After being acquired by Lenovo, Motorola has been releasing new mobile phone models at an astounding pace, sometimes to the dismay of their traditional customers, who buy Motorola phones only to find their model outdated just a few months later. This is also the case for Motorola G5S and G5S Plus, successors to the G5 and G5 Plus respectively. In this review we focus on the larger, more powerful Motorola G5S Plus smartphone, to see what it has to offer:
What is the Motorola Moto G5S Plus good at?
The Motorola Moto G5S Plus is an excellent smartphone for:
- People who need a solid phone with a stock Android operating system
- People for whom screen size is important
- People who don't want to spend a fortune on a mobile device, but are not willing to trade the performance for price
Pros and cons
Summarizing our findings, we liked the following about the Motorola Moto G5S Plus:
- Sturdy design with a full metal body
- Good battery life
- No unnecessary applications are installed
- It has an untouched Android operating system
- Good quality screen for its price range
However, there were also some things that we didn't like:
- The smartphone is rather heavy
- The camera performs below the expectations set by the dual-camera system, with slow processing and mediocre quality in low-light settings
- Some applications may crash at times
The Motorola Moto G5S Plus is a good mid-range phone, but with little to make it stand out from the rest of the mid-range phones on the market. The dual-camera system is only average, the phone is sturdy but unremarkable as far as design goes, and while we enjoyed the clean Android and the above average battery life, we feel that the phone has little to offer in terms of personality. It is a good fit for those who want an affordable smartphone, with solid battery life, and a clean Android distribution that is not weighed down by bloatware.
Hardware specifications and packaging
The Motorola Moto G5S Plus smartphone arrives in a colored cardboard box with some illustrations depicting a parrot.
The first thing you will see when you open the box will be the phone. Ours came in the Blush Gold color, but there is also a gray version, Lunar Grey to be exact.
Underneath the phone, you will find the manual, the TurboPower charger (which claims to charge the phone in under 90 minutes), the pin for opening the SIM tray and a pair of earbuds.
The Motorola Moto G5S Plus is rather large: 3 x 6.04 x 0.31 inches or 76.2 x 153.5 x 8.0 mm. It is pretty heavy as well, with a weight of 5.93 ounces or 168 grams. The weight is a necessary trade-off to having a full-metal body since the thickness of the case needs to be sufficient to avoid bending. Although it is not waterproof, the phone's internals are protected by a water-repellent nano-coating, which should be enough for moderate exposure to water such as accidental spills, splashes or light rain.
The screen is a 5.5-inch touchscreen display with Full HD resolution (1080 pixels by 1920 pixels), 401 pixels per inch, protected from scratches by Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
Motorola has chosen a balanced system architecture, with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor (2.0 GHz octa-core CPU) coupled with a 650 MHz Adreno 506 GPU and 3 or 4 GB of memory, depending on model (ours came with 4 GB). As for storage, the Motorola G5S Plus has 32 GB / 64 GB of internal storage and supports microSD cards of up to 128GB. The Motorola Moto G5S Plus is a dual-SIM phone, but the microSD card occupies the same space as the second SIM, so you must choose one or the other.
The non-removable battery has a capacity of 3000 mAh and, coupled with the frugal Qualcomm chipset, should give the phone enough stamina for more than a day of moderate usage. The primary camera is a dual-camera solution, with two 13 MP cameras (for additional depth information), ƒ/2.0 aperture, dual LED flash, capable of 4K Ultra HD video capture at 30fps. The front camera has a resolution of 8 MP, shoots through a wide-angle lens with f/2.0 aperture and, interestingly, also has a LED flash.
The Motorola Moto G5S Plus uses two nano-SIMs and can connect to CDMA, GSM/EDGE, UMTS/HSPA+ and 4G LTE mobile networks. Connectivity options include 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, USB OTG and NFC (for certain markets). Sadly, there is no USB Type-C port nor 802.11ac Wi-Fi support. The phone uses various sensors: a front-mounted fingerprint reader, an accelerometer, a gyroscope, an ambient light and a proximity sensor. The lack of a compass means that the phone orientation in the horizontal plane will not be registered with precision.
If you would like to see more details about the features and the detailed hardware specifications of this smartphone, browse its official webpage: Motorola moto G5S Plus.
The Motorola Moto G5S Plus has all the right ingredients for a solid mid-range phone. The package is standard, and the phone specifications are where they should be in its price range. The dual-camera system is a nice addition, as is the LED flash for the front camera.
Design and build quality
The Motorola Moto G5S Plus follows the trend of the latest Motorola phones, with a full metal body, a front-mounted fingerprint sensor and a protruding camera on the back. The size, materials used and the weight, give the impression of a sturdy, well-built device.
The front of the Motorola Moto G5S Plus houses, in the upper part, the light and proximity sensors, the 8MP camera, the LED flash, and the ear speaker. Underneath the screen, there is only the fingerprint sensor which has a nice haptic feedback when pressed.
The bottom of the phone is where you will find the microphone, the micro-USB port, and the loudspeaker. The top of the phone is "clean," having only the 3.5 mm audio jack.
On the right side of the phone, you find the volume buttons as well as the power button, while on the left side there is only the SIM tray.
The back of the Motorola Moto G5S Plus falls in line with the design of the latest Motorola phones, with a significant bump around the cameras and LED flash. The Motorola logo is also present, as are the plastic lines (which are designed for better signal reception on metal phones).
The SIM tray accepts either two nano SIMs or a nano SIM and a MicroSD card. While this might be a problem for more demanding users who need both two SIMs and plenty of space, the Motorola Moto G5S Plus comes with a minimum of 32GB of internal memory, enough for most usage situations.
The design of the Motorola Moto G5S Plus is similar to the latest Motorola smartphones. Its metal body feels premium and sturdy, but its thickness (especially in the camera area) might be a bit too much for some users.
On the next page, we test the Motorola Moto G5S Plus, its camera, review the bundled apps, and benchmark the performance of the device.