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Moto G5 Smartphone Review: Android Nougat on a budget

Vinu Varughese Oommen
Technology Reporter
Editors Rating

7.9
overall
GOOD
Pros: Simple design, Affordable Nougat Android smartphone, Decent camera, Removable battery, Stock Android UI.
Cons: Could have been water resistant instead of water-repellant.

Motorola’s G series budget smartphones have come a long way from being just a mediocre device to something that features all the goodies that you need in an affordable package called the Motorola Moto G5. Let’s find out what the most affordable Android Nougat 7.0 smartphone has to offer.

Design

Motorola decided to keep the styling of the Moto G5 in a clean and simple fashion. The aluminum exterior and frames do make the smartphone feel a bit rigid. There is also a thin rim that’s located above the frame and continues seamlessly to the front glass.

Speaking of glass, the Moto G5 features a 5-inch IPS display with FHD resolution, perfect enough to watch your favorite movies on the go. The viewing angles are good enough and outdoor visibility is quite good. However, don’t expect any fancy design features like bezel-less displays for maximum screen estate. The display brings out vibrant colors that are good enough for the price point.

There is also a fingerprint scanner on the bottom that can be mistaken as the home button. It’s not clickable so let’s get that fact straight before you start to think that it’s similar to a Samsung smartphone home button. The Moto G5 already has soft keys for home, back, and recent apps list. We did notice that the fingerprint scanner takes more than a second or two to recognize your finger. That said, there is a nifty feature where you can turn off the device to standby by simply placing any of your fingers on the scanner, regardless if it's registered or not.

You will find a large camera module that holds the 13MP camera sensor and the Motorola “M” logo. While the camera module thankfully doesn’t protrude out at all, the back panel is slightly curved. That said, the smartphone only wobbles a bit while using it against a flat surface like a desk. Oh, and the back panel is removable.

The volume rockers and the power button are situated on the right side of the Moto G5, along with the 3.5mm jack on the top and a Micro USB 2.0 port on the bottom. The fact that this device doesn’t have a USB Type-C port may be a good thing or a bad thing, considering the fact that it will take some time for many users to switch to new ports.

With most of the smartphone makers introducing waterproof flagships, Motorola decided to implement a water-repellant Nano coating over the Moto G5. It’s not water resistant as you think, so don’t have the idea to take it deep in your swimming pool or in your shower.

In other design features, the smartphone can be easily used for one-handed operations. It has a thickness of 9.5mm and weighs only 145g.

Specification and Performance

Powering the Motorola Moto G5 is the Snapdragon 430, an eight-core processor that’s tweaked with 1.4 GHz speeds. The 3GB RAM is more than sufficient to run the Android 7.0 Nougat OS. Personally speaking, I always favor using stock Android UI for a clean and simple experience and the Moto G5 doesn’t fall short about it. The performance is snappy enough for all your social and web applications and gaming is decent too, thanks to the Adreno 505 GPU. We ran some benchmark apps like Antutu and GeekBench numbers so check out the numbers below.

The smartphone that we got for review comes with 16GB internal storage under the hood, which is definitely not enough for today’s demands but can be easily expanded with MicroSD cards. The smartphone accepts dual Nano SIM cards.

Camera

The camera setup on the Motorola G5 is a 13MP sensor on the rear with F2 aperture and a 5MP camera on the front. The 13MP camera is surprisingly quite good for a budget smartphone and I was surprised that the front camera is also capable of adjusting the light for the best selfie results.

There is also a Pro mode on the Google camera app that lets you tweak the ISO, shutter speed, white balance, exposure and more. You get to enable HDR effects for both the front and back camera. The front camera also has a beautification mode and the camera has fast phase detection autofocus for quick and precise captures on the go.

Other features of the camera app include a slow-motion mode, which is just mediocre, a Panorama mode, which is quite decent, and the video mode which can record 1080p videos at 30fps. It would have been great if Motorola had included a 60fps option.

Battery

While everyone expects a bigger battery, the Moto G5 comes packed with a removable 2800 mAh power source with fast charge support. But thanks to the efficiency of the new processor and the Doze mode of Nougat, the battery performance is quite decent. On standby mode, the G5 lasts for at least two days. Normal usage, such as several phone calls, social app usages, a couple of camera sessions and internet surfing, lasted the device for at least a day.

Motorola Moto G5 Review Verdict:

If you’re looking for a good and affordable Android smartphone that runs on the latest Android Nougat 7.0 OS, then consider the Motorola Moto G5. It’s got a good camera, a processor that does the job without causing lags during usage (also thanks to the 3GB RAM), a decent battery, a fingerprint scanner and a vibrant display for watching your movies on the go. The design of the smartphone is also simple and comfortable to hold with a removable battery that’s not seen much in many smartphones releasing this year.

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Tags:Mobile Phone Electronics Android Motorola