Moto G series has been widely successful over the years and the G5 is the new iteration of the Lenovo’s budget smartphones lineup. The Moto G5 sports pretty good specs, almost stock Android 7 and a lot more other features. Learn more in the full review.
The Moto G5 ships with all the usual stuff, no extras included.
DESIGN and DISPLAY
As far as design goes, I love that the phone is well-built, it sits comfortably in the hand and the buttons are tactile.
Also, I can manage the device in one hand due to its sharp and vibrant 5” 1080p LCD display. However, the direct sunlight legibility could be slightly better.
Even though the Moto G5 is well-built, the choice of materials does not really impress. Well, yes, we have a metal backplate, which is nice but the entire frame and buttons are made of plastic.
Also, that fake chrome plastic trim on the front looks kinds of cheap to me.
We have a 5MP camera for selfies along with the earpiece, which doubles as a front-facing loudspeaker. The sound quality is actually pretty good for a cheap phone. There is no LED notification light because the display lights on every time you pick it up to show you the essentials at a glance.
You can use either on-screen navigation keys or control the phone with just one button, which is one of my favorite features of this phone.
Firstly, you can unlock the device with the help of embedded fingerprint scanner, which is accurate and fast and you can use it straight from the standby mode. Secondly, you can lock the phone by tapping and holding the home key. If you hold the button longer, you will open up Google Assistant. If you swipe left, you will go back. Swiping to the right, opens up your recent apps and finally, tapping the button takes you home.
As for optics, we have a 13MP shooter with f/2.0 aperture lens and a single LED flash.
HARDWARE and PERFORMANCE
When it comes to hardware, the Moto G5 is kind of a low-end phone but Snapdragon 430 chip coupled with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of storage assures a great all-around performance.
There is also a 2GB RAM model but it costs just $20 less, so I recommend you getting a 3GB RAM option. However, you may want to buy a microSD card since the phone has just 10GB of user-accessible storage.
Once you start playing some 3D games, you realize that software is optimized to make the best out of the Snapdragon 430 processor. In fact, games like Asphalt 8 run smoothly even on the highest graphics setting, which is really impressive. Finally, the phone does not overheat.
The software is what makes me love the Moto G5. The phone ships with almost stock-looking Android 7 out of the box, meaning that the device is really snappy and fluid all the time.
I love some added features like gesture and motion controls that work just great. My favorites include chopping the phone twice to turn on the flashlight and twisting the phone to turn on the camera. Even after installing quite a few apps, the Moto G5 has been running fast and this is the most important thing for any phone.
The camera app allows you to take pictures quite fast and the app is easy to use. I love that there is an auto-HDR mode, which is kind of rare on budget devices.
When it comes to the image quality, the pictures are one of the best in any sub-$200 phone. Most of the images looks sharp, detailed and the dynamic range adjustment is pretty good. The only complaint would be that the colours may look a bit washed out in some of the shots.
Most of the budget phones’ cameras are terrible in low-light but the Moto G5 is one of the best I’ve seen in this price range as the camera does a decent job with noise reduction.
The selfies look pretty good too and there is plenty of image quality for social media needs.
The 1080p video quality is good. There is plenty of detail, the video stabilization is decent and the continuous auto-focus works fine. However, there are quite a few video artifacts and the sound recording quality is quite terrible. The selfie video quality is decent but again, the sound recording quality does not impress.
You can remove the backplate to access your two SIM slots and the microSD card slot.
When it comes to connectivity, I have no complaints at all. Wifi and Bluetooth work fine, GPS is very accurate and finally, the signal reception and call quality are great as on most of the Moto phones.
The replaceable 2800 mAh battery performs great. With my usage, I could constantly get over 5 hours of screen on time while using the phone for taking pictures, browsing the web, checking emails and a little bit of gaming.
The supplied Rapid Charger can fully charge the phone in just about 1:15 h, which is awesome.
What is not so awesome, is that the Moto G5 still uses the micro USB charging port. I believe all manufacturers should start using the USB-C port even on budget phones, to make the transition to the new standard faster.
The Moto G series has been one of the most popular in the budget phones category and the G5 is another solid budget smartphone.
While it is not perfect like most of the affordable phones, it is an easy buying recommendation for those who want to spend just about $200 for a new phone. Just remember to consider if the previously mentioned shortcomings are important to you or not.
While the Moto G5 is not perfect like most of the affordable phones, it is an easy buying recommendation for those who want to spend just about $200 for a new phone. Just remember to consider if the previously mentioned shortcomings are important to you or not.