Moto G5 Plus Review Roundup: The Good and the Bad

If you were to look at its sub-$200 price, the Moto G5 Plus might not seem like one of the best handsets on the market. But it actually is.

Credit: Jeremy Lips/Tom Original Image

The smartphone, which you can buy at Amazon for as low as $185, has earned positive reviews from critics around the Web, thanks in no small part to its upscale design, long battery life, and outstanding value. But there have been a few complaints. Here's what the critics are saying about the new Moto G5 Plus:

Tom's Guide

"With a time of 11 hours and 43 minutes on the Tom's Guide Battery Test, the Moto G5 Plus is the latest addition to our list of the longest-lasting phones." -- Sam Rutherford, Tom's Guide

Tom's Guide's Sam Rutherford took the Moto G5 Plus for a spin, and said that its gesture control support was a welcome addition. Rutherford was also impressed by its long-lasting battery life, and said that the Moto G5 Plus "easily" delivers its value at under $300. However, Rutherford noted that the display could stand to be larger.

The Good

"Equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 CPU, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage on our test model...the G5 Plus boasts some of the best performance we've seen from a sub-$300 phone. Even with upward of 10 apps running the background, I never had issues with lag or stuttering while flipping between home screens."

Credit: Jeremy Lips/Tom Original Image

"With a time of 11 hours and 43 minutes on the Tom's Guide Battery Test (continuous surfing over AT&T 4G LTE), the Moto G5 Plus is the latest addition to our list of the longest-lasting phones."

$184.99 on Amazon

Moto G5 Plus

$184.99 on Amazon

The Bad

"I have more of an issue with Moto's inclusion of a micro USB port instead of a more modern Type-C port. While 2016 may have been a transition year, USB-C is the future, and Moto has already put USB-C ports on both the Moto Z and Z Play. There's really no excuse for sticking with an aging micro USB port on the G5 Plus."

CNET

"The thing that makes the Motorola Moto G5 Plus the best budget phone on the planet is that, for the most part, it doesn't feel like one at all." -- Patrick Holland, CNET

CNET's Patrick Holland took the Moto G5 Plus for a spin, and called it the "best budget phone" on the market after testing it out. He was pleased to find the device is splash-resistant and its metal finish was a welcome addition. However, he wished the U.S. version came with near-field communication support.

The Good

"The thing that makes the Motorola Moto G5 Plus the best budget phone on the planet is that, for the most part, it doesn't feel like one at all. It looks, feels and operates like a much pricier phone, which means that wallet-watchers are getting a great deal."

Credit: Jeremy Lips/Tom Original Image

"One of my favorite features is the G5 Plus' fingerprint sensor. (Motorola) added a handful of shortcut gestures that turn the fingerprint sensor into a mini touchpad, a feature it calls One Button Nav."

"The camera uses a 12-megapixel sensor similar to the one in the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S8 (it's a dual-pixel sensor if you're following along). In most situations, I got good sharp photos."

The Bad

"The display worked well indoors and in direct sunlight, but the Adaptive Brightness seemed to make the screen too bright inside so I found myself disabling the feature."

"Music and audio over the G5 Plus' built-in speaker sounds thin and tinny."

The Verge

"Best of all, it’s a phone that you can take to any major carrier, and it’ll just work." -- Chris Welch, The Verge

The Verge's Chris Welch had a similar evaluation of the Moto G5 Plus in his review. Like the others, he was impressed by the handset's design and performance, and though the long battery life was stellar. But he would've have liked a nicer screen and the cameras, he says, aren't quite as good as they could be.

The Good

"The 'below this price, you get a lackluster device' line that once existed has officially evaporated when you can buy a phone for as little as $229 with a metal build, phenomenal display, great performance, and satisfactory battery life. And best of all, it’s a phone that you can take to any major carrier, and it’ll just work. Very few other bargain phones can offer the same convenience."

"Just about everywhere else, the Moto G5 Plus excels at smartphone stuff. It’s got Snapdragon’s 625 processor inside, and as we saw previously on the Moto Z Play, 95 percent of the time it runs just as smooth and reliably as any $800 phone. And it’ll outlast several of them between charges."

Credit: Sam Rutherford/Tom Original Image

The Bad

"I wish I could say you were getting that phenomenal camera for half the price, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. In daylight, the G5 Plus captures impressive dynamic range (particularly in HDR mode) and keeps pace with cameras far above its price range."

"A Micro USB port isn’t the most glaring example of cost-cutting with this phone. That would be the total lack of NFC, which gives you a phone that can’t do tap-to-pay with Android Pay or anything else you’d use NFC for."

Trusted Reviews

"American versions of the phone lack NFC. As someone who uses contactless payment from my phone nearly every day, I would struggle without it." -- Max Parker, Trusted Reviews

Trusted Reviews reviewer Max Parker was overwhelming impressed by the Moto G5 Plus. He especially liked the device's "great software" and thought that its "decent" storage and memory support was a welcome addition. Still, he wished the near-field communication support would find its way to the U.S.

The Good

"The screen is super responsive and accurate; notably more so than Honor phones of a similar price."

"The performance of the Moto G5 Plus makes me question why the majority of people would need anything faster. It’s that impressive."

Credit: Jeremy Lips/Tom Original Image

"The Snapdragon 625 CPU is one of my favorite chipsets, as it combines plenty of speed with fantastic efficiency. It can comfortably handle anything I throw at it and even processor hungry games like Asphalt and Modern Combat are smooth and fast."

The Bad

"American versions of the phone seem to lack NFC, but all other variations do include it. As someone who uses contactless payment from my phone nearly every day, I would struggle without it."

"Things fall apart a bit when the light goes down. The larger pixels and the wide f/1.7 aperture don’t make it noticeably better than the G4 Plus. Decent bar shots can be achieved, but you’ll be play around a bit."

Android Authority

"This processing package is certainly not going to set any benchmarking records, but when it comes to real-world use, everything has been speedy and responsive." -- Lanh Nguyen, Android Authority

Lanh Nguyen at Android Authority says the Moto G5 Plus has a "sturdy design" and a nice screen, and was pleasantly surprised by the "vanilla" Android. Still, he found some of the same problems as the other reviewers, including troubling camera quality.

The Good

"The display gets bright enough for comfortable outdoor visibility and provides excellent viewing angles, color reproduction, and contrast. The screen won’t compare favorably when pit against AMOLED displays or those with Quad HD resolutions, but again, the display of the Moto G5 Plus is certainly very good when considering its price point."

Credit: Jeremy Lips/Tom Original Image

"Under the hood, the Moto G5 Plus comes with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor. This processing package is certainly not going to set any benchmarking records, but when it comes to real-world use, everything has been speedy and responsive."

The Bad

"The U.S. version of the Moto G5 Plus does not come with NFC, which means that the ability to use features like Android Pay go out the window."

"Unfortunately, the quality of the photos is just about average. Low-light is the weakest point of this camera. The images really fall apart, with there being very little detail, and a lot of overexposure and blown out highlights."

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