Motorola Moto G 5G Plus review: affordable 5G smartphone impresses


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.

motorola moto g 5g plus review

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.

Also read

Motorola Edge review: great return in the higher price segment

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.

motorola moto g 5g plus review

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.

motorola moto g 5g plus review

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.

motorola moto g 5g plus review

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.


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