The camera department is where all the differences lie between the G5S Plus and the older G5 Plus. Unfortunately, due to bad weather and limited time, there is only so much we can discuss here at this time.
The hardware differences between the G5S Plus and G5 Plus go beyond merely having a second camera. The primary cameras on both phones are completely different. While the G5 Plus has a 12-megapixel f1.7 camera with dual pixel autofocus, the G5S Plus has a 13-megapixel f2.0 camera. From what we can tell, this is the same camera used on the G5, which means it is slightly worse than the camera used on the G5 Plus.
Supplementing the main camera is a second 13-megapixel camera. The second camera has the same sensor and optics but does not have a color filter and can only "see" in black and white. Because of the lack of color filter, the second sensor can capture more light and more detail. The software then allegedly combines the data from both sensors and creates one image that, in theory, has more detail and less noise than just using a single sensor.
Unlike some other phones with a monochrome secondary sensor, the G5S Plus doesn't let you capture images in monochrome using only the second sensor. What you can do is use it as a depth sensor to capture images with background blur.
The camera app on the G5S Plus is mostly identical to that on the G5 Plus. The only addition is an option to capture images using the depth feature. The app simulates a rough blurring effect behind the subject. The effect looks quite bad in the viewfinder, but fortunately, this is just a preview. The final blur effect is much better. Once captured, you can use some editing tools to adjust the intensity of the background blur, discolor the background and even replace the background with another image.
Regarding image quality, from what little we saw, we found the images to be good quality. Even in the heavily overcast weather, the images came out looking decent with good amount of detail and low noise. The dynamic range isn't great, which fortunately can be fixed by the excellent HDR mode.
As for the depth effect, we had mixed results, and the camera struggled to apply the effect well on most objects. The results were still usable, but it's not something we would recommend using much until they improve it further.
One unfortunate problem with the camera is that it's slow. This could be due to both sensors working together and the hardware just not capable enough to process all that information fast enough, but the camera just generally feels slow while taking a regular picture. Turn on HDR and Night mode and things drag on even further. The worst offender by fast is the depth effect, which takes a solid six seconds to capture and process the image once you hit the shutter. Motorola needs to bring down this time further if it intends on anyone using this feature seriously.
In our admittedly limited time with the G5S Plus, we found it to be a really small increment over the already G5 Plus. However, this isn't a bad thing considering we do like the standard G5 Plus a lot.
The biggest talking point of the G5S Plus is the dual camera system on the back. While we think the image quality of regular still photos is good, the depth effect left a lot to be desired, both regarding actual quality of the images and the time it required to process them.
That aside, we greatly appreciate the improvement in design and build quality over the standard model. The display is also slightly larger, which makes us appreciate it even more.
We would have liked to see more improvements, such as in the processor and battery department. However, considering the small price increment over the G5 Plus, that would be too much to ask for.
In the end, the G5S Plus improves upon an already good smartphone, making it one of our top picks for a phone in this price range. We look forward to spending more time with the device for our full review.