MOTOROLA Moto G5 Android smartphone review
Motorola’s best selling ‘G’ range of budget Android smartphones gets better with every new incarnation, so there are a couple of unexpected anomalies with this one. Compared with the previous model, unsurprisingly called the Moto G4, the screen size is now half an inch smaller, downsized to 5 inches.
The processor is also slightly less powerful, now offering 1.4GHz of power, down from 1.5Ghz, while the 2800mAh battery also loses 200mAh.
There is a logical explanation – this is undoubtedly to create a place on the shelves for the slightly larger (at 5.2″) Moto G5 Plus. Those little tweaks aside the most noticeable change is the new aluminium casing, in line with the competing Samsung Galaxy J3, and there are other enhancements.
Lenovo have purchased the Motorola business from Google and this has led to a new premium look and feel to the Motorola G5. The new metal casing has a far more expensive feel to it, with a silver etched ring around the camera and flash housing, together with a new fingerprint sensor below the screen. It has the perfect feel to it, nicely indented for your finger to slip nicely into, and it’s one of the fastest reacting unlocking sensors we have seen.
But the real headline grabber here is Lenovo’s clever use of the fingerprint sensor which doubles as a navigation pad, which means you get more actual screen space to use because you don’t need the Android nav icons. Tap the sensor to go back to the home screen, swipe left and right respectively to open apps and go back.
The 1920x 1080 Full HD screen ironically is now a little sharper, the smaller screen size means you get another 40 pixels per inch giving you 441 ppi in total. The result is a sharpness and clarity you would have had to pay £500 plus for not too long ago.
The screen is outstanding and shows that we have now really reached an impasse when it comes to looking for ways to improve. It’s an outstanding screen to find on a phone at any price point, to the point where you will be asking yourself why manufacturers are bothering with battery hungry Quad HD screens on their flagship phones. The reality is that anything with a higher pixel density than this is almost undetectable to the naked eye. What that means to you is if you’re buying a flagship phone just for a QHD screen, save your money, you don’t need to spend it. Contrast and colour reproduction are superb too..
The 13 megapixel/5 megapixel set up is typical low to mid range spec, but it’s one of the best cameras we have seen on a sub-£200 phone with sophisticated phase detection autofocus on the main camera, which also includes an array of features such as auto-HDR, geotagging, face detection, touch to focus and panorama modes. The front mounted selfie camera produces fine snaps too and includes a wide angle lens, making it ideal for group shots.
Every other feature is asking you why you would want to pay more, with the latest low energy version 4.2 stereo Bluetooth with aptX support, and you also get active noise cancellation with dedicated microphone, assisted GPS and dual-band Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi direct and hotspot.
The battery is replaceable, and there’s a memory card slot accepting cards up to 256GB, and the phone runs the latest version 7 of Android, and will be upgradeable to version 8 (Orio).
The Motorola G range has always been fantastic value for money – my old G2 remains one of my favourite ever Android phones – and the Moto G5 doesn’t disappoint. Operation is smooth and slick despite the slightly lower powered processor, As well as being a great all rounder with mostly mid range specs at a sub-mid price – it’s only really missing NFC so go for the Motorola G5 Plus if that’s a deal breaker – it looks and feels like a more expensive phone.
Power is ample rather than amazing, but that’s expected at this price. Our main gripe here is that a version with 3G RAM has been produced, but here in the UK we only get 2GB. Again, if that’s a deal breaker you need the G5 Plus, which also doubles the memory to 32GB. But if you need a great all rounder for a great price then the Moto G5 is an excellent phone and fits the bill perfectly.
Brand new and boxed with UK charger and USB cable.
Includes free O2 Pay As You Go sim card (but feel free to use your own sim. This phone is factory unlocked and works with any UK or European network sim, contract or prepay) FREE UK postage or upgrade to 1st Class Tracked for just £3.