindful of the information we share with these companies, it is worth noting that the burden of accepting terms and conditions falls upon users across the entire spectrum of smart devices.

In conclusion, the Moto G Stylus 5G offers decent specifications and performance for its price. However, the frustrating inclusion of excessive bloatware diminishes its appeal. Motorola should reconsider its approach to pre-installed apps and prioritize delivering a more streamlined and user-friendly experience. Until then, consumers searching for a budget phone may be better off exploring alternatives like the discounted Google Pixel 6A.

Note: The above article represents the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views or experiences of all users.