The Motorola Moto G 5G Plus combines fast hardware, a 90Hz screen, large battery and 5G support with a suggested retail price of 349 euros. This almost sounds too good to be true, and in this review you can read whether this is really the case.
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With the Moto G 5G Plus, Motorola releases its first 5G smartphone in the Moto G line. This series of devices combine good specifications with a relatively low price. Although the Moto G 5G Plus is more expensive at 349 euros than, for example, the Moto G8 Power and Moto G Pro, the price-quality ratio is fine.
In fact, for 349 euros, the new Moto phone has a lot to offer. In this review we discuss all the features and pros and cons of the 5G device. A small taste: the Moto G 5G Plus is one of the best smartphones that the company has released so far.
Sleek design, but plastic
The Motorola Moto G 5G Plus has a plastic housing and that sounds worse than it is. The smartphone looks nice, where we especially appreciate the blue color of the device. The Moto G 5G Plus feels sturdy, is relatively heavy at 207 grams and can take a beating through the plastic.
In addition, the phone is splash resistant according to Motorola, so it is no problem if you spill some water or use the device during a light rain shower. Furthermore, the Moto G 5G Plus has a headphone jack for wired headsets, which is a handy feature to have.
Furthermore, on the bottom of the housing is a USB-C port, single speaker (which sounds reasonable) and on the left we see a separate Google Assistant button. The latter is handy, but the button has an awkward place because it is way too high. This makes it difficult to press the button if you are right-handed.
The screen edges of the Moto G 5G Plus are fairly thin, but the display is certainly not front-filling. The edges on the sides are thinner than those on the top, and a thick ‘chin’ is present at the bottom. This is not disturbing, but the screen is not as front-filling as with the more expensive Motorola Edge.
90Hz screen with two selfie cameras
The screen of the Moto G 5G Plus is quite large at 6.7 inches and therefore impossible to operate with one hand. The 21 by 9 aspect ratio also makes the screen elongated and suitable for movies shot in this format. When you watch movies in 21 by 9 you do not see black edges and that is nice.
The screen of the Moto G 5G Plus looks good. The resolution of 2520 by 1080 pixels ensures sharp images, the maximum brightness is fine and colors look beautiful. This is an LCD display, which in practice looks less good than an OLED screen. That is a small minus, but certainly not a disaster.
Great is that the screen has a higher refresh rate of 90Hz. Because the screen is refreshed more often, images and animations look much smoother. You notice this especially when scrolling on websites and games that support this.
The Moto G 5G Plus defaults to ‘Auto’ mode, where the phone itself determines when the screen has a high or normal refresh rate. When watching videos, for example, 90Hz is not really necessary, and by switching back to 60Hz at those times, the smartphone saves power.
Finally, there are two selfie cameras in the top left corner of the screen. They are not – as with the OnePlus Nord – placed in a kind of pill-shaped notch, but are two loose holes next to each other. The notches are small and barely noticeable; we were not bothered by it during the review period.
Fast hardware, 5G and fingerprint scanner
The new Moto smartphone is powered by the Snapdragon 765 chip with 4 / 6GB of RAM and 64 / 128GB, depending on which version you choose. The processor provides excellent performance and in practice the Moto G 5G Plus is a nice and smooth device. During our test period, we only saw minor glitches in the multitask screen when many apps were open. However, they are not disturbing.
The Moto G 5G Plus has 5G support and is one of the cheapest Android phones suitable for the new mobile network. That is nice and neat, although it is not very useful in the Netherlands. 5G is not yet widely available here, and the speed improvements out there are still minor. That will only change later.
You can unlock the phone with the fingerprint scanner, which is incorporated on the right side (in the power button). This is a nice place, but the scanner is actually a bit too high in the housing. This is a bit of a test in the beginning, but after a few days you are used to it.
The fingerprint scanner itself works well and accurately and recognizes your finger very quickly. A funny feature is ‘on / off touch’, which allows you to double-tap the fingerprint scanner to open app shortcuts. Handy, but occasionally you accidentally tap the scanner twice and then see the menu appear on the screen. Fortunately, you can also just disable the option in the Moto app.
Android 10 and update policy
As you would expect, the Motorola Moto G 5G Plus runs out of the box on Android 10. The software is – as we are used to from Moto phones – simple and ‘clean’ and Motorola hardly supplies its own apps. This makes the software look like stock Android and that is the best version of Android in our opinion. In any case, it ensures that the Moto 5 5G Plus is easy to use and flies through the software.
As with the Motorola Edge, the new MyUX skin is present on the Moto G 5G Plus. It is light and above all gives you more options to personalize the software. This way you can adjust the colors, icons and fonts and although that is not a lot of options, it is nice that you can slightly adjust the appearance of the software.
Unfortunately, Motorola’s update policy isn’t great. The company is late Android Planet know that the Moto G 5G Plus will get one major Android update, in this case to Android 11. In addition, the phone receives security updates for two years, which appear every quarter. This is not necessarily bad, but scanty if you compare it with the OnePlus Nord, for example.
This device is about the same price as the Moto G 5G Plus and has a lot in common, but gets two major Android upgrades and a year longer security updates, which also appear more often. Motorola is lagging behind in the field of updates and that is a pity.
Four rear cameras are fine
The square ‘camera island’ on the back of the Moto G 5G Plus contains four cameras. The primary 48 megapixel camera is assisted by an 8 megapixel wide angle lens, 5 megapixel macro camera and 2 megapixel depth sensor. The normal camera uses a quad bayer technique to merge pixels and delivers 12 megapixel photos.
The camera generally takes good pictures. During the day, snaps look nice and sharp and colorful, although the Moto G 5G Plus can sometimes struggle with a lot of backlight, for example when the sun is shining brightly. You sometimes see this in portrait photos, although the Moto phone does apply the bokeh effect in a good way. As a result, portrait photos usually look nice.
The 8 megapixel wide-angle lens is fine, but differs in quality from the primary camera. Photos have less detail and eyes – especially when it gets a bit darker – a bit washed out. Nevertheless, the lens performs well in enough daylight and the option to take wider shots is simply very useful.
The 5 megapixel macro camera is a nice one gimmickbut only useful in a limited number of situations. Due to the higher resolution (many macro cameras have only 2 megapixels), snapshots look reasonable and the autofocus works well too. Finally, a night mode is available for photos in the dark. As a result, the primary camera of the Moto G 5G Plus performs better in low light, but the smartphone is certainly not a high flyer in this area.
5000 mAh battery performs well
The Motorola Moto G 5G Plus has a large 5000 mAh battery and that is not surprising given the large 90Hz screen and the 5G support. We can be brief about the battery life: it is good, but not fantastic.
On a full charge – even with fairly intensive use – you can easily reach the end of the day. Still, we secretly expected a bit more from the battery life, especially because the battery is so big. The device does not seem to be very energy efficient and it is unclear why.
Motorola supplies the Moto G 5G Plus with a new 20 Watt charger and that is neat. Due to the large battery, charging is not very fast, but we do not find that a problem. After half an hour of charging, the smartphone is about 35 percent and after an hour on the charger, this is about 65 percent. Fully charging the Moto G 5G Plus takes over two hours.
Conclusion Motorola Moto G 5G Plus review
With the Moto G 5G Plus, Motorola delivers an excellent smartphone, which has a lot to offer and has a reasonable price tag. The 90Hz screen and beautiful design, the hardware, excellent battery life and capable cameras are fine and the 5G support makes the phone ready for the future.
Although the software is nice to use, the update policy of Motorola is disappointing and we are sorry that the fingerprint scanner and other buttons are placed awkwardly.
In addition, the Moto G 5G Plus is in fierce competition from the OnePlus Nord, which – despite being 50 euros more expensive – has a little more to offer. For example, the OnePlus phone has an amoled screen, much faster charger, more working and storage memory and the update policy of OnePlus is better.
That does not alter the fact that the Moto G 5G Plus is a great deal and very nice to use. Motorola shows that in 2020 you can expect a lot from a device of 349 euros and for that the company deserves compliments.
Buy Motorola Moto G 5G Plus
Are you enthusiastic after reading this Motorola Moto G 5G Plus and do you want to buy the smartphone? A loose Moto G 5G Plus costs 349 euro and is now for sale in the Netherlands. Check our sim only price comparator to find a matching sim only subscription.
Of course it is also possible to purchase the Moto G 5G Plus with a subscription. Motorola also sells a version with more RAM (6GB instead of 4GB) and storage (128GB instead of 64GB) for 399 euro.
Motorola Moto G 5G Plus
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