At the Mobile World Congress 2017 last February, Moto reminded us of the mission of its G range: “to offer a premium configuration of the previous year at an affordable price”. The Moto G family, which is now five generations old, still stands valiantly despite the arrival of increasingly aggressive competitors in the mobile sector. For several years, the range of Moto G has been a benchmark in the market thanks to its excellent price-performance ratio. But now, the goals of Lenovo (formerly Motorola) are even more audacious. Requesting the same price as its predecessor, the Moto G5 wants to offer a more premium design and a better display. Will this allow Moto G to break the records and be a bestseller worldwide? Let’s discover first the new specs of the device.
Seeing it at a first sight, we can distinguish the hard work made by the team of designers at the manufacturing phase. The device seems rather well finished, especially with the choice of aluminum at the back. The new design adapted by Lenovo showcases that the smartphone is undoubtedly a top range. The brand privilege us with a flat apparatus from the back idiosyncratic with its metal case. Albeit the designers have worked on retaining some fundamental aspects inherited from the phone’s predecessors, each brand has its own signature after all.
Unfortunately, the material used is not exactly the best when it comes to quality. While holding the device we rarely sense the coldness of metal, most of the times it gives the impression that we’re holding a product made of good plastic rather than a “premium” material. The plastic border that frames the metal plate and which is used to pass the radio waves is not quite the same color, giving an ugly allure to the phone. On the front side, the screen borders remain very broad, which doesn’t follow the current trends. That’s possibly due to its battery that can be removed. But we appreciate the fact that Lenovo has opted for a removable hull and battery, a comfort that is too rare today, even on mobiles of this range.
Furthermore, the grip is congenial thanks to the slightly curved back, in spite of its considerable breadth and its lumpish appearance. Since Lenovo figured that large displays do not interest people as much as one might have thought, the Moto G5 is also more compact because its screen is no longer 5.5 inches but 5 inches this time.
Lenovo features in its new flagship a five-inches screen with a full-HD mode and an IPS LCD that allows a fairly good display. The luminosity is also quite good as it outpaces nearly all the other brands which produces such products with the same fare range. Addition to that we have a brightness of 445 cd per m² and a contrast ratio of 1,132: 1. The panel displays very satisfactory performances and it offers good legibility. Even outdoors on a sunny day, it is quite manageable to read what’s displayed on the screen, the smallest details are crystal clear and the colorimetry is neatly shown. I’m sure that the display is one of the good satisfying things about this smartphone.
Note that when the color temperature turns around 7,250 ° K, the screen sometimes might deviate to look kind of a shady blue but nothing too disastrous to be highlighted. Moreover, the display settings, gives you the right to adjust the brightness and the color temperature depending on the time you’re using the device, your mood and overall depending on what you prefer. The two modes applicable are: “Vivid Colors” or “Normal Colors”. Notwithstanding, the two seems a lot similar and it’s hard to differ to be honest.
Lenovo always makes sure that the performance satisfies all the needs for the everyday use, and that’s the case this year as well. Lenovo adopts a Snapdragon 430 processor (1.5 GHz) to the new G series’ phone instead of the Snapdragon 617, previously used by the G4. If you checked rapidly the gadget, you might question its performance. But books taught us not to judge based on the cover.
After having the time to wisely check the G5, we can conclude that the chip is coupled with 2 or 3 GB of RAM and that the use of the smartphone can be mellow. The performances are thus relatively correct and are large enough to perform the simplest tasks. Nevertheless, they are not exemplary either, we only reach the bar when we go overboard with the multi-tasking or when we play graphics greedy games. And on the benchmarks, we can see that the Kirin 655 of the Huawei P8 Lite 2017 and Honor 6X are, on the whole, better, but they do not ridicule the Moto G5.
Moreover, with the graphics processor Adreno 505, the performance provided is perfectly adequate for everyday use, aka searching on the Web, scrolling through your social networks accounts, and even checking your emails. By default, the mobile comes with the three usual navigation buttons of Android Interface. Android users bight find it an evident choice, but the reader of fingerprints inadequately hides behind the Home button façade. Consequently, you will try more than often to find yourselves unconsciously pressing in order to navigate the OS. Fortunately, Lenovo has anticipated this and they made it possible to activate navigation shortcuts by making movements on the fingerprint sensor using the Moto application. These features come in handy to take screenshots for instance. As of the rest, it is purely Android specs (the Google Assistant as well) that can be available in any other smartphone using the same interface. Only to prove another time that this mobile is distinct foremost for its simplicity.
Another thing that must be highlighted in this review is the impressive quality of sound blasted by the G5. Of course, if the screen is good the sound should at least be its equivalent. The presence of the mono loudspeakers improves the user’s experience while watching a video or playing a game or just hearing your favorite song on the radio. I wouldn’t go too far and say that the quality provided is the best or even comes near excellent. It’s everything but that if we compare it to a phone you can buy at the same price, the quality is very satisfying. You can be less concerned now about making regular calls or a video call. A lot of those will get shorter because people wouldn’t be keen to repeat the same sentence twice.
In short, we have to say that Lenovo still has to improve in its upcoming products so we can benefit from a clearer sound, a better performance, and a more developed user interface.
Lenovo Moto G5 is equipped with a battery with an average capacity of 2,800 mAh, nothing too “wow” to mention about Autonomy. The capacity is however enough to hold a day, but you still need to think about recharging it every night, especially if you’re a lazy sleepy head and you depend on your phone alarm to wake up in the morning. Thanks to its moderate data sheet, the Moto G5 manages to ensure a rather solid autonomy. In normal use, it offers a big day of endurance, while if one has a moderate use, one can reach a day and a half. It’s not really bad, but it’s frustrating for a phone released in 2017.
Finally, the photo is one of the good surprises of this G5. Without revolutionizing the environment, the Moto G5 offers a quite respectable performance in this sector. Let me be more precise, mostly in broad daylight! It incorporates a 13 megapixels’ rear camera with an f / 2.0 lens, Lenovo has not made the decision to switch to dual sensor like other manufacturers such as Honor.
When the light is sufficient, the camera sensor captures an overall satisfactory image. The dive is pretty good, the contrast is quite alright and the details are well present, a rare performance for a model at 200 euros. The scene is slightly under-exposed by default and that digital noise, even with the bright light, is omnipresent and noticeable a bit. Of course, things are more spoiled in low lights where one notices that the smoothing erases many details. Otherwise, the color rendering is good, the focus and capture are fast. Also note that a fairly complete “Pro” mode is available for those looking for a little more control.
The front sensor makes it possible to achieve correct selfies, but this is not the strong point of the G5, 5 megapixels, with an angle large enough to make a group selfie.
When it comes to the camera, if one is more critical about this spec, I recommend you to check the Moto G5 Plus which is equipped with a developed sensor, equivalent to the one of Samsung Galaxy S7.
In general, the smartphone was not created to impress immensely the users but it offers for its low price tag a pleasant device, distinctively designed and compatible to be conveniently carried in one’s jeans pockets. Lenovo has, therefore, slightly developed the Moto recipe that has been working well the past years. It succeeded globally its coup with this new G5 to occupy the third place in comparison of the smartphones that cost less than 200 euros.
They kept their promise of providing a premium model that is affordable at the same time. The screen is thus of a good quality, the power of the mobile sufficient on the most common uses, the quality of day photos is good and the interface is frankly pleasant.
Undoubtedly, the new G5 is a mouth-watering proposition for those looking for an inexpensive Android experience. Unfortunately, facing a Huawei P8 Lite 2017, slightly more expensive, the Lenovo phone is in a risky position.