Why it matters to you
Lenovo’s midrange G series added two new family members at Mobile World Congress: The Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus.
The Lenovo Moto G5 and G5 Plus have finally been unveiled, and the two made a big appearance at Mobile World Congress 2017. The new phones, successors to last year’s G4 and G4 Plus, are in keeping with the series’ core tenet of uncompromising affordability. Both pack capable processors, high-definition displays, fingerprint sensors, and sizable batteries. And like their predecessors, they’re compatible with all major carriers in the U.S., including T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and U.S. Cellular.
Check out the latest details about the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus below — but you can also read our full review here.
Price and availability
The pricing and availability for the Moto G5 and G5 Plus is a little confusing, so strap in.
If you live in Europe, the G5 and G5 Plus are both available from many local carriers in in a range of different markets. If you live in the United Kingdom, you’ll get access to a special Sapphire Blue color for the G5 through O2. The G5 and G5 Plus launch in March for 229 euros ($244.46) and 279 euros ($297.83), respectively.
If you live in the United States, you’ll have to go for the G5 Plus — however there are two G5 Plus variants available. Those include a $230 model with 32GB of storage and 2GB of RAM, and a $280 model with 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM.
If you want to save a few bucks on the U.S. version, Amazon is subsidizing a series of phones, including the Moto G5 Plus — so you can get it for yourself for $185. Of course, getting an Amazon-subsidized phone does have its drawbacks, like the fact that you’ll get ads and personalized offers. It doesn’t seem like the standard Moto G5 is part of the promotion — which we expected, as the standard G5 was not slated to reach the U.S.
Both handsets are available in two color configurations: Lunar gray and fine gold. And both ship running Android 7.0 Nougat.
At first glance, the G5 doesn’t look any different from the G5 Plus, but it’s a different story under the hood. The lower-end handset packs a 5-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080p) screen, but sports a Snapdragon 430 paired with 2GB of RAM, a sizable step down from the G5 Plus. It also lacks support for NFC, and internal storage and battery max out at 32GB and 2,800mAh, respectively.
Despite the G5’s weaker specs, it didn’t seem all that much slower than the G5. It flew through apps like Chrome and Gmail, and crushed a burst shot photo session like a pro.
The G5 has support for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, a 3.5mm audio jack, and USB Type-C.
Motorola said that the designs of the G5 and G5 Plus were informed by its customers, and that much seems clear. Citing the results of a customer survey, Motorola said that 63 percent want a higher screen resolution and display, 62 percent want all-day battery life, and 58 percent want better camera capabilities.
From what we can tell so far, both the G5 and G5 Plus deliver on all fronts.
Moto G5 Plus
The Moto G5, much like its predecessor, is a veritable powerhouse of a smartphone. On the front is a 5.2-inch Full HD display (the same resolution as the G4 Plus) shielded by Gorilla Glass 3, and powered by a Qualcomm 2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 625 and up to 4GB of RAM. The battery is the same size as last year’s model at 3,000mAh, and supports Lenovo’s proprietary TurboPower fast-charging technology. (Motorola said it can deliver up to six hours of battery life in just 15 minutes.) It also has a notable upgrade from the G4 Plus — support for NFC, the wireless standard that enables tap-and-pay transactions via Google’s Android Pay platform.
We were impressed by the responsiveness of last year’s G4 Plus, and the G5 Plus was just as smooth as glass to our eyes. We put the G5 through the wringer in our brief time with the device, opening as many browser tabs and apps at once as we possibly could. It fluidly switched between all of them, but we’ll need to run a few benchmark tests and games to see how it really compares.
A fingerprint sensor is embedded in a raised nub on the front of the Moto G5 Plus, and a MicroSD Card reader sits under the removable back cover. It also features Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a USB Type-C connector, and 64GB of internal storage.
Updated on 04-05-2017 by Christian de Looper: Reformatted article and added news of blue Moto G5 for O2 customers.