Thursday, 31 August 2017

Moto G5 Plus Review

I was interested to hear a review on TechTalkUK of the MotoG5 Plus and especially interested to hear it getting a pretty good review.

The Moto G5 Plus has become strangely one of the best-kept secrets in the 2017 mobile phone world and it is a bit difficult to understand why because for its price it has few if any competitors.

GSMArena is a well-known go-to site for phone reviews but even today at time of writing you cannot find the Moto G5 Plus featured in the Photo Quality Comparison section for the simple reason that it isn't there and the camera just wasn't tested. (The Moto G4 Plus camera features here amongst the latest test results and is universally acknowledged as having 'an excellent camera' - the G5 Plus camera is better by the way. Curiouser and curiouser.) 

CNET got it just right about the
Moto G5 Plus

As did Trusted Reviews

Anyway here goes with my twopenneth.

I bought a "Fine Gold" version from 

The Moto G5 Plus comes with a ‘turbo charger’ plug and my it really does charge quickly. Wow. That's ironic because the battery life is superb. It uses the Snapdragon 625 chip. At the time of writing it is one of the best chips made for a smart phone if you balance up the factors of speed, cost and battery life. The 800 series chips are faster but there are trade-offs. Although the 625 chip will be superseded later this year ANY phone using the 625 chip is going to be worth a look for a good while.

If you are coming from the G4 Plus you will see an improvement in every area except for the absence of laser focus on the G5 Plus. So, the build quality's better and although the screen is a bit smaller you can hide the on-screen navigation buttons and use the brilliantly functional fingerprint sensor as a tiny touch pad instead for navigation. The fingerprint sensor is immeasurably better than the one on the G4 Plus. If you use fingerprint security the phone will open as fast any flagship (there's that 625 chip again).

The phone is mostly stock android and has no bloatware whatsoever. The Phone is on Nougat 7.0 out of the box. It has nice Motorola (now Lenovo) features like 'twist phone about' to launch the camera. This method works about as fast as you would wish it to. In terms of performance the camera has dual pixel auto focus and electronic image stabilisation. Neither are as good as laser focus or OIS but they work well and it is worth remembering e.g. that the Google Pixel doesn't have OIS and uses EIS too.

In almost every real-life situation the camera gets EXCELLENT results. You can see on various YouTube videos how excellent the results are from the mere fact that its camera is often compared with the ones in the iPhone 7 Plus and Galaxy 7 Edge. The most revealing thing is how well it performs compared with these expensive cameras and that is why the reviewers have had to reach for the most expensive competition to assess the G5 Plus camera. The lens stops 'down' to f1.7 and uses the same camera sensor with the large light-gathering cells as that in the Galaxy S7. The camera software is not as good as Samsung's so you don't get exactly the same results as for that flagship but if you are coming from any Android camera from even a couple of years ago the image results are impressive indeed.

It is always worth remembering that you could buy two or three G5 Pluses for the price of one of the "flagships". If you are in the market for buying a flagship (this isn't and I wasn't) then good.

It costs £229.99. Worth repeating, it costs £229.99.

Finally on the camera and turning to another point which some reviewers labour (and it is here that things get a bit odd) this phone has only medium performance on "auto" in VERY low light. This is true. The G5 Plus camera has the same low-light performance as the G4 Plus camera turns in and the G4 Plus is universally described as having a "great camera!"

If you turn off HDR on the G5 Plus and turn on the camera's pro settings (which some reviewers didn't seem to find) you will get good results even in low light too.

Dual sim works a treat and the dedicated MicroSD slot ditto. I was pleased to see that when I put a transparent case on it (I think from Sparin) it balances up the Moto Z-looking camera bump so you can place the phone flat (with its lens protected) on a table without any wobble.

It has some kind of nano coating on the screen, I think, which reduces smeary fingerprints nicely.

No overheating problems at all. It has NFC. (Bad luck USA. Your version hasn't got this.)

The sound is clear from a front speaker and through headphones and is better than that on the G4 Plus. A little nudge brings up the time and battery percentage on the lock screen.

Best features: probably that nifty fingerprint sensor doubling as navigation widget (real fun) and the lovely camera.

It gets a good and well-deserved review on TechTalkUK, which is worth a listen.

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