Lenovo Moto G5 review: Android smartphone with metal designs and affordable price

Lenovo Moto G5 review: Android smartphone with metal designs and affordable price

It was during the Mobile World Congress 2017 Lenovo introduced its new model for its mid-range: the Lenovo Moto G5. True bestseller worldwide, this smartphone wants to symbolize a break with the Motorola era according to Lenovo with a more premium than its predecessor.


Lenovo Moto G5: Design

We can see from the first glance that Lenovo has adapted the design of the smartphone to that of its top range. This is especially true when looking at the back of the terminal since we find the typical round module where the camera is already seen on the Moto Z Play and Moto Z. We like it or not, It has at least the merit of not exceeding like the other productions of Lenovo. As a result, the Lenovo Moto G5 is perfectly flat at the rear.

Lenovo Moto G5 review: Android smartphone with metal designs and affordable price

The main difference with its predecessor is the format of the device. The Lenovo Moto G5 is more compact because its screen is no longer 5.5 inches but well 5 inches. According to a study by Lenovo, large displays do not interest people as much as one might have thought. The device is therefore very pleasant to take in hand, and despite its relative thickness and appearance a little awkward, it is quickly forgotten in the pocket.

Once in hand, it is honestly hard to know whether it is metal or plastic. After several checks, it appears that the rear part is aluminum while the edges are plastic. This may be because the battery is removable.

Lenovo Moto G5 review: Android smartphone with metal designs and affordable price

The other novelty of this G5 is the appearance of a fingerprint reader, which until now was reserved only for the Plus version of Moto G. This player is located at the front and is integrated with a button Which can also act as navigation keys as I will explain later.

If aesthetically the Moto G5 is a pretty classic smartphone, its finish is quite successful and the Lenovo Moto G5 gives a great impression of solidity. Finally, the only false note of this Moto G5 is on the front of the terminal, next to the Home button. There is indeed a microphone that gives an impression of neglected. It is a pity that Lenovo has not covered this hole, it would be more beautiful than leaving a gaping hole.

In general, the work done by Lenovo on this Moto G5 is satisfactory. The smartphone will not create any wahou effect but offers for its fare a classic terminal, properly finished and easy to carry.

Lenovo Moto G5 review: Android smartphone with metal designs and affordable price

Lenovo Moto G5: Screen

The Lenovo Moto G5 features a full-HD 5-inch IPS LCD screen. This is one of the good satisfactions of the smartphone. The device offers a very good luminosity and surpasses almost all its competitors in the same price range. The readability of the screen is excellent even in sunny outdoor conditions (provided that the brightness of the sunlight is fully increased). All the details are clearly displayed and the colors are relatively bright. The screen may sometimes look slightly bluish but nothing disastrous. On the contrary, the Moto G5 is also doing well.

Note that from the display options, you can change the brightness and color temperature according to your preferences. Two modes are available: “Bright Colors” or “Normal Colors”. But the difference between the two is not blatantly honest. Finally, there is Ambient Display which allows displaying information such as the time and the notifications thanks to a simple interaction, such as to leave the pocket.

Lenovo Moto G5 review: Android smartphone with metal designs and affordable price

Lenovo Moto G5: Software

The software interface of the Lenovo Moto G5 is almost the Android Stock, there are very few differences. Regarding the version of the system, Lenovo has opted for Android 7.0, denying the latest version available. However, the G5 should receive the next version Android O very quickly, like the Moto G4 and Nougat.

Motorola simply adds to the pure version of Android it is Moto application which allows personalizing the Home button with gestures and other features (shake for a screenshot, sweep to reduce the screen, slice to illuminate …).

Like the Huawei P10, the Home button that acts as a fingerprint reader also offers another way to navigate. You can substitute it for the navigation keys. A slide on the right or on the left (to choose) allows to see the recent tasks, a simple click makes it possible to lock the device, a sliding on the right or on the left makes it possible to go back. With Nougat, it is also possible to divide the screen in two by drawing a gesture with his finger on the screen.

In addition to several software aspects, the G5 is compatible with the Google Wizard. What is new is that the Lenovo Moto G5 and the G5 Plus will also work with Alexa. Google currently offers its wizard to other manufacturers and older smartphones, which is why the arrival of Alexa is quite unexpected. Will this be better than the Google Wizard?

Other good news for this software interface, there is no bloatware unlike most of its competitors. Since only 16 GB of storage is available (only 9.5 GB of which is accessible), it is a wise decision on the part of Lenovo. This lack of internal memory is one of the aspects that I regret. The memory can be expandable by microSD card; I find it a shame that Lenovo has not made the effort to put more internal memory. Its price of 199 euros certainly explaining this decision and the Moto G5 Plus is there for users wanting 32 GB.

Lenovo Moto G5 review: Android smartphone with metal designs and affordable price

Lenovo Moto G5: Performance

Regarding the processor, Lenovo uses a Snapdragon 430 processor. At first glance, one might think that Lenovo is backing up but the performance of the 430 is quite similar to that of the Snapdragon 617 used by the Moto G4. The latter had convinced us for everyday use, this is also the case this year for the Snapdragon 430.

Unlike the Lenovo Moto G5 Plus, we only have 2 GB of RAM but in practice, the smartphone proves perfectly fluid and pleasant to use. We only reach its limits when we abuse the multi-task or when we play games that are very resource-intensive, like Need for Speed.

The limitations of the smartphone are naturally found in the benchmarks, but on a daily basis, once again, the Moto G5 will not disappoint you. The smartphone is reliable and fast and shows the progress made by entry and mid-range smartphones in recent years. It is a bit less performing than some of its competitors like the Honor 6X but it is also a bit more affordable.

Lenovo Moto G5 review: Android smartphone with metal designs and affordable price

Lenovo Moto G5: Sound

Like the smartphone, the sound quality of the Lenovo Moto G5 is correct. Its mono loudspeaker is sufficient for the majority of multimedia uses (games, videos …). Of course, the sound quality is not perfect but it is surprisingly good. At a high volume, the sound becomes slightly acute and quite strident. Lenovo could pay a little more attention to this aspect but we must accept some concessions on a smartphone to 199 euros, and notably the lack of stereo sound.

The audio output is very good with virtually no distortion. If you use a Bluetooth headset, you will also have no problem. The pairing is easy and the sound is not shifted.

In terms of the quality of the calls, I did not encounter any concern. I had no trouble making myself understood during my calls or hearing, even in a crowded place like the subway during rush hour.

Lenovo Moto G5 review: Android smartphone with metal designs and affordable price

Lenovo Moto G5: Camera

The Lenovo Moto G5 has a 13 megapixel camera. Lenovo ignores a Dual Pixel sensor but there is still a phase detection autofocus. The application of the camera is minimalist and offers only a few options. Those who have already had a Motorcycle smartphone or a Nexus will not be disoriented.

As for the photo quality, for a smartphone of its range, the Moto G5 surprising us pleasantly, provided the environment is bright. There is, therefore, a good contrast, a nice Pique and satisfactory details. There is also no objection to the reproduction of colors. On the other hand, in conditions of low light, the Moto G5 is experiencing great difficulties, even using the Flash. The noise is strongly present, the focus is hard to make and the final quality is quite disappointing. The frontal camera is satisfactory for its part and will suffice for a traditional use for selfies.

In general, taking pictures is normal. Sometimes you have to be patient with the HDR mode. To save time, you can disable it. Lenovo also offers a “Pro” mode quite comprehensive for those who want to go further by setting certain options, such as ISO, white balance etc.

On the video side, you can shoot in Full-HD at 60 frames per second and in slow motion in HD at 120 frames per second. However, the sensor suffers from the same problems in low light

Lenovo Moto G5: Autonomy

At the time of its presentation, Lenovo had promised a good autonomy with its battery of 2800 mAh. With a classic but sustained use (a few calls, SMS, WhatsApp, YouTube …), it is possible to hold more than a day. In fairly moderate use, you can hold up to two full days. These good results are explained by its low-power processor and good software optimization of the device.

In the battery test on PCMark, the Lenovo Moto G5 managed to hold 10 hours and 35 minutes, going from 100% to 20%. For comparison, the freshly announced Honor 8 Pro scored 8 hours and 16 minutes,

Good news for some: the battery is removable. The Turbo Power quick-charging system also ensures a battery life of several hours in a few minutes. I was able to recharge half the smartphone in half an hour.

Lenovo Moto G5: Release date and price

The amount of RAM and internal memory available on Lenovo models is generally very market dependent. With this G5, Lenovo opts for an internal memory of 16 GB and a RAM of 2 GB, all for a price of 199 euros. The smartphone is available since the end of March. The colors available are gray and gold.


For this new device, nothing really has really changed. This low technical evolution is not necessarily a mistake on the part of Lenovo because it still happens to evolve intelligently. This Lenovo Moto G5 is simply a more modern version of its predecessor. As for design, Lenovo has certainly made some changes in size (such as a smaller screen and a transition to metal) but overall it is not its design that will make you crack for the beast.

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