Moto G5 Plus
£259 • motorola.co.uk
Lenovo’s Motorola Mobility used MWC 2017 to show off its new Moto G5 (page 52) and Moto G5 Plus, which are brilliantly priced smartphones that offer some of the features of its flagship but without the cost. We spent some time with both devices on the show floor to give you a closer look at the new smartphones and offer our initial thoughts about them.
The Moto G5 Plus is set to arrive in ‘mid-spring’ but there’s no further announcement just yet. We’d expect that to mean an April release date, but
we’ll keep you updated on that here. We do know that it will be available from Carphone Warehouse, though, and that it will start at £259, which sits it neatly in the mid-range category alongside the likes of the new Nokia 6 (also announced at MWC 2017) and the Samsung Galaxy A3.
That’s significantly more expensive than the £169 Moto G5, though (pictured beside the Moto G5 Plus above). We talk more about that later, so read on to find out more.
The Moto G5 Plus is a good-looking phone that manages to stay compact despite its 5.2in display. That’s smaller than the previous G4 Plus’s 5.5in display and is an unusual choice considering the much cheaper G5 has a 5in display.
The G5 Plus measures 150x74x7.7mm and weighs 155g, which is suitably thin and light and felt comfortable to hold, particularly thanks to its slightly rounded back and edges. That’s also significantly thinner than the G4 Plus’s 9.8mm, but keeps the same weight.
Unlike previous models of the G range, Lenovo has opted for a metal body to add a more premium feel to the smartphone, and it is available in stylish Lunar Grey or Fine Gold colour options. We like the circular, centralised camera housing on the rear of the phone, too.
The G5 Plus’s display is Full-HD and made with Gorilla Glass 3, and we found it to be bright and crisp during our testing, although not as
outstanding as the Moto Z’s Quad HD offering and other flagship rivals.
Inside the Moto G5 Plus is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 2GHz octa-core processor with Adreno 506 graphics, which should mean reasonably speedy performance for a mid-range phone but it might struggle with some heavyduty tasks and graphics-hungry games. It didn’t lag at all during our testing, even when switching between apps and launching the camera, but we’re looking forward to getting the G5 Plus back to our lab to test its speed fully.
That chipset is paired with 3GB RAM in the UK, and there are 2GB and 4GB configurations available for US customers. We’ll get 32GB builtin storage with the ability to add up to 128GB via microSD card. We’re particularly interested to see just how much better the performance is compared
with the G5, which costs £90 less than the G5 Plus. The main differences between the G5 and G5 Plus are the tiny increase in screen size (the G5 has a 5in screen compared with the Plus’s 5.2in), the more powerful processor and its better camera, so comparing them is going to be key to our final verdict because that’s no small price difference.
The G5 Plus’s rear camera offers an improvement over its smaller sibling but not when it comes to megapixels. It’s a 12Mp snapper compared with the G5’s 13Mp, but with Dual Autofocus Pixels for a sharper image and speedy focusing. It also has a large f/1.7 aperture and bigger pixels to let in more light in darker conditions.
The front-facing camera is the same though, at 5Mp with a wide field of view and an f/2.2 aperture. It has its own flash, too. When it comes to video, the G5 Plus can capture 4K Ultra HD (and improvement over the G5’s 1080p full HD).
There’s a 3000mAh battery that Lenovo claims will last all day, and there’s TurboPower charging too to allow you to give the smartphone up to six hours of battery power in just 15 minutes.
You’ll find 4G LTE connectivity and Bluetooth 4.2, and it charges via Micro-USB.
The Moto G5 Plus runs Android 7 Nougat with Moto experiences, which include Moto Display and Moto Actions. Moto Display lets you see a preview of your notifications and updates without requiring you to unlock your phone to let you decide whether you need to take action now or leave it for later. Moto Actions, on the other hand, lets you access
apps much quicker with a simple movement or gesture. You could open the camera by twisting your wrist, for example, or chop down twice to turn on the torch.
But what we really loved was the ability to use gestures on the fingerprint sensor to go back or open multi-tasking, which means the company has been able to do away with the physical or capacitive back and multi-tasking buttons you’d usually find flanking the home button on an Android device. That in turn means the device manages to be more compact, but better yet we found it incredibly intuitive to use. In fact, it’s one of our favourite features on the Moto G5 Plus.
It comes complete with Google Assistant, too, which means there’s even more that can be done on the phone much more quickly than ever before.
Overall, we’re impressed by the design of the Moto G5 Plus and the specs are good considering the price tag, but we’d still consider opting for the G5 instead. It’s a whole £90 cheaper and we’re not sure the extra power and improved camera are worth that extra cash. The 0.2in difference in screen size is hardly noticeable, either.
That’s not to say this isn’t a good mid-range phone, though. It can certainly compete with the Galaxy A3 and the Nokia 6, but so can the Moto G5 with that lower price. It’s a tricky one to recommend when it’s smaller and cheaper sibling is so great! We’ll have a final verdict for you when we’ve run all of our benchmark tests on the G5 Plus and the G5, and fully compared the cameras, so check
back nearer their release date to find out what we thought. Dominic Preston
• 5.2in (1920x1080, 424ppi) touchscreen
• Android Nougat 7.0
• 2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 CPU
• Adreno 506 GPU
• 3GB RAM
• 32GB storage 12Mp main camera, dual-LED flash, support for 4K video at 30fps
• 5Mp front camera
• Bluetooth 4.2
• 4G LTE
• 3000mAh non-removable battery