Moto G5S Plus comes with powerful internals, premium aluminium design, stock android and dual-rear cameras. It is competing with the sub 16,000 rupees smartphones like Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, Nokia 6 and the new Xiaomi Mi A1.
ALSO READ: Xiaomi Mi A1 Unboxing & Overview
Design and Build
The Moto G5S Plus is basically an upgraded Moto G5 Plus, which was launched just 6 months ago. Most of the internals are the same, the Moto G5S Plus does look and feel premium more than its predecessor. Return of the iconic Moto dimple is a good decision, it provides a nifty place to rest your index finger. The smartphone’s slightly curved back and rounded edges also makes it comfortable to hold. The Moto G5 and G5 Plus have metal backs and plastic sides, but the Moto G5S Plus comes with a proper unibody aluminium design.
The front is dominated by a 5.5-inch full HD LCD IPS display, below the screen is the home button with integrated fingerprint sensor. On top of the display, there is a selfie camera, earpiece and LED flash. Above the display, we can also see the Moto branding. The non-removable back panel is completely made of metal, with the dual-rear camera and antenna bands at the top and bottom. Due to the design, be very careful while placing the smartphone on any surface as there is always a chance of damaging the lens.
Volume rockers and textured power button are on the right edge of the smartphone. On the left edge is the hybrid SIM tray in which we can use 2 SIM cards or 1 SIM card and 1 MicroSD card at the same time. At the bottom, you can see the Micro USB port and speaker grill. The 3.5mm headphone jack is alone at the top edge.
The Moto G5S Plus comes with a 5.5-inch full HD IPS LCD display, which is .3-inches larger than its predecessor. The increase in screen size does impact one-handed usability. This display comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. The colours are vivid, viewing angles are good, and sharpness is also great. Maximum brightness is also good enough for outdoor visibility, unlike many budget smartphone, the Moto G5S Plus handles the sunlight pretty well. Bezels are big, but we can’t expect a bezel less design just like the LG Q6 with such internals at this price range.
There are two colour profiles, by default it is set to vivid, the other mode gives a neutral look. You can change it to if you want, but the difference is not that much.
Below the display is the fingerprint scanner, it is fast, but not lightning fast. But it is still faster than using pin or pattern lock. You can swipe left to go back, right to open recent apps, tap once for home, press and hold to turn the display off, and if you want to access Google assistant, press and hold longer.
There is a blue light filter feature called the ‘Night Display’, it gets automatically activated based on user defined times. This makes the display warmer, making staring at the screen easier on your eyes. Another feature is the ‘Moto Display’, which allows notifications to fade in and out while the screen is off. Motorola also managed to add NFC feature in this smartphone, letting you use wireless payments. The Moto G5S Plus also has support for USB OTG.
It has nano-coating, which makes it water resistant up to an extent. The one feature missing is a compass, which allows apps like Google Maps to understand our direction.
This phone can support MicroSD card up to 256GB in capacity. One disappointing difference from Moto G5 Plus is the lack of a dedicated MicroSD card slot. Moto G5S Plus comes with a hybrid slot, which can accommodate either two SIM cards or one SIM card and one MicroSD card at the same time.
In addition to the usual set of proximity and ambient light sensors, the phone also has gyroscope and magnetic sensor for VR headsets. It doesn’t have an LED notification light.
Speaker volume is good, and it doesn’t distort at higher levels. It has deep mids, little base is also present, there is no distortion even in full volume. Headphone jack provides above average output, but definitely not as good as the audio output of Xiaomi Mi A1, which has a dedicated amp.
The Moto G5S Plus comes with the same 2 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor paired with the Adreno 506 GPU, we have seen in Moto G5 Plus. It has 64GB of internal storage and 4GB of RAM.
It runs on a near stock version of Android 7.1.1 Nougat. The stock Android works very smoothly, it is capable of performing daily tasks like casual web browsing, using social media applications like Twitter and Facebook, navigating via Google Maps and so on with ease.
The Snapdragon 625 with 4GB RAM and stock Android combination handles most tasks without lag. The Snapdragon 625 does have limitations, if you load too many applications and games at once, it will not be able to perform smoothly.
We did test the Moto G5S Plus with games like Asphalt 8 and Modern Combat 5. Asphalt 8 had some frame drops without effecting the gameplay. For gaming this phone is excellent. We rarely experienced any overheating issues, thanks to the thermal efficient chipset. But the smartphone does heat up while charging, it is due to the Turbo Charging feature. The default video play was able to play high bit rate full HD videos and even 4K videos without any issue.
It comes with Stock Android 7.1.1 Nougat, but Motorola did some additions here and there to improve the overall experience. Gestures like twist for opening the camera and double shake for turning on the torch are really good. You get the same “pull up” apps menu just like the Google Pixel phones, but the background uses a dimmed version of the home screen wallpaper instead of the Google -standard plain white sheet.
There is one useful extra app called Moto, it allows us to customise the extra features which including Moto Display and Moto Actions. Using the Moto Actions feature, you can replace the onscreen navigation buttons by swiping on the fingerprint scanner.
An upgrade to Android Oreo has been promised, it will reach the phone by the end of this year. The Phone does get a little warm while gaming and charging, but it didn’t cross 39 degrees..
An average user can get more than a day from this smartphone 3000 milli ampere battery, thanks to the power efficient Snapdragon 625 chipset. The Moto G5S Plus can give 5 to 5.5 hours of screen on time, which is not spectacular, but good. It comes with a TurboCharger which Motorola claims can provide 5 hours of battery life in just 15 minutes. With normal usage, you will still have 35-40% battery life by the end of the day.
30 minutes of gaming takes 9% battery life, which means we can get 5 to 5.5 hours of gaming on a single charge. We played a full HD video with 70 percent volume and full brightness in loop for 90 minutes and the charge dropped by 17 percentage.
Just like many other Moto smartphones, this one also comes with Turbo charger, which claims to provide 5 hours of battery life from just 15 minutes of charging, well it depends on your usage.
16 minutes of charging gives around 25% of battery life from 0%. It takes just 40 minutes to charge up to 50 percentage and more than an hour to reach 75 percentage. But after that it 45 more minutes to reach the finish line. 0 to 100 percentage in 1 hour and 50 minutes.
Comparing the battery life shows the Moto G5S Plus gives less battery life than the Xiaomi Mi A1 with almost same battery capacity.
Moto G5S Plus comes with a dual-rear camera setup using two 13-megapixel sensors with an aperture of f/2.0. The phone uses one RGB sensor and one monochrome sensor. This setup can allow users to capture images with depth-of-field information and perform better in low light conditions, but low light photography is not great in this smartphone. Motorola claims that the addition of the second sensor allows features like selective focus, background replacement and selective black and white colouring. You can shoot images with depth of field or bokeh effects and then use the image editor to change the amount of blur or make the make a part of the image black and white. This feature is only available for shooting images, not for videos. In our test, the device struggled to get better background blur effect, especially in artificial lighting conditions.
We are sorry to say the we couldn’t take much sample images due to bad weather conditions.
It does have shutter lag, in almost all scenarios, Moto G5 Plus didn’t had this issue. You won’t be able to shoot back to back photos in this smartphone. It saves the image one second after you press the shutter button, which means you won’t be able to capture the exact moment. Let’s hope they will fix the shutter lag through an update in the near future.
The camera can shoot 4K videos in 30 frames per second. It can also record full HD videos in 60fps and 720p slow motion videos in 120 frames per second.
The wide angle 8-megapixel front camera is average, nothing exceptional here. It can produce good images with impressive detail, but it does tend to soften people’s face a bit. The presence of a front LED flash makes the front camera usable even in low light conditions.
WiFi works very well, there were no disconnection or signal issues, it comes with the usual 802.11 a/b/g/n connectivity, the high speed 5GHz AC mode is not available here. 4G also worked very well, we tested it with Jio, it had good signal reception and voice quality was also good.
The ear price is loud enough and there is no distortion even in full volume. Mot G5 Plus had a feature to use the earpiece as a secondary speaker, this is not available in Moto G5S Plus.
In our test, indoor GPS reception was Average with 17 meters accuracy, outdoor, the phone pickup signals very fast with an accuracy of 5 meters, which is very good.
Temperature was always in control, without crossing the line. It does heatup a little bit while charging using the provided Turbo Charger, but it not too much. Playing games for more than 30 minutes made a rear panel to heat up to 39 degrees, which is not a problem at all.
Moto G5 Plus was already a good smartphone, Moto added a dual rear camera and a whole lot of metal to make it better. The Moto G5S Plus offers butter smooth software, a premium all metal design, a vivid display, a great primary camera for the price, solid battery life and powerful internals. Moto should have implemented a better dual-rear camera setup.
If you already have the Moto G5 Plus it not worth the upgrade. The dual-rear camera setup is not that impressive, the secondary sensor is a gimmick. The Moto G5 Plus has better camera the Moto G5S Plus in my opinion, it may have less features, but there is no shutter lag and low light performance is good with better aperture. If you are planning to buy a smartphone under 16,000 rupees, I would recommend the Xiaomi Mi A1, it also has a more practical dual-rear camera setup, and it works better than the Moto G5S Plus. Xiaomi Mi A1 also offers faster Android updates.