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Moto G5 hands-on review

Moto G5 hands-on review: The Moto G family has always been about offering more for less and that trend continues with the new Moto G5, launching at Mobile World Congress 2017. Here’s our hands-on review.

Moto G5: Specs at a glance

Screen size 5-inches
Screen resolution Full HD (1920×1080)
Weight 145 grams
OS Android 7.0
Front camera 5-megapixels
Rear camera 13-megapixels w/ PDAF
Processor 1.4GHz Snapdragon 430
Memory 2GB/3GB RAM
Storage 16GB. Expandable via microSD up to 32GB
Battery 2800mAh

Moto G5: Hands-on review

Lenovo’s research over the development of the G family identified that people are willing to pay more for three key things when buying a handset on a budget: a premium design, all-day battery life and pro camera capabilities. As such it should come as no surprise that those are the three areas that both the new G5 and its launch sibling, the G5 Plus aim to excel at.

 

The G5 kicks things off with a predominantly metal body. It’s cool to the touch and draws attention to the phone’s top-notch fit and finish, with accents like a chamfered camera surround and metal hardware controls thrown in for good measure. It looks like the perfect answer to Honor’s affordable metal-clad handsets, which have been trying to muscle in on the G family’s turf over the past few months.

A responsive fingerprint sensor now resides beneath the display, a feature previously only found on the G4 Plus and whilst it doesn’t double as a home button, it’s still a welcome and convenient addition that means the G5 feels more premium than you might expect considering its price tag.

The screen above which it sits, is a 5-inch Full HD IPS panel that holds plenty of promise on first inspection. Colours and contrast appear punchy enough that it could be mistaken for an AMOLED panel, whilst a smaller footprint versus the G4 means it’s better suited to one-handed use.

The user experience has also evolved nicely from previous Motos, with a near-stock take on Android 7.0 Nougat with thought-out alterations. The apps drawer rises up from the bottom line of home screen apps, just like the Pixel launcher on Google’s own Pixel smartphones, whilst Lenovo/Motorola’s signature clock widget has been tuned up too. You’ll also find gestures have remained intact, with a quick double twist of the wrist to quick launch the camera.

The innards of the G5 give us our first taste of Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 430 chipset, which appears to offer impressively smooth UI navigation and short load times for apps. The base model G5 will hit the market with 16GB of internal space and 2GB of RAM, although a 3GB version will also be up for grabs too. It’s a shame that there doesn’t appear to be a 32GB model on the cards, but with microSD expandability on the table, the low internal storage should prove too much of a handicap for most users.

In the camera department, there’s been more trickle-down from the likes of last year’s Plus, with PDAF now helping the phone’s 13-megapixel primary camera get the shot faster than ever. There’s also Full HD video recording at the top end and a 5-megapixel front-facer too.

To deliver on the promise of all-day battery life, the Moto G5 comes packing a sizeable 2800mAh battery. It’s surprisingly a little smaller than the 3000mAh cell used by its predecessor, but the smaller screen and more efficient chipset should ensure that you can hammer the phone through the full work day and still walk away with something left in the tank. Should your G5 run dry, however, there’s also rapid charging tech. 10W juice delivery that the company promises will give you four hours of use from 15 minutes charge time. Not bad.

Moto G5 back - MWC 2017

So how long will we have to wait for the new Moto G5 to arrive? Thankfully not all that long, with an approximate ETA of mid-March 2017 in markets including the UK and prices starting at a respectable £169.

Update 23/3/17: We’ve since received a UK model of the Moto G5 which we’ve unboxed in the below video.

Read next: Moto G5 Plus hands-on review

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