Moto G5S Plus Hands-on Review: Special First Look: Software And User Experience, Battery Life, Performance

By 09:12 Wed, 18 Aug 2021 Comments


Software

The Moto G5S Plus runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat. The software experience here is similar to what we saw back with the G5 Plus, save for a recent launcher and icon pack, first seen on the Z2 Play.






Moto UI

If you have used any of the recent Motorola phones, you will already be aware of what to expect with the G5S Plus. The design is pretty much identical to stock Android.

Motorola's customizations are limited to additional apps and services, and most of it is useful and worth having. This includes features like Moto Actions, which is a series of gestures that range from shaking the phone to turn on the flashlight or twisting it to turn on the camera, and even using the fingerprint sensor as a gesture pad to navigate the phone instead of using on-classy screen controls.

Moto Display lights up the display to show the clock and pending notification whenever you pick up the phone or there is a recent notification.





Moto Display • Moto Actions

Not all the additions are useful or necessary. Over the years Motorola has slowly been increasing the apps that come bundled in with the device. We have to deal with the usual assortment of Google Docs apps (Docs, Sheets, Slides) that come pre-installed and cannot be removed.

Our unit also came with LinkedIn and Outsee pre-installed and again, could not be removed. We wish Motorola would slit back on some of these as they are all available for free on the Play Store and there is absolutely no value in forcing these on the users who could just as well acquire them themselves.

Overall, though, the software experience on the G5S Plus remains up to Motorola's usually high standards. The phone is also expected to acquire the Android Oreo update before the discontinue of the year.

Battery life

The G5S Plus has a 3000mAh non-removable battery. In our usage, the battery life was less than ideal. The phone lasted us for about 4-5 hours of screen-on time, which might seem fine but it is lower than what other phones in this class are capable of.

The phone supports TurboPower charging, which is essentially elegant Qualcomm QuickCharge. The Motorola charger we got in the box promptly died after we plugged in for the first time. We then had to rely on another QuickCharge 3.0 charger of similar rating from then onward. This got us charge times of about two hours, which isn't terribly quick for a phone with quick charging and not a particularly large battery. The phone also gets quite hot, which is common for QuickCharge devices and one of the reasons we like OnePlus Dash charging better.

Performance

Running essentially the same hardware as the Moto G5 Plus, the G5S Plus doesn't feel any different. The performance, in general, is good, and we were excited with the way the phone performed out of the box and with a handful of apps installed. How it will perform over time remains to be seen, but the 4GB of Random-Access Memory (RAM) ensured we didn't have any problems with multitasking or web browsing.

Still, we would have liked the Special Edition model to have a slight bump in performance. AR performance is still lacking, and this can be seen while using face filters in Snapchat or Instagram, which struggle with the added complexity of rendering real time 3D objects over the capturing camera image.

Gaming performance is also average. Again, we would have loved to see some improvement here, especially for the heavy 3D games but the phone does run most other games fine.

GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Moto G5 Plus

    4255

  • Moto G5S Plus

    4193

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)

    3779

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Max

    3509

  • Nokia 6 (Global version)

    2841

  • Oppo F3

    2798

  • Moto G5

    2580

GeekBench 4.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Max

    888

  • Moto G5 Plus

    847

  • Moto G5S Plus

    843

  • Oppo F3

    764

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)

    734

  • Nokia 6 (Global version)

    665

  • Moto G5

    618

AnTuTu 6

Higher is better

  • Moto G5S Plus

    64554

  • Moto G5 Plus

    63390

  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL

    63358

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)

    61616

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Max

    57996

  • Huawei Honor 6X

    57012

  • Oppo F3

    53008

  • Nokia 6 (Global version)

    47495

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)

    46822

  • Moto G5

    43755

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Moto G5S Plus

    10

  • Moto G5 Plus

    9.7

  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL

    9.7

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)

    9.7

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Max

    8.9

  • Huawei Honor 6X

    7.9

  • Moto G5

    7.1

  • Nokia 6 (Global version)

    7

  • Oppo F3

    6.8

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)

    5.1

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Moto G5S Plus

    6.8

  • Moto G5 Plus

    6.4

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)

    6.2

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Max

    6.2

  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL

    6.1

  • Moto G5

    4.6

  • Huawei Honor 6X

    4.6

  • Oppo F3

    4.5

  • Nokia 6 (Global version)

    4.5

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)

    3.3

Baseimprint X

Higher is better

  • Moto G5S Plus

    10488

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)

    10446

  • Moto G5 Plus

    10406

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Max

    9034

  • Huawei Honor 6X

    8458

  • Nokia 6 (Global version)

    7516

  • Moto G5

    7475

  • Oppo F3

    6148

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)

    5489

Baseimprint Operating System (OS) 2.0

Higher is better

  • Huawei Honor 6X

    1309

  • Moto G5S Plus

    1176

  • Moto G5 Plus

    1089

  • Oppo F3

    1085

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)

    1050

  • Moto G5

    795

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Max

    379

  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)

    349


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