Reviewed: Moto G5S Plus

More and more, mid-range phones are starting to sport features similar to their high-end counterparts. Able to look and feel like high-end phones, it’s hard to resist the temptation of purchasing a decent specced  phone that doesn’t leave your pockets entirely empty. Here, we take a look at how the Moto G5S stacks up in the arena of mid-ranged phones.

DESIGN 4.0/5.0

The G5s Plus is a mid-ranged phone that sports a high-end phone form factor. Unlike its previous iteration,  Moto has opted for a more elegant unibody metal construction—a wise design choice that enhances the phone’s premium feel. The metal backing envelopes around the phone, so all your hands will come in contact with is the metal and glass front. Apart from ditching the plastic, the phone also features a lightweight and slim design. Coming in at only 8 mm thin at 168 g, the phone is comfortable to grasp, even with one hand usage.

At the back of the phone is the Moto logo, situated at a slightly sunken portion of the metal. The formerly protruding round camera bump is thinner than the previous model, yet is still there; however, metal makes up for all the awkwardness. Also at the back are antenna lines and a mic hole for active noise cancellation. The metal material continues onto the device’s sides where the power and volume buttons sit at the right side of the phone. Due to the button placements, it’ll mean that your thumb will be responsible for adjusting the volume, waking the screen, and unlocking the phone via the fingerprint sensor. Since the power button is situated at the center of the right side, and the fingerprint sensor at the center of the chin, on an average one-handed grasp, all but the volume buttons are easily accessible. Located at bottom side of the G5s Plus is another microphone, a micro USB port, and speaker grilles.

At front we have the Corning Gorilla Glass 3 laminate that doubles as protection. Beneath the top laminate, over at the top bezel, is the 8 MP f./2.0 front facing camera, LED flash, the ambient light sensor, and the tacky moto text logo. On top of the logo, is the ear speaker. At the chin, is the fingerprint sensor.

The G5s Plus comes in  two colors, lunar gray and fine gold. Our review unit was the latter, although as soon as the light hits it, it shows more of a pink shade. In all honesty, the G5s Plus nearly pulls off a full fledged premium design, it’s just that tiny details puts it off. The camera bump and the large logo are partly to blame. Nonetheless, its overall aesthetics feel premium.

HARDWARE 4.0/5.0

Let’s begin with the screen. The G5s Plus sports a 5.5-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1080 by 1920 pixels. For reference, cellphone manufacturers which aggressively  penetrate the Philippine market with affordable and selfie-centric phones offer flagships with large screens albeit disappointingly low ppi count and low 720p resolutions. A big screen coupled with a low screen resolution is a big dealbreaker. Fortunately, despite the G5s Plus’ cheaper pricetag, it doesn’t leave you off with a bad and disappointing bad screen. The screen features a crystal clear Full HD display with colors both vibrant and accurate,  a big plus.

The speakers would pass off as average. Many brands now offer phones that play sound  both at the phone’s main speakers, as well as at the earpiece. This isn’t one of them. Although it lacks dual source audio output, the speakers still come off as loud, and it’s quality, average.

The Moto G5s Plus follows the dual camera 2017 gadget trend. It sports dual 12 MP back shooters with a f/2.0 aperture. Supported by dual-LED flash, pictures are able to look good even as the sun sets. The bokeh effect has a long way to go before it matches those of the flagships. But then again, the G5s Plus is a mid-ranged phone. Judging it based on its category, it could be said that the phone produces average bokeh photos that don’t quite mimic DSLR bokeh quality, but have the likings of photos post-processed to have a blurry background. Still, the photos produced by the phone is clear, despite sub-par bokeh effect. Photos taken without the depth effect are surprisingly very clear, and feature true-to-life colors. If you’re out and about and wish to capture scenery, the G5s Plus will not let you down. Overall, the camera doesn’t disappoint. If you prefer color accuracy over overly saturated photos, get the G5s Plus. If you value color, it’s a good choice. The G5s Plus’ front shooter, on the other hand, is an 8 MP, f/2.0 aperture, LED assisted camera, that produce clear enough selfies.

Powering the G5s Plus is the 2016 Snapdragon 625 chipset. Embedded in it is the  octa-core 2.0 GHz Cortex-A53 CPU, and the Adreno 506 GPU. Snapdragon processors have proven itself worthy in the mobile phone arena, so in spite of a mid-range 2017 phone running a 2016 chipset, it still does the job. Yes, opening graphic-heavy games will have long waiting times, but once it’s up and running, lags are rarely seen. To aid in multitasking, the phone also features 4 GB of RAM.

The phone’s big screen demands a sufficient amount of juice, yet with 3000 mAh of battery, expect that it’ll last you a whole day before you need to charge. The storage starts at 32 GB, yet can be easily expanded to 256 GB via a  microSD slot.

USER EXPERIENCE 4.0/5.0

On average tasks, the Moto G5s Plus will quickly respond, without any noticeable lag—a good sign of its reliability. Backed by its decent specs, consuming media, playing games, listening to music, and what not, will result to a smooth experience. Loading graphic heavy games, on the other hand, will require you to sacrifice a few seconds before it loads. Lags aren’t apparent, not unless you jack up the graphic settings. Nonetheless, the phone was able to  run Asphalt 3Gangstar 4, and Need for Speed No Limits smoothly.

Amazingly, the camera has no focus lag. It produces crystal clear, color accurate photos, and will very well pass as a decent and reliable shooter.

Apart  from requiring seconds of wait time and some minor and tacky Moto design choices, the phone actually comes close to providing a true flagship experience. The G5s Plus also runs on stock Android so it takes you away from unappealing skins and bloatware. Overall, the G5s Plus offers a pleasant user experience.

VALUE 4.0/5.0

At only PHP 14,999 the G5s Plus is definitely a steal. If you’re pragmatic and wish to carry a reliable phone, choosing the G5s Plus would be a good choice.

Bottomline
It’s a choice you won’t regret.

Reviewed by Gerry Gaviola

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