Review: Motorola Moto G5

Pros

  • Higher res screen
  • Reliable camera
  • Moto UI
  • Fast charge
  • Waterproof body

Cons

  • Metal back
  • 16 BG internal storage
  • No USB-C
  • Would have been good to get 3GB ram across the board.
  • No Timelapese

Motorola has gone for a metal back compared to the plastic casings of the previous years. If I were to give any hate for this phone it would be this. Previously Motorola used a soft plastic back that made the phone easy to hold and grip, the soft plastic also didn’t scratch easily. I felt confident using the phone without a cover. The Moto G5 just feels cheap and tacky. The metal they used scratches easily and is slippery in the hand. At least this year the G5 is waterproofed so you get some piece of mind.

At the front you get a finger print scanner which is improved from the Moto G4. It’s much faster and also can act as your navigation buttons. In the settings you can set the scanner to act as back button when swiped to the left, home button when pressed and multi-task button when swiped right. This frees up space on your screen by removing the virtual buttons. An always welcome sight is a headphone jack and on the right side you get the volume rocker and power button.

Moto G5 - App draw
As close as you’re gonna get.

Screen size remains the same 5 inches. But this year Motorola has put in a 1080 display instead of 720. A big improvement as having a 720 display on a 5in screen leads to a low PPI count. Screens 5in or more need to be minimum 1080 to achieve a crispy look. The IPS LCD is of decent quality at this price. Viewing angles are good and colour reproduction is close to real life. The display also has Moto Display. Where the screen stays dark and only shows you notifications along with time, date and battery life.

In the G5 you get the Snapdragon™ 430, Adreno 505 and depending on your market a bumped up 3GB of ram instead of the 2GB. You won’t impress anyone with its performance but the added ram gives the Moto G5 better multitasking capabilities. What this phone is designed to do is the basics and it does it well. In my use the Moto G5 didn’t lag as much as the previous generations. Multi-tasking experience is  improved too with the 2GB ram, in today’s world 1GB ram is not applicable anymore.

The camera on the Moto G5 is very capable at this price point. Auto focus is quick and accurate. The UI is close to the stock android camera app and this time they have put in a shutter button, previously it was touch to shoot. The rest of the camera can be navigated with swipe gestures. You get the usual features like Slo-mo @ 120 frames and panorama. It’s not the best at doing any of these but it’s great to have. It would have been good to get Timelapse. With Moto Actions turned on you can twist to launch the camera. You also get Pro Mode, not necessary but is good to have some sort of manual mode if you like to get creative with your images.

Moto G5 - Headphone jack
Can’t complain.

For photo and video the Moto G5 is  impressive at this price point. The images taken were exposed well, sharp even in a low light situation and colour reproduction is close to real life with a slight nod to the warmer side. HDR when turned does the job. Video worked just as expected, nothing ground breaking with Full HD capping out at 30fps. The footage was exposed well and switched smoothly when moving from light to dark and image stabilisation was good when I moved around. You get a slightly wider front facing camera with a beautify slider; I kept that all the way down. For casual shooting the camera experience is more than adequate.

Checkout my Flickr page for some Moto G5 camera samples.

The UI on the Moto G5 is close to stock Android, Android Nougat with update to Oreo. This is one of the selling point of Motorola; stock android and quick updates but with some welcome additions. You won’t get any bloatware and the ones they have included are all either useful or easy to uninstall. You get the Motorola custom camera app. Moto Actions; twist to launch camera and chop to turn on flashlight and a handy home screen widget.

Moto G5 - Side buttons
Nice and tactile.

As mentioned this phone is not designed for power users and as long as your staying within those guidelines you should have enough battery life. The 2800 mAh battery found on the Moto G5 is enough to get you through a day. If you need a charge you get fast charge though not Quick charge 3.0 and the USB charging port is still micro USB.

Moto G5 - Micro USB
USB-C would have been better.

The Motorola Moto G5 is a great option for anyone looking for their next smartphone, who is budget conscious but still wants something usable.

In comparison to other manufacturers at this price you get good value for what you pay. If you want a phone that can browse the “interwebs”, check social media, stream video or music and take quick photos and video. The Moto G5 is more than capable. Anymore than that, like gaming your going to need to shell out a bit more money.

Video below to my unboxing.

Video below to my review.

 

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