Moto G5 Plus

Jonathan Bray re­views a mid-priced phone with a fan­tas­tic cam­era

Web User - - Product Test -

With pre­vi­ous ver­sions of the Moto G range, we’ve rec­om­mended the ba­sic smart­phone rather than the Plus edi­tion, be­cause they were bet­ter value for money. How­ever, this year we’re go­ing with the Moto G5 Plus be­cause it’s faster, has a bet­ter cam­era, looks nicer and is only £80 more than the stan­dard G5.

It’s a smaller phone than last year’s model, with a 5.2in, 1,080 x 1,920 pix­els res­o­lu­tion IPS screen. It doesn’t have a re­mov­able bat­tery like its cheaper si­b­ling, but ev­ery other ma­jor fea­ture is present and cor­rect, in­clud­ing ex­pand­able stor­age (up to 128GB), splash re­sis­tance, NFC for mo­bile pay­ments and a fin­ger­print reader.

Per­for­mance is good for the price. In our bench­mark tests, it was sig­nif­i­cantly faster than the ba­sic G5 and slightly ahead of the sim­i­larly priced Len­ovo P2 and Honor 6X. It lasted for 13 hours and 13 min­utes in our loop­ing video test, which isn’t re­mark­able but will get you through a day on one charge.

The screen is noth­ing to write home about, and is the same res­o­lu­tion as last year’s G4 Plus. Its view­ing an­gles are great but it’s not bright enough (only 401cd/m2 at max­i­mum bright­ness) and the colours look a lit­tle murky. Ac­cord­ing to our col­orime­ter, it only re­pro­duces 73.4% of the SRGB colour stan­dard, though the con­trast is good at 1,149:1.

A com­mon com­plaint about most mid-priced phones is that their cam­eras tend to be dis­ap­point­ing, but the rear cam­era on the Moto G5 Plus bucks this trend. It uses the same cam­era mod­ule as the Sam­sung Gal­axy S7, which the imag­ing ex­perts at Dx­o­mark ( www.dx­o­mark.com) be­lieve to be the sec­ond best smart­phone cam­era avail­able, be­hind Google’s Pixel phones.

We were taken aback by the im­pres­sive qual­ity of the photos: in day­light, they look beau­ti­fully vivid and sharp, and per­for­mance was equally good in low light.

The G5 Plus runs with stan­dard An­droid 7 with a few typ­i­cal Moto em­bel­lish­ments. It’s not weighed down with pre­loaded guff, and the ex­tras you get are sen­si­bly thought through, es­pe­cially the ges­ture short­cuts.

The new ver­sion of the Moto app lets you use the rec­tan­gu­lar fin­ger­print reader on the front of the phone as a nav­i­ga­tion key. How­ever, we found it awk­ward to use and it’s the first thing we’d turn off, ex­cept that with­out it, tap­ping the reader with your thumb doesn’t take you to the home screen – in­stead, it switches off the phone, which is some­thing we’ve done by ac­ci­dent more than once.

Images look beau­ti­fully vivid and sharp, and it per­formed equally well in low light

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