After positive experiences with the Moto G3 from 2015 I decided to replace it with its 5th generation successor, the Motorola Moto G5S. After several months of use since its launch in the fall of 2017 it’s the right moment to call the verdict on this eye catching budget smartphone.
Back in 2015 the Moto G3 was already one of the best Android budget smartphones on the market, beating as good as all competition with good processing power and a solid design for less than 200 euro (or 250 USD). Up until this day my girlfriend (who owns the device now) has not been happier with a different smartphone, especially still praising its rare small 5 inch design that lays easy in the hand.
The Moto G5S differs from its 3rd generation brother in various ways. It is clearly bigger, with its 5.2 inch display, and the grip on the back of the G3 has been replaced with a smoother aluminium casing. This gives the G5S a more luxury feel to it, even though its price was the same I paid for the G3.
What also directly catches the attention right away is that a fingerprint scanner has been added below the display, allowing you to unlock the screen with only your fingerprint. This and the addition of protective Gorilla Glass 3 proved one of the extra features that made me decide to go for the G5S version.
Specifications and features
Aside its 5.2 inch full HD display, the Android 7.0 budget smartphone comes with 3 GB of work memory and 32 GB of memory storage. Inside the device houses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 1.4 GHz octa-core processor and a 13 megapixel front camera plus 5 megapixel selfie camera.
Another feature that is very useful in this device is the ability to charge the 2800 mAh battery well within one hour, using the battery’s quick charge technology. In other words, no more night long charging cycles.
When it comes to smartphone computers I am normally a fan of small product designs, which easily fit in your bag or pocket. Due to the thin edges and 9.5 mm thickness it easily fits in all my pockets, but since I have rather small hands a smaller 4 inch or 5 inch model would probably better fit with my body type. It never slipped out of my hands, but a smaller phone like the G3 or Samsung Galaxy S3 have proven easier for me to grab and hold.
The display is flawless. Colors and sharpness are good and the screen can be set to perform extremely bright. Interestingly I have also noticed that while the G3 left clearly visible finger swipe stains, the G5S with super strong Gorilla Glass 3 does a lot less. Even after using the device all day I cannot discover clearly visible finger marks. The aluminium casing also give it a strong and protective exterior.
My favorite apps like Spotify, Chrome, YouTube, Gmail, BBC and NU all work flawless on the Moto G5S. I could not experience a noticeable difference between the performance of this budget device compared to the high end iPhone 5SE, which costs more than two times its price.
Compared to its predecessor, the G3, I also could not notice any difference in performance. Theoretically the 1.4 Ghz octa core processor and 3GB of RAM must also be capable of handling every available game and app for some time to come.
It is the Moto G5S’ price that makes it truly stand out from the competition. It offers medium to high end specifications and performance, while costing a fraction of the price of any comparable devices. At the time of this writing the budget smartphone sells for 179.99 GBP (or approximately 200 euro / 250 USD) on Amazon.co.uk.
A device that is very similar in terms of specifications to the the G5S is the Sony Xperia XA2. However, the XA2 will cost you nearly 50 percent more, with its price tag of 269.99 GBP (or approximately 305 euro / 375 USD). In other words, an easy choice when you go for affordability.
The positive experiences I had with the Moto G3 have only improved with the Moto G5S. The device’s 5.2 inch full HD display, quick charge technology, fingerprint scanner, extra protective Gorilla Glass 3 and fast Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 1.4 GHz octa-core processor make it stand out in the crowd.
It especially stands out when comparing the specifications of this device and realizing how much it costs, its 179.99 GBP price tag (or approximately 200 euro / 250 USD) make it an easy buy for anyone that wants to get a new Android 7.0 device with solid specs and performance.
If you have small hands like me you might also want to look at the smaller and cheaper Moto G5, but its lesser display, poorer casing and lack of Gorilla Glass are clear reasons not to go for this option.