With over 6 million users, Moto G – series is already the bestselling Lenovo phones in India. The Moto G4 Plus wasn’t outright impressive or the best-specced phone in its class by far, but it still did well riding on attributes such as its excellent camera, simple yet efficient, unadulterated Android interface, and Moto brand value.
Today, Motorola brought in the Moto G5 Plus which further consolidates key G-series strengths, besides eliminating a few key shortcomings of the last iteration. We went up close with the new Moto to check if it’s indeed all that it’s cut out to be. We have jotted down our first impressions and insights below.
Moto G5 Plus Specifications
|Model||Moto G5 Plus|
|Display||5.2-Inch, IPS-NEO LCD|
|Processor||2Ghz octa-core Snapdragon 625 Processor|
|Internal Storage||16GB/32GB,expandable up to 128GB|
|Software||Android Nougat 7.0|
|Primary Camera||12MP rear camera, f/1.7 aperture|
|Secondary Camera||5MP selfie camera, f/2.2 aperture|
|Dimensions and Weight||150.2x74x7.9 mm and 155 Grams|
|Battery||3,000 mAh, turbo charging (50 percent in 20 minutes)|
|Others||4G VoLTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, microUSB, 3.5mm|
|Price||Rs. 14,999/ Rs. 16,999|
Moto G5 Plus is more plastic than metal, but the design works for us
Unlike the Moto G4 Plus, the G5 Plus feels more of a Moto than Lenovo. If you were all fired up about Moto G series finally taking to metal, I guess you are in for some disappointment. Yes, a metal back plate is duly attached at the back but the more prominent parts are still plastic. And aren’t particularly grateful either.
The glossy plastic side edges and the camera ring feel way too gaudy. But we didn’t go in expecting premium materials on the new Moto. What we do expect from Moto phones is quirky, refreshing design and the G5 Plus didn’t disappoint on that front.
When held in hands, the Moto G5 Plus feels a lot better than what the press renders would suggest. It’s quite slim, light and compact. The single trackpad/ button below the display is more rounded this time around and can also be programmed to function as the navigation button. The implementation isn’t same as the U touch home button on Lenovo Z2 Plus, but it’s still quite intuitive. You can tap it for home, swipe from left to open recent apps panel, and a right swipe will act as ‘Back’ button.
The display could have been better
The display choices Lenovo Moto G4 Plus were a letdown for us, especially since we were used to seeing better more accurately calibrated panels from earlier G series phones. The one on the Moto G5 Plus is sharper but it doesn’t feel like much of an improvement, especially considering the price tag. However, once again Lenovo can get away with the compromises made as most users aren’t choosy about their phone displays.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that Motorola has added an ambient display that allows you to check remaining battery, time and to check and interact with important notifications – all without powering on the phone.
The Camera will be its biggest strength
The primary reason you will be buying a Moto G5 Plus is for its promising rear camera. On paper, this looks as good as the Galaxy S7 camera (which it’s not). There is a bright f/1.7 aperture lens, dual focus pixels for fast focusing and a 12MP sensor.
We won’t be passing any camera related verdict as of now, but it’s quite plain that closest it comes to the Galaxy S7 camera is in terms of focusing speeds. The camera can indeed lock focus before you blink. Other than that, it is still a midrange camera. A reasonably good one, though. Of course, the competition hasn’t set the bar too high in this price bracket, but it would still be interesting to see how it compares against the likes of Honor 6X and Cool 1.
Performance Expectations and Software
The Moto G5 Plus is powered by Snapdragon 625 – the same chipset that we have tested in phones like Redmi Note 4 and Vivo V5 Plus. The trending chipset has a reputation for being light on battery (the 14nm process and all that jazz) and is exactly what we would expect at this price. That also assures us that the 3000mAh battery might comfortably last for a day. By the way, if battery longevity is your primary concern, you can also consider Lenovo P2 in the same budget.
The RAM and storage combinations feel wicked, though. Lenovo is being unnecessarily stingy with storage. The base variant has just 16GB of internal storage space, which is preposterous for a 15K phone in 2017. On the other hand, the 4GB RAM variant too holds back to 32GB. There is no 64GB storage variant. Lenovo tries to compensate for the same with a dedicated MicroSD card slot.
The software is mostly stock Android Nougat with some added gestures. The software is another major strength of the handset. Motorola isn’t nowhere near as generous with software updates as it used to be, but still, you can count on getting at least one version upgrade (or Android O).
Moto G5 Plus First Impression
We can see that why Moto G 5 Plus will be selling well. On the face of it, it feels like a pitch perfect masala potboiler, and yes, the prospects of a stock Android phone with an excellent camera sounds like music to our ears as well. At the same time, it might as well fall short on our expectations. We like what we are seeing here and this could very well be the phone we would be recommending to close friends looking forward to buying something under 20,000 INR. But we are not willing to do that before we thoroughly examine it in our own space.