Moto G5 Plus Review

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Moto G5 Plus Review

The Moto G series has always been a reference for the market in terms of quality/price. After five years, Motorola’s goals, now Lenovo, have changed. These goals go beyond the hardware itself. A strong camera and more quality in the design are the new benchmarks of the Moto G5 Plus. It comes to the market with a price similar to that of its predecessor, but is it also worth it?

Moto G5 Plus – Availability and price

Lenovo brings the Moto G5 Plus to Europe with 32 GB of internal memory and 3 GB of RAM at an output price of 299 euros. There will also be a cheaper version with 2 GB of RAM for the US and other US markets for $ 229. It will be available to choose between two colors: gray and gold.

Moto G5 Plus Review
Moto G5 Plus Review

Moto G5 Plus – Design and finish

The appearance of the new Moto G5 divides opinions. Last year Lenovo dared to make some changes in the design of Motorola’s most acclaimed range. The similarities with their predecessors were unmistakable. That changes this year. The Lenovo G5 Plus has a strong personality in its design, also inspired by the high end of the Moto line. Personally, I think the new generation is very similar to the Lenovo Vibe models. By saving the differences, the way the device is built is reminiscent of Vibe K5 or  Vibe K6 Note.

The Moto G5 Plus is quite compact, with rounded lines and a more comfortable footprint sensor. It is very pleasant to the touch and can be handled without problems. The back is made of aluminum and the frame is combined with plastic parts to improve signal strength. The metal gives the G5 Plus a totally different look.

On the back of the Moto G5 Plus, we have the Moto logo printed on the aluminum, it forms a certain textured relief. Especially striking is the circular assembly where the camera is incorporated in the back that protrudes a little. Inside this circle, in the lower part, we find a double flash of double tone and on it, we have the camera.

This circular frame reminds me a lot of the Moto 360 watch. This new feature seems to be the detail that differentiates the new Moto line. It started with the Moto Z and the three devices of this line have it that is also key to fit the Moto Mods. In Moto G is just an aesthetic reference. At the top of the back, we also have a hole that hides a microphone to cancel noise in calls and record videos.

In the upper frame, we have a tray to place a nano-SIM card and another microSD. The tray is hybrid since it supports dual SIM and instead of a microSD card we can place a second nanoSIM card. In the lower frame, we have a micro USB 2.0 port and a mini-jack connector.

The main speaker we find it is the speaker itself for calls from the top front. In the lower part, we find a biometric sensor that also functions as a capacitive button. The Moto G5 Plus is available in two colors: gold and gray.

Moto G5 Plus – Screen

Lenovo has been able to compress the device since it has also reduced the screen. The new measures for its diagonal are only 5.2 inches. Therefore, it is a bit smaller than the Moto G4 Plus, thus making the new generation quite more practical. A decision that I personally do not quite understand.

The resolution is maintained in Full HD (423 dpi), increasing the dots per inch that are very important for a sharpness of quality. Color rendering has also improved as well as contrast. In the settings, we now have an intense color mode for the screen settings.

The display responds well to the touch and has no problem in use, such as ghost touch or the well-known burn-in that also to users of the Moto G4 Plus. The conditions of use in sunny environments are quite acceptable with a conventional LCD panel. Reflections can make it difficult at times.

Moto G5 Plus – Special Functions

Start button

The start button of the Moto G5 Plus has extra functions. It mainly functions as a biometric sensor to unlock the device. Pressing it also returns to the home screen and if it is kept pressed, Google Now is activated. But besides all this it also recognizes gestures.

From the Moto application, we can activate two gestures. When you slide your finger over it to the left you will go back, if you slide it to the right you will open the multitask. The direction of the functions can be exchanged so that I do the same thing but when we move the finger towards the other direction. This new feature is also expected to arrive in the new generation of Moto Z.

Moto G5 Plus – Software

The G5 Plus an Android stock with few additives.  It’s a shame that it does not bring the latest version of Android 7.1.1 Nougat pre-installed. So, for now, we must settle for an Android 7.0 Nougat factory. Therefore shortcuts from the application icons can only be achieved with a different launcher until the upgrade arrives.

The application drawer works similarly to what we find in the Pixel Launcher. Just by pulling up we discover all the applications. The background of this application drawer is transparent and you can see the wallpaper.

As we slide between the home screens now we have a little animation. In the Moto application, we find some extra functions like shaking the device to turn on the flashlight or options to block applications.

Moto G5 Plus – Performance

Compared to the previous generation, the Moto G5 Plus has a Snapdragon 625 processor instead of the 617 that had the G4 Plus. This processor is the same as last year’s Moto Z Play, which for this model means a good increase in performance. In the G5 Plus, we have 3 GB of RAM although some models in America will only mount 2 GB of RAM.

With 2GB the performance is similar to last year’s version G4 Plus. For everyday tasks, it works quite well and hopefully when you upload software version do not fall short these 2 GB. For this version the results in the benchmark tests are:

  • Vellamo: Metal 1.428, Multicore 1.956, Browser 3.344
  • AnTuTu: 64,096
  • Geekbench 4: Multi-core 3.761, Single-core 801

We have not yet been able to test the 3GB version but hopefully, we can re-update this section as soon as the device arrives.

Moto G5 Plus – Audio

The Moto G5 Plus does not have superior audio quality. As we see only mounts a mono speaker at the top that can be easily covered if we take the device in a landscape. For some years the manufacturer has not paid much attention to the sound quality in this series.

The sound is regular with sharp peaks at maximum volume. In games, you may see some distortion at certain times. However, the audio of the calls works very well, both in the ear and in speaker mode.

Moto G5 Plus – Camera

The Moto G5 Plus comes equipped with a 12MP rear camera with dual dual-tone LED flash and autofocus. The lens is able to transmit a good amount of light to the sensor thanks to its f / 1.7 aperture, which of course is a rarity in this price range.

In practice, it is possible to obtain good results, although the colors are slightly washed in some situations. The focus is fast and the images taken at night do not receive excessive noise or blur, and this is thanks to a lens with greater aperture. As for the software, we have the same application that we found in Moto G4 Plus. You can use the manual way to adjust ISO, shutter, and exposure.

I have had some problems with focusing on certain places with the automatic mode. I recommend using the HDR at almost any time, especially in high ambient light conditions. The HDR Moto G5 Plus mode works great and delivers excellent results.

Videos can be recorded in high definition (HD 30fps), Full HD (30 / 60fps) and 4K (30fps).

The front camera is 5 megapixels, has the manual mode and other functions, as a beauty mode. The Moto G5 Plus does not have a front flash, but the Lenovo software incorporates a feature that increases the display light to help in low-light environments. It is an ingenious way of harnessing resources but it does not always work well.

Moto G5 Plus – Battery

The Moto G5 Plus battery has given good results in the analysis. We have a 3000 mAh battery that can last 18 hours quietly with moderate use. I started my day with a 100% charge at 7:30 in the morning, listening to Spotify with 3G and using Chrome, Gmail, and Instagram. By the end of my day, I still had 30% load.

With maximum brightness, location, synchronization, 4G, games, and videos without break, the battery lasted about 6 hours. Usually, a user does not keep the device in these conditions for a long time. Therefore, it is fair to say here that the Moto G5 Plus battery has enough autonomy to last longer than a day of moderate use.

The device comes with a charger from 12W to 1.2 amps, which is able to fully charge the battery in less than an hour and a half. The cargo is fast, but not so much as the Moto X Style, which has 25W. Anyway, fast charging is always welcome.

Final verdict

Definitely, the Moto G line looks different. The hardware level and the quality/price ratio are still there, but they share the scene more and more with a more elegant design and better cameras. It is true that the Moto G4 Plus was not a masterpiece in design, but this has been tried to remedy in the fifth generation.

The device will satisfy users looking for a model with nice design, well built and with a camera in conditions. However, other aspects are a bit in the rear like the sound quality.


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