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Moto G5S and G5S Plus: what we'd like to see

Lenovo / Motorola appears to be preparing to launch two more G series models this year, the Moto G5S and G5S Plus. Here's what we're wishing for.

Published onMay 31, 2017

The Moto G5 and G5 Plus may have not long hit the market, but slides from a leaked presentation suggest that Motorola is already planning to release two more G series phones later this year, called the Moto G5S and G5S Plus. A mid- or later-year refresh is out of step with the long running cycle for the G series, leaving some to wonder if more meaningful changes could be afoot.

So far, we don’t have too many details on either of these devices, aside from a few leaked specs and some press renders. Both devices will come with 1080p displays at 5.2 and 5.5 inches, respectively, and the Moto G5S will feature a dual camera setup. These are decent enough starting points for Motorola’s most popular budget-friendly range, but I have quite a wish list for these upcoming models.

Motorola reveals the Moto G5S and Moto G5S Plus

Even out the hardware

While already decent enough performers for your day to day tasks, the first thing I would like to see with the Moto G5S range is a reduction in the hardware differences between the two models, especially when it comes to the processing performance of the presumably lower cost G5S model. While I fully appreciate that opting for a lower cost processor between the regular G and G Plus variants helps to keep the price of the former as low as possible, which is part of the appeal, but this rather large difference with the G5 range can produce two quite different experiences.

The 1.4 GHz octa-core Snapdragon 430 inside the Moto G5 is considerably slower than the 2.0 GHz octa-core Snapdragon 625 inside the G5 Plus, with scores of around 40,000 and 60,000 in AnTuTu, respectively. While this gap isn’t going to ruin your experience, apps are certainly going to open up faster and run a little snappier on the Plus model. Not only that, but these models feature different LTE modems with different carrier aggregation capabilities, and the 625 built on a more efficient 14nm process for better battery life.

Qualcomm launches Snapdragon 653, 626, and 427 processors with faster 4G LTE
The Snapdragon 430 inside the Moto G5 is considerably slower than the Snapdragon 625 inside the G5 Plus, but hopefully this gap will be less pronounced between the G5S and G5S Plus

To ensure a great and more equal experience across both models, I’d like to see the Moto G5S lineup adopt the same processors, or at least chips from the same tier, this time around. Two models from Qualcomm’s 600 series, such as the newer 617, 626, or 630, would be worthwhile upgrades and ensure a closer match between features, performance, and LTE speeds between the two.

We do know that dual camera model will almost certainly be reserved by the Plus version, so we can’t expect parity. But hopefully we won’t see a major difference in camera quality, or any other features, between the two phones come launch.

Mobile Payments

One of our pet peeves about the Moto G5 and G5 Plus was the lack of NFC entirely from the regular model, as well as its absence from the US market in the G5 Plus variant too. Given that mobile payment availability is increasing across the globe, this was a rather disappointing discovery. But in the US, where mobile payments are now widely available, this move is borderline inexcusable.

Supporting Android Pay and other proprietary bank payment systems that rely on NFC should be an important goal for all manufacturers these days, even in budget models. We’d certainly like to see this faux pas remedied in the G5S series.

While we’re at it, the introduction of wireless charging or an enhanced dust and water IP rating would be nice, but there aren’t so realistic demands at this price point. If the dust and water resistant coating on G5 series were upgraded to some sort of IP rating, which would allow for submersion, that would be a nice bonus. Although, a USB Type-C port certainly wouldn’t be too much to ask for this time around.

Motorola's new Moto Mods include a gamepad, Amazon Alexa speaker and more

Moto Maker and Mods

The Moto Maker has been a popular feature available to a number of the company’s phones, and is particularly well supported amongst the company’s higher end offerings. For those unfamiliar, Moto Maker offers customers a wide range of back color options and even wooden covers with which customize the look for their phone at purchase.

We’d like to see a return of Moto Maker support with the G5S range, and perhaps even the inclusion of Moto Mods.

While most of the Moto G4 models could be purchase through Moto Maker, the G5 range oddly could not. We’d like to see a return of this feature with the G5S range, offering up a selection of colors, patterns, and whatever else the company can provide to give users that unique sense of customization that makes Moto Maker such a fun and powerful tool.

A little more out there, the introduction of Moto Mods to the company’s more cost effective models could given them a major edge over competitors. Of course, that would likely increase the cost of these phones a tad and would eat into the unique selling point of its higher end models, so this is probably more wishful thinking than one that’s likely to happen.

A new design

Leaked images of the Moto G5S

Onto a more subjective note, I’d personally like to see a bit of a design revamp with the Moto G5S. While not ugly, the G series has never really stood out for its looks. Unfortunately we’re probably not going to see a revamp in the slightest.

About a week ago we brought you an exclusive first look at the Moto G5S, while Gear India provided a first-hand look at the G5S Plus not too long after. Both the G5S and G5S Plus really don’t look too far off from the G5 and G5 Plus. On the front of the devices, there’s still a front-facing fingerprint sensor below the display, along with a small moto logo sandwiched between the earpiece and screen on the top on both models. Around back, the devices have the same round, hockey puck-style camera as the standard Moto G5 lineup. Below that you’ll find the classic Motorola dimple near the center of the device.

In addition, the G5S and G5S Plus will feature a full-metal design, as opposed to the aluminum back plate and plastic sides found on the Moto G5 and G5 Plus. This should make this upcoming Moto phones feel a bit more high end. Due to the switch to an all-metal construction, you’ll notice there are now thin antenna cutouts on the top and bottom of the device.

Moto G5 Plus review

Wrapping up

The introduction of a second batch of Moto G models this year marks an intriguing change in business for Lenovo / Motorola, so it’s going to be interesting to see if the company makes any drastic changes to the formula or if this is more of a small incremental update. For me, the obvious beefed up processing hardware, new features such as an IP resistance rating and NFC support, and inclusion in the Moto Maker program are on my wishlist to make the G5S range stand out.

We’re still not exactly sure when the Moto G5S and G5S Plus will go on sale, but it probably won’t be until into the second half of the year. What about yourselves? What’s on your wishlist for the Moto G5S and G5S Plus, and how could Lenovo make this the best G series release yet?

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