Moto G5 Plus First Look: What no other phone has (at this price)

As a precursor to our Moto G5 Plus Review, the following is an up-close look at the features that this smartphone has that no other phone has – in this price range. As the Motorola Moto G5 Plus' specs might suggest, this is a phone that isn't about to compete with devices like the Galaxy S8 or LG G6. While the greatness of this device may be based on price alone, there's a whole extra dimension that those that normally purchase much more expensive phones might not consider. The uniqueness of the Moto G5 Plus has a lot to do with design... without forgetting the fact that it'll cost users between $230 and $300 USD.

1. A new generation in style

As I'm quite likely to say again in my eventual review of this smartphone, the Moto G5 Plus is part of a resurgence in high design from Motorola. Take for example the Moto G (1st gen Moto G, 2013) – there was a fine looking smartphone. The next couple of Moto G handsets looked relatively similar, then came the 4th gen – a device designed during a tumultuous time at Motorola, near or right during their transition from a Google company to a Lenovo company.

The Moto G4 (2016) was a simple looking device, yes – but its dimensions and placement of hardware bits were a bit awkward. Here in 2017 with the Moto G5, Moto's industrial design team seems to have gotten right back on track. Everything is in its right place – visually and technologically – and all looks and feels right with the device.

The Moto G5 Plus (and the Moto G5, which is basically the same device as far as external looks go), take cues from the Moto Z from late 2016. They come into their own, however, as single metal pieces – made to look and feel like a solid piece of work that looks very intentional and final. As a device that's comprised mainly of metal and glass outside, this device feels like it punches well above its price range.

2. Fingerprint Sensor Gestures

It may not seem like a big deal to the average non-fingerprint-gesture-user, but once you've got one, you'll not be able to give it up. We first came in contact with gestures like these (not the same, but similar) on the Google Pixel. Now Motorola's employed the powers of their front-facing sensor to do some unique jobs.

To be clear, this fingerprint sensor does not NEED to be used to navigate the smartphone. It's an option that has to be activated to work. Without the gestures, the smartphone relies on on-screen navigation buttons. This is not the only phone with this feature – but at this price range, it's certainly the first.

3. Moto Hardware Gestures Aplenty [Actions]

Motorola has also continued to amp up the unique factor with a number of other opt-in gestures like double-chop to turn on the LED flash as a flashlight. That's a relatively new gesture in Motorola's collection, while "double-twist to launch camera" makes its indispensable return.

Above you'll see a few more of these gestures – Motorola calls them Actions. They also appear on basically every other Motorola smartphone – at least a few of them. Here you're also able to flip for Do Not Disturb, pick up to stop ringing, Swipe to shrink screen, and – as mentioned above – use the fingerprint sensor to navigate.

4. Full Resolution Photo and Video backup*

With Google Photos, Motorola is able to offer *2-years of full original-sized photo and video backup. What happens at the end of those 2-years? Probably the same thing that happened to me back when Gmail stopped working when my free 2-years of storage were up.

But until then, there's no less expensive device on the market that offers free photo and video storage at full original size for 2-years. If you want the same deal, but for the rest of time, get a Google Pixel – that includes full original size photos and video storage on Google Photos for the rest of time.


This is just part of our full review of the Moto G5 Plus. Have a peek at our Motorola tag portal to see what else is up. By the time you read this article, that review might already be in play. Meanwhile feel free to ask us questions of all sorts so that we might answer any queries you have before you purchase or abstain from purchasing this smartphone!