The budget smartphone category is not exactly overflowing with tantalizing options. There have been attempts to change that over the past year, especially among Chinese manufactures such as Huawei and Xiaomi, though now we can add Lenovo to the list. Utilizing the Motorola Mobility brand it acquired from Google for $2.91 billion three years ago, Lenovo announced a pair of sub-$300 smartphones with premium styling, the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus.
Lenovo says the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus are both the result of what it learned from surveying 12,000 adults in nine different countries about what features are important to them in a smartphone. One of the biggest things is the overall quality. With that in mind, Lenovo traded the plastic construction found on the previous generation Moto G4 series for a premium metal finish that makes the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus feel more refined.
"Once again, we’re offering premium features for all. And this time, it comes with a metal design and striking new look. Power, value — and now beauty. An unexpected combination, because different is better," Lenovo says.
As for the all-important spec sheet, let's start with the Moto G5. It features a 5-inch Full HD 1080p (1920x1080) display powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 system-on-chip (SoC) and 2GB or 3GB of RAM (depending on the region). It also has 16GB or 32GB of built-in storage expandable via microSD, a 5-megapixel front shooter, a 13-megapixel rear camera with phase detection autofocus and f2.0 aperture, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, fingerprint sensor (under the home button), and a 2,800 mAh battery with rapid charge.
The G5 Plus is a little bigger—it features a 5.2-inch display, though the pixel count is the same at 1920x1080. It's also a faster phone with a Qualcom Snapdragon 625 SoC running the show, along with 2GB or 4GB or RAM and 32GB and 64GB built-in storage options (also expandable via microSD).
Like the G5, the G5 Plus has a 5MP front camera, but a 12MP rear shooter with dual autofocus pixels and a wider f1.7 aperture. The battery on this one is a 3,000 mAh unit with TurboPower charging.
Look for the Moto G5 (starting $229) and Moto G5 Plus (starting at $299) to be available next month.