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Motorola Moto G: Apps, Software and Performance

By Max Parker



Our Score:


Moto G5 – Software

The Moto G5 runs Android 7.0 Nougat, in just about the purest form you’ll find outside of a Google Pixel phone. It’s a good-looking, intuitive piece of software.

If you’ve used Android but haven’t tried 7.0 yet, there are many changes, but the ones I’ve noticed most are the way the basic nav and notifications have changed. A quick flick up on the home screen brings up the apps menu, rather than using a button on the icon dock.

Moto G5 23

It sounds like a minor change, but gives Android more of the swooshy sense movement Google added to the system with Android 5.0's Material interface.

Notifications are now more collapsible too. At first they look more complicated, but really just let you see and do more in the notifications drop-down.

Moto G5 21

There are a few Moto additions, but they sit outside of the core Android experience and can be switched off if you like. When you get a notification, the Moto G5’s screen phases in and out intermittently, letting you see them while the phone’s on a desk without eating up too much battery.

Additional gestures are present too. You can double 'karate chop' the Moto G5 to toggle the flashlight, and double twist to open up the camera. They’re such specific gestures many may not even realise they’re there.

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Moto G5 – Performance

One of the obvious disappointments of the Moto G5 is that it uses a lower-end processor than the Moto G4. It has the Snapdragon 430, the G4 a Snapdragon 617.

These two chipsets were announced by Qualcomm at the same time back in late 2015, so the newer phone doesn’t have the excuse that it uses a newer chip, even if it is less powerful.

I’ve always found these two chipsets odd, though. They’re both octa-core CPUs with Cortex-A53 cores, the most common kind for affordable phones at present, but where the 617’s CPU side is clocked higher, the 430 actually has a newer-generation graphics processor.

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While the Moto G4 has greater productivity power, the Moto G5’s more recent GPU bridges the gap in clock speed when playing games.

If you’re a tech-head who hates the idea that Lenovo has actually downgraded the processor, I can understand feeling miffed. In Geekbench 4 it scores 2440 where the Moto G4 manages around 3000. However, in use I’ve found very little sense of compromise. The only major lag I’ve experience is when an app has stopped responding, and even high-end games run very well.

Asphalt 8 at High graphics settings plays well with only occasional, minor frame rate drops. Despite sounding like an entry-level processor, the Snapdragon 430 handles Android games much better than, for example, MediaTek’s Helio P10.

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I’d still recommend keen gamers either try to get hold of a Moto G4 or the slightly larger, more expensive, Moto G5 Plus, though. The extra screen size is welcome, particularly in the much larger oldie Moto G.

The one caveat to these positive impressions is that I’ve been using the 3GB RAM version of the Moto G5, which also adds a second SIM slot. There’s also a ‘standard’ version with 2GB RAM. While this shouldn’t theoretically kill the generally good performance, it will reduce the number of apps kept in cache memory, meaning they’ll need to be reloaded fully more frequently.


June 1, 2016, 2:23 am

Nope. Just another boring run-of-the-mill bandwagon phablet that will be soon forgotten.


June 16, 2016, 11:06 am

The G4 Plus comes with a fast charger in the box.


July 2, 2016, 6:45 pm

Honestly, I'd been waiting and waiting but was really put off by the 5.5 size, Tmobile had a great buy one get one free and I ended up switching to an iPhone SE (my first apple phone) which is 4.0 (from my 1st gen 4.5 inch Moto G) rather than go 4.5 to 5.5 and after the rebate it's still cheaper than what I'd end up paying for the G4.


July 7, 2016, 10:54 pm

My upcoming portable media player....


July 10, 2016, 3:14 pm

Had mine about a month now. Still have a 5s, but it rarely gets used now, simply because of the size of the moto. Once you get used to the large screen it's a chore to go back to 4".
The display is fantastic, the sound is fine, and the o/s is great. If only it had nfc.


August 21, 2016, 10:50 am

Please don't buy MOTO G Any generation mobile because they are having inserted very low quality motherboard and after few days usage of your mobile, you start getting hanging phone more frequently and one day it will cost 80% of your mobile due to mother board issue and need to replacement completely which would be too much costlier better if you purchase new one. I am having bad experience with my moto g 3rd gen which need to throw in dust bean after one year merely usage with very careful.

caroline eadie

August 29, 2016, 3:22 pm

I have used every gen of Moto g now on g4 plus never had any problems my grandson has my 2nd and 3rd gen both working perfectly

OnyX OnyX

September 2, 2016, 3:18 pm

the above response is complete garbage

My daughter has had a moto g 1st gen for 2 years never had an issue with it and her phone is literally superglued to her hand 24/7

Son had a G2 for a year and only just replaced as he dropped it and it was run over by a car, asked him what phone he wanted and he wanted the G3 over the G4

For the cost of the phone the spec is amazing in the Moto G lineup and imo the G3 looks a feels better than the G4, but the G4 has the bigger screen so I guess it is what suits your taste

Personally I use an LG G3 and still haven't really felt the need to update to a newer phone as mine does everything I want with no issues whatsoever

imo when you buy tech, always look at reviews ( preferably independent) and what is under the hood/shell rather than looking at the badge on the back/front :)

Shubham Mittal

September 4, 2016, 8:12 am

Thank you Motorola for your exceedingly CUSTOMER UNFRIENDLY services. This was possibly the best and one of a kind service that I wouldn’t even wish for my enemy. Mobiles phones were made to make life easier, but I guess the Motorola Company had different plans for its customers by giving them the ultimate experience of hell because of their one unforgivable mistake: Buying a Motorola phone.
The trauma began for me when my phone’s screen broke in June 2016. I went to the Moto service station to get it repaired. Little did I know then that this is just the beginning. After the screen was repaired, there were problems in the jack, display, sensor, to name a few. This time when I went to complain at the service station, it took me around 7 to 8 trips to get my phone back from them. Even after that, there are still issues with the screen. I again gave my phone at the service centre for repairing on 12th August, 2016. 10 to 15 calls to the main service centre (1800-102-2344), and all I was told was that I would be given an update about the same. More than 20 days passed and there was NO ‘UPDATE’. On enquiring from the service centre where I had given my phone, I was told that they did not receive any notification from the main service centre.
Just to inform you, because of all this hassle, I had to miss my lectures, got delayed in submitting my assignment, which resulted in low marks. Not to forget all the time and energy I wasted on your EXCELLENT AND UNIQUE services. I believe that your company has found a very creative way to harass your customers and drive them away from making any future transactions with you.
Yours sincerely
Totally fed up customer
Shubham Mittal

Job No. ABH/MG/16/01239
Model: Moto G (3rd Generation)
IMEI1 No. 355490064569613
IMEI2 No. 355490064569621
Case handled by Shrinath
Customer Reference Number: 160812-016253


September 6, 2016, 9:25 am

I'm with OnyX and caroline below. My various Moto Gs have been great, and when I have upgraded to a newer generation and handed on the older model, that has kept going just fine.


September 6, 2016, 4:13 pm

Total rubbish, my first Moto G is still going after I gave it to a friend in Africa (and he works on a farm so it has a truly hard life). My second is a G4 and has never missed a step.


September 8, 2016, 12:25 pm

I've had my Moto G phone now since 2013 and it works better than most iPhones after a year.

Radhicka Chakraborty

September 30, 2016, 3:26 pm

I'm planning to buy Moto G4 Plus, but i'm a bit hesitant about the whole hybrid sim slot where you can either have 2 sims and no microSD or 1 sim and 1 microSD. Can anyone please tell me if this is one of those phones?

Abhijit Shaw

October 14, 2016, 10:14 am

My Name Is Abhijit , I have bought Moto G4plus on 5th july 2016 after 15 days it giving trouble from then till now i am just going to service center again again but there is no response. Very poor service . I suggest do not buy Any phone Moto & Lenovo...


October 17, 2016, 6:46 pm

"Thing is, you’ll need to provide your own supported charger to receive these times, as Lenovo doesn’t supply a suitable one in the box."

This must be a UK model thing; my USA version came with a Motorola turbo-charger (120v/60Hz) included.


October 24, 2016, 3:12 pm

Had the MOTO G for 12 months, no issues, nice phone. No dust bean for my phone :)

Spencer Churchill

October 29, 2016, 7:03 pm

great review but the focusing in on the phones got annoying

Darnell Getum Hicks

October 31, 2016, 8:24 pm

I literally just got mine today and i fuckin LOVE IT! One of the best investments i ever made. . . damn near like shoplifting, lol. But no really, if u want all the features of an iphone and the buck of a Galaxy, I can truly say I have the best of both and more. I could not believe they only wanted $200! :-). Pick it up to light it up, chop it to turn on ur flashlight, turn it over for dnt disturb. No tricks, I definitely choose "treat" this year.


November 5, 2016, 6:27 pm

Mine came with a charger !

Sameh Youssef

November 7, 2016, 12:14 pm

I have Moto G4 and my problem with it is that it takes 5 hours to fully charge, this is with the supplier charger. What is your experience with the charging?


November 24, 2016, 7:56 pm

Date: 23 Nov 2016. Déja-vu, all over again.

Murray Snudge

December 5, 2016, 7:37 pm

I'm looking forward to Moto G5

Harry du Preez

December 6, 2016, 1:09 am

Not compatible with Android auto, never mentioned in reviews. For me this has turned it in to an expensive piece of junk, Avoid

Darnell Getum Hicks

December 7, 2016, 9:51 pm

Lol! Spontaneous outbursts? Did u actually get away w/ that. Ppl would think i was crazy. Yea, my phone never charges fast enough for me, lol. I'm a fuckin tech head. I gotta get an OtterBox for it. I spoil my phones.


December 25, 2016, 7:37 am

buy a turbo charger

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