Admit it: you’re always tempted to go large. Anyone that says they’ve never succumbed to the pressure of super-sizing at McDonald's is clearly an impulsive liar.
It’s why Plus-size versions of standard-size smartphones are so appetising. When you’re already spending a fortune, you might as well pay a little extra for a larger screen and slightly better specs - just look at the iPhone 7 Plus or Google Pixel XL.
When it comes to Motorola’s Moto G5 Plus, though? The selling point isn’t quite as clear - at least here in the UK, where we’re treated to the fantastic Moto G5.
The Moto G has regularly held the budget phone throne, and the G5 looks set to continue that trend. The Plus, meanwhile, offers a few improved specs and a slightly (and we mean slightly) larger screen, but it’s not immediately obvious whether these upgrades are worth the price hike.
Moto G5 Plus Screen: Bigger means better?
In the smartphone world, 'Plus' usually means you get a half-inch screen size upgrade at least, often resulting in a 5.5in display at the bare minimum.
The Moto G5 Plus, though? It has a 5.2in screen – only 0.2 inches bigger than the standard model. If Subway tried that trick, there’d be riots.
It’s not like you get a pixel bump, either. The Plus shares the same full HD display resolution as the G5. That’s nothing to complain about, especially in a sub-£300 phone, and it’s still an eye-pleaser, but it does mean the pixels aren’t as densely packed as they are in the standard G5.
The difference is so marginal you wouldn’t notice unless you had both phones side-by-side, but we think the vanilla G5 has the edge when it comes to picture sharpness.
There’s a surprising lack of contrast, too. Cheaper alternatives such as the Blu Vivo 6 present the dark setting of Stranger Things’ Upside Down world with a far greater clarity. The G5 Plus does a better job at handling explosive and colourful carnage of Avengers: Age of Ultron, but it’s still not one of the standout pictures at this price range.
In short, while the Moto G5 Plus is more than capable of playing YouTube videos with crisp colours, it’s not the best option if you’re after a phone to fuel your Netflix box set binges.
Moto G5 Plus Design: Yawn of a new grey
With such a minor bump in screen size, you’d expect the G5 Plus to be smaller than most Plus-size smartphones. That’s not entirely the case, though - because the chunky bezels above and below the screen make this a real pocket-squeezer.
At least the curved edges and rounded corners help it fit nicely in your palm, and it's not ridiculously large; I could still type out messages with one hand, for instance, and my digits aren’t exactly massive.
So the Plus is a practical enough option, but on the flip side it's not exactly a looker. I wouldn't go so far as to call it ugly - just plain.
There’s no hiding that this is a budget phone once you get it in your hand, on account of the plasticky feel. There’s a metal plate on the back, but the frame is pure plastic, despite what Motorola’s marketing campaign might tell you. Sure, it's coated with a metallic finish, but it's still plastic underneath.
In terms of looks, the Lunar Gray model I reviewed fails to stand out in any meaningful way. But on the bright side, no thief will look at the G5 Plus and determine that it’s a must-steal.
Moto G5 Plus performance: Smooth sailing
With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor and 3GB of RAM, this is one of the speediest budget smartphones out there. The likes of Asphalt 8 load up quickly, getting you in the driver’s seat in a blink of an eye. And once you’re there, you won’t find any stalling in performance.
If you use your smartphone as a gaming machine – and we don’t just mean Candy Crush and Pokémon Go – then the Plus is definitely a better pick than the standard G5, which has a measly Snapdragon 430 CPU.
The Plus handles everyday tasks, multitasking and simply navigating through Android 7.0 with aplomb too. Place a digit on the fingerprint sensor and the phone springs to life in a matter of seconds. Even the split-screen function that comes with Android 7 runs smoothly, without any blips.
With a Geekbench 4 score of 4067, the Plus has double the raw speed of its smaller twin. The CPU power is perhaps the most notable upgrade between the phones, but whether it’s enough to squeeze an additional £80 from you depends on what apps you intend on using; if you don't do much more than the Twitter-Facebook-Instagram triangle, then the upgraded processor will likely go to waste.
You get 32GB of storage on board, but you can add extra capacity with a microSD card if you find yourself short on space.