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Moto G5 Review

Moto G5 Review 



2017, February
Available. Released 2017, March

144.3 x 73 x 9.5 mm (5.68 x 2.87 x 0.37 in)
145 g (5.11 oz)
Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)

IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
5.0 inches (~65.4% screen-to-body ratio)
1080 x 1920 pixels (~441 ppi pixel density)
Scratch-resistant glass

Android OS, v7.0 (Nougat)
Qualcomm MSM8937 Snapdragon 430
Octa-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53
Adreno 505

microSD, up to 256 GB
16/32 GB, 2/3 GB RAM

13 MP, f/2.0, phase detection autofocus, LED flash
Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, panorama, auto-HDR
5 MP, f/2.2

Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones

- Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot
v4.2, A2DP, LE, EDR
Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS
FM radio
microUSB v2.0, USB Host

Fingerprint (front-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM

- Fast battery charging
- MP3/AAC+/WAV/Flac player
- MP4/H.264 player
- Photo/video editor
- Document viewer


Removable Li-Ion 2800 mAh battery

Lunar Grey, Fine Gold, Sapphire Blue


Lenovo-owned Motorola are well known for their value-for-money smartphones. The company has a strong line-up in the sub-Rs 20,000 segment, and the latest Moto G5 sits on the top of Motorola's budget offerings.

Unlike the G5 Plus, Moto G5 comes in two variants based on RAM and internal storage - 3GB RAM/16GB and 4GB RAM/64GB storage versions. However, the company only launched the 3GB RAM/16GB storage version in India at Rs 11,999.

After a brief analysis session with the Moto G5 by the bigfix team, we have come up with this review. As for looks, it's almost the same as the G5 Plus, so don't expect anything new in terms of looks. There are however, differences in terms of size, thickness and of course, specifications. Once you get past the similarities, the design looks well-executed and suits the 'G' smartphone line-up well.
The entire front panel of Moto G5 has a familiar appearance as seen with its predecessor, except for the fingerprint sensor. The Moto G4 Plus came with a small squarish home button with an embedded fingerprint sensor, the G5 now has a larger oval-shaped sensor below the display. The fact that the button is still non-clickable might be annoying to some users and take some time getting used to.
While the front almost looks the same as its predecessor, the rear has been changed. But the change is not exactly new. Motorola has simply trickled down the design language of the Moto Z and the Moto Z Play (at least the camera module) to its budget segment.

What's baffling is that Moto G5 (and Moto G5 Plus) have ample bezels below the display, but still come with on-screen navigation buttons. In our opinion, the screen would've been slightly more immersive if there were no on-screen buttons.

At the back, the capsule-shaped camera setup (in Moto G4) has been changed to a circular enclosure, which includes the camera sensor and a LED flash. With a removable metal back, the Moto G5 looks appealing and premium to some extent. What gives the G5 a premium touch is the shining metal rim running across its edges. The rear camera enclosure has chamfered edges, complementing the overall design.

Surprisingly, what's impressive is that the handset has a removable battery. This also makes the G5 one of the first budget Moto G smartphones to have the 'feature'. The smartphone is thicker than most budget smartphones at 9.5mm, and nearly the same as the G5 Plus. But a smaller screen lends it a slightly more compact and sturdy grip. The front-facing speaker gets a thumbs up from us. Including a microUSB port instead of a USB Type-C one is one place where cost-cutting is visible.
Unfortunately, Moto G5's 5-inch Full HD (1080x1920 pixels) display fails to excite. In our daily use, we found it to be subpar. Nonetheless, it does a decent job in daylight and low-light environments, and day-to-day usage is satisfactory. It's comfortably bright when used in daylight and gets low enough to prevent eye strain in dim-light situations.

Basic in-built Android features such as adaptive brightness, Standard/Vivid screen options, display size, screen saver and more are included. The phone also has Motorola's popular 'Ambient Display' feature, which lights up the screen when notifications are received. The feature uses less power.
While in Android Marshmallow, the feature was baked inside the Settings app; in Android Nougat, it can be accessed from the pre-installed 'Moto' app. You can select the apps whose notifications are not supposed to be displayed, and select the level of detail displayed.
One major drawback with the display which our Tech department at bigfix found was, as we mentioned above, is the inclusion of on-screen navigation buttons despite big bezels. You might not need to worry much about the scratches on the screen, as the shiny metal rim running on the edge sticks out a little than than the rest of the front panel.

If you're assuming that the Moto G5, being a budget smartphone, likely has an entry-level chipset and hangs often, you are correct. It's powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 SoC, which came out in 2015. We, at Bigfix, believe that the company should've chosen a 435/425, that came in February last year; or even the 427 that was launched in October last year.
As with other smartphones, we tested some apps on the handset besides using it on a day-to-day basis. We tried apps ranging from heavy games to video-editing apps and browsers with multiple tabs open. Although the G5 showed a slight hint of lag, it did handle most of them without any glaring performance hiccups.

Moto G5 runs on Android 7.0 Nougat (with February security patch applied, as of this review). The vanilla Android experience is fluid and clutter-free. The UI is simple and the transitions are smooth. Motorola has been using Google's stock Android UI for years now, and it seems like the company has no intentions to bring its own UI layer. The plan to include stock Android seems to be working just fine. It might also support the recently-introduced Android O.

Understandably, the G5's stock Android UI comes with preloaded Google apps as well. The smartphone has all the basic apps such as Google Calendar, Calculator, Messenger, Photos and more. You will also find some third-party apps such as Amazon Kindle, Amazon Shopping and Amazon Prime Video. These come baked into the device and can be accessed from a dedicated 'Amazon' tab inside the Settings app. Motorola has only two of its apps in the Moto G5 - Moto and Device Help, to tinker with the fingerprint gesture and more. Accessing the app drawer is easy as one needs to swipe up from the home screen dock. Swiping towards right from the home screen fires up Google Now cards.

Android smartphone and call quality was clear during our testing. Connecting with Wi-Fi, 3G or 4G services was not an issue either. While we appreciate a single front-facing speaker, what put us off was that it was not so loud. We had to struggle to hear something from the loudspeaker when outside.
Our review unit we received came with 16GB inbuilt storage, of which 6GB is reserved for the Android OS, leaving user with barely 10GB for apps and other content. Fortunately, the device supports microSD cards up to 128GB. Another desirable feature is that the device has three slots - two for SIM cards and one for microSD card, so you won't have to compromise on either of the functionalities.

The G5 comes with a 13MP rear camera along with LED flash. In the front, there's the same 5MP camera as the Moto G5 Plus. The camera performance is satisfactory for the most part, and has the bare minimum features to fulfill your needs. While there are no glaring issues when clicking images in daylight conditions, we noticed images getting unusually soft in low light to hide the noise.
The camera's photo and video settings are accessible with a single tap on a dedicated button. As is the case with every other smartphone these days, here too, you can change the resolution and aspect ratio. Different modes like Panorama, HDR, manual focus and more are there too. The front-facing camera is just about average, but sufficient enough for video calling and shooting selfies. Video shooting fails to break any grounds either, and is limited to Full HD at 30fps, something you can expect from a device with such price tag.

Moto G5 supports several quick gesture features, one of which is for accessing the camera by twisting your wrist while holding the handset. This is one more more nifty way to trigger the camera instead of stretching your thumb to access the apps from the lock screen.
The G5's 2,800mAh battery keeps it going for almost 12 hours before switching off. This is on average use including 4G connectivity usage, Wi-Fi, streaming music online and via Bluetooth, playing couple of games, chatting, attending calls and working on document editing apps. Heavy users might want to carry a charger along with them.

As we mentioned above, this is also the first Moto G smartphones to come with a removable battery, which is a welcome addition but also lends a certain amount of thickness to the device. Another battery feature we liked is the fast charging tech. This, in addition to Google's Doze battery saving feature, stretches the battery life to a great extent. Unfortunately, there are no fancy apps to kills background apps and perform other functions to increase the battery life.
Motorola's new Moto G5 is surely an upgrade to the Moto G4, in more than one ways. The phone has a new design language, removable battery, a decent camera, average SoC and display. Given the price tag of Rs 11,999 and the specifications, the Moto G5 looks like another budget smartphone in the already saturated market.

Its closest competitor comes from its own family - the Moto G Turbo Edition. You can even extend your budget a little to get a hold of its elder sibling - the Moto G5 Plus, which is in fact a true 'value-for-money' smartphone. The G5 is for those who are strictly sticking to the Rs budget.

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