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Usually when you see a piece of tech that is way cheaper than others in its category, you expect it to be inferior in every way. However, when it comes to the Moto G5 you cannot say this to be the case. The Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus are built to a surprisingly high quality all be it with certain aspects letting it down. This review outlines all the new features of the Moto G5, its specs and discusses certain issues.
The biggest difference between this generation Moto G and its predecessor is its design and hardware. The Moto G has historically been a rather tacky plastic build but this year it’s stepped up its game by switching to a metal frame. This makes it feel a lot better and more durable as a result. In terms of its looks, it definitely looks a lot better thanks to its metal frame but at the same time, it clearly resembles a budget phone. Its bezzles still look big on the sides and its overall design is still pretty basic. Overall though the build quality and feel in the hand is a huge step-up on previous models and when compared with other competitors in the lower budget range the Moto G5 range is a clear winner.
Specifications of the G5/G5 Plus/G5S Plus
- Snapdragon 625
- 3000 mAh battery
- 2GB (G5)/4GB (G5 Plus & G5S Plus) RAM
- 32GB (G5)/64GB (G5 Plus & G5S Plus) SSD
- 5.2 inch full HD (1080p) display
- 13 MP HD back camera and 5 MP wide-angle selfie cam
The new Moto G5 series offer the same specifications as specs are mid-range, the G5 Plus and G5S Plus have a 3000 mAh battery, 4GB of Ram and a 64GB SSD storage capacity. Their cheaper sibling the G5 offers slightly less with 2GB of Ram and a 32GB SSD storage capacity. However, all offer a micro SD card slot to expand your storage.
Enhanced Gesture Capability
One main place Motorola has improved on with the new Moto G5 is the home button. There’s one big physical home button with a quality fingerprint reader at the bottom but with no back or multitasking buttons either side of it. Moto’s solution for those who want to move through applications with off screen buttons is their ‘home button gestures’. Their home button can be thought of as a big glass trackpad. It is sensitive enough to figure out whether you’re doing a button press or a gesture. So for instance, you tap to go home, hold the button for a second to turn the screen off, you swipe right across the button to go back and swipe left to go to recent application. Another enhancement is the ability to go into the multitasking mode. When you have your applications piled up on top of each other you move one of your applications to the top of the screen and hold it there for a second. This splits your screen into two different planes allowing you to work on two applications at a time.
The camera is where you see the biggest difference with the high end smartphone. The Moto G5 offers a commendable 13MP and F2.0 aperture camera whilst the Moto G5 Plus offers a 12MP and F1.7 aperture. Both will allow for good shots in a well lit environment. However, in a dimly lit environment you will definitely see a lot more noise in the frame, a less dynamic range and fewer natural colors. Where the Moto G5S differs is in its dual 13MP rear cameras offering (see below).
Issues and Shortfalls
Despite all this good work, you shouldn’t expect a miracle phone here and there are certain design aspects Moto have had to sacrifice in order to cut costs and produce this $300 phone. It still uses micro USB at the bottom – not a massive deal but, in my view, it would have been nice to see USB C capability here. It is also missing an NFC payment chip. This may not bother everyone but with the way financial tech is developing you can see this becoming outdated pretty quickly. As for the Moto G5 speakers, they’re certainly not the loudest or clearest on the market but are better than high-end smartphones just on the basis that it’s front facing.