Moto G5S Plus Review: Larger Display, Dual-Camera

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By Okedigba Dorcas


My take on Moto G5S Plus


The Moto G5S Plus boasts a larger 5.5-inch display than its predecessor, a solid chassis built entirely out of aluminum. Not only that but the phone also offers an improved rear-camera sensor. Unfortunately, some features users may not like are camera shutter lag – also, the camera does not take great photos at night.



  • Metal chassis
  • 5.5-inch display
  • Dual rear camera


  • camera shutter lag
  • Same battery capacity as its predecessor
  • Camera is not great at night

Moto G5S Plus: At First Glance

Since 2013, the Motorola Moto G series has been consistent in serving budget-conscious users with great value-packed phones. In August 2017 Motorola released the Moto G5S Plus barely 6 months after the release of its predecessor – Moto G5 Plus.

Now in 2021, the Moto G5S Plus has been succeeded by several newer releases into the series. However, the Moto G5S Plus is still a top buy.

The Moto G5S Plus like every other member of the G series was an affordable option during the early days of its release and now, the price is even more enticing. Speaking of which, at the time we updated this review in October 2021, the Moto G5S Plus costs $195.97.

With that been said, let us see how the Moto G5S Plus fared against its competitors and predecessor.

Moto G5S Plus: Design, Dimension & Weight

The Moto G5S Plus does not look too different from its predecessor not until you take a closer look. You will realize that there has been a significant improvement in the workmanship.

Unlike the predecessor that was made from a combination of plastic and metal, the Moto G5S Plus is solely built with aluminum. However, despite its metallic body, most metallic-built phones, it does not retain fingerprint marks.

For color options, the Moto G5S Plus is available in two color options – Blush Gold, and Lunar Gray. Hence, you can choose any of these two colors that appeal to you the most.

Looking at the front view of the Moto G5S Plus, you will find the 5.5-inch display. The screen size befits a smartphone labeled as ‘Plus’ unlike the predecessor that is just 5.2-inch.

The screen still maintains the thick bezels from its predecessor which makes it look outdated when compared with 2017 flagships like Samsung S8. The top bezel houses the front camera, the proximity sensor, the earpiece, the front camera flash, and a Moto branding.

Meanwhile, the bottom bezel houses the oval-shaped fingerprint scanner. The fingerprint scanner is not the fastest you can get, but it is reasonably faster than that of the Moto G5 Plus.

In addition to unlocking the phone, the fingerprint scanner also doubles as a navigational control, this is known as One Button Navigation. If you enable the One Button Nav, swiping left will take you back while swiping right brings up recent apps.

You can decide to turn off the navigational gestures of the fingerprint scanner and use the main navigational controls instead. The navigational home, recent, and back controls are located on the screen just above the bottom bezel.

Moving on to the back view of the Moto G5S Plus, it is slightly curved by the sides giving it a balanced feel in the hands. The back view looks chic, the only nitpick I have is about the persistent camera bump.

The circular camera bump makes the phone wobble when placed back-down on flat surfaces. Moreover, the circular edges will begin to wear out from constant friction with surfaces.

Below the rear camera, there is a Moto logo with the letter “M”. Further down the back panel, you will find the NFC area.

NFC stands for near field communication and it enables your Moto G5S Plus to transfer data with other NFC-enabled devices. Additionally, the NFC is useful for making payments via Android Pay.

Let us proceed to the sides and edges of the Moto G5S Plus, the left side houses the SIM card and memory card tray. Meanwhile, the right side houses the volume buttons and the power button.

With a single press of the power button, you can turn the screen on or off. Meanwhile, a press and hold of the button will switch the phone on or off.

Furthermore, the top of the Moto G5S Plus houses a headphone jack. Whereas, the bottom houses a USB port at its center which is flanked by a speaker to its right and a microphone to its left.

The switch to a micro USB port rather than the modernly accepted USB Type-C on the Moto G5S Plus makes it look outdated. This implies that USB data transfers will prove a bit slow.

When it comes to the size and weight of the Moto G5S Plus, it measures 153.5 x 76.2 x 8.0 mm. Comparatively, it is bigger and thicker than its predecessor which measures 150.2 x 74.0 x 7.7 mm.

Additionally, the Moto G5S Plus weighs 168g which is significantly heavier than the 155g weight of the Moto G5 Plus.

The Moto G5S Plus is not waterproof but Motorola has described it as splash-resistant due to its nanocoating. This implies that it can withstand light spills and rain but not submersion.

In conclusion, I will rate the Moto G5S Plus an eight in this design and dimension review.

Moto G5S Plus: Display Features

Next, in my Moto G5S Plus review is the phone’s display features. It Is Important to carefully consider a phone’s display quality when deciding whether to buy the phone or not.

The first display feature we will consider is the size of the display. The Moto G5S Plus is equipped with a 5.5-inch display with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

This makes the Moto G5S Plus a good choice for gamers and video lovers to view at widescreen.

Moreover, the display size falls within the preferred range. Research shows that most smartphone users prefer a phone with a display size between 5-inch to 5.5-inch.

Next, we will consider the technology behind the display. Motorola designed the Moto G5S Plus with an IPS LCD display technology.

Although IPS LCD does not deliver as much quality as AMOLED displays, I find it to suit the price category that the Moto G5S Plus belongs to.

One known benefit of the IPS LCD display is the ability to display high resolutions and a wide spectrum of colors. The screen also has a pixel density of 401 PPI which is better than the 300 PPI standard.

Additionally, the Moto G5S display supports two color modes – vibrant mode and standard mode. The default vibrant mode produces saturated colors that pops while the standard mode produces a more natural color tone.

Another display feature we will consider is the display’s resolution. The Moto G5S Plus has a 1920×1080 pixels resolution which is not the most advanced resolution available today, but the output is sharp.  

The Moto G5S Plus has great viewing angles with relative loss of color and brightness when viewed from acute angles. Also, the display has a contrast ratio of 1,477:1 which is in line with the expected value from an IPS display.

The Moto G5S Plus has a maximum auto-brightness of 500nits but you can manually increase it to 656nits. Consequently, the screen was easier to view in the shade than under sunlight.

The reflection of the sun on the glossy screen makes it even more difficult to use under sunlight.

For color reproduction, the Moto G5S Plus does not match the wide color reproduction of Samsung phones. However, its 85.5% coverage of the sRGB color gamut makes color sufficiently vivid.

Finally, the Moto G5S Plus display is quite tough, this is because it is made of gorilla glass 3. This gives it resilience from cracks and scratches.

However, you might want to use a screen protector to add an extra layer of screen protection.

In conclusion, I will rate the Moto G5S Plus a seven in this display features review section.

Moto G5S Plus: Camera Features

Next in my Moto G5S Plus review is the camera features.

I am particularly not a fan of the large protruding circular rear camera housing of the Moto G5S Plus. It makes it wobble and unbalanced on flat surfaces.

On a brighter note, the Moto G5S Plus is the first phone in the Moto G series to be equipped with dual rear cameras. Unlike the dual camera of the iPhone 7 Plus that allows optical zoom, the dual camera of the Moto G5S Plus only allows depth-of-field pictures.

The 13 MP rear cameras have an f/2.0 aperture and a dual-tone LED flash. It takes good portrait pictures with a bokeh effect that blurs out the background while focusing on the subject.

The camera is not as good as Apple’s offerings. However, the color is good and the dynamic range is good too especially for a phone in this price category.

The cameras produce decent daytime photos – although the contrast is not so impressive. On the other hand, night photos tend to be plagued by noise but they are still usable.

The camera also has a Pro mode that allows you to tweak the settings as you please. This gives you total control over the outcome of your shots.

Overall, the performance of the Moto G5S rear camera is satisfying for a phone in this price category. However, the camera has a significant drawback.

Speaking of which, there is a noticeable shutter lag that makes the camera very slow at taking instantaneous shots. Sadly, the camera lingers for about 0.5 seconds after focusing before taking a shot.

Furthermore, the Moto G5S Plus has an 8MP front camera with an f /2.0 aperture and LED flash. It takes pictures with fair quality and the flash is good for getting better pictures in low lighting conditions though you will need to watch the angles.

The front camera also has a beautification mode that helps to achieve smooth and blemish-free social-media-worthy selfies. The only nitpick I have with the front camera is that it also displays a bit of shutter lag

Moving on, the camera app is quite outstanding, you can intuitively launch the camera app with the twist of your wrist. Moreover, the camera app supports selective focusing and exposure settings amongst other useful features.

In conclusion, I will rate the performance of the Moto G5S Plus an eight in this camera features review section.

Moto G5S Plus: Battery Life and Talk Time

A lot of smartphone users depend on their phones to perform a lot of activities. Meanwhile, people do not appreciate discovering they have a flat battery when they need the phone the most.

Therefore, a phone’s battery has become one of the most important factors to consider before buying a phone.

The Moto G5S Plus ships with a 3000 mAh non-removable battery. The battery capacity is acceptable, but I cannot say the same for its non-removable battery.

A non-removable battery hinders you the opportunity to swapping out a flat battery with a charged one. Moreover, If the battery develops a fault, you can not easily replace it yourself.

Motorola has advertised the 3,000 mAh battery to deliver up to 33 hours 23 minutes of 3G battery talk time. Impressively, the battery did not disappoint.

According to the battery tests performed by Notebookcheck, the battery lasted 24 hours 56 minutes while the phone was idle and brightness set to a minimum. Also, during another test that involved surfing the web over WiFi, the phone lasted 16 hours 14 minutes.

The performance of the Moto G5S Plus from the battery tests is about 20% stronger than that of its predecessor – Moto G5S. This is a notable feat considering that the Moto G5S Plus has a larger screen while maintaining the same battery capacity as its predecessor.

Additionally, the Moto G5S Plus supports the TurboPower fast charging technology which makes it easy to top up the battery quickly. You can get about 6 hours of battery power in just 15 minutes.

Finally, I will rate the Moto G5S Plus a nine in this battery review section.

Moto G5S Plus: Storage Options & Performance

These days, people store so many applications, files, and media on their smartphones. Hence, we cannot overemphasize the importance of sufficient storage space on modern-day phones.

Motorola has equipped the Moto G5S Plus with either 32 GB or 64 GB internal storage. This is a bit disappointing especially the 32 GB models because pre-installed apps and the OS occupy a chunk of the internal storage.

Thankfully, you can expand the storage space with the use of a microSD card. According to Motorola, the SD card capacity can be up to 128 GB.

There are two options to choose from when you insert the SD card. The first is to use the card as portable storage while the second option will enable you to extend the internal storage using the SD card.

The first option allows you to store media files and share them with other devices. However, this option does not allow you to install applications to the SD card.

Meanwhile, the internal storage option allows the installation of applications to the SD card after formatting and decrypting the card. This option requires you to leave the SD card in the phone permanently hence, you cannot use it on other devices.

In conclusion, I will rate the performance of the Moto G5S Plus a seven in this storage options review section.

Moto G5S Plus Security Features & Sensors Review

Have you ever wondered how smartphones act so intuitively and intelligently? For example, how they detect light and adjust the screen brightness or how they can tell your current altitude.

All these are made possible with the help of sensors. Sensors are tiny components used in smartphones to detect various actions of users in relation to their environments.

The Moto G5S Plus has all the essential sensors you need in a modern smartphone. For a start, it has a fingerprint sensor which is a very secure means of protecting your phone from unauthorized access.

This implies that you can unlock the phone with your fingerprint instead of using a PIN. 

The phone also has the following sensors – accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient light, and proximity. The only important sensor the phone is missing is a barometer which might prevent you from using health apps. 

The accelerometer and gyroscope sensors are useful for determining the phone’s orientation and automatically rotating the screen. Meanwhile, the proximity sensor detects when you are holding the phone near your face during a call and turns the display off.

Turning off the display is vital as it helps to manage battery consumption.

Another important sensor in the Moto G5S Plus is the ambient light sensor. This sensor determines the degree of light around the phone and automatically dims the phone’s display.

Therefore, it helps to prevent eye strain and also reduces battery consumption. 

Finally, I will rate the Moto G5S Plus an eight in this security and sensors review section.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is the Moto G5S Plus waterproof?

The Moto G5S Plus has a water repellant nano-coating that protects it from accidental spillage and light rain. However, it is not waterproof and should not be submerged in water.

2. How long does the Moto G5S Plus battery last?

The Moto G5S Plus has a 3,000 mAh that was promised to deliver up to 33 hours 23 minutes of 3G battery talk time. In a WiFi web surfing test performed by Notebookcheck, the battery lasted 16 hours 14 minutes.

The battery performance is impressive and can easily deliver an all-day battery life with light usage.

3. Is the Moto G5S Plus a good phone?

The Moto G5S Plus boasts a larger screen than its predecessor making it a great choice for games and movie lovers. Also, the build quality has been improved by making it entirely metal.

Additionally, the cameras have also been upgraded with an extra camera added to the back.

4. Does the Moto G5S Plus have AMOLED display?

No, the Moto G5S Plus does not have an AMOLED screen. Instead, it has an IPS LCD with a Full HD resolution.

5. Does the Moto G5S Plus have corning gorilla glass?

Yes, the IPS LCD of the Moto G5S Plus is topped with a corning gorilla glass 3 that reduces the chances of the display from getting cracked. Hence, the screen is quite tough but you can also use a screen protector to add another layer of screen protection.

6. Does the Moto G5S Plus support 5G?

No, the Moto G5S Plus does not support 5G. It only supports 4G, 3G, and 2G.

7. How much is the Moto G5S Plus?

At the time we updated this review in October 2021, the Moto G5S starts at $195.97 on Amazon.

8. What is the processor in the Moto G5S Plus?

The Moto G5S Plus ships with an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor with a primary clock speed of 2 GHz.

9. Does the Moto G5S Plus support wireless charge?

No, the Moto G5S Plus does not support wireless charging. Moreover, the Moto G5S Plus is made of metal and not glass which is most suitable for wireless charging.

10. How old is the Moto G5S Plus?

The Moto G5S Plus was released in August 2017. Therefore, at the time we updated this review in October 2021, the Moto G5S is about 4 years old.


The Moto G5S Plus is a bigger version of its predecessor. It also replaces the chassis with a complete metal one and another camera has been added to its back.

In addition to these changes, there have been slight improvements in the internals as well. However, the camera is quite slow and does not produce the best night photos.

In conclusion, I will recommend the Moto G5S Plus to users that are satisfied with the performance of the Moto G5 Plus but wants a larger screen still at an affordable price.

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For more Smartphone reviews, visit our Smartphone Reviews page. You may also find our Smartphone Specs page very helpful.

About the Author

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Okedigba Dorcas

Okedigba Dorcas is a technical writer at She has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. She is a web development enthusiast. When she isn’t writing tech guides, she reads or codes web applications. Dorcas writes laptops, smartphones and desktops reviews for

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