Camera

Overflowing with potential, but a hiccup here and there get in the way


Like so many other smartphone manufacturers, Lenovo has seen the writing on the wall when it comes to hammering camera specs down shoppers' throats: raw megapixel count just doesn't matter like it used to (or did it ever?). So instead of the 16MP camera on the G4 Plus, we've got a 12MP component on the G5 Plus.

What benefits do we get to offset that resolution hit? The big one is probably dual-pixel autofocus, like we saw on last year's Galaxy S7 from Samsung. The system promises fast, accurate focus by leveraging all available pixels, rather than a subset like the G4's more traditional phase-detection autofocus.

Also like the GS7, the Moto G5 Plus's camera picks up a very wide f/1.7 aperture, bringing in copious amounts of light. Around front, the 5MP f/2.2 wide-angle camera sounds just like what we had on the G4, and instead the G5's updates arrive mainly in the form of software: a manual-setting pro mode, as well as a beautification mode.


Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 1.8
2.6
1118
669
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 2.2
3
650
395
Motorola Moto Z Play Droid 1.6
2.2
No data
No data
Honor 6x 1.8
2
666
No data

Video recording


Unlike the G4, which topped out at 1080p, this year's Moto G5 Plus finally supports video recording in ultra-HD 4K resolution. That's a nice upgrade, but sadly things are downhill from here.

Without stabilization engaged, video can be distractingly jerky. Luckily, electronic stabilization is available for some filming modes, and it does work well, but tops out at 1080p 30FPS. And while there is a 60FPS 1080p filming mode, we found its output to stutter – both in the viewfinder and on later off-device playback. Things are slightly better in regular 30FPS 1080p and 720p modes, but even there we took issue with some heavy compression delivering noticeable artifacts. Perhaps the bad experience we had with other shooting settings had us a little more tuned-in to looking for problem areas than we would be otherwise, but none of this adds up to a particularly compelling video-recording experience.

Lenovo would be wise to take its megapixels-aren't-everything lesson and apply it to video: 4K is nice, but we'd trade it in a second for better overall video performance.



Multimedia

Front-facing speaker placement shows us how it should be done

The Moto G5 Plus takes the unusual position of offering only a single mono front-facing speaker – and like last year's G4 phones, it's once again the handset's earpiece pulling double duty as the main speaker. But while it may be a little weird, it's also a decision that largely works, and we very much prefer this positioning to edge or back-mounted speakers.


Maybe the only thing the speaker could really use (besides a second speaker for some stereo action, anyway) is better-balanced output, as we found audio pumping out of the Moto G5 Plus to be slightly too tinny and treble-rich (or maybe, bass-lacking) for our tastes.

Unlike the Moto Z lineup, the G-series isn't ready to ditch its analog headphone jacks just yet, and the G5 Plus arrives with a bottom-mounted jack – one blast from the past we're still very much happy to see.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 1.015
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 0.52
Motorola Moto Z Play Droid 0.507
Honor 6x 0.152
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 77.6
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 72.6
Motorola Moto Z Play Droid 75.5
Honor 6x 72.2


FEATURED VIDEO

60 Comments

1. fyah_king unregistered

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

3. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

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

8. Scott93274

Posts: 6038; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Hobby for me. :)

10. fyah_king unregistered

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

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.

27. sgodsell

Posts: 7380; Member since: Mar 16, 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.

36. fyah_king unregistered

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

44. fyah_king unregistered

"G5 plus"

53. chancooluk

Posts: 20; Member since: Sep 13, 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.

59. duplaye

Posts: 1; Member since: May 28, 2017

Checking these comments for phone sound quality. I find the G5 plus to be tinny. As you said, a lack of depth and base. Is it just me, or did I get a bad phone. Is there any way to regulate this? It means a lot to me, as I use the phone a lot. Thanks

60. phonearenarocks

Posts: 606; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

For phones around this budget, Wait for J5 2017/J7 2017/Couple of those HTC desire phones (or) If you don't mind considering those Chinese ones, consider Honor 6c, Redmi Note 4 (or) If you have more budget A5 2017/A7 2017 even Mi 6/finally even more budget, upcoming 1+5. Go to store and check out all these by hand and decide.

4. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

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

12. fyah_king unregistered

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

13. AmashAziz

Posts: 2930; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

See.....that was stupid!

24. fyah_king unregistered

I think you are think dumb one. overstand?

25. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Overstand?

34. fyah_king unregistered

Yes, overstand.

35. fyah_king unregistered

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

40. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

....You have communication issues.

45. fyah_king unregistered

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

57. DronGupta

Posts: 42; Member since: Sep 09, 2015

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

28. sgodsell

Posts: 7380; Member since: Mar 16, 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.

58. phonearenarocks

Posts: 606; Member since: Mar 26, 2015

It becomes stupid when you criticize iPhone, that is what kiko is all about, he should stop that or people start ignoring him.

20. zeeBomb

Posts: 2318; Member since: Aug 14, 2014

Good score good score

29. TerryTerius unregistered

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

41. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

the amount of DB only give one variable. to be tinny you need to lack bass...

2. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 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..

5. Creep

Posts: 193; Member since: Apr 05, 2016

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

11. Scott93274

Posts: 6038; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

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

14. AmashAziz

Posts: 2930; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Me too. Thought about buying this phone sometime this year but stopped because of Micro-usb, and a few other nitty gritties.
Moto G5 Plus
  • Display 5.2" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, Octa-core, 2000 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh

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