Moto G5 Plus
Jonathan Bray reviews a mid-priced phone with a fantastic camera
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