Except for the original Moto G, other subsequent G-series phones were never known to undercut the competition in terms of pricing, but have all managed to retail well riding on ethos such as unique and refreshing design, brand value, simple and unexacting stock Android OS, and of course, speedy updates.

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A few weeks after we were introduced to Moto G5 Plus, Lenovo has launched its cheaper alternative, the Moto G5, in India priced at 11,999 INR.  And that makes it the most expensive phone meant to retail in online market to be powered by the Snapdragon 430 SoC.

We went up close with the new Moto today and sized it up. Let’s get the specs out of the way and proceed with our Moto G5 initial evaluation.

Moto G5 Vs G5 Plus Specifications

Model Moto G5 Moto G5 Plus
Display 5-Inch, IPS LCD 5.2-Inch, IPS-NEO LCD
Processor 1.4Ghz octa-core Snapdragon 430 Processor 2Ghz octa-core Snapdragon 625 Processor
RAM 3GB 3GB/4GB
Internal Storage 16GB, expandable up to 128GB 16GB/32GB, expandable up to 128GB
Software Android Nougat 7.0 Android Nougat 7.0
Primary Camera 13MP rear camera 12MP rear camera, f/2.0 aperture
Secondary Camera 5MP selfie camera 5MP selfie camera, f/2.2 aperture
Dimensions and Weight 144.3x73x9.5 mm and 144.5 Grams 150.2x74x7.9 mm and 155 Grams
Battery 2,800mAh, Fast charging 3,000 mAh, turbo charging
Others 4G VoLTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, microUSB, 3.5mm 4G VoLTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, microUSB, 3.5mm
Price Rs. 11,999 Rs. 15,990/16,990

Also Read: Reasons To Buy And To Not Buy The Moto G5 Plus

No, the Moto G5 doesn’t look or feel same as the Moto G5 Plus

Trend-defying design has always been one of the fundamental strengths of G series phones. While most other phones in this budget try to include design labels like “metal body”, “2.5D Glass”, “Chamfered edges”, et al, they are essentially the same with a few subtle differences that have a more pronounced impact on ergonomics rather than the looks.

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So, naturally, the first thing we were eager to check was how much Lenovo has compromised in terms of Moto G5 design and build. Well, it’s still a unique looking phone, but it’s nowhere as slick as the Moto G5 Plus. In our Moto G5 Plus first impression, we noted that it looked better than what the press renders suggest. The same can’t be said about the Moto G5. In fact, quite the opposite rings true.

The plastic borders around the thin metal plate on the rear are significantly broader in comparison, it’s thicker(7.7mm Vs 9.5mm), gone is the frosted metallic finish on the side frame, and even the quality of plastic used feels second grade. But then again, these are all anomalies you won’t notice once your slap a case on it.

The silver lining here is that the back and the sides (along with power button and volume rocker) pop open which makes the battery removable and replaceable (not sure if that counts as a positive anymore). This is also where you will find dual SIM and dedicated MicroSD card slot. And also, the camera bump has been evened out in Moto G5.

It must also be mentioned that the Moto G5 looks a lot more like the G5 Plus on the front. It has the same Home button + fingerprint sensor that can be programmed to accommodate ‘Back’ and ‘Recent Apps’ triggers as well. And it has the same 5MP selfie snapper.

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Not the best-specced phone in its class

Moving on to what lies beneath, the Moto G5 is bound to receive some backlash for not being the best-specced phone in its class. Yes, the comparable Redmi device has the trending 14nm Snapdragon 625 octa-core chip with more RAM and storage and the G5 makes do with the decidedly entry-level Snapdragon 430 paired with 3GB RAM and paltry 16GB storage.

But when have Moto G’s ever brandished class leading hardware?

It’s primarily the end user experience on which their success hinges. And to that effect, the Moto G5 flaunts software enhancements like adaptive display and smart gestures and assures that the underlying hardware is powerful enough to propel its rather uncomplicated and light software.

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Maybe that’s true. Perhaps the hardware is good enough to drive a ‘satisfying user experience’. After all, Lenovo K5 Note (Review) coming from the same stables was the only Helio P10 powered phone that we have tested that didn’t falter with gaming.

But there is no possible work around the scanty 16GB storage. At these prices, Lenovo should have at least added 32GB. The way even moderate users use their phone in 2017, the 9GB or so available at user end can exhaust in no time, and that is bound to impact overall performance too.

Also, Motorola doesn’t guarantee future Android version upgrades anymore. When asked about Android O, it showed that the company had no real ambition to upgrade it to next Android version and hasn’t given it any thought as of now.

Also Read: Moto G5 Plus Camera Review – A Worthy Successor To The G4 Plus

How recommendable Moto G5 turns out to be will also largely hinge on its camera performance.  It’s missing the camera prowess of the Moto G5 Plus and to expect same grade performance would be rather unfair. We will have to wait till our full review to know how the Moto G5 camera stacks against the likes of Redmi Note 4 and Honor 6X.

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If you buy the Moto G5 plus in the first couple of days (April 5 and 6), you can get a pretty sweet deal and can manage an effective price to under 10K without much hazel. That makes it an attractive proposition for basic users. But if you are buying sans the offer period discounts, you should consider spending 3K extra for the base Moto G5 Plus variant.

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