Moto G5 vs Moto G5 Plus full review

Motorola, once a household name and a dominant force in the smartphone industry, it created the first mobile phone in 1983 at a crazy-high £3,000. It kickstarted the mobile telecoms industry, and has since been on a rollercoaster of ups but mostly downs, being forced to look on as Apple and Samsung have stolen its crown as the leading phone manufacturer.

Now owned by Lenovo, the company has a reputation to rebuild - something the new Moto G5 can help it with. Reliable and affordable, Lenovo's Moto G series offers arguably the best phones you can buy on a budget. Also see: Best mid-range phones and Best budget phones.

Note: Motorola has launched 'special editions' of the G5 and G5 Plus. See Moto G5 vs G5s for more

Your budget smartphone purchasing choice is not that simple, however, since Lenovo unveiled two new Moto Gs at MWC 2017: the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus. In this article we investigate what is the difference between Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus and which you should buy. You may also like: Moto G5 review | Moto G5 Plus review | Moto G5 UK release date, price and specifications.

Moto G5 vs Moto G5 Plus: Design and build

Unlike the the G4 models, both the G5 and the G5 Plus have a diamond-cut aluminium chassis, which is an obvious move to try and bring the premium feel seen by high-end phones to the G series.

The pair have a similar design, with the G5 Plus fitted with a slightly larger screen size at 5.2in compared to the G5’s 5in display. Both have a full-HD resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. The displays are smaller than those of their predecessors, so should appeal to consumers looking for a less bulky, easier to handle device. Only the Plus has Gorilla Glass.

A nano coating also means the Moto G5 and G5 Plus are splashproof. They also each come with a 3.5mm headphone jack and feature a new style of fingerprint scanner that is integrated to the home button.

Moto G5 vs Moto G5 Plus: Specifications

Android 7.0 Nougat runs on the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus as standard. One of the new features in the software is the ability to swap between open apps using the home button.

The Moto G5 Plus is likely to be the faster of the two, though we won't know for sure until we get it into our lab. While the Moto G5 has a 1.4GHz Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor, the G5 Plus has a faster-clocked 2GHz Snapdragon 625 (also octa-core). This means you'll find the Adreno 505 GPU integrated to the Moto G5's processor, and the Adreno 506 in the Plus.

Supporting that core hardware in both models is 2GB of RAM, but the Moto G5 Plus can also come with 4GB. Storage is at 16- or 32GB as standard for the Moto G5 and 32- or 64GB for the Plus. You can expand storage with a microSD card in either handset.

As found on the Moto G4, the Moto G5 has the same 13Mp, f/2.0 camera at the rear and a 5Mp front-facing camera for selfies. The Moto G5 Plus has a 12Mp Sony IMX260, f/1.7 camera, which might seem inferior on paper but is actually the same camera as is used by the Galaxy S7. So pretty good then. There's also 5Mp at the front.

Although NFC is supposedly supported within both models (excluding the US), although the Motorola website says otherwise so stay tuned for more on that.

Moto G5 vs Moto G5 Plus: Battery

During the unveiling, Lenovo stated that both the G5 and the G5 Plus would have good battery life. The G5 sports a removable 2,800mAh battery with fast charging, and is said to offer around two days with normal usage and be able to fully charge within an hour. The G5 Plus battery isn’t removable, but it is higher in capacity at 3,000mAh. It, too, has TurboPower charging, and you'll get six hours use from a 15-minute charge. Expect a full day's life with heavy usage.

Moto G5 vs Moto G5 Plus: Price

As you would expect the G series remains affordable. In the UK, the Moto G5 with 16GB of storage has an RRP of £169, the 32GB model £179. The G5 Plus will cost £249 with 32GB storage. 

The G5 is out now in the UK, and you can buy the 2GB model from Carphone Warehouse, ArgosUnlocked Mobiles and John Lewis - O2 will also sell the 2GB G5 in an exclusive blue colour, though this isn't yet available. Meanwhile the 3GB version is sold by Amazon and the Motorola online store - though isn't yet listed there.

The G5 Plus isn't out yet, but you can pre-order it now for £249 from Carphone Warehouse. Read next: Best new phones coming in 2017.


Moto G5 Plus: Specs

  • Android Nougat 7 5.2in 1920x1080 touchscreen, 424ppi 2.0GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor Adreno 506 graphics 3GB RAM 32GB storage 12MP main camera, dual-LED flash, support for 4K video at 30fps 5MP front camera Bluetooth 4.2 4G LTE Nano-SIM GPS 3000mAh non-removable battery 74x150.2x7.7mm 155g

Moto G5: Specs

  • Android Nougat 7.0
  • 5.0in 1920x1080 touchscreen, 441ppi
  • 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor
  • Adreno 505 graphics
  • 2 or 3GB RAM
  • 16GB storage
  • 13MP main camera, LED flash, support for 1080p video at 30fps
  • 5MP front camera
  • 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4 and 5GHz)
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • 4G LTE
  • Nano-SIM
  • 2800mAh removable battery
  • Micro-USB rapid charging
  • MicroSD support up to 128GB
  • Water-repellent nano-coating
  • 73.0x144.3x9.5mm
  • 144.5g