Home Mobile devices Moto G5 and G5 Plus – same family, but very different (review)

The Moto G series is where Moto packs as much value as it can to produce a mass-market — $150-$499 range — phone. On the whole the G5 and G5 Plus succeed.

The problem is that these may well be two entirely different phones:

  • G5 is a 5” HD, Qualcomm 430 processor with 2GB RAM and 16GB storage, 13/5MP camera
  • G5 Plus 5.2” HD, Qualcomm 625 processor, 3GB RAM and 32GB, IP67, 12/5MP camera

This review is side-by-side to show where the lower cost G5 is best and the G5 Plus is better.

Alas, apart from familial looks these are two very different devices and the G5 Plus is the outright winner in every way.

Moto G5

 

G5 XT1676

G5 Plus XT1685

Screen

5” 1920 x 1080, IPS TFT, IPS TFT
441ppi
Gorilla Glass 3
65.4% screen to body ratio

5.2” 1920 x 1080
424ppi
Same
67.1% screen to body ratio

Processor

Qualcomm
Snapdragon 430
eight-core 1.4 GHz

Qualcomm
Snapdragon 625
eight-core 2.0GHz

GPU

Adreno 505 (450MHz)

Adreno 506 (650MHz)

RAM/Storage

2GB/16GB
microSD to 128GB

3GB/32GB or 4GB/32GB
Same

Camera Rear

13MP, f/2.0
PDAF
LED single flash
8x/4x Digital Zoom
Auto HDR
1080@30fps record

12MP, f/1.7
Dual Autofocus pixels
LED dual flash
Same
Same
4K@30fps
Video stabilisation EIS

Camera Front

5MP, f/2.2
Display light flash

Same
same

Comms

Micro-USB 2.0

same

Other

GPS
Fingerprint reader
No NFC

Same
Same
NFC

Wi-Fi
Bluetooth

N dual band
BT 4.2

Same
Same

Audio

Earpiece speaker
Dual mic
3.5mm audio jack

Same
Same
Same

SIM

Dual SIM
extra dedicated microSD slot

Dual SIM
microSD uses the second slot

LTE

Cat 4
1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 19, 20, 28, 38, 40

Cat 6 (300/50Mbps)
1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 19, 20, 28, 38, 40, 41
VoLTE

IP

Nano coating splash resistant

Same

Battery

2800mAh REMOVABLE
10W (5V/2A) charger
No turbo power mode

3000mAh, non-removable
15W (5V/3A)
Turbo Power Quick Charge 2.0 15m=6hr

Android

7.0

same

Colours

Luna Grey
Fine Gold
Made from high-grade aluminium

Same
Same
Same

Size
Weight

144.3 x 73 x 9.5mm
144.5

150.2 x 74 x 7.7/9.7mm
155g

URL

https://www.motorola.com.au/products/moto-g

https://www.motorola.com.au/products/moto-g-plus

Price

2GB/16GB $299

3/16GB $399
4/32GB $449

Review

Moto G5

Moto’s G series pack a lot into the glass slab and have been a strong seller in the mid-range market. the G5 is its 5th generation.

I want to start with the caveat that this fits into the mass market smartphone segment - $150 to $499 and the best/worse thing I can say is that it offers very good value and performance.

 

Screen
Good colour but lacks the brightness needed for good daylight viewing. Glass is very reflective and a fingerprint magnet.

Android 7.0 (stock Android)
Perhaps this phone's greatest asset is the Android 7 and the very light skin Moto use. I would not be surprised to see it upgraded to 8.0 in its life.

It comes with Moto Actions (chop twice for a flashlight, twist for camera etc.) and the fingerprint sensor has basic motion sensitivity.

Moto Display lights the screen when you have notifications – no LED light.

Fingerprint performance is good and you can enrol 5 prints.

Performance

The Qualcomm 430 and 2GB RAM is fine for basic phone functions but often stutters when using Skype video or even recording video.

 

Rear camera

13MP camera with f/2.0 and single pixel phase detect autofocus.

 

  • Outdoors, daylight: Good, accurate colour, contrast and detail. Fast autofocus
  • Outdoors, evening: While it tries hard the f/2.0 lens and presumably small pixels don’t let enough light in resulting in dark images. Flash is limited to less than 2m
  • Indoors, good light: Auto HDR helps bring out the details but make sure you have a well-lit scene.
  • Indoors, low light: Lacks exposure range to get enough contrast and light
  • 1080 video is good and EIS and HDR helps
  • Front selfie camera is adequate and has a selfie screen flash

Summary: Competent camera in good lighting conditions.

 

 

 

 

Battery

It is removable – great for those who need a longer life device. But I had issues even getting 12 hours out of it. In the test using GPS and flash photography saw it fall below 6 hours and the lack of fast charge really made it slow – over two hours to charge.

Pros:

  • Fingerprint reader
  • Removable battery
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • Average daylight camera
  • Moto support

 

Cons:

  • A bit chunky – larger bezels etc
  • Low screen to body ratio
  • Build quality is a bit “plastic”
  • No LED notification light
  • Only for basic games
  • Underpowered/2GB RAM
  • Sunlight readability is not great
  • Battery can be drained quickly
  • No fast charge

Summary

I know that I have been spoiled with using excellent flagships from Moto, Samsung, LG, Huawei etc. I know that it is only fair to rate this according to the mass market paradigm.

On that basis, it is a 6.5 out of 10 – it is what it is.

Moto G5 Plus

The G5 Plus shows how to spend $100-150 more wisely – it is a polished performer with few evident compromises.

It is almost an entirely different phone which makes me ask why it was called a G5 Plus inferring simply a larger screen/battery. The only thing in common with the G5 is the front camera.

Screen
Supports sRGB as well as more saturated colours. Good daylight brightness. Overall a better screen for the money.

Android 7.0 (stock Android)
Ditto to G5

 

 

 

 

 

 

Performance

What a difference the Qualcomm 625 makes. Gone are the hesitations in video chat and it offers a smooth user experience. Tests put it slightly ahead of the Sony Xperia XA1.

Rear Camera

12MP camera with f1.7 aperture and Dual Pixel autofocus that use two photodiodes per pixel to do phase detection autofocus for faster focusing.

  • Outdoors, daylight: Good, accurate colour, contrast and detail. Fast autofocus
  • Outdoors, evening: Night mode and a f/1.7 lens produces better results. Flash is limited to less than 2m. Far better than the G5
  • Indoors, good light: Auto HDR helps bring out the details but make sure you have a well-lit scene.
  • Indoors, low light: Lots of post processing to clean up and produce acceptable shots
  • 4K video is good but EIS/HDR only works on 1080 @30fps
  • Front selfie camera is adequate and has a selfie screen flash

Summary: a very much superior camera to the G5 and produces good all-around shots for the price.

Battery
Non-removable, and with average use will go 24 hours between charges but during the test with GPS and around 200 shots, it lasted about 6 hours. Has Qualcomm QuickCharge 2.0 and a 15W charger for a complete charge in under 1 hour.

Pros:

  • Fingerprint reader
  • Good battery life
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  •  Plenty of power
  • Good daylight and acceptable low light camera
  • Good sunlight readable screen
  • Moto support

Cons:

  • A bit chunky
  • Low screen to body ratio
  • Better build quality
  • No LED notification light
  • Will play basic app games

 

 

Summary

Spending $100-$150 more is really worth it if you have the cash. It meets or exceeds mass market specifications with some going up into the more expensive mid-market segment.

On that basis, it is an 8.5 out of 10.

 

LEARN NBN TRICKS AND TRAPS WITH FREE NBN SURVIVAL GUIDE

Did you know: Key business communication services may not work on the NBN?

Would your office survive without a phone, fax or email?

Avoid disruption and despair for your business.

Learn the NBN tricks and traps with your FREE 10-page NBN Business Survival Guide

The NBN Business Survival Guide answers your key questions:

· When can I get NBN?
· Will my business phones work?
· Will fax & EFTPOS be affected?
· How much will NBN cost?
· When should I start preparing?

DOWNLOAD NOW!

Ray Shaw

joomla stats

Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

 

 

 

 

Connect

Join the iTWire Community and be part of the latest news, invites to exclusive events, whitepapers and educational materials and oppertunities.
Why do I want to receive this daily update?
  • The latest features from iTWire
  • Free whitepaper downloads
  • Industry opportunities