Motorola’s G series is the company’s best selling lineup of budget phones, and the latest installment is the Moto G5. We got our hands on this new device and decided to give it a test run. Here is what we think of the Moto G5.
For those of you who are not familiar with the Moto G budget phone series, the best way to describe the design is “simple, but classy”. The Moto G5 continues this trend with a part metal body and a premium finish. We reviewed the gold colored model, which does look really good.
While the design may seem simple, one must note that there quite a number of improvements as compared to the previous Moto G4. The G4 came in an all plastic body and lacked a fingerprint sensor. The G5 on the other hand is quite smaller when compared to the G4, but is actually wider than the G3 and slightly slimmer than both.
Moving around the phone, on the top edge you get just a 3.5mm headphone jack, while the bottom edge houses the microUSB port and a small indent to open the back of the phone. This back houses the camera, and a Motorola logo, and can be removed to reveal the removable battery, SIM slots and the microSD card slot. Since the SIM tray is under the battery, this leaves the entire left edge of the phone pretty empty, while the right side houses the power button and volume rockers. On the front side of the phone, you get the 5 inch display, a front facing camera with a speaker on top and mic at the bottom next to the fingerprint sensor. There is also a Moto logo along the top of the front side. The screen also has huge bezels, which I would expect from a budget phone.
Overall I liked the design of the Moto G5, but the removable back, removable battery and the SIM trays behind it seemed quite outdated to me. Moto could have just gone with a SIM card tray along the side of the phone, but then again a budget phone does have its restrictions.
The first feature I want to talk about is the display. The Moto G5 comes with a beautiful 5 inch IPS LCD with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The display is sharp, crisp and the colors are vibrant, something that really surprised me for a budget phone. I felt the size of the screen was actually perfect for reading, gaming or even watching videos. If you feel the colors aren't right, you can choose between two color modes, Standard and Vibrant. Standard mode gives a more relaxed sRGB look, so I naturally prefer Vibrant. However, the Moto G5 comes with just a single speaker, which is a weakness. This often led to me using headphones or a Bluetooth speaker while watching videos on the G5.
The Moto G5 comes with a quite decent 13MP camera on the back. To be honest, this camera is really nice to use, thanks mainly to the Moto camera app. Its simple, lets you focus on picking a subject, fiddle with exposure or just let the phone do it for you. The results are pretty impressive too. Provided you have good lighting, taking a decent photo is simple. Otherwise you can opt for the HDR mode or even the Professional Mode that will let you tweak more settings as well. Low light photography on the other hand can be a little disappointing. However, this isn't a surprise, as the phone does not have an Optical Image Stabilisation, and just an entry level sensor. However, you have to remember its a budget phone.
The Moto G5 runs on Android 7.0, in its purest form. However there are some small additions here and there from Motorola, which can be turned off if not needed. This includes shaking the phone for turning on the flashlight, double twisting to open the camera etc. However, the more impressive gestures come on the fingerprint sensor. The sensor by itself is quite impressive. However, I loved using the gestures more. As standard, the sensor is not used as a Home key, however, once you use the Moto app, you can customize this sensor to have multiple functions. Once activated, you just have to swipe left to go back, right to open recent apps, tap once for Home and hold it for a second and leave to lock the phone. I absolutely loved this sensor, and it's easily one of the best I have used.