In this Moto G5 Hands-On Review, Mister Mo shares his expectations of the device and what his experience with it turned out to be like.
I had the opportunity to handle the Moto G5 briefly sometime last week. That is a smartphone that has held my interest. I have a fair history with Motorola from their heydays and still keep an eye on the brand. In recent years, I believe I have used only the Moto G (see review HERE) and found it a solid phone. The Moto G (2015) was pretty solid too. So, you can imagine my excitement about the G5.
So, how did I find the Moto G5? I wish I could say it made an impression as good as the Moto G did 3 years ago, but alas, it didn’t. It isn’t bad; it just doesn’t excite as much as its predecessors did. Let’s look at the details.
Moto G5 Hands-On Review: Design
Design-wise, the G5 is a downgrade on the previous Moto smartphones we reviewed here. It does not feel as sturdy or as premium. The material its shell is built with feels cheap. It gives a very bland impression. The bezels are huge.
Sorry I couldn’t take a photo, but it does not even look this good in real life. I am wondering how and why Moto smartphone designers dropped the ball this bad.
The blandness of the design aside, the Moto G5 has a water-repellent nano-coating that provides limited protection against liquid spills.
Moto G5 Hands-On Review: Network and Software
The Moto G5 runs stock Android 7 Nougat and will get future updates, so in terms of software, this is great. It is also a 4G LET smartphone and supports Glo’s 4G LTE band 28(700). Glo 4G lovers will be delighted to hear this. Because it is stick Android though, it does not offer the option to peg or lock the phone to 4G only. This means that depending on coverage, the Moto G5 will spend some time cycling through 2G and 3G as well. Not great if you need to use broadband internet.
The processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon unit, so apps like MTK Engineering that help users peg network mode wont work on it either. Those apps support only Mediatek processors. I am told that there is an app that offers same for Snapdragon processors but it will require you rooting the phone.
Moto G5 Hands-On Review: Battery
The Moto G5 has a 2800 mAh battery. It isn’t bad for a smartphone with a 5-inch display, but it won’t deliver great battery performance either. It will likely see you through a day of reasonable use.
Moto G5 Hands-On Review: Other Stuff
There’s a fingerprint scanner built in, and with 3 GB of RAM, switching between apps is smooth. I understand that there is a 2 GB RAM version too. MobilityArena recommends a minimum of 3 GB RAM for smooth performance, so if you can afford it, go for the 3 GB RAM version.
Sadly, I was not able to try out the 13 megapixel rear camera or the 5 megapixel front camera.
The Moto G5 is marketed as being built to break expectations. It is a fair smartphone for the price, but it certainly doesn’t break my expectations. If anything, I am left feeling a little underwhelmed, which is mostly because the original Moto G and the Moto G (2015) made such very good impressions on me years ago.
You can check out the full Moto G5 specifications if interested in more of its features. The Moto G5 is currently retailing for around NGN70,000 in Nigeria.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.