Performance Our benchmarks returned the results we expected. The internals on the G5S Plus are identical to the older G5 Plus, but thankfully the larger display of the G5S Plus doesn’t affect performance – the results are identical. We’ve compared the G5S Plus to the current Moto G family of phones (confusing names and all), alongside the Moto Z2 Play with the Snapdragon 626 and HTC U11 Life with the 630. The differences are negligible, and you’re not losing out by choosing the G5S Plus.
You get NFC for mobile payments via Android Pay which is great, plus Bluetooth 4.2 and ac Wi-Fi
connectivity. Battery life is also good with the 3,000mAh non-removable battery which is fast charge compatible with the included TurboCharger. The fingerprint sensor is also excellent, fast and responsive. We like that you can lock your phone with a touch of it too, a feature not seen on many other handsets.
There’s even a built-in FM radio, something budget phones have more often than flagships these days.
It’s a slight shame to see the older Micro-USB connector on the phone rather than the new USB-C standard, but it’s not a reason not to buy the G5S Plus.
The phone ships with Android Nougat 7.1, but given the relatively unchanged nature of Moto’s Android skin, it shouldn’t be long before the phone receives an update to Android Oreo – though this isn’t confirmed at the time of writing.
The skin over stock Android is thoughtful and unobtrusive. No changes are made unnecessarily unlike with other budget manufacturers like Honor.
You can use the fingerprint sensor to unlock and lock the phone, or in settings make it a navigation button to swipe and push to do all sorts of different actions. It takes some getting used to but is good if you want to get rid of the on-screen navigation buttons.
Apps sit in the drawer that is a swipe up from the home screen like on Google Pixel phones, while notifications and settings are all familiar and nicely unchanged. Using the Moto G5S Plus is a fresh, uninterrupted Android experience.
The Moto G5S Plus is not only the best Moto G smartphone ever, it’s the best phone under £300 you can buy today. Yes, it is slightly more expensive than the G5 or the Nokia 5, but what you gain in build quality, photography and performance are well worth the extra spend.
It costs roughly half what the OnePlus 5T does and you don’t lose an awful lot by spending this much less. It’s also a better buy than the smaller, cheaper but underpowered Moto G5S. Henry Burrell
• 5.5in (1920x1080, 538ppi) IPS LCD capacitive display • Android 7.1 Nougat • Qualcomm MSM8953 Snapdragon 625 processor • Octa-core 2GHz Cortex-A53 CPU • Adreno 506 GPU • 3/4GB RAM • 32/64GB storage, microSD up to 256GB
• Fingerprint scanner (rear mounted)
• Dual 13Mp rear-facing cameras (f/2.0, autofocus, dual-LED dual-tone flash • 8Mp front-facing camera (f/2.0, LED flash) • 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi • Bluetooth 4.2 • A-GPS, GLONASS • Micro-USB 2.0 • Non-removable lithium-ion 3,000mAh battery • 153.5x76.2x8mm • 168g