Review: Moto G5 Plus smart phone
4.5Overall Score

Price (RRP): $449
Manufacturer: Motorola

My very first mobile phone was a Motorola. That was 1996, and from today’s perspective, I find it hard to understand that younger me who was so reluctant to acquire a mobile phone. Twenty one years later, I still have the same phone number, but as I’m writing right now, instead of a chunky call-and-text-only device, it is being used with Motorola’s mid-priced Moto G5 Plus smart phone.

Features

Before getting to details, what do I mean by “mid-priced”? There are two versions of the Moto G5 Plus phone (four if you count the two colour options: “Fine Gold” and “Lunar Gray”). The standard model comes with only 16GB of storage, and sells for $399. The review unit was the 32GB model, which costs $50 more. I’d recommend stretching to that if possible.

Either way, you can add storage in the form of a microSD card of up to 128GB.

That $50 also bumps up the working RAM from 3GB to 4GB, so it should provide slightly better performance, particularly when you’ve got lots of apps going.

The processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core running at up to 2GHz, with a 650MHz Adreno 506 graphics processor.

Moto G5 Plus

The screen is a good sized 5.2 inches and it offers full HD – 1080 by 1920 pixels – resolution. It’s covered by Gorilla Glass 3. The case is aluminium. There’s quite the camera bump. The thickness of the phone is specified as “7.7mm to 9.7mm”. That 2mm range is the bump. That section is a circle around 23mm in diameter and it also houses the flash. If you’re going to have a bump, this is a pleasing one.

Physical connectivity is via Micro-B USB and 3.5mm analogue. Wireless is dual band up to 802.11n (even though the processor supports 802.11ac). The 4G connectivity includes Category 6 LTE, which means a theoretical 300Mbps download speed. The Bluetooth comes with NFC (Near Field Communication) so there’s easy pairing with lots of devices, and the phone can be used to communication with things like smart travel cards.

There’s a 3000mAh battery and a fast charger (fifteen minutes of charging will give you a claimed six hours of use).

Moto G5 phone (Moto G5 Plus above)

An FM radio is built in. You need to plug in earphones to use it as it uses their cable as an antenna.

The front camera is a five megapixel f/2.2 one, while the rear is a surprisingly advanced f/1.7 12 megapixel model, with dual pixel auto focus. The “dual pixel” moniker indicates the use of many more pixels to manage phase detection, improving focusing speed. The camera can also do UltraHD video at up to 30 frames per second.

Performance

This is a dual SIM phone. A different arrangement is provided on this phone for SIMs and additional storage. Typically, phones which support two SIMs have a small tray with two inset areas for the SIMs. One of those is nestled within a larger inset which accommodates a microSD card. Which means, of course, you can have two SIMs, but no storage expansion, or you can have one SIM plus the extra storage.

Good on Motorola: this phone’s tray can accommodate two SIMs plus the microSD storage all at the same time. But I do have one complaint. Installing SIMs and storage is a fiddly business, and something that normal people typically do yearly at the most. So clear instructions are a good idea. The slim Moto G5 Plus guide shows the microSD card the wrong side up in the tray. It won’t physically go that way, but I for one found it confusing.

Auto HDR gave good detail on the face of the tree against the bright sky