The Motorola g 5G Plus brings the Qualcomm SD765 chipset, a quad rear camera, a dual selfie camera, 5000mAh battery and a huge 90Hz 6.7″ LPTS display in at the ludicrously low price of $499.
Yes, that is right – the Motorola g 5G Plus is $499 for a package that others charge over $800 for. And what’s more, it does it with little compromise.
Until now the lowest cost SD765 5G smartphone was about $799. Motorola has managed to nearly halve that price without any significant compromises – no catch*. What I do see is that it has paddled out of the highly competitive 5G red ocean to its blue ocean and will swim happily all the way to the bank.
I don’t often get excited, but this is an exceptionally well-featured and ludicrously low-priced smartphone.
* A little price secret revealed. In Europe, this (6/128GB) sells for €399 or about A$700 plus GST etc. This device appears to only be available via Telcos on a 24 or 36-month plan, so it is likely that the price is cross-subsidised by the voice/data plan. Damned clever and shows what a venerable brand with established Telco distribution channels can achieve.
Australian review: Motorola g 5G Plus model XT-2075-3 Dual sim
Elevator pitch: 5G and the kitchen sink at 4G prices
Country of Manufacture: China
Company: Lenovo (Est 1984) is a multinational technology company with its main operational headquarters in Beijing and Morrisville, North Carolina. It is the world’s largest PC maker. It purchased Motorola Mobility from Google in 2014. Most of Lenovo’s smartphone business is now under the Motorola brand, and it has grand plans to become a ‘top five’ smartphone maker.
We issue the standard warning that you must buy the genuine model with Australian firmware as it works on all Australian Telco carrier 5G and 4G LTE bands and can make a 000-emergency call (not 911) without a SIM. As A 5G device, it is pre-registered to the Australian network.
We have named and shamed the major grey marketers here. If you are going to spend this much money, get a genuine ‘Made for Australia’ model.
First impression – PASS+
‘Surfing Blue’ is perfect for the Aussie summer. It comes with a pre-fitted TPU bumper cover (no screen protector) and at 6.7″ is tall and slim. It is a big phone!
The screen is bright and colourful; it has a 3.5mm jack and quad rear and dual selfie cameras.
Screen – PASS+
Dual O-hole on left top. LPTS (Low-Temperature PolySilicon) provides larger pixel densities, lower power and better-controlled temperature ranges. It is considered second to OLED and ahed of TFT and IPS.
16.7m 440 typical and 530 maximum 1200:1 but at maximum colour accuracy it is around 900:1 Not relevant as it makes no colour gamut claim. We measured from 6-10 (<4 is good) depending on the mode. The more accurate, the lower the nits. Natural, Boosted and Saturated (>90% sRGB) No No, white >6700° Kelvin HDR10 support and Amazon HDR
Daylight AOD Dark mode Blue light
It is reasonable but not for direct sunlight No Yes No
Widevine L1 HDCP 2.3 but Netflix will only stream in HD/SDR. Prime streams in HDR
90Hz setting is better for gaming, but the screen response is 34ms G-T-G
None pre-fitted. We can assume the LPTS screen has a toughened glass outer.
2D camera-based. Test 4/10
It is an excellent, colourful and big screen. The lack of colour accuracy is not an issue as it displays movies and pictures with an abundance of colours – oversaturated is what most want.
Processor – PASS+
Qualcomm SD765 7nm 1 x 2.3Ghz, 1 x 2.2Ghz, 6 x 1.8Ghz Note this is the standard SD765 – not the 765G (Gaming optimised). It is slightly slower (2.3Ghz and has slower graphics)
Adreno 620 Compute Open CL: 1096
The SoC/GPU supports most mid-frame rates. The 6.7″ screen, especially in Adaptive mode (varies 60-90Hz depending on the fame) is responsive. Touch is also optimised so in all an excellent casual gamers phone.
6GB LPDDR4X – we experienced no lag or multi-user issues.
Single: 591 Multi: 1922 It is in between the SD845 and 855 and performs within SD765 averages
Max: 148,306 GIPS, Average: 143560 – 5% loss over 15 minutes CPU temp reached 61° This is an excellent result and shows good thermal design. But it does run hot under load getting up to 40° externally.
All performance is within expected tolerances of the standard SD765. Lack of throttling is excellent.
The standard SD765 is a tad slower in CPU and GPU speeds.
Comms – PASS
Wi-Fi 5 AC 2×2 MIMO Signal Strength 5Ghz – distance from ASUS AX1100 router – 2m: -38dBm/866Mbps – 5m: -54dBm/650Mbps – 10m: -68/70Mbps (almost unusable but reverts to 2.4Ghz)
Dual L1 and L5 4m accuracy for turn-by-turn navigation
Yes – PayWave only
2.0 max 480Mbps half-duplex or around 30MBps
Accelerometer and Gyroscope combo Magnetometer Proximity Ambient Light
The combo sensor tends to make these devices ultra-sensitive and give too many false screen rotations. I tend to turn auto-rotate off.
4G LTE and 5G – PASS+
Hybrid dual sim (one active at a time) or single sim plus micro-SD
VoLTE – carrier dependent – generally yes Wi-Fi calling – Yes
Video Loop test: 60Hz 1080p/50%/aeroplane mode – 10 hours Video Loop test 90Hz as above – 9 hours Typical use 4G, Wi-Fi Test – 17 hours MP3 music test: 50% volume played from storage – 40+ 100% load Battery drain – 10 hrs T-Rex – 90Hz 378.4min/4142 frames Drain screen off: about 25 days Screen on: 12 hours
This is a big battery for a big phone. It will give you two days with normal use.
Sound – PASS
Mono earpiece and down-firing speaker*
Codecs are SBC (standard), LDAC (Sony), aptX/HD (Qualcomm), FLAC, ACC etc.
Yes, and standard buds
Tests dB Anything over 80dB is excellent
Media – 72-76 Ring – 76.8 Alarm – 77.5 Earpiece – 60 Handsfree – loud and clear
It is a mono bottom-firing speaker, so there is no L/R sound stage
No bass, late mid and low treble – it focuses on clear voice
It is not as loud as some but its very good for handsfree use.
BT 5.1 drove our reference Sony WH-1000xM4 in SBC, AAC, aptX and LDAC (OPUS) modes and provided good clear sound and plenty of volume.
Build – PASS
168 x 74 x 9 mm x 207g – it’s a big phone
Surfing Blue with a subtle crosshatch dot pattern
Glass – not specified but toughened Frame – plastic Back – painted plastic
In the box
Bumper cover 15W charger USB-A to USB-C cable 3.5mm standard buds
Solid and well made but at 207g it is a pocketful.
Android 10 – PASS+
Google Android 10 Security patch date: 1 September 2020
My UI Personalise: Styles, Wallpapers, LayoutMoto Display: Peek Display, Attentive DisplayMoto Actions: Quick capture, Fast flashlight, Three-finger screenshot, Pick up to silence, Screenshot toolkit, Media controlsMoto GametimeMoto Audio
All standard apps, Google Lens and Assistant. Dedicated Google Assistant key. Dedicated Google Assistant button
Facebook – removable
Assume one OS update and regular security patches Note that Google will handle security updates in Android 11
Fingerprint on the power key FaceID
Missing – not much PASS
No formal IP rating but Motorola calls it water-resistant
Motorola g 5G Plus 2020 camera – PASS+
It may be a quad-camera but most of the heavy lifting in by the Primary lens.
Primary wide 48MP bins to 12MP
Likely Samsung S5KE2
Pixel size um
.8 bins to 1.6
FOV° and cropped
Video EIS only
Shot optimisation, Auto smile Gesture selfie, Smart composition, HDR, Timer, Active photos, Manual, Portrait, Portrait Lighting, Cutout, Macro, Spot colour, Cinemagraph, Panorama, Live filter, High-res zoom, RAW, Best shot, Google Lens, Night Vision
Wide 16MP bins to 4MP
Likely Samsung S5KE2
Pixel size um
1.0 bins to 2.0
FOV° and cropped
Not stated >100°
EIS for video only
Screen flash, Timer, Face beauty, Auto smile, Gesture selfie, Active photos, Manual mode, Portrait mode, Spot colour, Cinemagraph, Group selfie, Live filter, Night Vision
Daylight shots have a natural colour and good details. As we found with the Razr 5G that uses this lens and processor, it relies on computational photography and binning to deliver the best shot.
Indoors Office Light (400 lumens)
No issues – good colours and details
Low light (room <400 lumens)
As happened with the Razr 5G, the Night mode amps up colours and details without too much noise.
Perfect details an colours
The standard selfie lens is sharp and accurate. The ultra-wide for group shots is softer, duller and noisy in low light. Below is the difference.
Front bokeh is patchy with uneven subject/background separation, so don’t use it.
Rear bokeh was impossible. As you will see from our standard toy dog photo, we were unable to detect a face so no bokeh. This is the second time in hundreds of smartphone tests (Razr 5G is the same) this has happened. It means you cant do bokeh with an intimate subject. as the lens refused to
You can shoot 4K@30fps with EIS stabilisation, and the results are fine. They are even better without EIS as the SD756 can focus on processing higher bit-rates to give saturated colours and decent details. The video sweet spot is 1080p@60fps.
But the dual mics are not very good at stereo sound recording (if at all).
GadgetGuy’s take – Motorola g 5G Plus 2020 is the price leader without compromise
At $499 with the SD756G chip and all the bells and whistles, it redefines what represents great value.
We suspect the price is tied to a Telco contract, so you have to ask whether you want to go this way or buy another brand outright and go with a lower cost MVNO. I suspect that in the end, it will be much of a muchness.
It does everything a more expensive SD765 phone does – that is the strongest point
As usual, a PASS mark is 4/5, and we add more for EXCEED and vice versa. As I used to say to my staff, “You can do the minimum and receive your pay (PASS), or you can excel and have a great future”.
This phone does everything as expected – but it is outstanding at the price. How long it has the $499 5G market to itself remains to be seen.
Value for money
Ease of Use
Motorola has set the value bar seriously high
It does everthing that any other Qualcomm SD765 does - only at a beter price