Moto G5S Plus review

Moto's affordable, big-screened smartphone

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Battery life

  • 3,000mAh battery charges fast
  • Easily lasts over a day

The Moto G5S Plus has a 3,000mAh battery, one you don’t have any access to. This is a head-scratching spec when the smaller Moto G5S has the same capacity cell.

However, in real use we’re perfectly happy with the phone’s stamina. One day, for example, we streamed a couple of hours of podcasts, took it out for a day in London shooting some photos and still ended up with almost 40% charge by bed time.

A 90-minute video played at maximum brightness takes 16% off the battery level. That’s more than the 12% of the Moto G5 Plus, but that’s no great surprise when this phone has a larger screen.

The Moto G5S Plus also has fast charging, using Lenovo’s TurboPower technology. It ramps-up the voltage to up to 12V, to get you six hours’ use in 15 minutes.

As ever, the fastest charging happens when replenishing the first 60% of the battery, but it’s quick after that too. You’ll see the percentage creep up by just over a point each minute until the very end.


  • Good mid-tone dynamic range enhancement
  • Passable night photos
  • Disappointing shutter lag

The Moto G5S Plus is the first of the Moto G phones to have two cameras on the back. Phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone 7 Plus have a second camera to let you zoom in with less quality loss than normal digital zoom. However, this dual 13MP array is more conventional.

You can simply take depth of field photos with the Moto G5S Plus. This is where the background is blurred for an arty effect, emulating the look of a wide-aperture DSLR lens.

It’s not as good as the Huawei or Apple versions of this idea, though. It can’t deal with complicated subjects well and there’s often ‘outlining’ of even simple ones. However, it’s still worth using and can produce some good results. Some of our best photos were taken using it.

The one problem with the Lenovo Moto G5S Plus camera is that it suffers from significant shutter lag. We used the phone alongside the Moto G4, and it is much faster to shoot than this new phone. We’re talking around a 0.5 second lag per photo, even after focus has been achieved.

That’s bad. However, it’s so uncharacteristic for the series we’re almost convinced Lenovo will fix it with a software update.

This aside, the Moto G5S Plus has a very satisfying camera for a lower-mid-range phone. You’ll get more detail out of the Sony Xperia XA1 though and you need to be careful about the exposure level to get a good shot.

However, dynamic range enhancement is excellent among its peers and color is great. You can even shoot directly into the sun and get a usable pic with the Auto HDR mode.

Contrast isn’t as good as a true high-end phone camera and night photo quality is just okay. Low-light shots are softer here than a good phone with optical image stabilization, so you lose detail, and there’s a little noise. Images are still usable, though.

There’s also a pro mode that lets you alter the main settings yourself, although as usual for a Moto even the basic mode lets you change the exposure. And you’ll need to at times to get the best picture. Metering isn’t quite as smart as the best top-price phones.

The Moto G5S Plus does let you shoot 4K video, though, at 30fps. Move down to 1080p and you can shoot at 60fps.

Around the front there’s an 8MP selfie camera with an LED flash. Image quality is fine, although detail does degrade fairly quickly with indoors lighting. This is where the flash steps in.

A white LED flash blasting at your face is never going to be that flattering, but it does actually work unlike some front flashes that barely seem to have an effect at all. For the serial Instagram selfie-botherers there are also face-enhancing modes to let you smooth-out your skin.

Camera samples gallery

Andrew Williams

Andrew is a freelance journalist and has been writing and editing for some of the UK's top tech and lifestyle publications including TrustedReviews, Stuff, T3, TechRadar, Lifehacker and others.