There's no doubting that 5G is the future for all smartphones. This new network technology is able to whizz the web to devices at speeds of over 300Mbps – that's fast enough to download a Hollywood blockbuster, in full HD, and have it ready to watch in under two minutes.
It all sounds great, but there has been one big problem with 5G – all 5G-enabled smartphones have commanded a very high price. Until now, that is.
Motorola has just launched its new Moto G 5G Plus and it’s finally offering the ability to access the latest 5G technology at a much, much cheaper price. In fact, the 64GB entry-level model costs just shy of £300 – that would be a steal even without the inclusion of 5G.
Now, you might assume that low-cost means bargain-basement specs, but that’s not the case with the Moto G 5G Plus. We’ve been using this phone for the past few weeks and it punches well above its weight.
For that (small sum of) money, you'll get a whopping great 6.7-inch Full HD+ display which offers a very good viewing experience despite the lack of OLED technology. Colours are bright and content looks pin-sharp and packed with detail. It’s also worth noting that, like the latest smartphones from Sony, Motorola uses a 21:9 aspect ratio for its screen – making it perfect for a cinema-style movie binge.
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All of the pictures we shot would be perfect for the family album and some images are easily as good as phones that cost that three times the price.
If it’s video you want, the Motorola G Plus can film in Full 1080p HD resolution and there’s the nice addition of being able to take stills whilst filming. The camera goodies continue on the front-facing snapper too, with the dual-lens offering some fabulous features for those who love posting an endless stream of images of their own face on Instagram.
These lenses can add produce portrait-style images along with a wide-angle group selfie mode and a quick way to make fun animated GIFs. There's also an auto-beauty mode which smooths out your skin and removes those unwanted wrinkles. Our Instagram selfies have never looked better!
Away from the cameras, there’s plenty more to like about this device, including a fast side-mounted fingerprint scanner, snappy Qualcomm 765 processor, and battery life that will easily get you through a day and beyond.
One final positive of Moto G Plus 5G is that it runs on a very lightly skinned version of Android 10 meaning you get an experience just as Google intended. This also means there's less bloatware and no annoying duplicate web browsers, email clients, or photo gallery apps.
So that’s all the good news about the Moto G 5G Plus, but is there anything bad about this budget phone?
Sadly, like most things in life, this device isn’t perfect. Firstly it’s very, very big which means it won't suit those who want a more subtle device in their pocket.
The size wouldn't be an issue if Motorola had launched a standard model alongside a larger “Plus” variant… but they haven't. That means if you don’t like giant palm-stretching devices, then this is not the phone for you.
Another criticism is the design. The plastic case feels pretty cheap in your hand. Despite the glossy blue look, there’s no escaping the fact that this isn’t a patch on its more premium rivals. What really highlights the low-cost design is the new OnePlus Nord. At £379, this 5G phone clearly costs a little more, but the OnePlus' glass design feels as good as any flagship we’ve seen this year.
It's a shame Motorola couldn't improve the build quality slightly as this is one of the only areas where it feels like a budget phone.
One final thing to note is that there’s no water-resistant rating meaning this device probably won’t cope all that well with a dip in the bath.
Moto G 5G Plus review: Final Verdict
PROS – Great screen • Solid camera • 5G data speeds • Ludicrously low price • Brilliant Android experience
CONS – It's big size won't suit all pockets • Plastic design could be better • No IPX water proofing
The Moto G 5G Plus is a very impressive device considering its very low price. For under £300, you'll get a stunning screen, great cameras, and solid performance that'll power through most day-to-day tasks.
As the name suggests, it’s also fully compatible with 5G networks allowing it to download files at over 300Mbps.
Its Android 10 operating system is free of duplicates and incredibly easy to use and we actually really like the side-mounted fingerprint scanner. There's little not to love about this affordable phone, although some will find it way too big and there is that plastic finish – the only clue this phone costs £300.
Other than that, we really can't recommend this phone enough and if you want an expansive screen and 5G data speeds without breaking the bank, the Moto G 5G Plus should be top of your wishlist.
Written by David Minister