Reviews

Moto G5s Plus – S for Skip it (Review)

Moto G5s Plus is a special edition Moto G5 plus. It is special in two ways: dual camera and double memory. But are these two points enough to entice people in buying a Lenovo’s Moto G5s Plus? Let us analyze in this review.

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In the box

  • Moto G5s Plus mobile
  • Manuals
  • 15W Turbo Charger
  • Micro USB Cable
  • Earphones (cheap quality)
  • SIM Ejector Pin

Design

The Moto G5s Plus is made of metal, but it’s not a unibody design. If you look closely, the joins are not perfect and the finishing is impressive. It is a solid mobile, but when you hold it, you can feel the sharp uneven edges. It has USB port, mic and speaker grills at the bottom. The audio port is at the top. The left has the hybrid SIM slot, which is a regression from Moto G5 Plus which has dedicated SD card slot. So the extra memory advantage goes out of the window. At the back, you see a prominent camera hump. I understand that the sensor size is big, but still, the hump makes it look bad as it does not serve any purpose like in the Moto Z. Except for the Moto dimple, everything about the Moto G5s Plus reminds me of some cheap Lenovo phones we have seen in the past.

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Display

It has a 5.5 inch full HD IPS LCD panel protected by corning gorilla glass 3. The display color is vivid and bright both indoors and under direct sunlight. It has good viewing angles. The display is smooth and responsive to touch interactions. Overall the display on the Moto G5s Plus is impressive.

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Camera

Moto G5s Plus has dual camera setup at the back. It has two 13 MP sensor with dual tone LED. The second sensor is not a wide angle or a telefocus. It is there just for the depth or the portrait mode, which I found to be gimmicky. It does not do anything in reality. I put a tape on the second lens and still I got the same depth effect. So it is just a software processed bokeh, which is not good if done right, but it is not. The edge detection is not perfect and the background bokeh is unnatural. If you leave out the second sensor, the primary camera is as good as it is on the G5 Plus. It has good color reproduction, nice details, sharp image and average dynamic range. So the question is, why do we really need the G5s plus, which is just a dual camera scam. Check out the camera sample below.

It can shoot up to 4k video. It has electronic image stabilization for 1080p videos. The footage was smooth without any shakes, but the colors are a bit faded. The 8 MP selfie camera is a good. It produces some decent selfies under ample light. The front flash helps a bit, but not on all conditions.
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The camera UI is basic and it has a manual mode. The UI lags between shots and not the fastest camera UI we have seen. Low light shots and HDR takes a long time to process and you will have to wait a bit for your next shot. Now don’t get me wrong here. The camera is good, but not as good as advertised. So don’t fall for advertisement or your blind love for Motorola. Remember, it not pure Motorola anymore. It has become “Lenovised”!

Hardware and Performance

Moto G5s Plus has the same internal as the Moto G5 Plus. It has Snapdragon 625 processor with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage. G5 Plus has a max of 32 GB internal, but it had dedicated SD card slot. The hardware runs all the app smoothly. The UI is fast and responsive. Gameplay is smooth and it has no overheating issues. As expected the hardware performance is as good as the G5 plus and nothing significantly different here. It still does not have a magnetic orientation sensor, just like the G5 Plus. So no turn by turn navigation on Maps. The fingerprint sensor is fast and accurate. It can act as navigation menu as well.

Software

Like any other Moto devices, Moto G5s Plus runs on stock Android and this one is on version 7.1.2 out of the box. It has a few customizations like the Moto Actions and the Moto display. It has a sensible list of gestures. So you get all the goodness of stock Android UI with a sensible list of features in just the right mix. I am glad that Lenovo has not yet touched/influenced the UI part of Moto mobiles.

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Battery

It has a 3000 mAh battery which gives you an average of 5-6 hours of screen on time. The 15W turbocharger charges the mobile to 100% in less than 2 hours. Once charged, the mobile would last for a day of moderate usage.

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Verdict

I am not going to compare the G5s with Mi A1 or any other competitor out there. But I see that the major competitor for the G5s Plus is the G5 Plus. In fact, I still don’t see a reason for the G5s Plus to exists. Lenovo could have waited and released the G5s Plus with Snapdragon 626 which has a better support for dual camera, and not just dual channel ISP like the 625. I think Lenovo panicked and released the G5s Plus, just to compete with Mi A1. If you negate the shoddy dual camera implementation and the memory capacity, G5 Plus is a better mobile any day.

If you are looking for a better implementation of the dual camera, then Mi A1 has a much better algorithm for processing portrait images. If you are looking to buy a decent Moto device, go for the G5 Plus rather than G5s Plus. “S” does not stand for Special Editon, rather it stands for “shoddy”, so “skip it”.

Giridhar

A Technology evangelist, Giridhar reviews gadgets and mobile applications. He is also a passionate photographer and a user experience designer by profession.
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