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Motorola Moto G5 Review

Motorola Moto G5

Posted: , by Victor H.


Motorola Moto G5 Review


In the past few years, the Moto G series has set a standard in affordable phones that few can match. This year, Lenovo has two G series phones: the Moto G5 and the Moto G5 Plus. The G5 Plus is the one that has gotten all the attention so far: it’s got the powerful and very battery-savvy Snapdragon 625 system chip, it’s got a fast Dual Pixel auto-focus camera, and it has a starting price of just $230.

And then there is the Moto G5 that we have up here for review. It’s a much different phone than the G5 Plus and this is important to know: it has a smaller, 5” display, it has the severely less powerful Snapdragon 430, a completely different camera and half the on-board storage.

And it’s also not available in the United States, and this one is an even more important distinction. Why? Simple: price of the Moto G5 Plus might be set at $230 in the USA, but in Europe and the rest of the world it rocks a much higher, €280 to €300 price (equivalent to no less than $305). This higher price opens the space for the Moto G5: a €230 phone that would make no sense in the United States.

Are all the compromises made to get to that lower price worth it, though? We take a deeper dive in the Moto G5 experience to see what living with a dirt cheap phone is all about. Stick with us for some interesting conclusions.


A chubby phone with decent design for the price.

Motorola Moto G5 Review
Motorola Moto G5 Review
Motorola Moto G5 Review

You simply cannot complain about options when it comes to phone design in 2017. Even the affordable Samsung Galaxy A series bring an impressively stylish glass and metal look, while many others bring sleek metal designs.

But the Moto G5 does not even qualify as an affordable phone: it’s even cheaper. Because of that, we're inclined to accept certain compromises in its design, like the overly thick bezels, or the somewhat uninspired appearance.

While not a looker in any way, the Moto G5 is at least practical: no fingerprint smudges, no screaky parts, just a solid construction that we think will withstand the test of time very well. Nothing more than that, unfortunately.

Motorola Moto G5 Review

You have your fingerprint scanner at the front: it’s fast and accurate enough, just like most of them these days, and we like the front position. It’s not a physical button, though, so it will not click. All the physical buttons are on the right: they are plastic, but also very clicky and the lock key has texture to it, so it’s easier to recognize it by tactile feel alone.

On the top there is a 3.5mm headset jack and on the bottom of the device is a microUSB port. Yep, we wish it was USB-C as well.

The phone lacks any special water protection, so we recommend you keep it safe and dry.

Motorola Moto G5
5.68 x 2.87 x 0.37 inches
144.3 x 73. x 9.5 mm
5.13 oz (146 g)

Motorola Moto G5

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
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

Motorola Moto G4 Play
5.69 x 2.83 x 0.39 inches
144.4 x 72 x 9.9 mm
4.83 oz (137 g)

Motorola Moto G4 Play

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


A very likable 5” 1080p LCD display that can get very bright and has nice color balance, but those oversized bezels belong to the past.

Motorola Moto G5 Review

The Moto G5 features a 5-inch LCD screen with a 1080 x 1920 pixel, Full HD resolution.

Save for the oversized bezels that give the phone a dated look, the screen is actually quite nice. The resolution is sufficient to have everything looking sharp and crispy.

The colors are also surprisingly nicely balanced. You have a standard color mode that displays ‘realistic color’ as Moto itself puts it, and you have a Vibrant mode that shows ‘enhanced color and saturation’. Try both to see which one you like better, but keep in mind that the difference between the two is not as huge as on say Samsung phones.

We also ran our complex tests on the displays that show fairly good color balance for such an affordable phone. It's just a bit on the blue side, but nothing particularly bad and the screen can get very bright, which contributes to better outdoor viewing experience. Check out the full display benchmarks below.

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 604
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 581
Motorola Moto G4 650
Motorola Moto G4 Play 428
View all

  • Options

posted on 02 May 2017, 08:59

1. jellmoo (Posts: 2035; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)

The G5 will be available in Canada as of tomorrow, and that one would in fact be usable to some US carriers.

posted on 02 May 2017, 09:23

4. libra89 (Posts: 949; Member since: 15 Apr 2016)

I wonder if that's the same model as the Latin America one on Amazon that seems to have the bands that could work.

posted on 02 May 2017, 10:18

8. PHYCLOPSH (Posts: 541; Member since: 28 Jun 2014)

Why would anyone want this rubbish when they could get a lightly used LG G5 for the same price. Everything: Better.

posted on 02 May 2017, 09:06

2. WAusJackBauer (Posts: 316; Member since: 22 Mar 2015)

This definitely deserves an 8

posted on 02 May 2017, 09:22

3. libra89 (Posts: 949; Member since: 15 Apr 2016)

But no higher than.

posted on 02 May 2017, 10:42

11. PHYCLOPSH (Posts: 541; Member since: 28 Jun 2014)

7 seems fair to me. Its ugly as a rabid raccoon crawled from a dumpster and the SD625 is like a Pentium 4, trusty enough - but to be real its a joke.

posted on 02 May 2017, 10:46 1

12. jellmoo (Posts: 2035; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)

The 625 is a perfectly fine chip that runs great at everything except gaming.

Unfortunately, the Moto G5 uses a SD 430.

posted on 02 May 2017, 11:12

14. PHYCLOPSH (Posts: 541; Member since: 28 Jun 2014)

I could argue the same about a 15-year-old Pentium 4. That doesn't mean its a great overall experience.

posted on 02 May 2017, 12:32

17. jellmoo (Posts: 2035; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)

It depends on what you want. If you value battery life over all and don't care about mobile gaming, the experience is great. If you're into mobile gaming, then it probably isn't.

posted on 02 May 2017, 09:26

5. libra89 (Posts: 949; Member since: 15 Apr 2016)

That's kind of disappointing. I considered trying a G5 but it just doesn't make sense considering what it brings. It doesn't make sense for me that is.

Looking at the comparison, it's basically the "updated" Moto G4 Play.

posted on 02 May 2017, 09:27 1

6. GreenMan (Posts: 1817; Member since: 09 Nov 2015)

Ah! The A3 (2017) has much MUCH superior battery life...

Reason is simple; its rocking a low-clocked processor that's been fabricated on the latest 14nm FinFet procedure (Ala Snapdragon 821)...

Besides, its made of glass and metal and hence look very sleek and 'shiny'...!

Oh well,


posted on 02 May 2017, 11:19 1

16. uzimafioso (Posts: 463; Member since: 15 Jul 2014)

It's more expensive as well. Plus that Samsung bloat.

posted on 02 May 2017, 09:32 1

7. zeeBomb (Posts: 2304; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)

That headphone voltage tho

posted on 02 May 2017, 10:28 1

9. farriusd (Posts: 2; Member since: 02 May 2017)

"oversized bezels That belongs in the past and lack of water resistance"
The damn thing is $229 from Best buy what do you expect!

posted on 02 May 2017, 10:53

13. ibend (Posts: 6675; Member since: 30 Sep 2014)

right, it's entry level phone..
did they expect it will has tiny bezels like iPhone7 or other new flagships out there?

the design they use is just like any other low-end android, so it's fine...
and microSD can fix that second cons...

posted on 02 May 2017, 10:32 1

10. farriusd (Posts: 2; Member since: 02 May 2017)

Correction * under $200. G5plus is $229

posted on 02 May 2017, 11:14 6

15. brasstax (Posts: 406; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)

"Because of that, we're inclined to accept certain compromises in its design, like the overly thick bezels..."

In all the years that I have been visiting phone arena, I have never read a single i-phone review where the humongous bezels have been pointed out as an unacceptable compromise considering the dizzying price.

No, I am not a troll. Just want consistency and neutralism from tech writers/reviewers whom I respect.

posted on 10 May 2017, 08:39

18. dazed1 (Posts: 554; Member since: 28 Jul 2015)

iFanatics will change their view every time in order to blame something, but never their beloved iToy, that insult of a pathetic design has 9.7 on the review, its also 200g in weight, bulky and ugly white front, disgusting - truly pathetic!

posted on 04 Jul 2017, 06:56

19. madara82 (Posts: 33; Member since: 01 Jul 2017)

great phone :)

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PhoneArena rating:
Display5.0 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (441 ppi) LCD
Camera13 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, Octa-core, 1400 MHz, ARM Cortex-A53 processor
Size5.68 x 2.87 x 0.37 inches
(144.3 x 73. x 9.5 mm)
5.13 oz  (146 g)

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