Motorola has already launched two excellent affordable mobiles, the Moto G5 and Moto G5 Plus, so far in 2017. However this selection just doubled with the official launch of the Moto G5S and Moto G5S Plus, which offer an upgrade and improved specs over the original phones.
If you’re after a dependable and lovable mobile for much more than basic everyday use, yet your budget is tighter than a baboon’s bum hole, Motorola’s Moto G family of handsets are well worth considering.
The Moto G5 offers a satisfying smartphone experience for just £169 in the UK, making it an ideal budget choice. Meanwhile the G5 Plus boosts the power and camera tech for more demanding users, with a higher £259 asking price. It’s still worth every penny, as you’ll see in our long-term Moto G5 Plus review.
Anyone after an affordable smartphone now has a trickier choice than ever, though. The Moto G5S and Moto G5S Plus have just launched here in the UK, offering even better specs for a small rise in price over the first two Moto G releases.
So what’s the difference between all of these handsets and which Moto G phone from 2017 is going to be best for you? Here’s our full Moto G5 vs G5 Plus vs G5S vs G5S Plus comparison review, to show you the differences and similarities.
Moto G5 vs G5S vs G5 Plus vs G5S Plus: Specs at a glance
|Moto G5||Moto G5S||Moto G5 Plus||Moto G5S Plus|
|Screen resolution||Full HD (1920×1080)||Full HD (1920×1080)||Full HD (1920×1080)||Full HD (1920×1080)|
|Weight||145 grams||157 grams||155 grams||168 grams|
|OS||Android 7.0||Android 7.1||Android 7.0||Android 7.1|
|Front camera||5-megapixels||5-megapixel w/flash||5-megapixels||8-megapixels w/flash|
|Rear camera||13-megapixels||16-megapixels||12-megapixels||Dual-lens 13-megapixels|
|Processor||Snapdragon 430||Snapdragon 430||Snapdragon 625||Snapdragon 625|
|microSD?||Yes (128GB)||Yes (128GB)||Yes (128GB)||Yes (128GB)|
|Battery||2800mAh w/ rapid charging||3000mAh w/ rapid charging||3000mAh w/ Turbo Charging||3000mAh w/ Turbo Charging|
Moto G5 vs G5S vs G5 Plus vs G5S Plus: Design
When it comes to size, there’s not much between the four members of the 2017 Moto G family.
The dinkiest member is the standard Moto G5, which comes in at a pleasingly compact 5-inches. In other words, it’s just mini enough to fit into our best compact phones round-up. The Moto G5S Plus is a sizable 5.5-inches, while the other two Moto mobiles rock a 5.2-inch build.
The original G5 and G5 Plus impressed with a mostly metal framework, compared with the all-plastic efforts of previous generations. We prefer the look of the Plus model of course, as the standard G5 sports a cheap-looking chrome-style shiny plastic rim around the screen.
You’ll get a very similar design to the G5 Plus with the new Moto G5S and G5S Plus. They’re once again constructed from a single piece of aluminium, with no cheapy plastic bits. You can pick them up in grey or gold, just like the original phones.
None of these handsets are water-resistant, as you’d expect given the low asking price. So be careful not to dunk them in your pint.
Moto G5 vs G5S vs G5 Plus vs G5S Plus: Screen and media
All four of the new Moto G phones offer Full HD visuals, which is particularly impressive from the super-affordable Moto G5. You can enjoy high-def movies with perfectly crisp visuals, while photos are packed with detail.
There shouldn’t be any real difference in terms of output either. The original Moto G5 and G5 Plus pump out reasonably punchy colours, with impressively deep blacks for solid contrast. We’re expecting exactly the same result from the IPS display tech on the G5S and G5S Plus.
All four mobiles offer microSD expansion, to carry around a massive media collection, up to 128GB in all. You also get a 3.5mm headphone jack, if you don’t want to go Bluetooth.
Moto G5 vs G5S vs G5 Plus vs G5S Plus: Features and OS
You can expect a very similar user experience on all four of these Moto mobiles. Android Nougat appears in a mostly vanilla form, so you can expect timely updates whenever Google pumps out a new version of its mobile OS. The interface is pleasingly uncluttered, while Moto’s own Assistant app is a handy addition. This offers up a useful one-handed mode, some decent gesture control and more besides.
Check out our Moto G5 and G5 Plus tips and tricks for a run-down of the best features you’ll find.
The Moto G5S and G5S Plus offer the same software experience as the original Moto G phones, for an identical look and feel. Likewise, all of the Moto G blowers here sport a fingerprint sensor, for improved security implementation.
As for NFC, it appears that only the new Moto G5S Plus offers this out of the box. That means it’s your only choice if you want to get on board with contactless payments.
Moto G5 vs G5S vs G5 Plus vs G5S Plus: Performance and battery life
Moto’s latest G-series smartphones pack the same processing power as their already-launched counterparts. In other words, the G5 and G5S both sport the basic Snapdragon 430, while the Plus models upgrade this to the Snapdragon 625.
The most basic handsets still offer solid everyday performance however, so you won’t notice much in the way of stutters or delays. That’s in part thanks to the vanilla overlay-free version of Android that comes pre-installed, which doesn’t bog everything down with unnecessary add-ons. That said, if you’re after a handset to see you through the long-haul, the G5S and G5S Plus should cut it for the full length of a contract, without much slowdown to frustrate matters.
The Moto G5 differs from the other phones in this comparison when it comes to battery life. With the G5 you’ll just about make it through a day of use if you hammer the thing, while the G5 Plus comfortably lasts around 36 hours with its bigger cell. We’re hoping that the G5S and G5S Plus offer over a day of life between charges also, as they too pack in a 3000mAh battery.
All four phones support Motorola’s Turbo Charge feature, so you can recharge to full in just over an hour.
Moto G5 vs G5S vs G5 Plus vs G5S Plus: Cameras
While the G5S rocks a single-lens camera like the G5 and G5 Plus, the big departure here is the dual-lens snapper on the G5S Plus. This should offer a similar experience to other dual-lens delights such as the OnePlus 5 and Honor 9, with pleasing bokeh (blurry background effects) to help your subject stand out.
Otherwise, the Moto G5 Plus offers an improved all-round experience when compared with the standard Moto G5 and the new Moto G5S. You get Dual Pixel focus tech instead of Phase Detection Autofocus, for a super-fast action, while the f/1.7 aperture lens is ideal for low light shots; the non-Plus models pack a f/2.0 aperture lens instead.
Impressively you can shoot up to 4K resolution video on the Moto G5 Plus and Moto G5S Plus, making them two of the most affordable handsets to boast this ability. The G5 and G5S top out at Full HD.
Check out our Moto G5 Plus camera review for all you need to know, and stay tuned for our in-depth Moto G5S and G5S Plus camera reviews.
That said, the Moto G5’s 13-megapixel shooter doesn’t disappoint for the price. The Phase Detection Autofocus tech is still nippy and you can capture detailed snaps across a range of conditions, using the helpful auto mode. Take a look at our Moto G5 camera review for full samples and analysis.
Around the front of these phones, you get a 5-megapixel selfie camera housed on the G5, G5S and G5 Plus. This is boosted to an 8-megapixel shooter for the G5S Plus. However, the real difference here is the front-facing LED flash, found on Moto’s new handsets. That makes them ideal for mug shots taken at night time or in the club.
Moto G5 vs G5S vs G5 Plus vs G5S Plus: UK pricing
You can grab the Moto G5 and G5 Plus right now in the UK, for £179 and £249 respectively.
The Moto G5S is coming to the UK in early August, costing £219.
Meanwhile the top-end Moto G5S Plus will cost £259 and it’s releasing here early August also.
Read next: Best budget camera phones in 2017