The Motorola brand has had a rough few years, fading from consumer memory, only to make a comeback under Lenovo’s brand umbrella. Despite having some trouble adapting to the changing times, the company is starting to catch up. They have had mixed reactions, with the wild success of the Moto E and G series, but a less-than-stellar reception to the Moto Z phones with their modular approach.
This year, the highlight of Motorola’s Mobile World Congress show was the Moto G5 and the G5 Plus. The two phones suffered extensive leaks prior to their announcements and given the success the Moto G4 family had in India, the excitement around every leak of the phones is understandable. With a looming threat from Nokia and tough competition from various Chinese manufacturers in the mid-range segment, Motorola has had its work cut out for them and the company knows it.
We have had the Motorola G5 Plus for some time now, testing and using it as our primary device and here’s our review of the device. The phone comes in various configurations and ours was the one with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of on-board storage.
Specifications: 5.2-inch HD display | Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor | 4GB RAM | 32GB storage space | 12MP rear camera with Dual Pixel AF & 5MP front camera | 3000mAh battery| Dual SIM| Android 7.0 Marshmallow
Price: Rs 16,999
Motorola G5 Plus
There was little left to know about the Motorola G5 Plus prior to its official unveiling at MWC 2017. While rumours could always have been consumed with a healthy pinch of salt, it was when an online tech-retailer prematurely enabled the device page for the two phones did we really get a confirmation on what to actually expect from the G5 Plus.
However, that didn’t mean there was nothing surprising about the phone as a whole. It was obvious that Motorola recognised the need to set their phone apart from those of other manufacturers in the mid-range segment.
The Moto G4 Plus was a very well built phone. Flip it over and a wave of mixed emotions would start brewing. On one hand, the removable back was a great feature, however, the plastic finish was a constant reminder of the price bracket the phone fell into.
Additionally, with the Nokia 6 being made of a single block of Aluminium and priced rather competitively, Motorola had to think ahead and take some drastic steps with design and build. The new Motorola G5 Plus takes cognizance of all that and comes in a rather premium feeling metal build.
There’s a lot of things the Motorola G5 Plus gets right and then there are some that it doesn’t. Let us walk you through each of those.
The build quality of the Motorola G5 Plus really earns the phone some serious aesthetic points. It has a full metal build that doesn’t feel like plastic to the touch. The reason this is a big deal is because there are plenty of phones built out of metal, but you really need to tap and scratch the surface to confirm if the back is made of metal. There is a very small amount of plastic towards the top and bottom edges, but it seems that is just to accommodate the antennae.
The second thing to really like about the Motorola G5 Plus is that it runs Android 7.0 straight out of the box. It’s a practically stock version of Android, resulting in really quick and snappy response to all user inputs. We played games, edited photos and even wrote a part of this review on the phone, all without any hitches.
Literally everything ran super smooth, and you wouldn’t be at fault to assume this was running a top-end Snapdragon SoC (which it is not). The phone runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor and our review unit was the 4GB RAM SKU.
Moving past the performance, we were really eager to test out the camera on the Motorola G5 Plus. The primary camera is a 12 megapixel camera with Dual-Pixel AF. This is the same AF technology we have on the Samsung Galaxy S7.
What this means is that the sensor has plenty of extra pixels to read the scene and drive the focus to where it needs to be. What this resulted in during my use was the fact that there was not a single instance where the Moto G5 Plus couldn’t lock focus on the subject of my choosing. What’s truly impressive is the fact that the AF works in low light just as well as it does in good light.
What’s not so good
The Moto G5 Plus is one impressive device. However, it isn’t without some minor flaws. For starters, the phone comes with a micro-USB port instead of USB-C. While there’s no serious drawback to having a micro-USB port, it would have been nice if Moto had future-proofed the phone with the new connector capable of simultaneous fast charging and high-speed data transfer.
Second happens to be my issue with TurboPower, Motorola’s own fast-charging tech. The supplied power adapter is capable of a total output of 18 watts of power. The Moto G5 Plus’s 3000mAh battery took a whole 135 minutes to charge from zero to hundred. In comparison, the OnePlus 3T chargers from 0 to 100 in under 80 minutes, despite having a larger battery.
Finally, there’s also the fact that the camera module sticks out of the body enough to not let the phone sit flat on a surface. This also means that every time you put your phone down, the camera module is the first thing to most likely be scratched.
Should you buy it
At Rs 16,999, there’s little that the Moto G5 Plus gets wrong. It has a primary camera that impressed with every click. Gaming performance is surprisingly good and consistent. The battery comfortably lasts a day and coupled with Moto’s TurboPower charging, there’s going to be very few reasons to ever run out of juice. The Moto G5 Plus is a solid option for anyone who is looking for an all you do good performer that is excellent value for money.