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Moto G 5G First Impressions: Pros, Cons, And The X-Factor
The iconic Moto G is back in a new avatar with faster 5G connectivity, bigger display, stock Android UI, and almost every feature one expects from a modern 2020 smartphone. Priced aggressively at Rs. 20,999, the new Motorola Moto G handset is touted to be '100% Made in India' handset and will start selling exclusively on Flipkart from 7th December, 12 pm onwards.
Backed by the new 8nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 750 SoC, the Moto G 5G is currently the most affordable 5G smartphone in the Indian market and will kick off a new trend of affordable 5G-enabled smartphones in the country. It picks up a fight with the widely popular OnePlus Nord and the newly announced Vivo V20 Pro 5G. Both Vivo and OnePlus mid-range 5G devices use slightly faster 5G-enabled Qualcomm Snapdragon 765 SoC.
We have tested the OnePlus Nord and are simultaneously testing the Moto G 5G and the Vivo V20 Pro. While the Vivo V20 Pro targets content creators with its 44MP selfie camera, the Moto G 5G focuses on a smooth and clutter-free stock Android experience, immersive viewing experience and long-lasting battery life. Let's find out how Moto G 5G fares as a daily driver.
Big Full HD+ HDR10 Display For Immersive Viewing Experience
The new Moto G flaunts a 6.7-inch FHD+ Max Vision display. The 1080p screen with 2400x1080p resolution offers a pixel density of 394ppi and comes in a tall 20:9 aspect ratio. It's a bright and crisp ‘Low-Temperature PolySilicon' (LTPS) LCD with good viewing angles. Further, the HDR10 support makes it a great overall display for binge-watching movies and series on popular streaming applications. The big and vibrant screen also comes in handy for graphic-intensive games like Call of Duty Mobile, Asphalt 9, etc., browsing the internet, reading e-books, and multitasking.
Stock Android Software Experience
Motorola has stayed true to its promise of delivering a clutter-free stock Android software experience with its Moto G-lineup of smartphones. The new Moto G handset runs the stock Android 10 and is free of malware and spam notifications. I haven't witnessed a single non-essential notification or advertisement on the device which adds up to your user-experience. Further, the stock Android UI works like a charm on the new Motorola device, and the intuitive Moto actions such as Flip for DND, Fast flashlight, Pick up to Silence, Moto Display, etc. enhances the overall user-experience in the day-to-day routine.
Expandable Memory, 3.5mm Audio Jack And IP52 Rated Body
The new Moto G handset also covers the basics. It supports expandable memory with up to 1TB and also comes equipped with a 3.5mm audio jack. The phone's body is IP52-rated which makes it splash-resistant. Moto claims that the Moto G 5G has a water-repellent design that keeps the device protected inside and out. While the handset cannot handle water submersion, it will easily handle the occasional water splashes and raindrops. The smartphone has been launched in two colors- Volcanic Grey and Frosted Silver.
Smooth Performance And Long-Lasting Battery
Moto G 5G smoothly handles both light and heavy tasks. The faster (2x2.2 GHz) Kryo 570 cores easily takes care of power-hungry tasks while the six (1.8 GHz) Kryo 570 power-efficient cores ensure the phone runs smoothly for all day-to-day jobs while preserving battery life. The CPU + ample RAM+ROM combination (6GB RAM + 128GB ROM) works effortlessly in giving a lag-free day-to-day performance. Importantly, the stock Android is the icing on the cake that adds up to the overall user-experience.
We also played some COD Mobile and Asphalt 9 sessions on the Moto G 5G and the Adreno 619 backed handset handled the gameplay with no lags whatsoever. Overall, the Moto G 5G will not disappoint in processing and multitasking department.
The handset can also last for one full day with moderate to heavy usage. It is powered by a 5,000mAh battery unit which draws power from a TurboPower 20W fast-charging adaptor that shops in the box.
Full HD Display Lacks Higher Refresh Rate
While the 6.7-inch HDR10 enabled screen offers immersive visuals, it lacks the fluidity of a higher refresh rate panel. The Full HD+ display runs on the dated 60Hz refresh rate that feels a bit outdated if you have already moved to a higher refresh rate panel. Even if you haven't made the transition, you must explore the market and experience a 90Hz or a 120Hz refresh rate panel to understand the performance difference. A higher refresh panel device, for instance- the Poco X3, OnePlus Nord, Realme 7 Pro, etc. offer better touch response and seamless user experience guaranteed by a higher refresh rate screen.
No Android 11 Out-Of-The-Box
While we appreciate the stock Android UI, it is disappointing to see that Motorola has not managed to offer Android 11 out-of-the-box. Most new smartphones now come running the latest Google OS which make the Moto G 5G's Android 10 feel dated. We are hopeful that the new handset will soon receive the Android 11 update.
Camera Performance Seems Pretty Average
The Moto G 5G comes equipped with a triple-lens rear camera setup featuring a 48MP f/1.7 primary sensor aided by an 8MP f/2.2 118° ultra-wide angle sensor and a 2MP f/2.4 AF-enabled macro sensor. We don't usually base our camera reviews solely on the megapixel count but the Moto G 5G's initial camera performance seems pretty average. We noticed washed out colors in indoor lighting with softer details on the 12MP pixel-binned camera samples. The 8MP wide-angle shots look even worse and the 2MP macro images are also not very promising. Motorola's choice of sensors for its smartphones has always been a bit questionable. We will spend some more time with the Moto G 5G to evaluate its camera performance in detail.
As far as video recording is concerned, the smartphone can record 4K UHD videos (30fps) and FHD (60/30fps) with its 48MP primary sensor. For selfies, the Moto G 5G boasts a 16MP f/2.2 camera and offers all sorts of software features to help you step up your selfie game. These features include- Portrait mode, Face beauty, Timer, Active Photos, Burst shot, Cinemagraph, Group Selfie, Live filter, Spot color, Gesture selfie, and Night Vision.
X-Factor- Faster 5G And Data Connectivity
Backed by the new 5G-enabled 8nm octa-core Snapdragon 750 chipset, the Moto G 5G will offer faster connectivity speeds once the 5G rolls out in India. The faster 5G connectivity at such an aggressive price-point makes for a solid case for this mid-ranger handset. It's now just a matter of time that we see the Indian market flooding with sub-20K 5G-enabled smartphones. Realme is also planning to launch a mid-range 5G-enabled smartphone in India.
As far as the Moto G 5G is concerned, it comes with support for 11 Global 5G Network Bands and is also compatible with most Sub 6 bands available globally. The smartphone also comes equipped with 4X4 MIMO & Carrier Aggregation support to offer the fastest possible data speeds.
Further, the stock Android experience with intuitive Moto features gives the Moto G 5G an edge over Realme, Vivo, Samsung and Xiaomi devices. The stock Android 10 works seamlessly on the new device. We haven't experienced any lags or spammy notifications on the new Moto G. The software works just like any premium Google Pixel device and truly differentiates the Moto G 5G from the lot.
Motorola has promised the Android 11 update in the coming months and a guaranteed Android 12 update for the new Moto G smartphone once Google starts rolling out the next year's big update for compatible smartphones.
Should You Buy The Moto G 5G?
The new Moto G smartphone is a solid bargain despite some of its limitations. The screen lacks a higher refresh rate but the HDR10-enabled panel is quite good for the price and offers an immersive viewing experience. The big 5,000mAh battery easily lasts a day and the stock Android UI makes the Moto G 5G a great option for stock Android fans looking for a clutter-free software user-experience. The 5G connectivity support makes the deal even more attractive for consumers willing to keep a device for the next two to three years. We will spend some more time with the Moto G5 G to evaluate its camera, battery and hardware performance in detail.