Motorola, a Lenovo-owned company, fifth generation Moto G5 Plus is an improved version on last year’s G4 Plus with an metal unibody and improved design.
The 5.2-inch budget-friendly smartphone is powered by 2 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 coupled with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage capacity. It supports dual SIM cards and a microSD card that supports up to an additional 256GB of space.
The 424 pixel per inch Full HD IPS LCD screen is water-repellent but not water-resistant due to nano coating and runs on Android 7.0 Nougat. It weighs 155 grams.
Moto has added a handful of shortcut gestures and one of my favourite is the with the fingerprint reader — One Button Navigation. The fingerprint sensor is very fast and accurate. By turning it on in the Moto app, tapping the fingerprint reader takes you to the home screen and swiping from left takes you to recent apps and swiping right takes you back. You can lock the phone by pressing the fingerprint sensor for long and by tapping and holding will take you to Google Assistant page.
It is easy and intuitive and no need to depend on capacitive buttons.
The Moto Display feature previews notification and updates while your screen is locked, so you won’t have to unlock your phone every time you receive a message or an app notification.
The Moto Actions feature lets users open the camera with a quick wrist twist twice; make a chopping motion to turn the flashlight on/off; swipe up, left or right to make the screen smaller for one-handed use, etc.
The 12MP rear camera with f/1.7, autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash takes very good shots in good and sharp photos.
Daylight shots are detailed, with impressive contrast and even a surprising amount of depth. As it does not have optical-image stabilisation, lowlight photography is a challenge.
Photos had some noise and at times appeared too grainy in low light. Overall, image quality is still very good compared to other entry-level and midrange phones.
The circular housing of the rear camera protrudes out.
Video shooting is good and the digital stabilisation helps smooth out small shakes and have the option to shoot either HD or 4K videos at 30 frames per second. It can slow motion at 720p at 120 frames
The 5MP selfie camera with f/2.2 aperture has a wide-angle lens with beauty mode that smooths your features and hides blemishes. The front camera can record Full HD at 30 frames per second. The display flash could come in handy in dim areas.
The 3.5mm headphone jack and the Micro-USB port for charging and data transfer are at the bottom. When most of this year’s phone has moved to USB Type-C port, it is a shame that Lenovo hasn’t incorporated this into the G5 Plus.
The stock Android experience with a typical selection of Google apps and no bloatware makes the device runs fast and handles multitasking with ease, and apps launched quickly. Playing games like Dead Effect 2 and Asphalt 8 ran with no stuttering.
Regarding connectivity, it has WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, A-GPS and GLONASS.
The 3,000mAh battery with TurboPower fast charging support can deliver up to 24 hours of mixed usage. In video test, it gave 12 hours and 30 minutes of continuous playback, which is impressive.
A 20-minute fast charge gave up to nearly 60 per cent. The phone’s battery can charge to full in one hour and 30 minutes.
Fast-charging is another advantage that the Moto G5 Plus has over its most direct competitors. The device ticks all the boxes when it comes to pricing, design, performance, and battery life. It is priced at Dh849.
Solid build quality
Good battery life
Stock Android experience
Dual SIM and microSD card
4K Video recording
No USB Type-C port
Single and tiny speaker
Chrome trim cheapens the design
Slight backward step in design