The Moto G5 Plus wants to conquer those who are looking for a little more in the mid-range. Can you justify that extra expense, or do you stay halfway?
Motorola, back when it was bought by Google , managed to bust the mid-range market . That Moto G 2013 proved to the world that you could make a phone that worked well without costing a face. And, since then, we’ve seen a lot of manufacturers go head-first in that market. Some with more luck, and others with less fortune.
The truth is that Motorola is not the same as we were back then: it is not from Google and now belongs to Lenovo . The mid-range market has also changed, and is now full of rivals that make the competition brutal. But Motorola as such has not gone anywhere, and continue to bet on the Moto G as the banner of the mid-range.
This is the Moto G5 Plus on paper
This year 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. You can read, by clicking on the link below, the analysis we make of the device at launch.
But that is not all. Motorola has not only launched the Moto G5, it has also brought out an older brother with improved features , and a somewhat higher price. We are talking about the Moto G5 Plus, a device that has come out at once and that tempts us to spend something more, in exchange for several improvements. And that is the device we are analyzing today, in The Free Android.
Moto G5 Plus technical sheet
- Screen 5.2 inch Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels)
— The screen grows 0.2 inches and maintains the resolution
- Processor Snapdragon 625 to 2.0 GHz
— We pass from Snapdragon 430 (mid-range) to 625 (mid-high range)
- 2GB / 3GB of RAM
— RAM options are maintained
- 16GB / 32GB internal memory + microSD
— Adds 32GB option to original specifications
- 12MP rear camera
— The camera is less MP, but ensures it is better
- 5MP front camera with wide angle
- 3,000 mAh battery with fast charge
— 200 mAh more
- Android 7.0 Nougat
- Dual SIM, Bluetooth 4.2, A-GPS, 4G LTE, NFC, fingerprint sensor …
- 150.2 x 74 x 7.9 mm, 155 grams
— It is slightly larger and finer in comparison (144.3 x 73 x 9.5 mm, 145 g)
Design and construction: improved for the occasion
Construction is another of the big beneficiaries in this Plus version. If the Moto G5 uses an aluminum finish, but is like plastic to the touch, the Moto G5 Plus transmits aluminum when you touch it . It does not have any of that plastic feeling that you have when you grab the Moto G5, it conveys a feeling of being better built. Perhaps it contributes that the finish is different , something that is noticeable in the Motorola logo, in the smaller thickness or in that the camera protrudes. Also, in the back, we found an auxiliary microphone for noise reduction.
In any case, the front finish is identical . Bottom button with integrated fingerprint reader , somewhat larger screen, speaker (which acts as internal and main), visible camera and the Moto logo. On the right side we have all the buttons, the volume and the release button. On the left side we find nothing, it has no element. Above we have the tray containing the SIMs and microSD, and below we find the connectors ( microUSB and 3.5 mm jack ) and main microphone.
Unlike the Moto G5, his little brother, we do not have a back cover that we can remove to insert the cards. In this case, the choice of using a tray and avoiding the casing may be due to such reduced thickness . The thickness is also the reason that the camera protrudes in this device, forming a ring that rises from the housing. Although something that does not change is the false rim . That strange border on the back cover can not be removed in any case, so do not try to remove it by force.
The phone benefits greatly from the new finish: it is more comfortable to grab, notes that it is best gripped with one hand . The design is better done overall, we did not find rare details like placing the main microphone on the front of the device. And, of course, details like the protruding camera will not appeal to many, but they seem choices necessary to get a finer device. They are small details that make a better design.
Display: meets good resolution
The panel increases in size and rises to 5.2 inches . The resolution remains the same, Full HD, which leaves us with 423 pixels per inch of screen. They are less pixels per inch than with the Moto G5, but it is not something that we will notice, even if we dedicate ourselves to look at the screen carefully. And, as with his little brother, the Moto G5 Plus does not show any problem to show images, texts or videos. It is a good screen to be talking about a device that is placed in the mid-range section.
The colors do not play poorly on the Moto G5 Plus screen, and the targets are purer compared to the lower version. The bad thing is that the colors lack a touch of strength , even in the intense color mode . It is worth remembering that the phone allows us to choose two color modes : one “standard” and one “intense”. The maximum brightness remains a set defect ; The maximum value is too low, and using the phone in full sunlight may prove to be a problem.
System and performance: the great strength of the Moto G5 Plus
You can not miss the latest version of Android in this Moto G5 Plus: 7.0 Nougat. As has been customary in the devices of Moto by Lenovo , we find an Android very close to its pure state . The only variances are found in some specific applications and adjustments that Motorola engineers integrate into their devices. For example, the gestures of the device, the screen tones or a tool to solve problems.
This Moto G5 Plus in particular has been praised for being able to run as fast as a Google Pixel. No, we’re not saying that this phone is a better choice than a Google Pixel . This fact serves to underline the fact that Motorola has done a great job in the optimization section . We are accustomed to Motorola offering us a good software experience, and this Moto G5 Plus does not disappoint in that aspect.
And thanks to that tandem between the processor and the optimization, the Moto G5 Plus is agile in everything we throw. No problem with multitasking, and the games work well, no jerks or unnecessary waits. It even works seamlessly with demanding games such as République (Unity 5 + CriWare).
On the other hand, Motorola’s utilities are welcome. We can establish the use of several gestures with the device or configure in detail the ambient screen with the personalized options of Moto. It is very well done, and the best thing is that it does not compromise the performance of the operating system.
Moto G5 Plus Benchmarks:
As many you know, in The Free Android we do not like to talk about benchmarks: we prefer to tell you how the phone works in our hand. We do not like to throw figures and treat them like an eminence. But we know that they are useful for comparing the gross power of different phones. And we leave you below the results of our unit of tests in several benchmarks.
- PCMark | Work 2.0 | 4922 points
- 3DMark | Sling Shot Extreme | 465 points
- AnTuTu Benchmark | V.6.2.7 | 65013 points
Battery: in the middle and without surprises
This fifth generation Moto G Plus carries 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 the fast charge, this time with Motorola’s own technology. Even if you use a Snapdragon, it’s not about Qualcomm’s fast charge, it’s proprietary technology.
We found something in the middle in the section of the battery life, without highlighting but also look bad . With a moderate use, in which we use the phone without cutting (WiFi and data always on, automatic brightness, applications and games in a regular use), we can squeeze something more than 4 hours of screen on. If we contain a little, we can aim for 5 hours without any problem.
As for fast charging , Motorola’s TurboPower charging works quite well. You can load 10% into something less than 10 or 15 minutes, something that can give us life if we can make a quick stop. It is not fast freight more “fast”, but is not among the slower.
Camera: weakness that does not come as a surprise
Motorola’s commitment to the camera section is simple . On the back we have a 12 megapixel camera , while on the front we find a 5 megapixel sensor with wide angle . The rear camera is lower resolution than its smaller 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 have in the mid-range: the quality of the camera does not go far there . We did not find any problem to take photos in full sun, when there is plenty of lighting. The problem comes when there is not. The camera generates a lot of noise in difficult light situations, such as night with street light.
Leaving that aside, and if we make sure we have enough light in the image, it does not take bad pictures. Capture image detail smoothly, and we can afford to zoom to a certain extent. The flash may emit too warm a light in its standard configuration, and sometimes the camera has trouble picking up the vivid colors, resulting in slightly blurred pictures.
You can see several photos taken with the camera of the Moto G5 through this link . You will be taken to Google Photos, where they are hosted.
Sound: the great forgotten of the set
Sound is perhaps one of the most neglected aspects of this phone. It’s as if Motorola had completely ignored it, because they have transferred a feature of the input range to this sort of somewhat-more-than-average range: to make the front speaker the general speaker. That is, that speaker does not only play calls or voice notes, it plays any sound that the phone emits.
This makes the speaker not as good as it would be a dedicated speaker. It distorts when we put volume on it, and it’s kind of uncomfortable to have it there. On the contrary, this can serve to have a higher account volume when you make a call, so it could be an advantage and everything according to your case.
Regarding the sound that the 3.5 mm jack, there is not much to comment, With good headphones, and songs taken from good sources, we have achieved a good quality of listening. Not the best we’ve ever heard, but not the worst. It stands right in the middle, perfect for listening to our music while we move.
Motorola already has us accustomed to that the Moto G fits squarely in the middle range . It is a phone that works very well in the operating system section, a device in which optimization is the strongest aspect. The design is still in line with the Lenovo company. And aspects like the battery or the screen fulfill 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.
With respect to the Moto G5, only the presence of aspects like the fast charge, the somewhat larger battery and a little more screen make it worthwhile. If you have the money, you will not regret going for the Moto G5 Plus instead of the Moto G5. But he has a great rival in front. The BQ Aquaris X has surprised us greatly by all the good it has, and the basic version is in the same price range. It is a complicated decision, but I would end up opting for the Spanish phone.
The Moto G5 Plus can already be bought in the usual media. At Amazon we can find it for 312 dollars version with 3GB of RAM, with free shipping if we have Amazon Prime.