Moto G5S Plus review

Moto's affordable, big-screened smartphone

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The Moto G5S Plus is, in a specs sense at least, not a major step up from the Moto G5 Plus. Its dual camera setup isn’t worth getting that excited about and the processing power is similar.

However, in person the shift is greater. Build quality has been dramatically improved and the larger screen offers something missing from the last wave of Motos. And we’re glad to see the 5.5-inch screen option return as it’s much better for gamers and video streamers.

Coming up with a new phone this quickly is likely to confuse some buyers, but we'd recommend this over the Moto G5 Plus.

Who's this for?

If you want a high-quality phone from a well-known brand but don’t want to spend too much, the Lenovo Moto G5S Plus is for you.

It’s much larger, and slightly better-spec’d, than the Sony Xperia XA1 and has a much more straight-forward approach than the Honor rivals like the Honor 6X.

Should you buy it?

At almost the same price as the Moto G5 Plus there’s no reason to buy the older phone unless you can’t handle the G5S Plus’s larger screen. It’s a top option among budget handsets in general too.

The competition

The Moto G5S Plus is one of the best big screen budget phones around, but the following four handsets are also worth considering.

Moto G5 Plus

This phone's direct predecessor is the Moto G5 Plus, without the "S". The two are less similar than they sound, as the new version is significantly larger, with a 5.5-inch screen instead of a 5.2-inch one.

The G5S Plus also gains dual cameras and a much-improved all-metal shell. In theory, the older phone should have better low-light performance thanks to its large 12MP sensor, but in practice they’re roughly on-par.

Sony Xperia XA1

If you're buying to a budget rather than to find a large-screen phone, the much smaller Sony Xperia XA1 is worth a look. It is much more pocket-friendly than the Moto, and has a much higher resolution 23MP camera that can take some seriously detail-packed photos.

However, the Moto G5S Plus has a higher-end build, a sharper screen and is better value all-round.

Honor 9

If you want to level-up to the next league of phones, the Honor 9 is your best aggressively-priced bet. Yes, it's a lot more expensive than the Moto, but also offers a true high-end chipset and a slightly smarter camera.

Oh, and it's also one of the shiniest phones you can get thanks to its dynamic multi-layered glass back. The question is: do you want a high-end phone at a mid-range price or are you happy with one that gets you something close-ish to the high-end experience for much less?

Moto G5S

Lenovo has updated the Moto G5 as well as the Moto G5 Plus. The result? The Moto G5S. Confusing, isn’t it?

This is simply the smaller brother to the Moto G5S Plus, with a 5.2-inch screen, slightly lower-spec chipset and a higher-res but lower-quality camera sensor. 

The price is slightly lower for that exact reason, but it's not much of a difference so you may be better off spending a bit more and getting the Moto G5S Plus.

First reviewed: September 2017

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.