Game of Phones: Who Is the Champion in the Battle of the Mid-Tier Premium

Game of Phones: Who Is the Champion in the Battle of the Mid-Tier Premium

Motorola had launched Moto G5 Plus earlier this year and now they had officially announced the successor, Moto G5S Plus. In short, The Moto G5S Plus is a special edition of the G5 Plus with an improved design, camera system, and a bigger display. Quite simply, it’s a more premium version of its predecessor.

Mid-range market is always the most intense market for all smartphone makers. To surpass all competitors, Motorola had come out an improved version of Moto G5S Plus to keep their game on. The Moto G5S Plus has equipped with a lot of premium specifications that are usually can only be found in flagship smartphone yet keep the price at a very affordable range.

In this article, we had select a competitor which is quite similar to the market position of Moto G5S Plus to show you how this phone competes against its competitor, which is Mi A1 from Xiaomi as they were launched almost at the same time and falls within the same price range and offers similar features.

Over the years, Moto G series had been loved by users all around the world, by launching the latest G5S Plus, Moto continue to build the hype on the beloved Moto G series.


The Moto G5S Plus features a premium all-metal unibody design that feels decidedly superior to the G5, which has a plastic frame with select metal parts. At 8.0mm, it is still quite slim. It’s 168-gram weight feels great in the hand. With the newly refined design, it fits nicely in the palm and has great ergonomics because of its round edges and sleek side profile.

Not to mention that G5S Plus also comes with water repellent Nano-coating which can avoid the damage of phone in certain level of water splashing and dust resistant.

On the other hand, Mi A1 comes with a simpler design that looks like iPhone 8 Plus but without the premium luxury feel. The texture of Mi A1 is very slippery make it very uncomfortable to held in hand for a long time. Unlike the texture on Moto G5s, thanks to the ergonomics design and the material chosen, you won’t feel tired or slippery although you have to held it for a long time.


The 5.5-inch display on the Moto G5S Plus makes for a good design choice with 2.5D curved glass at the top. The Full HD display delivers crisp visuals and excellent contrast, with a pixel density of 403 ppi. Furthermore, to protect this gorgeous display, Moto G5S Plus screen reinforced with Corning Gorilla Glass 3® to further improve the durability.

While the ample brightness results in good enough sunlight viewing, it is certainly not the best, especially because of the reflective display panel. The display on the G5S Plus is vivid and bright. Its graphics look great and its text is sharp. Thus, the colour reproduction is more accurate as compare with Mi A1 side-by-side.

While comparing side-by-side, the downside of Mi A1 has appear. The colour accuracy and the brightness are much lower than Moto G5S Plus. Under the sunlight, the colour produced by Mi A1 often washed out because of the poor reflective display panel.

Hardware and Performance

With Moto G5S Plus, Moto G5S Plus coped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor which does more than a decent job for majority of things you’ll be using. It has eight Cortex-A53 cores which run at 2.0GHz calculation speed, and is paired with 4GB of RAM. With this combination, its consider as one of the best mid-range smartphone in today market.

In Geekbench 4, Moto G5S Plus has scored 832 for Single-Core Score and 4104 for Multi-Core Score. On the other hand, Xiaomi Mi A1 has scored 830 for Single-Core Score and 3960 for Multi-Core Score which is slightly lower than G5S Plus.

Theoretically, Moto G5S Plus might perform better as it has a better benchmarking score. Although both phones have used the same processor, but the experience of tuning and tweaking has make a different between them.

The G5S Plus packed with a 3,000mAh battery, which is above average for device of this size and price range. But please remember that this phone has comes with a very stunning Full-HD display. To overcome this shortcoming, Moto G5S Plus has a TurboPower Charge feature to let you refill your battery juice in a very short time. According to Motorola official, G5S Plus can last up to 6 hours of battery life in merely 15 minutes of charging. Thanks to the powerful TurboPower Charge, it will keep you connected throughout the day.

On the other hand, Mi A1 only come with a normal 5V 2A power adapter that are already common many years ago. So, Moto G5S Plus definitely win this round with flying colour.

Both Moto G5S Plus and Xiaomi Mi A1 also come with fingerprint sensor which is a standard for smartphone nowadays. But what truly make G5S Plus even better is that, it comes with Moto actions to give you the best Moto smartphone experience. With fully utilise Moto actions, you can simply have done your tasks with your fingertip. Although Mi A1 is also using Stock Android like G5S Plus, but this useful feature had absented in Mi A1.


The Moto G5S Plus features a pair of dual-cameras, both with 13 MP sensors cameras with depth editing software, f/2.0 aperture, color balancing dual LED flash, 8x digital zoom and active viewfinder for QR codes and barcodes recognition. While Mi A1 has a slightly poor configuration with Dual 12 MP cameras with depth effect software, smaller f/2.6 telephoto lens, and facial recognition function.

But as we’ve seen previously, sheer numbers don’t tell more than half the story of a camera’s actual quality and functionality. Moto has put a really hard work on refining the camera algorithm to make it truly outstanding. The depth editing software allows user to control the intensity of the depth effect. It worked best when used on human subject which generate a depth effect that only can be found in DSLR camera.

At the same time, G5S Plus also feature a lot of useful functions that allows users to ‘unleash their creativity’. This include professional mode, Selective B&W, Replace background, 4K video recording, Slow-mo video recording, Beautification and Panorama. Unfortunately, Mi A1 only comes with few basic modes like professional, 4K video recording and Panorama. The absent of Beautification and some other exciting features has send G5S Plus to the winner seat this round.

For front-facing camera, Moto G5S Plus equipped with 8 MP wide-angle lens that has the aperture of f/2.0 and LED flash. By having larger aperture and LED flash, your night selfie shot is now getting prettier and sharper than ever. Not to mention that, G5S Plus also has Professional Mode and Selfie Panorama for front-facing camera which is not available in Mi A1.

To let you understand more about the great camera features on this phone, we have make some demonstrates to show you how brilliant these features are. First, we have take the depth of field photos with the Moto G5S Plus. This is where the background is blurred for an arty effect, emulating the look of a wide-aperture DSLR lens.

From the photo above, you can see that the plant is protruding and upscale the level of whole photo. Thanks to the great feature of depth of field, we can now enjoy a professional level of photographing experience with just our phone.

To unleash the creativity of all of you, Moto G5S Plus also packed with a feature named replace background. This feature allows you to replace your background with the picture you desire. For example, you may replace your background to Mt.Everest to fool your friends that you’re climbing the highest mountain in the world.

See, we can simply fool my friend that I’m at Hawaii by just using the replace background feature. The photo editing is much easier than ever before, as we don’t need to have professional knowledge on Photoshop and this can be done by just few taps.

Else, I can also replace the background to a brick wall and become backstreet boy. How cool is that!

Moreover, we can also change the background colour to further upscaling our photo and highlight the object. For example, we can make the background to become black and white, so the object we are focusing with will be pop up.


Details New Moto G5S Plus Mi A1
Price RM999 RM1,099
Display 5.5″ FHD Display 5.5″ FHD Display
Camera Dual 13 MP cameras with depth editing software, f/2.0 aperture, color balancing dual LED flash, 8X digital zoom, active viewfinder Dual 12 MP cameras with depth effect software, f/2.6 telephoto lens, 5-piece lens, two-tone flash,facial recognition function
Body Metal Unibody Full Metal Body
RAM 4GB 4 GB high-speed RAM
Storage 32GB 64 GB
Battery 3,000mAh (TurboPower charge) 3080 mAh(typ)
Fingerprint Sensor Yes – together with Moto Actions Yes – Read
Colour Variant 2 – Lunar Grey and Blush Gold 3 – Black, Gold, Rose Gold
Processor Octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor, 2.0 GHz Octa-core Snapdragon 625 processor, max 2.0 GHz

Comparison chart of Moto G5S Plus and Xiaomi Mi A1

Pricing & Final thought

The Moto G5S Plus is an incredibly compelling piece of hardware with the RRP of RM999 ONLY. For the price under a thousand, you will receive a premium built smartphone, a bigger and better Full HD stunning display. Moto G5S Plus is also comes with a lot of flagship configurations which cannot be found in this price range. As compare to its competitor Mi A1, it has a lot of features which will greatly beneficial the user.

Moto G5S Plus might not be the most premium device in the world, but it is a pretty damn good phone. For the price, it’s hard to ask for much more. Moto G5S Plus is now available at Motorola’s official e-store on Lazada and authorised Motorola brand stores with the colour variants of Lunar Gray and Blush Gold.

To learn more, please head to Motorola Website or their Official Facebook Page.

Full Technical Specs – Moto G5S Plus

Operating system Android™ 7.1.1, Nougat
System architecture/processor Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 625 processor with a 2.0 GHz octa-core CPU, 650 MHz Adreno 506 GPU
Storage and memory (RAM) Memory (RAM) 1: 4 GB

Internal Storage options1: 32 GB

Removable storage that supports up to 128 GB microSD card (sold separately)

Dimensions Height: 153.5 mm

Width: 76.2 mm

Depth: 8.0 – 9.5mm (at camera)

Weight 168g
Display 5.5-inch, IPS LCD, Full HD, 1080p, 401 ppi

Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3

Battery2 3000 mAh, mixed usage up to 24 hours2
Charging TurboPower charger included

(up to 6 hours of battery life in 15 minutes of charging2)

Rear camera Dual 13 MP cameras with depth editing software, f/2.0 aperture, color balancing dual LED flash, 8X digital zoom (for photos), active viewfinder (recognizes QR codes and barcodes)
Front camera 8 MP, wide angle lens, f/2.0 aperture, LED flash

Selfie Panorama

Professional Mode

Video capture 4K Ultra HD video, 30 fps
Speakers Bottom port loud speaker, 2-mic support
Water repellent 3 Water repellent nano-coating
SIM card Dual Nano SIM
Connectivity MicroUSB, 3.5mm headset jack
Bluetooth® technology Bluetooth version 4.2
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 & 5 GHz)
Location services GPS, AGPS, GLONASS
Sensors Fingerprint reader, accelerometer, gyroscope, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor
Color Variant Lunar Gray or Blush Gold




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