REVIEWS

Nomad leather case for iPhone 8 Plus

Alcatel A50

Tile Pro Sport smart tracker

27-inch Apple iMac with Retina 5K Display

Anki Cozmo programmable robot

Microsoft Surface Laptop

Motorola Moto Z2 Play

Google Home

Sennheiser HD-1 in ear wireless headphones

Motorola Moto E4

Apple iPad Pro 10.5-inch

BlackBerry KEYone

Philips Hue Smart Lighting System

insta360 nano 360 camera for iPhone

2017 Cadillac CT6 Luxury

UAG Rugged Case for Surface Book

Motorola Moto G5

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum

2017 Jaguar F-Pace

Linksys VELOP Whole Home Mesh Network

Fitbit Alta HR

2016 Range Rover

2016 Ford Flex Limited

Timex IQ+ Move fitness tracking watch

2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

2017 Mazda CX-9 Signature

2016 Mazda MX-5

Sennheiser PXC-550 Bluetooth headphones

2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class 4MATIC Sedan

Sudio Regent Bluetooth headphones

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

VisionTek SoundTube PRO Bluetooth speaker

Fitbit Charge 2

2017 GMC Acadia Denali

Apple AirPods

Apple MacBook Pro (Late 2016)

808

Game of Thrones Season Six Blu-Ray

Michelin Premier all-season tires

Tom Tom Spark 3 Cardio +

Google Daydream View VR headset

ASUS ZenBook 3

Jaybird X3

JBL SoundBoost Speaker Moto Mod

Moto Insta-Share Projector for Moto Z

Google Pixel XL

Apalon's My Alarm Clock app

Lenovo Moto Z

Apple Watch Series 2 and watchOS 3

iOS 10

Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

Dyson 360 Eye Robot Vacuum

Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless vacuum

Tablo by Nuvyyo

Samsung Gear Fit 2 fitness wearable

Ulysses for macOS and iOS

Epson SureColor P600 Wide Format inkjet printer

HBO's Vinyl Season 1

Apple MacBook (2016)

« New Netflix Defenders' trailer looks promising | Main | Here’s your chance to have lunch with Apple CEO Tim Cook at Apple Park »
Wednesday
May032017

Review: Motorola Moto G5

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

The mid-range of the smartphone market may seem crowded, but there's been one clear winner in terms of features, affordability and battery life and that's the Moto G line. 

Lenovo’s Moto G line is growing up. What was once a fun, quirky and customizable middle child is now going upscale with a more serious look and feel, improved metal case back, better camera and more bespoke software and functionality from Moto. 

I reviewed the lesser of the Moto G5’s (the plus model, which has a stronger processor, slightly larger display and more RAM is limited to specific countries).

Moto G5 is available from Bell Mobility, MTS, SaskTel, Videotron and Virgin Mobile for about $250.

At first glance, the latest Moto G feels more Lenovo than Motorola. What I mean by this is that it adheres to a more stark, businesslike, and muted look. While this isn’t a negative thing, since the Moto G now appeals to more users looking for a more stylish affordable option, it removes the colorful and fun aspect that made the Moto Gs of generations past so accessible. 

 

Moto has added precision-crafted metal design, but this is really just a thin metal backplate, the front display is still swathed in cheap plastic.

I do like the Lunar Grey color which is similar to Apple’s Space Grey. With a 5.0’ display, the Moto G5 works great and fits very nicely in the hand. Its 1080p Full HD (1920 x 1080) display with 441 pixels per inch does a laudable job of playing back video, but it does feel a bit dark at times and outdoor visibility isn’t very good. 

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, with an octa-core CPU running at 1.4GHz has an Adreno 505 GPU that’s good for up to 450 MHz. This is a hardy and efficient processor which handily beats the Moto X Play which was the lesser of 2015’s flagships.

There’s 2 GB of onboard RAM, although some versions come with 3GB (which at this point should be standard since this would be a factor in extending the phone’s capabilities in the future). 

There’s also 16 GB of storage, which is really not enough for today's heavy content use,  but thankfully upgradeable via microSD card. I added a 64GB card on my review unit to have some more breathing room for music, photos, and videos. 

The specs of the Moto G5 are impressive, especially for the price. Knowing that there are other options that aren’t available to Canadians (such as a 3GB version, with 32GB of storage, or the even more powerful Moto G5 Plus) is a bit of a downer, specially if your plan on keeping your phone longer than two years.

Other Moto G qualities that have made the line Motorola’s best seller are also on tap. There’s big 2800 mAh battery that will easily last one to two days on a full charge. There’s quick charge functionality that adds hours of use in minutes and we get water protection thanks to the water-repellent nano-coating. Lenovo seems to have abandoned the Moto Maker ideal of customization and playfulness so what you see here is what you get.

Moto G5 runs nearly stock Android N, which is great for a budget device. Google Assistant is also present here which is great since this was previously only available on the Google Pixel and the LG G something. We also get a slew of Moto Actions, tricks like turning the phone quickly to enable the camera or double-chopping to turn on the flashlight.  

  

This is the first Moto G with a fingerprint reader, which makes accessing the phone a lot easier. The fingerprint reader also doubles as a trackpad and takes certain gestures that effectively try to replace Android’s Home, Back, and Recent buttons. There’s definitely a learning curve, and it is not for everyone but if you do master the One Button control, you do gain more screen real estate. Personally, I have grown fond of the gestures and use them to navigate more than I thought I would.

Cameras have been upgraded and the Moto G5 now has a 13MP rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture and a wide angle 5MP front facing shooter with a f/2.2 aperture aren’t the fastest cameras but they do shoot great photos and decent 1080p HD video. Below are some unaltered sample shots.

The Moto G5 is a durable smartphone. My review unit was shoved off my kitchen counter and fell face down three feet into hard linoleum (ouch). This is the sort of mishap that would have shattered most smartphones, disabling them completely or at least guaranteeing a repair bill upwards of $200. 

The Moto G5’s backplate simply separated from the display. I connected both parts and looked it over, there wasn’t a scratch or a dent and the Moto G5 has been working just fine. This smartphone didn’t even have a protective case on. Durability of this level is by design and something Moto G’s have always featured.

  

I like th Moto G5, I enjoy using it. If it were up to me I'd pay $40 extra for more RAM and larger onboard storage.

The Moto G5 is a tremendous accomplishment, specially for the price. It is almost perfect as a midrange device and is really one NFC chip and USB Type-C port away from being a great choice. For users who don't see themselves using mobile payments or want the latest standard in connectivity, the Moto G5 will be sufficient for most of their needs.

 

Hits:

  • Updated design, more premium metal backplate
  • 2 Day battery life on a single charge, TurboCharging capability available
  • Fingerprint reader, new Moto Actions and One button control work well if you give them time
  • Tough and durable, with splash resistance

 

Misses:

  • Measly 2GB of RAM
  • No NFC chip for mobile payments
  • Still uses old microUSB charging standard

 

Rating: 4 out of 5

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>