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Moto G5 Plus review

Moto G5 Plus review:

A worthy successor to the Moto G4 Plus

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Every time a new phone is launched, user’s hopes are pinned on the new features that it comes bundled with. That said, a successor or an upgrade is worthy of being called so, only if it fixes all that was wrong with its predecessor. We’re talking about the newly-launchedMoto G5 Plus.

From design to hardware, there’s a lot that Lenovo-owned Motorola has brought to the table with the G5 Plus. And all these improvements add up to make the Moto G5 Plus a much better device than its predecessor – Moto G4 Plus. But, since budget smartphones are on the rise in the Indian market, is the G5 Plus a good upgrade? Is it any better than competitors like Xiaomi, Honor etc? We got to spend some time with the device and this is what we think.

Design

Moto G5 Plus follows the footsteps of the company’s premium devices – Moto Z Play and Moto Z, in terms of design and ditching the plastic body for an aluminium finish. It is safe to say that the company has crafted a good-looking device in the budget segment.

The G5 Plus has a non-removable back panel with a round protruding hump for the primary camera module, along with an engraved Motorola logo below it.

Having a 5.2-inch display, the G5 Plus feels both thinner and smaller than the G4 Plus. The aluminium body has a matte finish with the borders sporting a glossy lining. The volume and power keys are placed on the right edge, while the SIM tray is located on the top. The bottom edge houses a microUSB charging port and the 3.5mm audio jack.

There’s a fingerprint sensor at the bottom of the display, while the front camera, earpiece (which also doubles up as a mono speaker) and sensors are up top. It all looks fine, however we would’ve appreciated capacitive buttons instead of on-screen ones, as they would’ve helped in saving some screen space.

Since the phone comes with a 5.2-inch display, it feels way thinner and smaller in hand. One handed usage is easier as well. The device has a good amount of weight to it and the matte finish gives it a better grip, in addition to enhancing the premium appearance.
Skipping to the display the Moto G5 Plus+ sports a 5.2 inch IPS LCD Full HD screen with 1,080×1,920 pixel resolution. While the display is crisp and has accurate colour reproduction, we found the sunlight legibility to be a little less, even with the brightness level set to maximum. That said, the display is great to work with indoors and in well-lit conditions. Viewing angles are nice too.

Over that, the display is protected with a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The display comes with water-repellent nano coating. All in all, we found the Moto G5 Plus to be a good-looking device, which comes in two colour options – Lunar Grey and Fine Gold.

Performance

Moto G5 Plus is the first smartphone in its price segment to come with Google’s latest Android operating system Nougat out-of-the-box and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset with an Adreno 506 GPU. There are two configurations based on RAM and internal storage – 3GB RAM/16GB storage and 4GB RAM/32GB storage, and both support microSD cards of up to 128GB in size. We used the latter.

The fingerprint sensor worked fast during our testing and it unlocks the phone almost instantly. We ran the GeekBench test and the Moto G5 Plus scored 784 in single-core performance. It got a multi-core score of 3,741 in the same test. While in the AnTuTu Benchmark it scored a total of 63,349. These are decent scores for a budget smartphone. Overall performance during our time with the device was up to the mark, and everything from multitasking to random app switching worked seamlessly.

We even tried heavy games like WWE Immortals and Justice League and the smartphone handled them without breaking a sweat. The Full HD display makes content consumption a great experience on this smartphone.
Moto G5 Plus is 4G VoLTE enabled. During our usage, we found the call quality to be good. The phone easily latches on to the networks and we did not face any call drops (partly because we were in good network zone).

Having dual nano-SIM support, the G5 Plus’s additional SIM slot can also be used to hold a microSD card. The mono loudspeaker is good, however a louder one would have been so much better if you wanted to share the screen with friends.

Since it comes with the latest version of Android, the Moto G5 Plus has all the standard Nougat features like split-view multitasking and quick replies from notifications. We found all these to be quite helpful for a satisfying user experience.

Moto G5 Plus was touted as the first non-Pixel smartphone to come with Google Assistant. However, the smartphone does not come with Google Assistant out of the box. Reports suggest that the company will be rolling out a software update for the same.

What’s notable about the Moto G5 Plus is that it comes with near-stock Android. There are almost zero bloat ware apps, and the convenient Motorola additions such as gestures make everything even better.

The Motorola Moto G5 Plus packs a 3,000mAh battery. During our usage, it lasted for almost an entire day with moderate to heavy use. Thanks to turbo charging functionality, you can charge the battery to around 55-60% in just 15 minutes. However, overall standby time will obviously depend upon individual usage.

The Moto G5 Plus has 12MP rear camera with f/1.7 aperture, colour-balancing dual-LED flash and 8X digital zoom. It can also recognize barcodes and QR codes. During our tests, we found the photos taken from the G5 Plus’s rear camera to be impressive. The images have bright colours and are quite sharp. What’s best about the camera is that it can record 4K video at 30fps, in addition to shooting Full HD video at 60/30fps and HD quality at 30 fps.

However, since the device only supports Full HD screen resolution, 4K videos shot on the device can only be viewed on any other 4k device.

The front shooter has a 5MP module with wide-angle lens, f/2.2 aperture. On the test bench, we found the selfie camera to be just average. It gets the job done, but we won’t call it anything extraordinary.

Ditching the plastic body is a correct move by Motorola, it is high time budget devices got the premium quality appearance as midrange and flagship devices. In the G5 Plus, Motorola has a phone that can be even more successful than its predecessor. It has everything that we liked from the G4 Plus and comes with a few extras. At the global launch event of the smartphone, Moto G5 Plus was touted as the first non-Pixel smartphone to come with Google Assistant.

If you’re looking for alternatives in the similar price bracket, you can look at the Huawei Honor 6X.

MOTOROLA MOTO G5 PLUS

SCORE:- 8.0 

GOOD STUFF:

  • A mostly-premium design despite low price
  • Runs like a flagship phone most of the time
  • Long battery life
  • Works on any carrier
  • 4K Video recording

BAD STUFF:

  • Large bezels cancel out compact screen
  • Camera doesn’t live up to expectations
  • Software updates aren’t guaranteed
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