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Motorola g 5G Plus 2020 – all the 5G goodies at a 4G price
4.2Overall Score
Name: Motorola g 5G Plus 2020
Price (RRP): $499
Manufacturer: Motorola

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

  • Australian website here
  • Price: $499
  • Colours: Surfing Blue
  • From: Vodafone, Telstra and the Motorola online store
  • Elevator pitch: 5G and the kitchen sink at 4G prices
  • Warranty: 12-months
  • 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.
  • Other Motorola news and reviews here

Grey market – no Australian warranty

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+

Size6.7″ 90Hz
TypeDual 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.
Resolution2520 x 1080
PPI/Ratio409ppi and 21:9
Colour depth
Brightness
Contrast
Delta E   Gamut
RGB adjust
Temp adjust
HDR
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
DRMWidevine L1 HDCP 2.3 but Netflix will only stream in HD/SDR. Prime streams in HDR
Gaming90Hz setting is better for gaming, but the screen response is 34ms G-T-G
ProtectionNone pre-fitted. We can assume the LPTS screen has a toughened glass outer.
Face ID2D 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+

SoCQualcomm 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)
GPUAdreno 620 Compute Open CL: 1096
Game useThe 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.
RAM6GB LPDDR4X – we experienced no lag or multi-user issues.
Storage128GB UFS 2.1 (101GB free)
Androbench sequential read/write
Internal storage: 943.92/471.65 MBps– excellent
External 256GB OWC 3.1 Gen 1 FLASH: 27.37/23.65MBps (typical USB 2.0 speed)
micro-SDmicro-SD to 1TB
Geek
Bench 5
Single: 591
Multi: 1922
It is in between the SD845 and 855 and performs within SD765 averages
Throttle
15-min
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.
Moto

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-FiWi-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)
BluetoothBT 5.1
GPSDual L1 and L5 4m accuracy for turn-by-turn navigation
NFCYes – PayWave only
USB-C2.0 max 480Mbps half-duplex or around 30MBps
SensorsAccelerometer 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+

SIMHybrid dual sim (one active at a time) or single sim plus micro-SD
Ring toneDual
SupportVoLTE – carrier dependent – generally yes
Wi-Fi calling – Yes
SpeedPing: 43ms
DL: 14.7Mbps
UL: 7.2Mbps
Reasonably typical
LTE BandTBA 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 20, 26, 28, 32, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 66
5Gn78 sub-6GHz for Australia
Test-105dBm in a 3-bar reception area (average)
Found next tower at – 107
Strength: 50.1fW

This should be a good city and major regional area phone.

Battery – PASS+

Battery mAh5000
Charger5V/3A/15W, 9V/2A/18W, 12V/1.5A/18W
Test:
30% – 30 minutes
100% – under 3 hours
Tests
Most at 60hz screen
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

SpeakersMono earpiece and down-firing speaker*
AMPQualcomm
BT codecsCodecs are SBC (standard), LDAC (Sony), aptX/HD (Qualcomm), FLAC, ACC etc.
MicDual NC
3.5mmYes, 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
Sound StageIt is a mono bottom-firing speaker, so there is no L/R sound stage
SignatureNo 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

Size/Weight168 x 74 x 9 mm x 207g – it’s a big phone
ColoursSurfing Blue with a subtle crosshatch dot pattern
BuildGlass – not specified but toughened
Frame – plastic
Back – painted plastic
IPWater-resistant
In the boxBumper 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+

AndroidGoogle Android 10
Security patch date: 1 September 2020
UIMy 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
GoogleAll standard apps, Google Lens and Assistant. Dedicated Google Assistant key.
Dedicated Google Assistant button
BloatwareFacebook – removable
Update PolicyAssume one OS update and regular security patches
Note that Google will handle security updates in Android 11
SecurityFingerprint on the power key
FaceID

Missing – not much PASS

IPNo 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.

 Camera Primary wide
48MP
bins to 12MP
Ultra-wide
8MP
Macro
5MP
Depth
2MP
SensorSamsung S5KGM1Likely Samsung S5KE2OV5656OV2680
LensNot stated   
FocusPDAFFF2cm focusFF
Aperture f-stop1.72.2samesame
Pixel size um.8 bins to 1.61.121.751.75
FOV° and cropped78 (66.8)118  
StabilisationVideo EIS only   
FlashDual LED   
ZoomDigital   
Video Max[email protected]   
FeaturesShot 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
   
 Front CameraWide
16MP
bins to 4MP
Ultra-wide
8MP
SensorSamsung S5K3P8Likely Samsung S5KE2
LensNot stated 
FocusAFFF
Aperture f-stop2.02.2
Pixel size um1.0 bins to 2.01.12
FOV° and cropped(66.7)Not stated >100°
StabilisationEIS for video onlyNo
FlashScreen fill 
ZoomDigital 
Video Max[email protected] 
FeaturesScreen flash,
Timer,
Face beauty,
Auto smile, Gesture selfie,
Active photos,
Manual mode, Portrait mode, Spot colour, Cinemagraph, Group selfie,
Live filter,
Night Vision
 

Daylight, outdoors

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

Motorola g 5G Plus
Dog is happy except as the Moto can’t find a face it can’t do bokeh.

Low light (room <400 lumens)

As happened with the Razr 5G, the Night mode amps up colours and details without too much noise.

Motorola g 5G Plus
Motorola g 5G Plus

Macro

Perfect details an colours

Motorola g 5G Plus

Selfie

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.

Motorola g 5G Plus

Bokeh

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

Video

You can shoot [email protected] 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 [email protected]

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

Rating explanation

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.

Motorola g 5G Plus 2020 – all the 5G goodies at a 4G price
Name: Motorola g 5G Plus 2020 Price (RRP): $499 Manufacturer: Motorola
Motorola has set the value bar seriously highIt does everthing that any other Qualcomm SD765 does - only at a beter price
Price may be linked to a Telco plan
Features
Value for money
Performance
Ease of Use
Design
4.2Overall Score