Phone Comparisons: Samsung Galaxy S8 vs Moto G5 Plus

Cory Comp May 9th


Do we have a good one for you today – the new Samsung Galaxy S8 is pitted against the most popular model of phone that Motorola has ever sold – the Moto G5 Plus. We do realize that the Galaxy S8 is a high-end flagship device going up against the more mid-ranged categorized Moto G5 Plus, but the G5 Plus just offers so much for its small price tag, we just had to see how well these two compare. Samsung completely redesigned the Galaxy S8 series – they still kept its all-glass body, but added an 18:9 aspect ratio, added an Infinity Display, and thin bezels top and bottom. The Moto G5 Plus is more or less an updated G series that started out with a 4.5-inch display, grew to a 5.5-inch display, and is now back to a 5.2-inch display and now following their Moto Z series look in shape, including the large, round camera protruding on the back. Both of these devices will work on all major US networks, but in the Moto G5 Plus model – the only model coming to the US – Moto left out the NFC chip. Let’s look at just what these two devices have in common, if anything, and then we will take a closer look at each one in hopes that we can determine a winner of this comparison.

Despite their differences, we can find some common ground between the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the Moto G5 Plus. The displays of the two devices are 0.6-inch different in size, but the larger Galaxy S8 is slightly smaller in physical size than the G5 Plus, yet weighs the same at 155 grams. The displays use a different technology, different resolutions, and different Gorilla Glass for protection. Both US versions use a Snapdragon processor and an Adreno GPU for graphics, just different models. They both pack the same 4GB of RAM, the same 64GB of internal storage, and both can expand their memory via a microSD card. The primary camera areas both use a 12MP shooter, although the Galaxy S8 uses the larger Dual Pixels. The front-facing camera (FFC) areas are different – the Galaxy S8 uses an 8MP with autofocus and the G5 Plus uses a more generic 5MP. Both have a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device, but only the Galaxy S8 has NFC for authorizing mobile payments, including Android Pay. They both use a 3000mAh non-removable battery, and both have rapid charge capabilities. They come with the usual suspects – WiFi, Bluetooth (v5.0 on the S8 and v4.2 on the G5 Plus), GPS, NFC (S8 only), and the newer reversible Type-C port for charging and data transfer on the Galaxy S8, but the older styled microUSB 2.0 on the G5 Plus. Both devices come running Android 7.0 Nougat out of the box.


Please take a thoughtful look at the detailed Specifications Comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two great devices stack up against one another – click on the “View Full Comparison” link at the end of the chart to expand the details. After that, we will look at each device in greater depth and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on specs and execution of design and functions.


Samsung Galaxy S8


When you first look at the new Samsung Galaxy S8 you will notice that the flat-screened design of the Galaxy S7 and the dual-curved Galaxy S7 Edge model have ‘left the building.’ The new Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus both come with a new Infinity Display – a dual curved display that seems to bend around the sides and disappear into the glass back. Even the top and bottom bezels of the Galaxy S8 are very small…so small that Samsung moved the fingerprint sensor to the back near the camera lens. To avoid using the fingerprint sensor, Samsung added a couple of easier ways to unlock the device using facial recognition or by scanning your iris. With the bottom bezel so small, Samsung dropped their physical ‘Home’ button, as well as the ‘Back’ and ‘Recent’ keys. They are now all located on the lower part of the display and when needed can be accessed via a new 3D Touch area. The physical appearance alone of the Galaxy S8, which is arguably the best looking smartphone on the market, may win you over, but did Samsung upgrade the specifications enough, and just how does this $720 beast stack up to the $279 Moto G5 Plus.

Samsung finally did away with the small 5.1-inch display and went with a much larger 5.8-inch Infinity Display, which still uses its Super AMOLED technology but this time around, Samsung gave it a new 18.5:9 aspect ratio. This QHD+ display resolution of 2960 x 1440 pixels generates a cool 570 pixels-per-inch (PPI). The new display goes edge-to-edge on the sides, with very small top and bottom bezels. Samsung continues to use the ‘always-on’ display to help save battery life but also making it easier and quicker to check notifications. On the inside, the Galaxy S8 uses the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processor or Samsung’s excellent Exynos 8895 octa-core, both with the new 10nm technology. The model coming to the US uses the SD 835 clocked at 2.35GHz with an Adreno 540 GPU. Other countries will see the Exynos 8895 with four cores clocked at 1.7GHz and four cores clocked at 2.3GHz and a Mali-G71 MP20 for graphics. The Galaxy S8 packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and has 64GB of the faster UFS 2.1 expandable memory via a microSD card.

Samsung kept the same camera from the Galaxy S7 series and said they decided to concentrate on making advancements to their imaging software. The Galaxy S8 camera uses a Dual Pixel 12MP sensor with a large aperture of f/1.7 for those low light conditions, a 26mm lens, PDAF, LED flash, auto HDR and OIS. Samsung did change the front-facing camera (FFC) by enlarging it from a 5MP to an 8MP sensor and then gave it its own autofocus. It still uses a wide-angle lens for those group selfies or a conference chat, and uses the same f/1.7 aperture, and Live HDR. Samsung also kept the same sized non-removable 3000mAh battery that features Quick Charge and still offers Quick Wireless Charging.


The Galaxy S8 keeps its popular heart rate monitor, oxygen saturation sensor, and for those that exercise, the new Samsung Health that replaces Samsung’s S-Health. Samsung included a new Samsung Connect feature that will allow you to control Samsung’s appliances, thermostats, and more. Samsung introduces its own personal assistant called Bixby. You can either ask Bixby simple questions or get information from a picture through the camera. Samsung added a DeX Station that will interface the Galaxy S8 with a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to give you a near desktop experience. You have access to Android Pay and Samsung Pay, which allows Galaxy S8 users more flexibility in making mobile purchases. The Galaxy S8 series continues to be IP68 certified against dust and water resistance. It will arrive with Android Nougat 7.0, followed by a quick upgrade to 7.1. It measures 148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0 mm, weighs in at 155 grams, is available in Midnight Black, Orchid Gray, Arctic Silver, Coral Blue, and Maple Gold depending where you are located. The Galaxy S8 will cost about $720 outright and is now available for purchase at major retailers.

Moto G5 Plus

The Moto G5 Plus is part of the most popular smartphone line Motorola has ever sold throughout their history. The G5 Plus looks quite a bit like its predecessor, the G4 Plus. The outside definitely has taken on some of the looks of the Moto Z series with its smaller earpiece and a larger rectangular fingerprint pad, making it easier to swipe left or right. On the back, the camera took on the look of the Z series with a large, round protruding ring. You would have to say that the 5G Plus has a metal backing, but it does blend in a small amount of plastic to allow the antenna to pass signals through the body. Moto decreased the display from 5.5-inches to 5.2-inches and the camera from 16MP to 12MP, but kept the same 5MP FFC. Let’s see if and see just how Moto G5 Plus stacks up to the expensive Samsung Galaxy S8.


Moto probably decreased the display size on the Moto G5 Plus from 5.5-inches to distinguish it from the 5.5-inch displays on its flagship devices. They kept the G5 Plus’s IPS LCD a Full HD display, giving it a nice 424 PPI. Moto made a great decision in using the Snapdragon 625 octa-core processor clocked at 2.0GHz along with the Adreno 506 GPU. This processor produces plenty of power and speed for the midrange G5 Plus, especially with it is running close to pure Android. The Adreno 506 will certainly handle any graphics you throw its way. The Moto G5 Plus packs 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of internal memory that is expandable via a microSD card. You can also get a 2GB/32GB variant, but for the extra $50, it is money well spent.

The Moto G5 Plus has a 12MP primary camera with a large f/1.7 aperture for low-light photography, autofocus, and dual-tone LED flash. The FFC is a 5MP sensor with a smaller f/2.2 aperture for selfies and video chatting. There is nothing fancy in the camera area, but what do you expect from a sub-$250 smartphone – the pictures should make most every day users happy. Providing the power is a 3000mAh battery and the G5 Plus comes with the Motorola Turbo Charger for quick charges.

Moto kept the fingerprint sensor on the front, but made the pad a little wider. By swiping your finger on the button from left to the right it will open up your recent stops, if you swipe right to the left, that is your back key. These movements are adjustable under the settings menu. By doing this, Moto makes full use of your 5.2-inch display for your viewing pleasure with no onscreen keys. There is a built-in FM radio, but the US version has no NFC capabilities, which seems rather strange. Moto says the lack of NFC is because the US is not embracing mobile payments. However, one might ask how are we to embrace them without the means to do so. The Moto G5 Plus measures 150.2 x 74 x 7.7 mm, weighs in at 155 grams, and comes in Lunar Grey and Fine Gold. The device is available for about $229 for the 2GB/32GB model and about $279 for the 4GB/64GB model.


…And The Winner Is…

The Final Word


Naturally, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is the winner of this specification comparison; as well, it should be since its costs a lot more than the Moto G5 Plus. If you can live without the gorgeous looks of the Galaxy S8, mobile payments, and some of the Galaxy S8’s ‘extras,’ then the Moto G5 Plus could be your ideal phone. If you want a ‘work’ phone, need a couple of extra phones for the kids or your one for your parents, the Moto G5 Plus is the winner in those categories.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 has a larger display, better resolution, is AMOLED, and features the always-on display. It has a much more powerful processor and GPU, a better camera area, wireless charging, IP68 certification against water and dust, Hi-Res Audio, Facial Recognition, Iris Scanning, and a slew of other features – some you may use and others you may never touch. Not that it matters to everybody, but the Galaxy S8 is arguably the most beautiful phone on the market, while the Moto G5 Plus is rather pedestrian looking.

The point is that even though the Galaxy S8 is the most advanced smartphone on the market to date, the Moto G5 Plus is a device not to be overlooked for its tremendous value. The software is optimized and very close to pure Android, it is smooth and fast and the Adreno 507 GPU took everything we could throw at it during our review. The camera takes good pictures, it has expandable memory, the display is a very respectable 424 PPI, and its battery should easily last you throughout the day. It also comes with Moto’s Turbo Charger. It is a solid device and at only $279, it is a real bargain.