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Moto G5s Plus Review - Mid-range Surprise?

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Moto phones have always been great but recently had little attention. We loved the Moto Z2 Play and recently they released the midrange contender G5s Plus!
Moto G5s Plus Review - Mid-range Surprise?
Moto G5s Plus full review!

The big question is whether or not Moto can make that magic at a more affordable price, specifically the Sub Php 16K price range that has fast becoming the most competitive price bracket in the industry. 

Here is our full review of the Moto G5s Plus!

For our review part 1:  Moto G5s Plus Unboxing and First Impressions

Display Quality

Sharp and vibrant!
Sharp and vibrant!

Display quality is good! The Moto G5s Plus boast a Gorilla Glass protected 5.5 inch-1080p IPS display with a high maximum brightness level that produces accurate and punchy colors and decent contrast. The blacks aren't as deep as AMOLEDs though.

1080p goodness!

Sharpness and detail is apparent because of the 1080p resolution. In fact, this is the best you can get right now at this price point.

The auto brightness does well most of the time. I leave it turned off though because I like manually setting my brightness.

It also has two color modes: a standard mode where colors are realistic and a vibrant mode where the colors are enhanced and saturated. 

There is no feature that adjusts the blue light that adjusts the white balance of the display depending on the environment.

Audio Quality

Single bottom firing speaker!
Single bottom firing speaker!

The single bottom facing Speaker on the other hand is good. The maximum volume is okay. It fills up a quiet room well but struggles in a noisy environment. Audio is best experience with headphones with this phone. 

The sound quality for the price is acceptable for the price point. It has decent details, volume and definition, but the soundstage is noticeably smaller than we would like. This for both the stock earphones or third party. When we used our RHA and the stock the mids is strong while the trebles and bass are okay. 

Microphone quality is good for calls and recordings too. It records sound with decent stereo and sound stage. It isn't as layered as we'd like but the people we call never had a problem or complaints in sound quality. It gets the job done.

Battery Life

Battery Life
Not that great battery score

The G5s Plus has Turbo Charge compatible 3,000mAh battery. In our benchmarks it was able to live for at least 6 hours which is under most of the competition.

Actual performance is passable. We would unplug the phone at 8 AM and we would get home at 8PM and the battery would be at 15 to 20% at the end of the day. This was our normal routine of calls, text, instant messaging, Chrome browsing, YouTube streaming, Uber or Grab, and some light games. Take note, this was all while using LTE.

With Turbo Charge, it is one of the better spec'ed phone in terms of charging capacityIt's not the fastest but it beats most of the competition in the price range. Charging time from 0 to 100 percent is around 90 minutes using the stock 2A Turbo charging brick. Having a quick charge compatible powerbank or the turbo charger with you is a must for heavy users.

Camera

Dual camera goodness!
Dual camera goodness!
The rear camera is a dual lens set-up of a 13MP RGB + a 13MP Mono f/2.0 w/ PDAF and dual tone LED flash. This is a similar set up as the Huawei dual lens set-up. 

It also auto HDR, face beauty, rear cam panorama, selfie cam panorama, and Professional mode. The Professional mode has adjustments for white balance, EV (-3 to +3), ISO (100 to 3200), shutter (1/4000th to 4 seconds), and manual focus.

In terms of quality, the rear camera of the G5s Plus is good! It's not the best in class but it gets the job done. We compared it with the Nova 2i and there were times that the G5s Plus was more natural looking than the Nova 2i but there were times it was softer than the Nova 2i.

We can say that it performs near if not equal to the Nova 2i. Focus fast and can go as near as most mid-range phones. The time it takes for the shutter to snap and to save the image takes a while. 

Sharpness and details are passable with the color accuracy is better than expected in daylight.

In lowlight, the images are a mixed bag. Some images have so much noise reduction that it softens the image. The colors are accurate most of the time though. But don't get us wrong, it is near to the Nova 2i, just a little softer.

Like the V7, the Nova 2i and the OPPO F5 Youth, OIS or EIS could solve the softness due to noise reduction.

Rear Camera Samples

Detailed and accurate colors in daylight!
Detailed and accurate colors in daylight!
Well lit food shot
Well lit food shot
Portrait mode
Portrait mode
Indoor main camera sample
Indoor main camera sample
Main camera low light sample
Main camera low light sample
The Selfie camera of the Moto G5s Plus is the same with the main camera in that it is on par or equal to the Nova 2i and sometimes better. It would depend on the situation but the great thing about the Moto G5s Plus is that the colors are more accurate, the resolution is decent and the dynamic range is sufficient. The images that come out from this phone will please people who want that more natural look and keep it that way or to add their own preferred filters.

In low light, the selfies taken with this phone are mixed. There are times where the images shine with great color accuracy and acceptable grain and softness but there are times where the noise reduction softens the images so much that details are lost. It's not bad, it's just there are times where it is on par with the Nova 2i but sometimes it falters to it. Either way, you can't go wrong with this phone for its price.

If there are any major flaws to the selfie camera, it would be the same with the main camera: The time from when the shutter closes to the saving takes too long. Hand shake could already introduce motion blur to the images in some cases. OIS really needs to arrive at midrange price tag.

The face beauty mode can smoothen out your skin in stills at up to 7 levels. I do think it's too obvious and artificial. It also gets the bokeh mode but I find this more of either a hit or miss. Hair is where the out of focus fall off fails and becomes too obvious. 

Honestly, I prefer the images of this camera without the bokeh because the backgrounds are usually detailed enough to warrant your attention.

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie
Indoor selfie
Indoor selfie
Lowlight group selfie
Lowlight group selfie
Lowlight selfie
Lowlight selfie
Selfie w/ flash
Selfie w/ flash

For videos, the main camera can shoot up to 4k 30fps and 1080p 60fps while the secondary camera can only take videos up to 1080p 30fps.

Both the main camera and the secondary camera can digital zoom up to 8 times! Tap to focus for both the main camera and selfie camera is a bit slower for videos compared when taking photos. Continuous autofocus tracking in video is okay but it misses every now and then.

It can do slow motion but at a maximum resolution of 720p with noticeably grain. It's softer than we would like but the slow motion is incredibly smooth. It is one of the smoothest we've seen in the price range.

Performance

Benchmark scores

The G5s Plus has the Snapdragon 625 with the Adreno 506 with 4GB of RAM which makes this a beast for a 1080p display. The results of our usual benchmarking tools have out classed the Vivo V7 by a small margin.

One powerful phone for the price!

In addition, this phone has 4GB RAM to ensure multitasking performance is great while the storage is 32GB but is expandable to up to 128GB via microSD card.
Gaming is great for the price!
Gaming is great for the price!

Actual performance is good for the price. It is always fast, great for multitasking and it never heated up even for extended LTE video streaming or for extended gaming runs.

For gaming, it can easily load most of the demanding 3D games like Asphalt with ease even on medium to high settings with no noticeable frame rate drops.
Near stock!
Near stock!

Moto has never strayed too far off stock Android, and it is the same here. It is running the Android 7.1.2 Nougat with minor added features by Moto. Being near stock, it is fast and fluid and is not held back by heavy skins. It barely has any bloatware. It does add some added functionality like shaking your phone to launch the camera app.
Moto added features
Moto added features

It now has multitasking and it works well with apps that support it but being a 1080p display it limits some freedom of having a higher density display. Otherwise, we love that it is here now.

Fingerprint scanner is fast, accurate and instantaneous. We have no problems with it. It is now at the front and it can be confusing at first because there are onscreen buttons and the fingerprint button below it. So there were times where I mistaken one for the other.

Telephone connectivity is good with strong signal and steady 4G data connectivity. There's the usual WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS as well that never failed us. 

Moreover, this phone has OTG support, gyroscope sensor, that works rather well. It 

Pros - Full metal body, multitasking is nice, gaming performance is good, camera is on par if not equal to the Nova 2i in certain situations, has slow motion, 4K 30fps and 1080p 60fps video recording
Cons - Battery life could be longer, stock earphones build quality is different from the rest of the accessories

Verdict

The Moto G5s Plus is a metal and glass built phone for php 14990. It has a decent dual stills camera but with a robust video recording with 4K, 1080p 60fps and slow motion that is above the competition. The battery could be better but the gaming performance is strong enough to out weigh its faults.

So, if this is what you want, then maybe the G5s Plus is for you!

Build / Design - 4
Display - 4
Audio - 4
Battery - 3.75
Camera - 4.25
Performance - 4.25
Average - 4.04 / 5
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