The Moto G devices have never been particularly stylish or fashionable and that trend continues with the new G5. While attempts have been made to inject some excitement into the design in the form of a shiny silver plastic border around the display it ends up looking more chintzy than stylish.
On the front of the device is covered edge to edge by a scratch resistant glass. The glass has an oleophobic coating but it's still not particularly easy to clean and gets dirty easily. In the middle sits the 5.0-inch display surrounded by massive bezels on every side. The side bezels are particularly large and make the phone much wider than what it should be for a 5.0-inch device.
Above the display sits the earpiece in the center covered by a cloth grille. The earpiece is also the sole loudspeaker on the device. On the left of the speaker is the front facing camera and on the right are the proximity and ambient light sensor. The G5 does not have an LED notification light. Below the display is the fingerprint sensor and a microphone. The fingerprint sensor also has support for gestures, but more on that in the software section.
On the right side of the phone is the power button and volume control buttons. All the buttons are easy to reach and work well.
On the top is a headphone jack and on the bottom is the now-outdated microUSB port.
The back of the phone has the camera with a single LED flash. Because it is thicker, the G5 doesn't have the camera bump of the G5 Plus. There is also a secondary microphone on the back to the top left of the camera.
The entire back side of the phone is a removable cover. Removing it makes you realize that only the center part of it is made out of aluminum while the top and bottom portions are plastic for the antennas to work. Underneath the cover is the removable battery, which also hides the dual nano SIM card slots and the microSD card slot. All of these can be populated simultaneously and you don't have to choose between a second SIM and a microSD card like on most other phones.
The design of the phone isn't particularly impressive but the build quality is worse. The removable back cover creaks everywhere that is not covered by metal, which is mostly the area at the top and bottom. It eventually gets pretty annoying and coupled with the tacky chrome garnish and the constantly smudge covered display makes the phone look and feel way cheaper than it is.
It's worth mentioning that the phone has water-repellant nano coating but like last year's model we don't get the full water-resistant rating of the Moto G3.
The Moto G5 has a 5.0-inch IPS LCD. The image quality of the display is very good. Out of the box the phone comes with slightly saturated colors that look good without being overwhelming. However, the phone has an option in the settings to switch to more natural colors, at which point it targets standard sRGB color values. The color calibration at that setting is very accurate and except for an ever so slightly bluish white point it is practically perfect. For a budget phone, this level of image quality is commendable.
Where the display falls apart is in brightness. The display washes out really bad under the sun making it difficult to see anything. You could still get by with calling and texting but attempting to take pictures under the sun seem futile because of how little of what you are capturing is visible. This is made worse by the glass, which is very reflective and always covered by smudges and seeing through that mess is a frustrating experience.