Should I buy a Moto G5?

Moto G5 Review: If Price Is Everything, This Is The Budget Phone To Buy

This page was translated using AI and machine learning.

(Pocket-lint) - The Moto G has long been the king of affordable phones. However, in the past few years, things have changed and there are more choices and pricing options available. To counteract the changing market, the fifth generation G series is available in flavors G5 or larger G5 Plus, which slightly bends the established affordable prices of the latter.

The key to the G5's appeal is that it hasn't increased its price since the previous G4 and stands at £ 169 (an increasing rarity with the upcoming Brexit UK). What it has done, however, is a serious improvement in build quality, as a removable metal back is now part of the phone's makeup, giving it a teaser taste of a higher-end handset. How chic.

Which ultimately puts the Moto G5 in a strong position; A place in the market that is hardly touched by the competition - like OnePlus, among others - that has crept into the middle range in recent years.

Is that the cornerstone for the Moto G5 to hit the board in the budget phone ranks? Yes and no. It's an impressive phone considering the price, but one that its bigger brother, the G5 Plus, accidentally gives a backhand grip.

Moto G5 review: design

  • Removable rear metal shell
  • 2,800mAh battery
  • 144.3 x 73 x 9.5; 144.5 g

The design language used in the G5 is more sophisticated than in previous G-series models. The new model eschews the fussy, ventilation-like speaker grilles of the G3 / G4 models and mimics much of the top-of-the-range Moto Z style, including the circular camera on the back (thankfully without the litany of various sensor openings in this high-end Model).

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Then there's that metal-clad removable back that actually feels more like plastic, but hey, that's a box ticked anyway. The physical buttons, on the other hand, feel completely metallic under the fingers - which you wouldn't expect on a phone on this budget.

In terms of size, we think Motorola has found the sweet spot too. The later generation G3 was 5 inches tall, the G4 was expanded to 5.5 inches, and the G5 shrunk back down to a more manageable 5 inch scale (the G5 Plus is an intermediate 5.2 inch scale) . This screen also has a Full HD resolution so you don't have to worry about the visible quality.

Visually, the G5 is a far better product than previous Moto G products. It's the cute image of the G-series for an overall more adult look.

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The problem comes with the G5 Plus, however: the larger model doesn't have a removable back, so it feels more solid and really metallic in comparison. and the way it all comes together is just more elegant. But of course you'll have to find an extra £ 80 for the plus - that's almost half the cost of the standard G5 alone.

Lenovo Moto G5 review: display

  • 5 inch IPS LCD screen
  • Full HD resolution (1920 x 1080)

When it comes to the display, we think Moto found the G5's reputation with the 5.0-inch brand. Sure, the G5 Plus is 5.2 inches, but when both phones are side by side, the difference doesn't matter much either when viewed or in the hand.

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The full HD resolution (1920 x 1080) of the panel is sufficient for this size, not that it could be called a flagship. However, this scale does not require a large number of pixels, not due to the limited processing power and battery capacity available.

Since the G5 has an IPS LCD panel, the screen offers a reasonable viewing angle so that there is no drop in contrast on cheaper devices that you would otherwise tilt from side to side. We have yet to see the new Moto C handset and how well that will hold up for its £ 90 price tag.

As we said about the G5 Plus, compare the G5's screen to that of a flagship and you'll see differences clearly as it's not as vivid or punchy. However, when you buy a $ 169 phone, you don't have a closet full of comparisons. So you will never notice a shortage as there is enough auto brightness here to meet all of your needs without making things look gloomy by any means.

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So overall, the G5's screen is as good as you can expect at this price point - and we're particularly pleased that it doesn't have a lower resolution than its bigger brother, the G5 Plus. There's enough resolution to watch Netflix HD quality movies up close and personal, and that's one of life's great joys that unlocks right there.

Moto G5 review: fingerprint scanner & one-touch nav

  • Fingerprint scanner on the front (no NFC)
  • You can swipe to the control device with the home button
  • Traditional softkeys for Android Home / Back / Apps are also available
  • No NFC for payments (only available in the Plus model)

One thing that the G5 really gets right is the design of the fingerprint scanner. The awkward square model of the G4 saw its last. The new pill-shaped format is not only great for quick fingerprint logins, but also for a brand new trick: gesture control (or one-touch nav, as Moto calls it).

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This mode removes the usual three Android softkeys from the screen - Home, Back, and Recent Apps - and uses gesture input instead. Swipe left on the key to return. Swipe right to open the current apps screen. Press to return to the home screen (or to lock the screen). Press and hold to activate the Google Now launcher.

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When the G5 is started for the first time, fingerprint registration is requested, but gesture control is not. You'll need to look around the pre-installed Moto app to turn it on. It is activated along with a mini tutorial to make it easier for you to use. This is certainly helpful. After some practice, we think it is among the better Android gesture-based systems that we have used.

The only problem is that gesture controls don't speed up navigation. We think it is a little faster to use the phone with the Android softkeys instead. If you don't have to touch the screen as often, it stays cleaner - both in terms of more space for content and in terms of less smudged fingerprints.

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The drawback of the fingerprint scanner is the lack of an associated function: There is no NFC (near field communication). That's a shame as it would be handy for mobile payments and data transfer. The lack is all the more evident now that the UK version of the G5 Plus has NFC (few other regions offer it). So, you need to get the extra cash when it is essential to your daily living needs.

Moto G5 test: performance, software and battery

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor
  • 2 GB RAM, 16 GB storage (plus microSD card slot)
  • Removable 2,800mAh battery
  • Android 7.0 operating system

Telephone processors are getting so powerful these days that you don't necessarily have to have the best of the best in the heart of your handset. And if budget is your goal, chances are you won't expect a budget for less than £ 170 either.

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The G5 opts for the octa-core processor Snapdragon 430 from Qualcomm, which delivers up to 1.4 GHz from its four main cores and performs other less intensive tasks on the remaining four cores. It's less powerful than the G5 Plus model and that shows in action: It's nowhere near as snappy, the loading times are much longer, and the games don't run with the same fluidity. It all works, however, so it's not like the G5 couldn't - again, it's just a step back from the Plus model.

Perhaps the biggest problem we had was the lack of on-board storage. A 16GB phone just isn't enough for our needs these days. So it's good to see an easily accessible microSD card slot (which is behind the back cover above the battery). We added 32GB that Android 7.0 can handle as if it were on-board storage - but beware of slow card speeds that the device will warn you about.

Speaking of Android 7.0 - Google's almost latest version of its operating system - is a good basis for the G5. Lenovo / Moto doesn't care too much about the software experience either, leaving it in familiar form without excessive pre-installations and tricky apps.

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In fact, the Moto app - the same access point for the aforementioned one-touch nav controls - also includes the controls for a variety of action-based gestures that can help you avoid touching and smudging that screen. There is a double karate blow to activate the torch. Twist for a quick camera shot; Swipe the screen to shrink the user interface. Pick up the device to stop the ringing. or turn the phone over to automatically turn on Do Not Disturb. Each of these actions can be switched on or off independently of one another as required.

The other thing Android 7.0 does is let the phone "go to sleep" when it is not in use. When the phone determines that it has not been moved for a period of time, it is draining the battery. This happens overnight or when the phone is hung up for a few hours while you are busy.

This helps keep the battery life high - a major factor given the low 2800mAh battery capacity (given the size of the phone, we would have thought there was room for a larger capacity) - and we saw a full capacity charge drops to around 20 percent within 14 hours. Pretty good innings aided by the limited on-board processor that doesn't drain the battery as much as a flagship model does.

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The charging process takes place via micro USB. The 10 W charger means fast charging times. Not quite as fast as the G5 Plus' 15W TurboCharger, but plenty. However, avoid low-power outlets like those on airplanes as it takes many hours for a little more juice to get into the phone.

Lenovo Moto G5 Review: Cameras

  • 13 megapixel rear camera, f / 2.0 lens
  • The G5 Plus lacks the dual autofocus pixels
  • No optical stabilization available
  • 5 megapixel front camera
  • Professional mode

Cameras in phones are playing an increasingly important role, and the G series has never been this great. The G5 has a 13-megapixel rear-view camera with a 1: 2.0 aperture lens.

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It all works pretty well - but it's not as powerful as the camera in the G5 Plus. The reason for this is quite simple: the sensor in the G5 is missing two autofocus pixels. So when you're in Pro camera mode, the glowing autofocus areas won't come into focus quickly.

That's not to say the G5 camera is a write-off, but it could just use a few software nips and tucks to give it a little more oomph. The app is straightforward, so easy to type to focus, and while the touchscreen is responsive enough, the focus point isn't always pinpoint - especially it struggles with close-ups.

Get the right shot in reasonable to good light and the G5 shows it is a step ahead of the earlier G4, but the shots get too sharp so they won't look too good on closer inspection. And when the light really comes in, the results are not great, will be smeared and lacking in detail.

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However, for £ 169 you couldn't buy a decent standalone camera - and in the G5 you get a perfectly serviceable camera along with a decent all-round phone for one price.

First impressions

With other manufacturers venturing into more expensive mounts, the Moto G5 sticks to its £ 169 cannons and delivers reasonably good performance for the price. It's more sophisticated to look at than its G4 predecessor, handles all kinds of tasks with ease, and also has a nifty fingerprint scanner.

In the same breath, the G5's problem is that the bigger brother G5-Plus model is king of the budget due to the smoother performance of the larger handset, the addition of NFC (in the UK), larger storage (3GB of RAM) and storage from the budget king (32 GB), bigger battery, better camera and refined build quality. Sure it's £ 80 more - but if you can scrape together that extra cash we highly recommend going for the Plus.

However, if price is all for you, for a pound of just under £ 170 there is nothing else on the market that offers such a wide range of features and services. Don't expect a flagship phone by any means, but the G5 is still a king among affordable phones.

Alternatives to consider

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Moto G5 Plus

For the extra £ 80, the G5 Plus might not look dramatically different from its smaller brother, but it does add a number of small but important features and it runs a lot better too.

Read the full article:Moto G5 Plus review

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Lenovo P2

Another from Lenovo's stable, but also worth a look. It's only 30 pounds more than the G5 and comes with a much more powerful battery that lasts on and on. It's chunkier too, but the design is otherwise less than a million miles from the G5's new, nifty image.

Read the full article:Lenovo P2 review

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