The Motorola G5 is available on Amazon for $184.99
Not everybody knows that Motorola make high-quality smartphones any more. Mention the brand in conversation and it might conjure up memories of flip-phones in the playground and polyphonic ringtones. But they’re wrong; the Moto G series is the very definition of the term ‘more bang for your buck’.
Going on sale earlier this month, the Moto G5 is the very latest smartphone in the series – which is now made by Lenovo. It won me over with a good performance and unquestionably impressive specs for the price, but with doubts raised over progress from the previous G4 model, it’s not for everyone.
Here I’ll weigh up the pros and cons to see if it’s the right phone for you.
5-inch 1080p display
1.4 GHz octa-core processor
2800 mAh battery to get you through the day
• I prefer not to be tied down by contracts, having being stung in the past with a damaged iPhone that I kept paying for every month. Despite being brand new, the Moto G5 is cheap enough to buy entirely outright – or you can pick one up on a low-cost contract if that’s what you want.
• Its billing as a budget smartphone doesn’t do justice to the razor sharp 1080p resolution you’ll find here. In fact it has the same number of pixels as the iPhone 7 Plus, but without the Apple price tag.
• Those familiar with the Moto G series will pick up on the little piece of added luxury in the form of a chrome outline around the screen. Not to mention the fact that the smooth curves are an improvement upon last year’s G4 model.
• The fingerprint scanner is extremely effective, and I’ve had no problems in my first week of heavy use. It’s also versatile in that it can be turned into a home key, if desired.
• Unlike many smartphones in 2017, it has a removable battery – which will come in extremely handy if it needs to be replaced in a few years.
• It runs on Android 7.0 Nougat, with a few subtle but handy features of its own. For example you can ‘double karate chop’ the phone to turn on the flashlight.
• There’s a powerful HDR mode that allows you to take photos in difficult lighting, while in general the camera is more than good enough for everyday use.
• Some would argue that it hasn’t made as big of a technological splash as its predecessors in the series, with the Moto G4 still remaining a viable option.
• Oddly it uses the Snapdragon 430 processor, which is actually a downgrade from the previous model. There doesn’t appear to be any specific reason for this, so you may want to think twice before upgrading from a G4.
• It’s ever so slightly on the bulky side, which is usually what separates the mid-range and elite smartphones. If it wasn’t quite so wide, it would feel like one of the best.
• A little misleadingly, the back of the phone appears to be aluminium, but is actually made up of mostly plastic. I realised this after removing the back – so was forced to buy a cover right away.
• Unfortunately the Moto G5 doesn’t feature an NFC, so you can’t use the increasingly popular Android Pay app – which essentially transforms your phone into a contactless card.
• It lacks the newer USB-C connection, and instead uses the microUSB, which hasn’t been the standard for quite a while.
• The speaker is decent but nothing to write home about. If you’re planning to hear music clearly in a crowded place then you might want to try something external.
If you’re looking for a phone around the £150-£180 mark, you really can’t go wrong with the Moto G5 – despite its lack of polish.
Yes, this won’t appeal to any tech fans that want the newest features and luxury design – they should stick to iPhones and Samsung smartphones among others. But it is an extremely solid all-rounder for more than half the price.
Try not to get too caught up comparing the Moto G5 with its predecessor, as there are still some vital tweaks that make it a step forward for the brand. It’s also important to remember that support for the newer model will be in place much longer.
We’ve come a long way from flip-phones, and you won’t find much better for less than £200.