Motorola Moto G5 and G5 Plus Review

Motorola consistently nails it, producing excellent budget smartphones year after year. Most new Moto G phones are only minor upgrades on their predecessor, but with little improvements here and there, and an affordable price point, the Moto G line is hard to pass up.

For 2017, Motorola has launched the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus. The G5 is a typical budget handset, with features like a 5.0-inch 1080p display, 13-megapixel camera, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 SoC. The G5 Plus ups the game, providing a slightly larger 5.2-inch display, a better 12-megapixel camera with dual-pixel autofocus, and a faster Snapdragon 625 SoC. Both phones are loaded with key features like fingerprint sensors, dual-SIM functionality, microSD card slots, and Android 7.0 out of the box.

For those in the United States, the Moto G5 Plus is the only phone officially available, priced at $229 for 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. That’s cheaper than last year’s Plus model, and you can shave the price down even further to $185 if you’re willing to put up with Amazon ads. The Moto G5 is available in Europe for €199, which is around €80 cheaper than the Moto G5 Plus in that region.

One major difference between the G5 and the G5 Plus is the thickness. The G5 Plus is a slender 7.7mm thick and weighs 155 grams, while the G5 is 9.5mm thick and 145 grams heavy. This is mostly down to one key factor: the G5 has a removable back cover to facilitate the removable battery, while the G5 Plus has a sealed back and a non-removable battery. It’s therefore no surprise that the Moto G5 Plus is a nicer phone to hold, even with the camera bump.

Motorola hasn’t moved to USB Type-C on the Moto G5, so we’re still seeing micro-USB here. This isn’t surprising considering most USB-C accessories and cables cost more than their micro-USB counterparts, which increases the total cost for Moto G owners. Oh, and you get a 3.5mm audio jack on both phones, because Motorola isn’t stupid.

There is a single speaker on both the G5 and G5 Plus, which is used as both an in-call speaker and a loudspeaker for watching videos and so forth. The quality isn’t great, though it has a fair bit of volume to it, which can come in handy especially for calls.

Motorola says the G5 and G5 Plus will receive quarterly security updates, due to carrier and regulator restrictions in the EMEA region. They’d like to provide updates more frequently, but carriers and regulators are holding them back. My phones currently have the January security updates installed, so hopefully Motorola pushes out an update soon to update that.

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