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Moto G5 Plus Review

Motorola Moto G5 Plus 8

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Moto G5 Plus Review

Introduction


With the first quarter of the year wrapping up, we're finally able to start really appreciating what 2017 means for new smartphones, as some of the most anticipated high-profile flagships launch. But more than just being dazzled by a convention-breaking crop of extra-wide-display, insane screen-to-body-ratio hero phones, we've also seen the launch of some really compelling budget-priced phones, bringing users decent performance and attractive designs while costing less than half as much as top-shelf flagships.

Year after year, we look to Lenovo's Motorola brand to bring us some of the best examples of well-done budget phones, as we did late last spring with the introduction of the Moto G4 series. For 2017, Motorola's pushing up its timetable a little, and last month at MWC we were first introduced to the next generation of the Moto G, with the launch of the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus.

Moto G5 Plus Review
While the former of those phones is sticking to international markets, the Moto G5 Plus has got its sights set on US shoppers, and our early impressions with the handsets sure had us optimistic that they'd respond favorably – with this hardware representing some intelligent upgrades over last year's models, and pricing remaining extremely competitive, the Moto G5 phones sure look like they've got a lot going for them.

Sales of the Moto G5 Plus are now open in the US, and we've been spending the past couple weeks taking an early look at the handset. Is this affordable smartphone one you'll want to pick up? Take a gander at what we've learned.

In the box:

  • Moto G5 Plus
  • Turbo charger
  • Micro-USB to standard-A cable
  • Intro booklet
  • Safety notice

Design

What a difference a year makes

Moto G5 Plus Review

The Moto G series is one that's not afraid to reinvent itself, and recent years have brought a nice mix of variety to the phones' hardware. With the Moto G5, that evolution continues, now taking maybe one of the biggest steps forward yet.

While the Moto G4 phones risked feeling a little “cheap,” with snap-off removable plastic back panels, the Moto G5 Plus overhauls its construction with some much more premium-feeling materials. For starters, the back is no longer removable, and that plastic is ditched in favor of metal. In other phones that might represent a bit of a functionality trade-off, but it's not like the G4 had a removable battery – the only difference here is that instead of the SIM and microSD slots living under that back panel, they're now inserted via a 2-in-1 tray along the phone's top edge.

Moto G5 Plus Review
Moto G5 Plus Review
Moto G5 Plus Review
The Moto G5 Plus isn't all metal – there's still a plastic edge all around the handset – but it both looks good, with a well-done chromed-out shiny metallic finish, and feels quite nice in the hand. Really, it takes a bit of thinking to even realize that the phone's not all-metal in the first place.

Around front, the phone's glass is ever-so-slightly sunken from the surrounding frame, helping to protect the screen when placed face-down. And to the bottom we find the handset's fingerprint scanner. The scanner's also sunken, recessed beneath the model's screen glass, and while that feels a little unusual at first, we quickly got used to it. Unlike the square scanner of the G4 Plus, Motorola goes with an oval scanner on the G5 Plus, and that shape helps with some interesting gesture controls – which we'll talk more about a little later on.

There's another pretty significant design departure on the phone's back, as the linear camera arrangement of the G3 and G4 is replaced by a circular puck-style camera. There's a noticeable camera bump, to the tune of a couple millimeters, but it's not particularly severe and didn't have us second-guessing the phone's design decisions.

Overall, the design of the Moto G5 Plus is a marked improvement from the G4. There are a few areas where we wish Lenovo paid a little more attention to detail – like how the SIM/microSD tray doesn't quite sit flush with the phone's body when inserted – but overall the phone both looks and feels fancier than its price point would otherwise suggest.

On the downside, there's no Moto Maker customization options available with this generation, nor has Motorola upgraded its waterproofing; the G5 offers the same kind of water-resistant nano-coating as the G4 – enough to protect against fleeting contact with moisture, but less than a full IPX8 rating.


Motorola Moto G5 Plus
5.91 x 2.91 x 0.38 inches
150.2 x 74 x 9.7 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)

Motorola Moto G5 Plus

Motorola Moto G4 Plus
6.02 x 3.02 x 0.39 inches
153 x 76.6 x 9.8 mm
5.47 oz (155 g)

Motorola Moto G4 Plus

Motorola Moto Z Play Droid
6.16 x 3.01 x 0.28 inches
156.4 x 76.4 x 6.99 mm
5.82 oz (165 g)

Motorola Moto Z Play Droid

Honor 6x
5.94 x 3 x 0.32 inches
150.9 x 76.2 x 8.2 mm
5.71 oz (162 g)

Honor 6x


To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


Display

A more compact display than the G4 delivers a bright, sharp screen

Moto G5 Plus Review

During our initial hands-on, we were quite impressed with the display on the Moto G5 Plus, and after spending quite a bit more time with the phone, we're not about to change our mind.

The first thing to know about the screen on this handset is that for a “Plus” branded phone, it's not particularly huge – the display is a modest 5.2-inch component. Its 1080 x 1920 resolution is nothing to write home about, but it's also more than sufficient for a screen this size.

Display brightness is decent – at least under manual control. Set things to auto, and it's capable of output up there close to some of the brightest phones we've seen in recent memory, though it's just a tad annoying that you can't set the phone to such brightness levels deliberately.

Color accuracy is also alright, though we noticed some non-linear output at varying levels of saturation. It's nothing that ruins image quality, though you may want to switch from the phone's standard to “vibrant” color mode if you find hues coming across a bit subdued.

The Moto Display system makes a welcome return, using motion-detection to give you convenient access to notifications when the phone is otherwise sleeping. You can further interact with those notifications by dragging them up, down, left, or right, as well as choose apps with sensitive content to withhold their notifications from this screen. It all works very well, and adds a welcome productivity-focused boost to the phone's software.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 581
(Excellent)
6
(Good)
1:1274
(Excellent)
7989
(Average)
2.21
6.07
(Average)
6.79
(Average)
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 680
(Excellent)
2
(Excellent)
1:1412
(Excellent)
6820
(Excellent)
2.32
4.95
(Average)
3.54
(Good)
Motorola Moto Z Play Droid 361
(Average)
4
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
7173
(Good)
2.11
3.27
(Good)
4.84
(Average)
Honor 6x 506
(Excellent)
8
(Good)
1:1173
(Good)
7035
(Good)
2.11
5.26
(Average)
2.79
(Good)
View all


57 Comments
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posted on 04 Apr 2017, 08:41

1. fyah_king (Posts: 872; Member since: 22 Jul 2013)


How is the speaker tinny when it's louder than your iPhone 7?lol

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 08:42 1

3. kiko007 (Posts: 4765; Member since: 17 Feb 2016)


Do you ask stupid questions as a hobby or for serious inquiry?

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 08:44

4. ibend (Posts: 6280; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


iPhone7 is louder actually
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 77.6 dB
Apple iPhone 7 78.1 dB

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 08:52 1

8. Scott93274 (Posts: 5217; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


Hobby for me. :)

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 08:53

10. fyah_king (Posts: 872; Member since: 22 Jul 2013)


There's no such thing as a stupid question. So, get off your tiny horse and tell me why my question is stupid?

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 09:07

12. fyah_king (Posts: 872; Member since: 22 Jul 2013)


My bad, I forgot to add the plus after the 7.

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 09:13

13. AmashAziz (Posts: 792; Member since: 30 Jun 2014)


See.....that was stupid!

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 09:31

20. zeeBomb (Posts: 2284; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)


Good score good score

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 09:56

24. fyah_king (Posts: 872; Member since: 22 Jul 2013)


I think you are think dumb one.
overstand?

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 09:59

25. kiko007 (Posts: 4765; Member since: 17 Feb 2016)


Overstand?

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 10:00

26. Rydsmith (unregistered)


No, there are such things as stupid questions and this was one of them. The iPhone is louder if you had added it to the chart.

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 10:09

27. sgodsell (Posts: 4412; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)


And added 3 times the price for the iPhone 7. For what it is the Moto G5 is, this time around it is giving a lot of bang for your buck. Also this time around the Moto G5 has NFC, and a gyroscope, and compass as well.

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 10:15 2

28. sgodsell (Posts: 4412; Member since: 16 Mar 2013)


Fyah_king It doesn't matter if it's the iPhone 7 or 7 plus. Your looking a 3-4 times the price of the iPhone 7's compared to a Moto G5. So for $230 the Moto G5 has NFC, and a full HD display like the iPhone 7 plus. But the G5 is only $230 outright. It even has expandable storage for that price.

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 10:16 3

29. TerryTerius (Posts: 2101; Member since: 10 Apr 2014)


Sheer loudness is not the same as the quality of the sound.

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 13:37

34. fyah_king (Posts: 872; Member since: 22 Jul 2013)


Yes, overstand.

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 13:44

35. fyah_king (Posts: 872; Member since: 22 Jul 2013)


Yes, i am over you and not under you.:)

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 13:45 1

36. fyah_king (Posts: 872; Member since: 22 Jul 2013)


I am talking about the 7plus. The G6 is louder.lol

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 14:13

40. kiko007 (Posts: 4765; Member since: 17 Feb 2016)


....You have communication issues.

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 14:17

41. marorun (Posts: 4870; Member since: 30 Mar 2015)


the amount of DB only give one variable.

to be tinny you need to lack bass...

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 16:04

44. fyah_king (Posts: 872; Member since: 22 Jul 2013)


"G5 plus"

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 16:06

45. fyah_king (Posts: 872; Member since: 22 Jul 2013)


I don't communicate with people under me. :)

posted on 05 Apr 2017, 06:00

53. chancooluk (Posts: 12; Member since: 13 Sep 2015)


It's not a stupid question, you are just misunderstanding the word 'tinny'. 'Tinny' does not mean quiet, or lacking volume, it means that the sound lacks depth and bass.

posted on 12 Apr 2017, 12:07

57. DronGupta (Posts: 27; Member since: 09 Sep 2015)


kiko007 is not dumb. He is isheep. And isheeps are dumb.

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 08:41 1

2. ibend (Posts: 6280; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


that cons..
microUSB and water-resistance is a must for every smartphone now?
great..

and I guess 8/10 is upper limit for low-end smartphone score in PA right now..

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 08:49

5. Creep (Posts: 183; Member since: 05 Apr 2016)


The Cons do not justify the 8/10 rating. This phone should be a 9/10.

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 08:56 1

11. Scott93274 (Posts: 5217; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


I don't know... I'm actually really disappointed by Motorola's choice to go with Micro USB. Like, seriously.

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 09:14

14. AmashAziz (Posts: 792; Member since: 30 Jun 2014)


Me too. Thought about buying this phone sometime this year but stopped because of Micro-usb, and a few other nitty gritties.

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 09:23

19. ibend (Posts: 6280; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)


*USB-C

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 09:51

23. Scott93274 (Posts: 5217; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


Though I really do love the touch gesture controls and how it allows you to remove the on screen buttons. It would be awesome if the Nexus phone actually allowed you the ability to do gesture controls already...

posted on 04 Apr 2017, 08:50

6. adi90 (Posts: 366; Member since: 21 Dec 2015)


Camera of moto g5 plus is much better or say best in the class. No other brand including Samsung j series offer such a camera.

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Display5.2 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (424 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera12 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, Octa-core, 2000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A53 processor
4 GB RAM
Size5.91 x 2.91 x 0.38 inches
(150.2 x 74 x 9.7 mm)
5.47 oz  (155 g)

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