Motorola is one of the smartphone brands that like to release multiple models to cater to different type of customers. Some users don't need such a powerful device, some just want nice camera features, and some just want a simple phone that has good network call and text without costing them a limb or other internal organs. In this review, we take a look at the Moto G5S Plus, the spiritual successor of the Moto G5 Plus which I enjoyed using (check out the review here) and we will see if this mid-range phone is worth your pocket money or not. Read below to find out more.
Design - Same old, same old
Comparing the G5S Plus and the G5 Plus, the overall design has little changes here and there but I personally prefer the latter for some reason, possibly due to the rear's top and bottom design. Anyway, the 5.5-inch display has a 16:9 screen-to-body aspect ratio in FHD 1080p resolution, so the screen image and colours are satisfactory. The fingerprint sensor is still on the Home Button and there's still the trademark big camera bump behind. Although the weight does feel kind of heavy, it's just small enough to fit in your palm nicely which feels pretty good.
The same overall look of the phone, you can also see the antenna lines across the top and bottom
Here are your volume and power button, impressively, Motorola managed to make this model thinner than its predecessor at 8mm
Speaker grill and it still uses a microUSB port, also that's not a headphone jack (it's on top)
Hybrid dual SIM card tray
Tech-Specs and features - Take full control of the settings!
Here are the specifications for the Moto G5S Plus:
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor
- 4GB RAM
- 32GB internal storage (expandable memory available up to 128GB)
- Measures 153.5 x 76.2 x 8mm
- 5.5-inch Full HD display
- Dual 13MP rear camera (f/2.0, dual LED flash, OIS) | 8MP front camera (f/2.0)
- Features Fingerprint sensor, TurboPower charge, microUSB 2.0, Twist Motion Sensor, Depth Mode
- Supports 4G LTE, NFC, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity
- Android 7.1.1 Nougat
- 3000 mAh battery
The Moto G5S Plus is as mid-range as you can get, featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset which is regarded as one of the best mid-range specs to have as it can handle games quite well, even for games such as Asphalt 8: Airborne (which we will come to later). But even so, its mid-range tech-specs don't have many changes compared to its predecessor, the only difference that we can tell you is that the device has a pair of rear cameras which are using are using the same 13MP sensor and an aperture of f/2.0. There's also a number of camera features including the new Depth Mode function, as well as support for 4K video recording (you'll need a tripod or gimbal for it to be effective) and slow-motion photography for fun.
The familiar Moto camera user interface, with the new additional Depth Mode
Depth Mode is not the bokeh mode or depth of field that you thought though, in fact, this feature allows you to 'cut out' yourself in an image and paste on another picture. I mean, sure, it doesn't seem useful but it is really fun for us. However, it takes a while to master it because of the lighting, which may disturb the subject that you want to edit. Below is just one example of what our writers did with the phone.
So to use Depth mode, you must have two pictures ready for it. Here we have Jim on the top as the subject and Bernard as the second picture that we want to crop Jim into
After taking the picture, you can go straight to edit and select Depth Editor
Then choose the second picture that you want to paste the subject in and voila! #magic
Aside from that, the Moto G5S Plus continues with a pure stock Android user interface and this will give you a lot of control. For instance, you have the option to turn off the Google Assistant page from the left side of the main page, adjust the One Button Navigation motion from the home button, locking the screen and the ever useful Twist Motion Sensor allowing to do whatever you want with the device to open certain functions. This can be done in the Moto App which offers a wide variety of customized settings.
Inside the Moto App, tons of customizable stuff there
A tutorial on how to use the One Button Navigation
Performance - Strong battery but just somewhat okay-ish camera quality
As aforementioned, the Moto G5S Plus gives a satisfactory performance for both games and battery life. Its AnTuTu score doesn't differ much from the Moto G5 Plus and its 3DMark score is not bad too as long as the graphics is not pushed excessively. We should also mention that the HD video playback is quite enjoyable on the 5.5-inch Full HD display, which means the connection is smooth and the phone's temperature is acceptable. So all in all, nothing much to complain here, except that the volume output is a bit loud and sometimes it disappears while gaming so Motorola probably need to look into that for upcoming updates.
Asphalt 8: Airborne test
3DMark (left) and AnTuTu score (right)
Battery performance chart, this is just one day
On top of that, the battery life can go on for about a day quite easily, even with some gaming time. There's also TurboCharge and according to our testing, it can charge up from 50% to 100% in just 40 minutes, not so bad huh? But do pay attention to the phone charging, though, as it tends to be quite warm sometimes.
Moving on to the camera performance, the device does its job well but just like the Moto G5 Plus, it has some overexposure problems and the colour processing can be a bit embarrassing sometimes. In other words, your photo quality depends on the lighting condition and you while you can make it look good, you should be aware of your photography basics to do so. Anyway, check out the photo samples below.
Indoor shot, auto mode
Another indoor shot, auto mode
Outdoor shot, auto mode
A close-up, auto mode
When it comes to bokeh shot, the device shines
Bokeh mode shot no.2
Bokeh shot mode no.3, not perfect but it's ok lah
Although this is an extremely dark photo, you can see that there's not much noise in it
Conclusion – Decent mid-range phone, could be better
At this stage, there are just too many mid-range smartphones are using the same tactic of equipping a dual rear camera, nice design look and priced at around RM1K more or less. For the Moto G5S Plus, the price tag of RM999 (below RM800 in our recent price listings) is definitely an attractive one, but there are some tiny issues on the camera performance. If you look past that, it's a fairly decent phone with good gaming capabilities, strong battery pack, useful user interface and motion sensors, the fun Depth mode function and comes in pure stock Android. But is it enough, though?
There are a lot of rivals out there, namely the Xiaomi Mi A1 (RRP RM1099), honor 7X (RRP RM1099) and the Huawei Nova 2i (RRP RM1299), these phones are slightly more expensive but they perform a lot better particularly in the camera performance, keep in mind that the price tag on both of these have also dropped after a few months already. What's more, the recently released RM749 honor 9 Lite is another contender to look out for but we haven't tested it yet.
So what do you think of the Moto G5S Plus? Does the device cut it for the deal? Let us know in the comments below and stay tuned for more news at TechNave.com.