Motorola Moto G5 Plus review
|Review: April 2017|
In a nutshell: The Motorola G5 Plus is one of the best mid-range phones of 2017. Good looks are combined with a superfast octa-core processor, 32GB of memory, a good camera and decent battery life. Top value for money!
Design and build
From its name, you might imagine that the Motorola G5 Plus is a super-sized version of the Moto G5, but in fact the screen is only a fraction of an inch larger. Instead, the G5 Plus is a super-charged version of the G5, with upgraded specs.
The two phones look almost the same, and are virtually the same size, with the Plus version being just millimetres longer and wider. The metal coating and diamond-cut finish lift the appearance of the device above older Moto G series phones, and the phone is nice to look at and handle.
The home button is a physical button below the screen, incorporating a fingerprint sensor, and there are neat, though rather small, buttons ranged along the right edge. The phone features a a water-repellent coating to provide some protection from splashes. The handset is available in a choice of Lunar Grey or Fine Gold.
The IPS screen has been bumped up from 5 inches to 5.2 inches compared with the Moto G5, with the same 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution making it almost as sharp as in the original. The display is bright and clear, but not as rich as the Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016).
Faster, faster; more, more
The basic Moto G5 runs moderately quickly, but the G5 Plus picks up the speed considerably with an 8-core 2GHz Snapdragon 625 processor, with 3GB of RAM available too. The GPU is an uprated Adreno 506. This configuration gives the phone very impressive performance for a mid-range device.
The flash memory has also very usefully been upgraded to 32GB, with a microSD card slot also available. This alone might make it worth choosing the Plus version instead of the basic G5. We understand that there is also a version with 64GB available.
The phone runs a relatively clean version of Android 7 Nougat. Moto Actions offer quick gesture-based shortcuts to common functions, such as twisting your wrist to open the camera app.
Overall, the processor speed and memory of the G5 Plus is as good as any you'll find for the price.
The G5 Plus incorporates a 12 megapixel camera instead of the 13 megapixel model in the G5. That may sound like a downgrade, but in fact the G5 Plus has better camera performance, with a wider f/1.7 aperture to capture more light. Otherwise, the camera is largely the same as in the G5, with auto HDR, phase-detect autofocus, LED flash and digital zoom. It can record HD video at 1080p resolution and 30 frames per second, with digital video stabilization.
The front camera uses a 5 megapixel sensor, with a wide angle lens designed for group selfies.
The G5 Plus is a 4G phone, with dual-band Wi-Fi, assisted GPS & GLONASS positioning, Bluetooth and USB, plus a 3.5mm audio jack. A variety of sensors are included, such as a gyroscope and accelerometer.
The G5 Plus has a slightly larger battery than the G5 - 3,000mAh instead of 2,800mAh. With a larger screen and a faster processor, battery life will be similar - enough for one day of typical use, but probably not two full days. But the phone is fast to recharge.
Conclusion - an excellent mid-range option
We gave the G5 four stars, describing it as a safe buy. The G5 Plus manages to pull a 5-star rating from us, thanks mainly to the faster processor and extra memory that lift the performance of this phone from good to outstanding. The extra power will not only make the phone more enjoyable now, but will keep it going through the life of a typical two-year contract. If you're looking for a mid-range option, the G5 Plus is an obvious choice, giving you a lot of phone for your money.
Motorola Moto G5 Plus features include:
- Android 7.0 Nougat
- 12 megapixel camera with autofocus, auto HDR and LED flash / 1080p HD video
- Front-facing 5 megapixel camera with display flash
- Display: 5.2 inches, 1920 x 1080 pixels
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core 2.0 GHz processor with 450 MHz Adreno 506 GPU
- Memory: 32GB built-in storage, microSD card slot, 3GB RAM
- Sensors: GPS/GLONASS, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2 BR/EDR+BLE, micro-USB 2.0, 3.5mm headphone jack
- Networks: 4G LTE (Bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 19, 20, 28, 38, 40), UMTS/HSPA+, GSM/EDGE
- Size: 150 x 74 x 9.5 mm
- Weight: 155g
- Battery: 3000 mAh
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