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Motorola Moto G5 review:

A rock-bottom bargain for your everyday essentials

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The Good The Moto G5 costs little, but packs a full-HD screen, good cameras and enough power for your everyday essentials.

The Bad The dim screen can be difficult to read under bright lights and you'll need to be careful if you want to get a whole day out of the battery.

The Bottom Line The Moto G5 is the phone to get if you want an everyday phone for as little possible, but if you want higher-end features like NFC then go for the G5 Plus.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

7.5 Overall
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 7.0
  • Camera 7.0
  • Battery 8.0

Review Sections

There's a lot I like about the Moto G5, and it's not just the extremely low price.

The G5 will set you back only £170 in the UK. It won't be heading to the US and Australian prices are yet to be confirmed, but its UK price converts to roughly $220 and AU$ 289.

It's joined by its bigger brother, the G5 Plus. Unlike the G5, the Plus comes with a larger 5.2-inch display (compared with 5 inches), a slightly faster processor and NFC for Android Pay. The Plus costs £249 here in the UK -- and it will be heading to the US -- so it's a big step up, but it's worth considering if contactless payments are your thing. Read our full review of the G5 Plus here.

I see the G5's metal design more often on top-end phones with higher prices attached. It's comfortable to hold and I'm keen on the soft gold colour of my review model. There's a fingerprint scanner on the front below the screen. It works well and functions as a combined home and back button, once you've activated the functionality in the settings. You can read more about this button in our Moto G5 Plus review. There's no NFC, so for contactless Android Pay transactions you'll need to upgrade to the G5 Plus.

The 5-inch display has a full HD (1,920x1,080-pixel) resolution, making app icons and fine text appear sufficiently crisp and sharp. This isn't the 2,560x1,440 resolution of premium phones like the Galaxy S8, but it's fine for an affordable 5-inch phone. One problem, though: It's not very bright, which makes the screen sometimes difficult to see under bright light. The gap between the outer screen cover and the display itself is too large, giving the display a "sunken" effect which cheapens the look of the phone.

The 13-megapixel camera on the back takes decent snaps. Colours are vibrant, the exposure is well balanced and the resolution is high enough to cram in plenty of detail. In low-light, shots are again well exposed but the camera uses a slower shutter speed to capture enough light, which results in blurry photos if you don't keep your hands steady. The 5-megapixel front-facing camera does a good job of capturing selfies, and there's a beauty tool that smooths out your skin if you're worried people will figure out your age on Instagram.

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