Moto G5 Plus wanted to conquer those who are looking for a little more in the mid-range. Can you justify that extra expense, or are you halfway there?
Motorola, back when it was bought by Google, managed to burst the mid-range market. That 2013 Moto G proved to the world that you could make a phone that worked well without costing an arm and a leg. And since then, we’ve seen a lot of manufacturers go headlong into that market. Some luckier, some less fortunate.
The truth is that Motorola is not the same as we were then: it is no longer Google and now belongs to Lenovo. The mid-range market has also changed and is now full of rivals that make competition brutal. But Motorola as such has not gone anywhere, and continue to bet on Moto G as the banner of the mid-range.
Here’s Moto G5 Plus on paper
Motorola has decided to tackle the mid-range market with two alternatives. On the one hand, we have the Moto G5: a basic version that contains everything essential to operate for a price also basic. A device that complies if we want to give it a basic use, not very advanced or demanding in specifications.
But that’s not all. Motorola has not only released the Moto G5, but it has also released a big brother with improved features, and a somewhat higher price. We are talking about Moto G5 Plus, a device that has come out at once and tempts us to spend more, in exchange for several improvements.
Design and construction: improved for the occasion
The construction is another of the great beneficiaries in this Plus version. If Moto G5 also uses an aluminium finish, but that is like plastic to the touch, Moto G5 Plus transmits aluminium when you touch it. It doesn’t have any of that plastic feel you get when you grab the Moto G5, it conveys a feeling of being better built. Maybe it contributes that the finish is different, something you can see in the Motorola logo, in the smaller thickness or in the fact that the camera protrudes. Also, at the rear, there is an auxiliary microphone for noise reduction.
Unlike Moto G5, its little brother, we do not have a rear casing that we can remove to insert the cards. In this case, the choice to use a tray and avoid the casing may be due to that reduced thickness.
The phone benefits greatly from the new finish: it is more comfortable to grasp. The design is better done overall, we do not find rare details such as placing the main microphone on the front of the device. And, of course, details like the outstanding camera won’t please many, but they seem like necessary choices to get a thinner device.
Display: complies with a good resolution
The panel increases in size and goes up to 5.2 inches. The resolution remains the same, Full HD, which leaves us with 423 pixels per inch of screen. It’s fewer pixels per inch than with the Moto G5, but it’s not something we’ll notice, even if we look at the screen carefully. And, as with its little brother, the Moto G5 Plus has no problem showing images, text or videos. It’s a good screen to be talking about a device that is placed in the middle range.
Colours are not poorly reproduced on the Moto G5 Plus screen, and whites are purer compared to the lower version. The bad news is that the colours lack a touch of strength, even in the intense colour mode. It’s worth remembering that the phone allows us to choose two colour modes: one ‘standard’ and one ‘intense’.
System and performance: the great strength of Moto G5 Plus
You can not miss the latest version of Android in this Moto G5 Plus: 7.0 Nougat. As is customary in Moto by Lenovo devices, we find an Android very close to its pure state. The only variances are found in some applications and specific settings that Motorola engineers integrate into their devices. For example, gadget gestures, screen tones, or a troubleshooting tool as information gathered from itsmyownway.
This Moto G5 Plus, in particular, has been praised for being able to work as fast as a Google Pixel. No, we’re not saying that this phone is a better choice than a Google Pixel. This data serves to highlight the fact that Motorola has done a great job in the optimization section. We are used to Motorola offering us a good software experience, and this Moto G5 Plus does not disappoint in that respect.
And, thanks to this tandem between processor and optimization, Moto G5 Plus moves agile in whatever we throw at it. It doesn’t have a problem with multitasking, and the games work well, without jerks or unnecessary waiting.
This fifth generation Moto G Plus has 200 mAh more than the normal version, making a total of 3,000 mAh of capacity. Among the functions of the battery, we also find details such as fast charging, this time with Motorola’s own technology. Even if you use a Snapdragon, it’s not Qualcomm’s fast charge, it’s proprietary technology.
Battery and Camera
We find something in the average in the section of battery life, not to highlight but not to look bad either. With moderate use, in which we use the phone without cutting ourselves (WiFi and data always on, automatic brightness, applications and games in regular use), we can squeeze more than 4 hours of screen on. If we contain ourselves a little, we can point towards the 5 hours without any problem.
Regarding fast charging, Motorola’s TurboPower charging works quite well. It can charge 10% in less than 10 or 15 minutes, something that can give us life if we can make a quick stop. It’s not one of the “fastest” of the fast loads, but it’s not one of the slowest either.
Motorola’s bet on the camera section is simple. In the back, we have a 12-megapixel camera, while in the front we find a 5-megapixel sensor with a wide angle. The rear camera is lower resolution than that of its younger brother, the Moto G5, but promises to be of higher quality in difficult conditions.
The truth is that the phone suffers from the evil that many others in the mid-range have: the quality of the camera doesn’t go very far. We don’t have any problem taking pictures in full sun when there’s plenty of light. The problem comes when there isn’t. The camera generates a lot of noise on site.
Sound: the great forgotten of the whole
Sound is perhaps one of the most neglected aspects of this phone. It’s as if Motorola had completely ignored it because they’ve moved a feature from the input range to this kind of something more-than-average range: making the front speaker the overall speaker. That is, that speaker not only plays calls or voice memos, but it also plays any sound the phone makes.
This makes the loudspeaker not as good as a dedicated loudspeaker would be. It distorts when we put volume in it, and it’s kind of uncomfortable to have it there. On the other hand, this can serve you to have a higher volume than the account when you make a call, so it could be an advantage and everything according to your case.
With good headphones and songs from good sources, we’ve got good listening quality. It’s not the best we’ve ever heard, but it’s not the worst either. It is placed right in the middle, perfect for listening to our music while we move.
Motorola already has us used to Moto G fitting fully into the mid-range. It’s a phone that works very well in the operating system section, a device in which optimization is the strongest aspect. And aspects such as the battery or the screen meet expectations without too many difficulties. But this is not true in every respect: details like the sound or the camera still leave a lot to be desired.