Lenovo’s Moto G series has long stood for great value and has seen enormous sales in the Indian market. Since 2014, 7 million Moto G units have been sold in India alone. The fifth-generation Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus were established here just a couple of months before, and while they may still be available, Lenovo has decided to introduce refreshed special editions of both phones.
The brand new Moto G5S and Moto G5S Plus were established in India late last month. Both promise new features and updates which will help Moto stay competitive. The company was on a launch spree this calendar year, bringing fresh Moto E, Moto C, and Moto Zdevices to the Indian market, plus the Moto X4 internationally. The main reason for the rapid refresh of the G series, according to Lenovo, is that the Rs. 15,000 and above segment is seeing a steady rise in demand, and there’s been a change in customer spending. Will this plan work this time round for Lenovo? Let us attempt to find out.
For Lenovo, Moto G devices are more about providing value for money as opposed to promising top-notch specifications at dirt cheap prices. In terms of design, these models are functional but not always the most attractive. The fifth-generation Moto G models finally introduced metal back panels, and now the special editions require this to the next level.
The Moto G5S and G5S Plus possess all-metal bodies with a nice finish, which is a massive improvement from the polycarbonate used over the previous models. The Moto G5S Plus in particular today feels quite premium.
Recent Moto devices have all had a similar design vocabulary which isn’t a terrible thing. It has become easy to recognise Moto-branded devices in a crowd. Both brand new phones have fingerprint readers at the front which work flawlessly. Both have almost identical front panels with similar placement for the front cameras, flashes detectors, and earpieces.
There is an old-style Micro-USB port on the bottom of each phone, together with a speaker grille and microphone. The back panels have raised circular bumps for the cameras and flashes, along with the iconic batwing Moto emblem. The antenna rings are still fairly visible. Overall, the Moto G5S and Moto G5S Plus look refreshingly good in contrast to their predecessors.
In comparison to the Moto G5 Plus (Review), the Moto G5S Plus is slightly wider and also isn’t quite easy to use with one hand due to its large chin. At 168 g, the weight is manageable. The Moto G5S, on the other hand, feels more ergonomic and is better suited to one-handed usage. At 157 grams, it feels light to get a metal-bodied phone.
The 5.5-inch full-HD display on the Moto G5S Plus looks bright, and both text and images look crisp. The colors really pop on this display, and we had no real issues with it. Viewing angles and brightness appeared good too.
The 5.2-inch full-HD screen on the Moto G5S was great enough for daily use with adequate brightness, but we found it too reflective for our liking. It has great viewing angles but we discovered outdoor use a little difficult.
Both phones ship in playful green retail boxes with “special edition” printed on the front, confirming that these are updated versions of their fifth-generation Moto G phones. You can find a Turbo Power charging adaptor, Micro-USB cable, SIM ejector tool and cans in each box.
Moto G5S Plus and Moto G5S specifications and software
One of the most promoted attributes of the Moto G5S Plus is its double rear cameras. There are just two 13-megapixel sensors with f/2.0 apertures along with a colour-correcting dual-LED flash. At the very front, it sports an 8-megapixel sensor with an f/2.0 aperture, wide-angle lens, along with an LED flash.
This is really a hybrid dual-SIM phone with two Nano-SIM slots, one of which is a shared microSD slotmachine. Connectivity options on the smartphone include 4G, Wi-Fi n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS/ A-GPS, Micro-USB, and a 3.5millimeter headphone jack. The smartphone is backed by a 3000mAh battery, and also the TurboPower charger can provide up to 6 hours of battery life with a 15-minute charge. It weighs 168 g and measures 153.5×76.2x8mm.
Coming to the bigger sibling, the Moto G5S features a 5.2-inch full-HD display, also with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. Much like the Moto G5S Plus, the company is marketing the camera capabilities of the Moto G5S as well though there is only single camera. It sports a 16-megapixel sensor with PDAF, an f/2.0 aperture, and LED flash. On the front, there’s a 5-megapixel sensor with an f/2.0 aperture, wide-angle lens, along with an LED flash. Connectivity options on the smartphone include 4G with VoLTE, Wi-Fi n (dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz), Bluetooth v4.2, GPS/ A-GPS, Micro-USB, and a 3.5millimeter headphone jack. The smartphone operates on a 3000mAh battery also has the same TurboPower charger. It weighs 157 g and measures 150×73.5×8.2mm.
The Moto G5S and Moto G5S Plus, operate on Android 7.1 Nougat out-of-the-box which isn’t the latest available version for Android devices. Similar to other Moto devices, the Moto G5S and Moto G5S Plus have software improvements from Motorola.
There are Android 7.1 goodies like the ability to perform quick actions by long-pressing the icons of supported apps. There is also split-screen multitasking. Both phones offer a near-stock Android experience with some very minor tweaks from Motorola such as Moto Actions and Moto Display. Under Moto Actions, it is possible to activate One-Button Nav which gives you the ability to navigate using just the fingerprint detector. A double-chop motion can activate the flashlight, and you’ll be able to twist your wrist to start the camera program. You could also swipe down in the middle to the bottom left or right corner to shrink the display area on the screen, which makes one-handed use easier. Under Moto Display, users receive a Night Display mode which reduces blue light, and makes notifications fade in and out while the device is in standby.
Moto devices are usually a number of those first non-Google ones to receive new Android security updates, so you should be covered for the near future in regard to software. There is also hardly any bloatware on the Moto G5S and Moto G5S Plus.
Moto G5S Plus and Moto G5S cameras
The Indian market is filling up with dual-camera smartphones, along with the Moto G5S Plus is the latest to join the bar. It perfoms well enough, although it did require some effort to get shots right. Unlike the Xiaomi Mi A1, the double cameras on the Moto G5S Plus took some used to getting to. You can refine shots with post processing but it still requires some effort. Depth shots in good light appear to possess nicely blurred backgrounds, however, the edges of the foreground subjects aren’t always defined well. On the flip side, the Moto G5S Plus looks more competent when it comes to low-light photography. We were able to catch some good depth shots in low light with great amounts of detail and well-controlled noise.
Harness to view full-sized Moto G5S Plus camera samples.
Regular shots in good light possess organic colors and textures. Landscapes are vulnerable well and colors are accurate. The HDR mode does a good job of maintaining highlight details in shots which have uniform lighting, but we did notice overexposure at times in shots with differently lit regions.
We believe that the Moto G5S Plus does better in low light than most of its current competition. Some low-light shots were a little under-exposed, but were still were far from the worst we’ve seen.
Tap to see full-sized Moto G5S camera samples
The Moto G5S features phase detection autofocus (PDAF), and locks focus quickly. Details are preserved well in outdoor shots, though highlights can get overexposed with this phone too. The Moto G5S does a excellent job with macro shots and we were able to get some highly detailed close-up shots, a few even better than what the Moto G5S Plus could deliver. Landscapes are passable with details suffering. The Moto G5S isn’t as impressive when it comes to indoor shots either, and we can observe details lacking in dark areas.
The Moto G5S and Moto G5S Plus are good for all jobs and we’re barely left wanting for more power under the hood. The Moto G5S Plus does nicely in graphics-heavy matches and handles multitasking with ease. We had a great time with the device as it has a better screen in comparison to its smaller sibling. The 5.5-inch display is good for watching videos and playing games on. Even with only the camera app left running for a while, we found that the phone getting quite warm. This is surprising considering that lots of other devices including Xiaomi Mi A1 and Mi Max two (Review) use the same processor and don’t get as warm in usage.The Moto G5S Plus speaker is loud enough for a small space
The Moto G5S Plus speaker is loud enough for a small space through the sound distorts at maximum quantity. The headset shipping with the Moto G5S Plus is typical, and do not expect them to impress you a good deal. We were also surprised to see this phone missing out on VoLTE (voice over LTE) support at the time of writing this review. We were able to make calls using a Reliance Jio SIM only after installing the Jio4Voice app that allows VoLTE calls.
The Moto G5S is slightly better as it comes to managing heat. It does get warm, but just after a lengthy session of gaming or watching videos. The phone manages everyday tasks easily, and doesn’t feel like a slouch. It does support 4G with VoLTE, and call quality was adequate. In terms of multimedia, the Moto G5S feels slightly inadequate because of its reflective screen. We needed to adjust the brightness a few times to get comfy. Alas, the bundled headset is below par in quality.
During our review, we also noticed that both the Moto G5S and Moto G5S Plus got warm while being billed – something we don’t see with each device.
The Moto G5S Plus handled 64,639 in AnTuTu, 20,899 in Quadrant, and 21fps in GFXBench’s T-Rex test. The Moto G5S, on the other hand, managed 30,450 in AnTuTu, 18,450 entire in Quadrant, also 16fps in GFXBench.
The Moto G5S and Moto G5S Plus both pack 3000mAh non-removable batteries, which is strange considering that bigger phones generally have space for bigger batteries. Consequently, the Moto G5S with its smaller display lasted more in our evaluations. It managed approximately 18 hours with heavy usage, while the Moto G5S Plus may only run for 14 hours which was disappointing. In our typical HD video loop evaluation, the Moto G5S conducted for 12 hours and 35 minutes, while the Moto G5S Plus conducted for 11 hours and 15 minutes.
The fantastic thing is that Lenovo ships TurboPower adapters with both models. The Moto G5S gets fully charged in roughly 60-70 minutes while the Moto G5S Plus takes slightly more time.
The smartphone market in India changes rapidly, and Lenovo’s decision to start special editions of this fifth-generation Moto devices seems like a excellent move – except for buyers of the originals. Both the Moto G5S and Moto G5S Plus provide improvements that help the business stay clean and take on newly launched competitors. The dual cameras around the Moto G5S Plus will be a good selling point, especially against the Xiaomi Mi A1 (Review), though the experience still requires some polishing out of the company’s end. Stock Android is usually always a good thing even though it’s becoming more common today and less of an advantage for Lenovo. Quick charging service is also a big plus.
The Moto G5S is a fantastic improvement over the Moto G5, though it faces a stiff challenge from the Xiaomi Redmi Notice 4 (Review) which sells at a lower price and offers better hardware. The Moto G5S Plus has to carry about the Xiaomi Mi A1 which is likewise quite similar and costs a bit less.
If you’re a Moto lover then the Moto G5S Plus or Moto G5S should surely appeal to you since they look great and provide all the bells and whistles one anticipates at their prices. We expect Lenovo will roll out service for VoLTE on the Moto G5S Plus shortly, especially considering that Airtel has started rolling out its network in addition to Jio.