Over the past couple of years, the Moto G series of smartphones has been pivotal for Lenovo in India. The phonemaker launched the Moto G5 Plus in March this year and the Moto G5 in April. As we said in our review of the phone, the Moto G5 Plus is all about a complete experience. Its smaller cousin, the Moto G5, however, wants to carve out something different for budget users.
First, the specs —
- Screen: 5.0 inch Full HD
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 430
- RAM: 2/3 GB
- Rear Camera: 13 MP with f/2.0
- Front Camera: 5 MP with f/2.2
- Battery: 2,800 mAh
- Software: Android Nougat 7.0
At first, the device seems oddly chunky. As if someone were trying to fit a smaller phone into a bigger body. There is not much of a difference between the dimensions of the Moto G5 and the Moto G5 Plus. Yet the G5 is thicker, even though it has a smaller battery.
At a time when even budget phones such as Xiaomi's Redmi Note 4 are trying to reduce the bezel (the casing and border around the phone screen) size by as much as possible, to have a 65 percent screen to body ratio seems weird. The screen itself is quite good under normal lighting conditions and the video viewing is a good experience, display wise. In sunlight however, the display falters.
The daily performance for messaging apps and calls is fine but if you throttle it with even casual games, the device shows signs of heating up. Perhaps a MediaTek processor would have done justice to the price and delivered a better performance.
The battery life is decent at best. In the few video loop tests (basically, playing a video on loop) that I performed, the battery went 4-6 percent down in a 20-30 minute session. Casual gaming for even a few minutes will take your daily consumption down by a few notches. At most, you can expect 4-4.5 hours of screen time from the phone, which means that you will need a mid-day charge up.
Luckily, short bursts of charging provided by the 10 W adapter that comes with the phone are adequate. It takes over two hours for the battery to be charged from 0 to 100 percent, but 0 to 30 percent can be achieved in half an hour, with enough juice to last for a couple of hours.
The rear camera shots are surprisingly good under normal conditions. Of course, there is some faltering in low light but on average, you can expect some vibrant shots from the Moto G5. The 13 MP shooter maintains decent white balance without fading the picture out, and the 5 MP front camera takes a decent selfie.
Thankfully, the phone's software experience is smooth as one expects from the Moto G series and there are the practical Moto actions, such as the hand chop for flashlight and the double twist for the camera.
Multimedia consumption on the G5 is decent — the screen is good, as is the ear piece volume, but the speaker volume is not loud enough. You can't hear much even if you are in a slightly noisy environment. It would be better to get a good pair of headphones for the purpose.
All said and done, the Moto G5 seems to be missing the G series USP — light and fast phones that function well. In a bid to maintain the Moto design standard, the G5 has ended up becoming bulky. While ready availability goes in its favour, those willing to wait a little might opt for competing devices such as Xiaomi's Redmi Note 4 and or the upcoming Redmi 4.