WHAT IS THE MOTO G5 PLUS?
Moto G5 Plus Review: For years now the Moto G5 has been the top of budget smartphones. Others have crammed in more specs and often a lower price. However, none have constructed a phone that works like something that’s double the price.
The new G5 Plus is Moto’s try to take what makes the G5 so special and pimp it up a bit. Including a better camera, faster internals and a couple of handy extras, such as NFC.
It’s not much of a looker. However, there isn’t anything better phone for the £249.99/$229.99 price-tag.
MOTO G5 PLUS REVIEW – SPECIFICATION
Display Size: 5.2 inches
OS: Android OS, v7.0 (Nougat)
Internal Storage: 32/64 GB
RAM: 2/3/4 GB
Rear Camera: 12MP
Front Camera: 5MP
Battery Life: Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery
MOTO G5 PLUS REVIEW – DESIGN
I always quite preferred the unabashed ruggedness of the Moto G series. They have been plastic phones done nicely, and they withstood serious amounts of wear and tear. They were never ugly though, they were just easy and received the basics right.
That’s all modified with the Moto G5. Well, mostly. Moto and Lenovo are clearly attempting to match budget options from Honor and Huawei by changing the plastic physique with metal. It’s true; the re’s metal here. However, the re’s a lot of plastic performing as metal, too, and I assume it appears ugly.
It’s lost the charm, instead of looking like another budget phone. The difference between the metal parts and the plastic are obvious if you maintain it and it doesn’t feel that durable. The color options are poor; with the gold model being a very tacky shade. I’d recommend you stick with the less offensive Grey model.
However, I can live with a slightly dodgy design when the re’s so much else to love about this phone.
My main problem with the Moto G4 Plus was its size. It was big, ungainly and too huge for the budget-conscious customer Moto was aiming at. Thankfully, the G5 Plus rights this wrong, ditching the 5.5-inch display for a much more manageable 5.2-inch version and while the re’s still a chunky bezel operating around the display, it can be comfortably used in one hand.
You’ve received a Micro-USB port on the bottom, which might appear to be a step-backwards in the era of USB-C, however, I assume it fits a phone like this aiming for a wide market, and a very fast fingerprint scanner on the front. Like Huawei, Moto has added a variety of gestures to the pad that allows you to ditch the on-screen buttons when you so desire, however they’re a bit fiddly and involve lots of swiping in precise directions.
MOTO G5 PLUS REVIEW – DISPLAY
The 5.2-inch, 1080p LCD that sits on the Moto G5 Plus is nice, and it’s hard to quibble for the price for the phone. Colors are correct, and the re’s plenty of detail. However, it can often feel a bit dull when compared to the G4 or the Honor 6X. Images and movies look washed out and there isn’t isn’t a big difference if you jack the brightness up.
However, it takes the job done, and I assume I am overly picky just because there isn’t much to mark the G5 Plus down for. Moreover, one method to solve this is to switch to the Vibrant screen mode, and this makes a clear difference by upping the punch and saturation of the colors. I would instantly set this option as the default, as it appears a whole lot better.
The screen is tremendous responsive and correct; notably more so than Honor phones of a similar price. It also has a correct smudge resistant oleophobic coating on the top, something missing from the £549 Huawei P10.
MOTO G5 PLUS REVIEW – SOFTWARE
The G5 Plus runs Android 7 Nougat – the latest version – and the re’s not a large amount to say about software on the phone. This is a good thing from our point of view, and once again Motorola has maintained things almost fully stock, as Android is intended. The main addition is the Moto app, which bundles varied issues together that were previously individual apps. They include Moto Display and Moto Actions.
Moto Display lets you view a preview of your updates and notifications without requiring you to unlock your phone to let you choose whether you have to take action now or leave it for later. Moto Actions, on the other hand, lets you entry apps much faster with an easy movement or gesture. You can open the camera by twisting your wrist, for example, or chop down twice to activate the torch.
You will find no other pre-installed apps which are nice to see however the re’s a change when it comes to navigation.
As alluded to earlier, the re’s a new method of using the fingerprint scanner. As well as unlocking the phone it helps gestures in a very comparable method to the Huawei P10. Once you’ve got added a fingerprint, switch on One-button nav in Moto Actions.
The gestures appear to be the wrong method round, though, as left to go back appears more intuitive.
MOTO G5 PLUS REVIEW – HARDWARE AND PERFORMANCE
The Moto G5 Plus comes with both 32 or 64 GB of built-in storage, which also talks how more RAM you get with the device. If storage is a concern, the excellent news is that expandable storage is available via microSD card for as much as an additional 256 GB of space.
As talked about, the device comes with a microUSB port as an alternative to a USB Type-C port, that is a move that has likely been made to maintain the price. Sitting beneath the display is the fingerprint reader which is quite quick and correct when it comes to unlocking the phone, and can also be used to put the phone back to sleep with a long press. The interesting factor about this fingerprint scanner button is that you can replace the on-screen keys and perform all navigation using this one button.
Beneath the hood, the Moto G5 Plus comes with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, backed by the Adreno 506 GPU and both 2 or 4 GB of RAM. This processing package is certainly not going to set any benchmarking data, however when it comes to actual world use, everything has been speedy and responsive. Playing games on it has been as enjoyable as anticipated, and rapidly switching between different functions has also been smooth. Of course, it is important to maintain in mind that this particular review unit comes with 4 GB of RAM, and your multitasking experience may be totally different when you opt for the less costly iteration with 2 GB of RAM.
MOTO G5 PLUS REVIEW – CAMERA
The Moto G5 Plus’ rear camera provides an improvement over its smaller sibling however not when it comes to megapixel. It’s a 12-megapixel snapper compared with the G5’s 13Mp, however with Dual Autofocus Pixels for a sharper picture and speedy focusing.
It also has a bigger f/1.7 aperture and larger pixels to let in more light in darker conditions and dual-tone flash.
The front facing camera is identical though, at 5-megapixel with a wide field of view and a f/2.2 aperture.
We’re impressed with the Moto G5 Plus camera which provides wonderful quality outcomes for a phone priced under £250.
MOTO G5 PLUS REVIEW – BATTERY LIFE
Whereas the smaller and cheaper Moto G5 packs a removable battery, the Plus model has to make do with a sealed in 3000mAh cell. Considering the rather impressive stamina that shouldn’t be a problem.
The Moto G5 Play can comfortably make it via the day, and throughout my time with the device, I can easily have 20-25% juice left when I go to plug it in.
Another bonus is the turbocharger that comes in the box – another factor missing on the cheaper model – and this can charge the phone fully in around 70-80 minutes.
Moto has stuck with Micro USB rather than switching to newer USB-C. While it’s not the forward-thinking strategy I wish to see, I can understand that the majority of individuals still have a bunch of Micro USB cables in a drawer and there aren’t big advantages to changing it on budget phones like this. I’m sure we’ll see the switch next year.
MOTO G5 PLUS REVIEW – FINGERPRINT SCANNER
As we talked about earlier, the fingerprint scanner is the new shape on the G5 Plus.
This time, it’s a more popular oval shape and is slightly sunken into the phone making it good to you. It can be done to unlock the screen without pushing the power button, and it’s lightning quick, too.
When you don’t like on-screen buttons, then the fingerprint scanner can also be used for navigation together with gestures. Try the software section beneath for more details on how it works.
MOTO G5 PLUS REVIEW – CONNECTIVITY OPTION
You’ll find Bluetooth 4.2 and 4G LTE connectivity, GPS, an FM Radio and dual-band Wi-Fi (not 11ac, though) on the G5 Plus.
This year it has NFC which is nice information, however, the phone charges via Micro-USB rather than the newer, reversible USB-C.
MOTO G5 PLUS REVIEW – GALLERY
MOTO G5 PLUS REVIEW – CONCLUSION
The Moto G5 Plus is priced at $229 for the 32 GB storage and 2 GB of RAM of the model, whereas the higher-end version with 64 GB of storage and 4 GB of RAM will set you back $299. This is identical price tier as its predecessors, and it does feel like you get a little more each and every year despite the unchanging price level. Granted, that is in half due to technology continuing to get better and cheaper, however, a lot also has to do with the ever growing competitors in this space.
The Moto G5 Plus isn’t without its flaws. However, they’re a lot more forgivable when considering the price you’re paying for it. It doesn’t have any fancy methods or features up its sleeves like wi-fi charging, dust and water resistance, or dual cameras. However, there are plenty of options if these are what you’re looking for. It’s a phone that’s dependable, with a solid smartphone experience, and with an extremely affordable price tag, and that is all that some individuals want.
Speaking of affordable price tags, Amazon Prime members will be able to choose this device for even cheaper, at $239.99 for the 64 GB storage and 4 GB of RAM model, so long as you’re equipped to put up with lock screen advertisements. You won’t find many phones that are this good in this price category, and with the Moto G5 Plus, Motorola proves once again that they’re the kings of the budget smartphone space.