This is not a paid review, I purchase this phone for my business phone. I’m not getting anything from this review. Also, I’m writing this on the new phone so pardon and spelling or grammar errors.
ONE WEEK IN AS OF 6/15/17
I received this phone approximately one week ago. I’ll start the review today and possibly add to it as I’m between flights.
WHY A PRIME PHONE
I’ve been with Sprint for about 16 years and although I have loyalty to them, they have zero loyalty to me. They recently got rid of their two-year contracts with discounted phones because, and I quote, ‘everyone in the industry no longer has that’. Way to be a leader in the space Sprint. So, instead of paying a mortgage payment over two years by leasing or renting, I decided to put my trust in Amazon yet again.
Please also note that my last 3-4 phones were Samsung phones which I loved dearly so my comparison is everything from the Galaxy S3 forward.
SPOILER ALERT – AMAZON came through again, big time by offering this phone to prime members!
ONE THING I’D DO DIFFERENTLY – MICRO SD CARD DECISION
So you don’t have to suffer through my Moto G 5 dissertation, the one thing that irritates me – and I did it somewhat on my own, is that I selected a 128 gb micro sd card that came up as an option while I was buying the phone. I did NOT check the specs and shame on me! After installing and formatting it, the Moto G said that the card did not meet its specs. I need to reach out to Amazon to see what can be done because I thought it came up as ‘recommended’ or ‘bought frequently’ but I was moving fast to get it ordered so I probably should have researched more. I would LOVE it if Amazon only showed me what was ‘certified’ for the phone but maybe in the future.
I received the phone in two days being a prime member. I had the basics up and running over WiFi within 20 minutes over WiFi. I played around with it for a bit testing out various features, etc. My first impression was that it seemed like a solid phone but I was going to have to learn the new capabilities.
To fully get the phone set up, I had to get to a Sprint store to get a sim card. While I was there, Ryan was kind enough to transfer over much of my Note 4 content (contacts, text messages, etc.).
WHAT I HAVE COME TO LOVE
Almost Stock Android – I didn’t realize how much tweaking if Android had been done on my Note 4 and previous phones. The stock Android is beautiful and it seems like I’m able to more easily do stuff on this phone. The swype functionality is even more accurate these days and I’ve always loved that capability.
Example: When I receive a text, my notification allows me to reply without jumping over to the text messaging app.
THE FINGERPRINT SCANNER/MAGIC BUTTON IN THE MIDDLE
I’ve used fingerprint technology since the early days. The setup and use of the scanner were super easy and I also set up a pin. I used my right thumb because I’m right handed and it’s perfect for unlocking the screen without having to juggle the phone.
After a couple of days, I received a message asking if I wanted to get rid of the navigation buttons at the bottom of the page. By default, when you configure the phone, your navigation is at the bottom of the screen. To be honest it was a bit annoying and took up some screen space. In any case, I chose to use the fingerprint scanner button and eliminate the little icons overlaying the bottom of the screen and it literally changed the entire experience of this phone for the better!
Using the scanner you basically swipe…
– Swiping right brings up all open windows when you are on the main page
– Swiping left in an app like Chrome actually takes you to the previous page, sweet! It essentially works like a ‘back’ button.
– If you keep swiping left, it will eventually take you to the home screen; however, it does not close down or exit the app
This feature alone is worth the switch! And yes, maybe it is on the new Samsung phone but I don’t have the $750+ to drop on a new phone cause this phone rocks! Moving on.
I purchased the 64gb of storage with 4gb of ram. You can look up the specs for details but this phone is quick and responsive! I feel it is way more responsive than the previous Note 4 and more nimble. It’s hard to explain but it just flows with the stock android.
VOLUME BUTTON AND ON/OFF LOCATION
I know this is very myopic but having the volume button and the on/off button on the right side of the phone is really handy. At first, I thought I would be annoyed because they are relatively close together. I’ve realized that this actually makes it easier to use the phone.
The speaker is meh… It works and it is fine. Even with my Note 4, I was bringing a Bluetooth speaker. I do like the fact that it is on the front of the phone, not the back of the phone.
MICRO SD CARD
Hopefully, you read this up front but buy a micro sd card that meets the specs. I did not and have to reach out to Amazon to see if I can get a replacement. I’m using the card that the Moto G5 said did not meet its specs and it could cause delays in apps, and other performance issues but so far, so good. I typically only use the additional storage for pictures and videos as I attend a lot of conferences and host workshops where I do video from the phone. I will update later.
THE SMARTPHONE THAT IS SMART
So on the plane, I plugged in my headset and my phone spoke to me… I didn’t have the volume up so I unplugged the phone and it came up with a message about giving voice commands to my Moto G5 even if the screen was locked. This is not the first time that the phone and/or the Android software has offered suggestions to me about how I operate the phone and my settings. Maybe that is why I’ve enjoyed this phone so much the first week, it is helping me ‘learn’ and makes suggestions. My Samsung’s of the past have not really done that at least as far as I can remember.
Honestly, I could care less if my phone screen is 4k. This phone btw does NOT have a 4k screen. It is a beautiful screen and everything is crisp and clear. Movies from Netflix look amazing, at least as good as the Note 4 even though the Moto G5 screen is a tad bit smaller, I’m very happy with the screen resolution.
One thing I find interesting is that I can put much more on a page of the Moto G5 screen than I could on my Note 4. Maybe there is a setting I haven’t found yet, but the icons are smaller and it frees up more screen real estate. What I used to have on two ‘pages’ on the Note 4 even with a larger screen, is now on the front page of the Moto G5. It’s a small thing but it makes a difference because now all of my most frequently used apps are on the front or main page.
The Moto G5 Plus comes with gorilla glass, saving me from having to purchase any sort of shield – yes, I am that guy who normally gets a glass shield on his phone. When I learned that the screen was gorilla glass, I was incredibly excited. If you don’t know what gorilla glass can withstand, check out youtube as there are a number of videos including one that tests the Moto G5 phone by hitting it with a number of tools including a hammer! The video I watched by Ramesh Bakotra was almost painful to watch because they were banging away on the screen with a number of tools but the Moto G5 screen held up amazingly with no cracks or breaks or scratches. Check it out, it will make you squirm seeing someone abuse their phone like they did.
Oh, and I’m frugal so I chose to have the Amazon ads show up. Honestly, it is not a big deal at all. I think I saved $60 by having the ads and if I have notifications and my screen is locked, the notifications show up fine. Also, the ad ‘widget’ is on the second ‘page’ of my phone so I rarely see it. Overall, I’d rather save the money and I find myself scrolling through the ads because I know Amazon wants me to buy more…and although I’ve been tempted, I haven’t pulled the trigger on a purchase yet.
Battery life in this first week is more than acceptable. Haven’t had to charge at all during the day and I’ve been using it frequently. I am hopeful that I won’t have battery issues like some of my former Samsung products. After a year with my Note4, I had to purchase an extended battery because the phone was shutting down after 2-3 hours of usage. It appears, although I haven’t done it, that you can replace the battery on a Moto G5 phone but I’m hoping to avoid that scenario.
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