OnePlus had changed from the scrappy upstart that launched a hard-to-get phone at a crazy price. In some ways (okay, a lotofways) it's matured as a company. But, although it's doing better than it ever has before in a pure business sense, OnePlus also seems to be stumbling, losing track of precisely what made it great, even as it celebrates its triumphs. As I see it, nothing better defines the current state of OnePlus, a victim of its own success, than the OnePlus 9 Pro.
There's something about using a stylus that's just incredibly compelling. Sure, touchscreen hardware and finger-tracking algorithms are so good that few of us really need a stylus to successfully interact with mobile screens, but that hasn't stopped a few select handsets from bundling one in — and those have become some of the most popular models you'll find. While Samsung's Note range sits comfortably at the top of the food chain with its active tracking and Bluetooth features, there's also a lot of demand for budget-friendly stylus phones like the LG Stylo series. Now Motorola's back with another of its own, upgrading the Moto G Stylus for 2021.
Every budget phone has its own mix of features and compromises, and this difference in the cocktail from model to model and brand to brand makes them unique. Some combinations are better than others, though, and the Moto G Play comes very near striking an ideal blend. It has good performance (for the price), pleasant software, fantastic battery life, and a big screen, all for just $170. But there is one big drawback: Motorola can't even keep up with Google's minimum requirements for updates a mere two months after the phone's release.