With the Moto G family, Moto has created a lineup of great Android devices that don’t break that bank. And the Moto G5 is no exception.

I’ve been using the Moto G5 for a few weeks now and I would say Moto has made the best budget phone you can get, even better.

Design & Hardware

Gone is the plastic build and in comes an aluminum design which makes the device feel much more premium. It also still retains the nano-coating, so it’s still water-repellent (but just don’t take the Moto G5 swimming with you).

The back of the device is aluminum and the device isn’t slippery to hold in the hands, it feels solid. Even though it may not look like it but the Moto G5 does have a removable battery which is 2,800 mAh and it’s compatible with Moto’s Turbo Power (via the microUSB port).

Just like the Moto G4 Play I reviewed last year, the Moto G5 also has great standby time, I’ve left the phone off the charger for a few days and it still has some juice in it. This is partly thanks to the Doze improvements in Android 7.0 Nougat.

The screen on the Moto G5 is a 5-inch 1080p LCD display and it looks good but it’s nothing compared to the one on the Galaxy S8 or the LG G6. Below the screen, you’ll also find a fingerprint sensor which is quick to unlock the phone but can also double as a home button and a way to navigate the phone.

I found this one-button navigation on the Moto G5 to be interesting but I didn’t find myself using it all that often and it can easily be turned off in the Moto app.

Inside, you’ll find a Snapdragon 430 processor with 2GB of RAM along with 16GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot. I experienced no lag or any other performance issues with the Moto G5, it was smooth sailing all through my testing.

One thing to point is that the Moto G5 lacks NFC, so you won’t be able to share stuff over Android Beam or even use Android Pay. If the Moto G5 did have NFC, it would make it even better.

The Moto G5 only comes in one colour, a silver-ish colour and is available from Bell, SaskTel, MTS, Videotron and Virgin Mobile for $250 CAD.

Software

The Moto G5 is running Android 7.0 Nougat and it’s basically stock Android with a few bundled apps from Moto.

With Android 7.0, you’ll get things like better app permissions, app and memory management and improved microSD card support. There is also better and custom quick-setting toggles in the notification shade.

Moto has also added their own software tweaks like a gesture that when you karate chop the phone twice in the air, it will turn on the flashlight or a twist gesture to flip the camera to the front camera.

The Moto G5 should be getting the Google Assistant, along with a bunch of other phones running Android 6.0 or later but it hasn’t shown up on the Moto G5.

Camera

The main rear-facing camera on the Moto G5 is 13-megapixels with a f2.0 aperture and can shoot 1080p video at 30fps. The camera on the Moto G5 is good enough, it’s not amazing but it will get the job done.

Photos would look somewhat washed or very dark. It’s definitely better than the camera on the Moto G4 Play that I reviewed last year, that one was a real potato.

The front-facing camera on the Moto G5 is 5-megapixels and is good for selfies and not much else.

Final Thoughts

Moto has done a great job on improving their G line with each version. And the Moto G5 is their best effort yet. There are a lot of budget phones to choose from but if you’re looking for the best, then look no further than the Moto G5.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Stock Android
  • Water-resistant
  • Nice design
  • Awesome battery life and stand-by time
  • Good camera

Cons

  • Battery door can be tricky to open
  • No NFC

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