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Moto G 5G review: future-proof meets affordable

On: December 15, 2020

Once a very popular brand in India, Motorola lost ground after brands like Xiaomi and Realme started launching more competitive devices in the country. The brand failed to refresh its product line-up and as a result, the shipments declined. However, it seems that the Lenovo-owned brand is finally putting in efforts to make up for lost ground.

Also readGoogle Pixel 4a review: the new mid-range camera king

Motorola launched two new G-series smartphones in India this month, the Moto G9 Power and Moto G 5G. The latter comes as the first Snapdragon 750G-powered and the most affordable 5G handset in India. I have been using the Moto G 5G for a week now and have been quite impressed by what it offers.

Design and display

  • 166.13 x 76.08 x 9.89 mm, 210g
  • 6.67-inch IPS LCD, FHD+, 20:9 aspect ratio, 393ppi pixel density

The Moto G 5G is a typical Motorola smartphone, which means it is chunky and well-built. The polycarbonate-clad smartphone has a very simple design with a square camera module on the back and a punch-hole display on the front. However, the Volcanic Grey colour that I received and the printed pattern lends it a premium look.

The back panel is very glossy and picks up smudges instantly, which are not easy to clean either. I would suggest putting on the transparent case provided with the device or any other case of your choice.

Other elements of the smartphone are pretty standard including the volume rocker with the power button on the left and ejectable SIM tray with dedicated Google Assistant button on the right. The top edge is bare, while the bottom edge is home to the 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type-C port, and speaker grille. There’s a fingerprint scanner embedded in the batwing Motorola logo on the back, which is pretty fast and accurate.

In the front, the Moto G 5G features a 6.7-inch FHD+ Max Vision display with support for HDR10. The IPS LCD panel offers a screen resolution of 2,400 x 1,080 pixels. Despite it being an IPS LCD panel, I found colours to be vivid, with good viewing angles and brightness. The HDR10 support is an added bonus at its price. Unfortunately, the phone ships with a standard 60Hz refresh rate.

Cameras

  • Rear: 48-megapixel f/1.7 primary lens, 8-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide, 2-megapixel f/2.4 macro
  • Front: 16-megapixel camera

The Motorola Moto G 5G sports triple cameras, with a 48-megapixel primary snapper, 8-megapixel ultra-wide lens and a 2-megapixel macro sensor. In the front, the smartphone has a 16-megapixel shooter for selfies and video calling. The camera app is loaded with features like spot colour, cutout, cinemagraph, portrait, night vision and pro mode, among others.

The primary camera on the Moto G 5G captures well-detailed and sharp pictures with vibrant colours in daylight conditions. In low-light situations, the camera still captures decent images even without the night vision but you may find noise creeping in. The Night Vision mode exposes the low-light shot extremely well, but has more grain compared to the standard shot.

Coming to the wide-angle lens, the 8-megapixel shooter misses out when it comes to resolution but does a good job of clicking a wide-angle shot with not distortion on edges. The macro lens also captures highly-detailed close-up shots in daylight, however, the quality goes downhill in poor lighting.

As for the portrait mode, the images turned out to be impressive with accurate edge detection and aesthetic blur in the background. The camera app lets users control the amount of blur with a handy slider in real-time.

The 16-megapixel camera on the front also clicks impressive selfies in the daylight with vivid colours and good details. There’s also a selfie portrait mode, which works quite well too. The low-light images are decent as well, but shadow areas are too dark to make out anything. There’s a night vision mode for selfie camera, which takes care of the exposure but increases noise.

Performance, software and battery

  • Android 10
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G
  • 6GB + 128GB
  • 5,000mAh battery, 20W fast charging

The Motorola Moto G 5G is the first smartphone in the country to be powered by the Snapdragon 750G chipset. It’s an 8nm octa-core processor accompanied by an Adreno 619 GPU. The chipset is backed by 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage. I have been using the smartphone as my primary device for over a week now, and I am yet to encounter any noticeable lag.

As for gaming, the Moto G 5G handled over a 30 minutes session of PUBG Mobile without breaking a sweat. The game starts in Balanced graphics and Ultra frame rate by default, which can be bumped up to HD graphics and High frame rate. The game played smoothly in both settings without any noticeable frame drops. Casual games like Subway Surfer and Stick Cricket are a breeze to play on the smartphone.

The Moto G 5G boots Android 10 out of the box with My UX interface on top, which offers near-stock Android experience. Apart from the pre-installed Facebook app, there’s no other third-party app or bloatware on the handset. This means no pesky ads or notifications, which is a welcome change from other smartphones in this price range. The software comes with some customisation features like fonts, accent, and icons, which is useful.

Coming to the battery, the Moto G 5G houses a beefy 5,000mAh battery inside with support for 20W fast charging. In my usage, I was able to see through a day of consistent usage that includes a lot of WhatsApp, Twitter, YouTube and Reddit. The 20W charger takes close to 1.5 to charge fully from 5 percent to full.

Bottomline

So, should you buy the Moto G 5G? If you are looking for a smartphone in the range of Rs 20,000 that you intend to use for a couple of years with the ability to switch to 5G, the answer is yes. Apart from the future proof aspect, the Moto G 5G offers a clean Android experience, good performance, decent cameras, and long battery life.

If you can stretch your budget a little, there’s the OnePlus Nord with a Snapdragon 765G SoC and 5G support. The OnePlus Nord offers a 90Hz display, compact design, 48MP quad cameras and 30W fast charging, but features a smaller battery.

Pricebaba’s rating: 8 / 10

What works:

  • Stock Android 10
  • Good performance
  • Decent cameras
  • Day-long battery backup

What doesn’t:

  • No high refresh rate
  • Chunky design
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Abhiman Biswas

Abhiman is obsessed with all things tech. His hobbies include reading on his Kindle and clicking random pictures on his phone. His secret superpowers happen to be mixing great cocktails and lip reading. In his spare time, you are likely to find him cleaning his aquascape, researching new species of aquatic fishes and planning which aquatic plants to buy next.