Motorola Moto G 5G Plus : Review

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OUR VERDICT

The Moto G 5G Plus is a good all-rounder with a better chipset, battery life and screen quality than many other devices at its price point. It’s also got a bigger screen than its siblings. The fact that it’s also 5G-compatible makes it an even more tempting offer, as it’s the cheapest 5G phone at launch, although as with all Moto phones it has its fair share of annoying quirks. It’s good, especially as a cheap 5G handset, but not game-changing.

FOR

Affordable 5g

  • Feels relatively snappy to use
  • Long-lasting battery
  • AGAINST
  • Fingerprint sensor doesn’t always work
  • Cameras aren’t the best
  • Irritating Google Assistant button

Two-minute review

What is the Moto G 5G Plus? It’s a mouthful of a name for a start, and it’s the first 5G-compatible entry in Motorola’s affordable G line; it’s also, as we write this review, the cheapest 5G phone in the regions where we know it’s being released. But more than any of those things, it’s the Motorola Edge Lite in all but name.

It’s certainly hard to see this phone as belonging to the same series as the Moto G8 and G Power, as it brings some major changes over those staples of the G8 / G line (Motorola seemed to use those designations interchangeably for its 2020 handsets).

The fingerprint sensor is on the side, not the back, and is embedded into the power button, and the phone has a physical Google Assistant button, a longer 21:9 screen and two front-facing cameras – all things its predecessors lacked. This is also the biggest screen we’ve seen on a Moto G phone.

So is the Moto G 5G Plus the renaissance the densely populated and often confusing Moto G series needed, or effectively, the Motorola Edge

That said, the in-the-hand experience isn’t perfect – the side-mounted fingerprint sensor is too high to be conveniently reached, and you can’t easily press the power button the sensor is mounted on either. This hurts the double-tap shortcuts, a potentially-cool feature Motorola has packed into the fingerprint sensor.

On top of that, some trademark Motorola issues are present. The cameras aren’t fantastic, in particular – with four rear and two front-facing cameras it feels like a case of quantity over quality, and one camera on each side would likely take better pictures with the help of some effective processing.

Many of the issues with, and the strengths of, the Moto G 5G Plus are also present in the Motorola Edge, which is why we’re comparing the two handsets. But while the Edge felt like it had an element of flair in its design, making it a tempting option for some, the Moto G 5G Plus just feels ‘okay’ – a perfectly sound option for casual buyers, but ultimately uninspiring.

The Moto G 5G Plus is emphatically a plus-sized handset, even compared to the Moto G8 Plus. It’s bigger than its siblings, with a larger screen (as we’ll get into) but the G 5G Plus isn’t too wide, so it won’t be much of a stretch to hold it comfortably for most people.

The phone’s dimensions are 168 x 74 x 9mm so it’s y as long and thick as your average smartphone, just not as wide. At 207g it’s a little heavier than your average handset, but not by much.

On the front of the phone, the screen takes up the majority of the space, broken up only by a fairly minimal bezel (well, minimal for Motorola phones, which often have thicker ones) and also the dual punch-hole cutouts for the cameras.

The back of the phone houses a square camera bump, which doesn’t stick out too far, as well as a large flash module and the Motorola logo. The phone has a plastic back, but it feels sturdy, and not cheap as can be the case with some other plastic phones.

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