Moto G5 and G5 Plus in the test

Moto G5 und G5 Plus: Lenovo baut tolle Hardware und Software mit großem Aber

The fifth generation Moto G is launched under the motto “premium for all”. In the test of the Moto G5 and G5 Plus, Lenovo again proves that good smartphones do not have to be expensive. Above all, the unbased Android operating system of the two devices has a large share of the good performance – except for a blunder.

Table of Contents
1Moto G5 (Plus) and Moto G4 (Plus) in comparison
New metal design
Fingerprint sensor with wipers as standard
Displays with sharp resolution
Brightness boost for a short time
Camera of the Galaxy S7
Clean Android without security
A bit of pixel launcher
2New 14-nm SoC in the Moto G5 Plus
Standstill at the battery
New charger for the Moto G5
Faster LTE Advanced
Conclusion – Good smartphones but …
Availability and price
Moto G5 (Plus) and Moto G4 (Plus) in comparison

Lenovo makes the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus quite different from the competition. Unlike in the industry, the smartphones have become smaller than their direct predecessors Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus. This had brought Lenovo last year with 5.5 inch large displays on the market and the plus differences in other places such as fingerprint sensor, processor or camera set. This is still the case with the new generation, although now the plus is also for the distinction between 5.0 inches for the Moto G5 and 5.2 inches for the Moto G5 Plus. These are 0.5 inch and 0.3 inch smaller displays than a year ago.

New metal design

Premium for all is the motto of the Moto G5 (Plus) because Lenovo is now also in the middle class on a metal design. The word “metal design” comes from Lenovo itself and meets it quite well to the point: For a real metal unibody is not available on either smartphone. Rather, only the rear side now consists of very lightly roughened aluminum. The Motorola Batwing logo introduced in 1955 stands out slightly from the back, apart from the large round camera and a second microphone there is no bigger gimmicks to discover.

Neue Metall-Rückseite
New metal back
Plane Kamera (G5)
Tilt camera (G5)

The Moto G5 has a replaceable battery

With the Moto G5, the camera sits flat in the housing, the Moto G5 Plus stands out and is an area of attack for crumbs, dust and other potential scratchers. Another advantage of the Moto G5 is that the rear panel can be pulled out with a little more leverage so that the user can replace the battery. He must also be able to do this, because the two nano-SIM compartments can not be reached differently. Only the microSD memory card can be inserted immediately after removing the back。

Fingerprint sensor with wipers as standard

A fingerprint sensor is now installed on the front of both smartphones. Last year only the Moto G4 Plus was equipped with it. The new sensor is now not only standard, but it is also much better integrated into the design of the smartphones and has advanced functions. The square sensor of the Moto G4 Plus was nothing but ugly. The Moto app allows the sensor to replace the on-screen buttons with wipers. In the test, however, the buttons on the display were more comfortable. But not only the look is right, the detection rate is also very high. Both sensors work very quickly and reliably during test day. Convenient feature: Unlocking the phone does not only unlock the phone, it also locks it off again and turns off the display.

Displays with sharp resolution

That Lenovo installed smaller displays, fortunately did not lead to the resolution was correspondingly reduced. Lenovo continues to rely on Full HD with 1,920 × 1,080 pixels, resulting in sharp 441 ppi (Moto G5) and 424 ppi (Moto G5 Plus). This is a slight but not visible improvement on the Moto G4 (Plus).

The IPS technology remains true to Lenovo, so that both devices again score with good viewing angles. The color adjustment is adjusted in both cases from the factory slightly more powerful, but in the settings for the display but also a normal mode. In the factory state, the Moto G5 meets the white point slightly better, the Moto G5 Plus is easily adjusted too cool, Lenovo would have had to take more care.

Brightness boost for a short time

Interesting is the behavior regarding the maximum display brightness. Those who do without the automatic regulation achieve up to 418 cd / m² with the Moto G5 and up to 475 cd / m² with the Moto G5 Plus. Both values ​​are mean values ​​from three measuring zones. In automatic mode, there is a boost of around 100 cd / m². However, this can only be triggered for a short time, after which the brightness decreases slightly again, finally falling to the manually attainable level. For a short time in the sunshine, this is practical, permanently accessible in the everyday life but only the manually adjustable brightness.

Camera of the Galaxy S7

On the camera of the Moto G5, Lenovo has hardly changed anything against the Moto G4. This means that as before a 13-megapixel sensor with f / 2.0 aperture is used. New is the autofocus by phase comparison (PDAF). According to Lenovo, faster focusing and sharper images will result.

For the Moto G5 Plus, Lenovo relies on completely new technology. The 12-megapixel sensor from the Galaxy S7 (test) from Samsung is installed. The so-called dual pixel camera is available for every “normal” pixel one for the autofocus by phase comparison. This makes for a very fast autofokus and according to Lenovo for “stunning photos by day and night.”

Looking for the right focus

In fact, the autofocus of the Moto G5 Plus reacts very quickly to changes in alignment. Newly shifted motifs in the viewfinder are accurately focused. Only in a very dark environment, such as in the Zeiss large planetarium, the otherwise fast autofocus does not work reliably. Again and again, there is a new focus, although the subject was previously focused.

Both devices have an auto-HDR mode, so bad lighting conditions can be compensated well in automatic mode. In the Moto G5, however, the mode is activated only very late, the Moto G5 Plus uses it earlier, which can be seen from the recordings 2 and 4. Due to the more open f / 1.7 aperture, the Moto G5 Plus also almost always uses a lower ISO value or can expose the subject to a shorter exposure.

The Moto G5 is well suited for snapshots, which take place with good illumination during outdoor use. Buyers should not expect too much from the camera. As shown in Figs. 7 and 9, very loud noise is generated even in well-lit interior spaces. Structures of jackets, trousers or rucksacks also lose their depth and detail, and their faces are greatly washed out. The Moto G5 Plus cuts off in all respects in the comparable recordings.

Lenovo Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus in the test camera

Nevertheless, the Moto G5 Plus does not offer a camera at the Galaxy-S7 level, just because the sensor is the same as last year’s Samsung flagship. Recording 13 shows that the camera is not always properly focused and therefore a non-usable recording is created. Also missing the photos of the Moto G5 Plus in general the plasticity and the poppy colors of a Galaxy S7. The camera hardware installed on the Moto G5 Plus is good, but the configuration of the image processor and the software ultimately have an equal share in the result.

Clean Android without security

Lenovo installed Android 7.0 (test) with the security patch level of January 2017 on the Moto G5 (Plus). It would have been exemplary if Lenovo had installed Android 7.1.x and the latest patches from April. Why Lenovo is doing so, has been stuck since the summer of last year: Testing for release of the updates is too expensive with the number of devices offered. Lenovo wants to distribute security patches rather than bundled or only with an upgrade of the operating system, Arstechnica said. This is a completely unacceptable behavior of the largest PC manufacturer in the world, which should have abundant software capabilities.

A bit of pixel launcher

Lenovo could without the sloppy in the security without problems the full score for the pre-installed operating system to clear away. Because the Android used by Lenovo is free of annoying modifications or preinstalled apps that may not everyone needs. Lenovo uses a mixture of Google and pixel launcher, which is wiped from the bottom up. The Google app’s full round app icons are missing as well as (yet) the Google Assistant. On the Moto G5, the operating system and Google Apps occupy 7.27 GB of internal memory, leaving 8.73 GB for the user free. On the Moto G5 Plus the 32 GB of the factory are 8,92 GB, so it remains 23,08 GB free. In both cases, Androids Adoptable Storage is supported, which can connect a microSD card with the internal memory to a large partition.

Android 7.0 mit „kleinem“ Pixel-Launcher auf dem Moto G5 (Plus)
Android 7.0 with “small” pixel launcher on the Moto G5 (Plus)

On the next page: New 14 nm SoC in the Moto G5 Plus



Always on the move... Love to blog, write about smartphones, technology and telecoms. I also like to snowboard, when I have the time :p I'll be around for a while so, be prepared.

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