Xiaomi Mi A1 vs Moto G5S Plus Comprehensive Camera Comparison

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In just a few years of its existence, Xiaomi has carved out quite a reputation of itself, thanks to its ever-expanding portfolio of value-for-money products. The Chinese electronics giant recently expanded its smartphone portfolio in India with the launch of the Mi A1, its first handset to run stock Android (Nougat) out-of-the-box.

Developed in collaboration with Google and part of the Android One program, the Mi A1 has a pretty solid spec sheet. Bearing a price tag of Rs 14,999, one of the smartphone’s USPs is a ‘flagship’ dual-camera setup, which is claimed to offer a great imaging experience. But the thing is, the Mi A1 isn’t the only player in the fiercely-contested mid-range segment of the Indian smartphone market.

Standing in its way is Lenovo-owned Motorola’s recently-outed Moto G5S Plus, which has a spec sheet that’s nearly identical to that of the Mi A1. Not just that, the G5S Plus comes with a dual-camera system of its own, and offers a massively-improved imaging experience over its predecessor – Moto G5 Plus – which is already known for having a great camera. And at Rs 15,999, it’s just a bit dearer than the Mi A1.

To put things into perspective, Xiaomi Mi A1’s dual-camera setup is comprised of two 12MP modules, one with f/2.2 aperture and another with f/2.6 aperture. This is complemented by phase detection autofocus, two-tone dual-LED flash and 2x optical zoom. On the other hand, Moto G5S Plus’s dual-camera system is made up of two 13MP modules, each with f/2.0 aperture. It’s accompanied by autofocus and two-tone dual-LED flash. The camera setups on both smartphones also come with all standard features such as geo-tagging, face-detection and HDR.

With all that out of the way, which one of these two is a better value for your money, especially if you’re someone who likes to take a lot of photos with their smartphone?

Read on to find out! Xiaomi Mi A1 vs Moto G5S Plus Camera Comparison

Daylight Photos

In daylight, photos from both Moto G5S Plus and Xiaomi Mi A1 generally come out to be very good. They have decent amount of detail, and colors are accurately reproduced as well. However, the images from the G5S Plus tend to be a little overexposed and appear to have a sort of translucent White layer over them, as compared to photos from the Mi A1. This is especially pronounced in close-up shots. In case of long shot images, this slight overexposure helps the G5S Plus’s camera system reveal the objects in darker areas (e.g. shadows) better, thus enhancing the overall appeal of the photos.

At 100% zoom level, photos from both Moto G5S Plus and Xiaomi Mi A1 appear to be largely the same. Resolved detail in both cases is very good, and oversharpening is kept to a minimum. When zooming-in on close-up shots, photos from the G5S Plus seem to be a little better than those from the Mi A1.

Winner: None.

Photos Taken In Dimly-lit Conditions

Both Moto G5S Plus and Xiaomi Mi A1 do a really admirable job with images clicked in insufficient ambient light. There is sufficient resolved detail and images look properly exposed. That said, colors in the photos from the Mi A1 seem to be a bit on the cooler side, while those in the photos from the G5S Plus are slightly warmer. It’s not too much of an issue though.

Zooming-in on the photos tips the scales in Moto G5S Plus’s favor, as the photos are shown to have excellent sharpness and details. Comparatively, images from Xiaomi Mi A1 tend to be fuzzy and soft and look nowhere as good as those from the G5S Plus.

Winner: Moto G5S Plus

High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photos

How well cameras perform when dealing with HDR images is often a key factor in deciding how good/bad they overall are, and it’s true for smartphone cameras as well. But even though Moto G5S Plus and Xiaomi Mi A1 are quite decent in their handling of High Dynamic Range images, Xiaomi’s offering clearly edges out its competitor in this department.

With HDR mode enabled, images from the Moto G5S Plus have their brighter parts (e.g. sky) too overexposed. This also leads to the darker parts of images having their color balance and other details distorted. In contrast, HDR images from the Xiaomi Mi A1 come out to be quite good, with both bright and dark areas of the images properly exposed. The overall color tone stays comparatively accurate as well.

Winner: Xiaomi Mi A1

Low Light/Night Time Images

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Now this is where things get really interesting. While it’s true that overall quality of the images shot in low light/night time conditions is appreciable in case of both Xiaomi Mi A1 and Moto G5S Plus, photos from the former are far better illuminated than those from the latter.

That said, it’s only one side of the coin. Once zoomed in, low light shots from the G5S Plus are revealed to be much sharper and packing a lot more detail than those from the Mi A1.

As far as close-up low light images are concerned, Xiaomi Mi A1 performs a tad better than Moto G5S Plus.

Winner: None

2X Zoom Photos

Even though Moto G5S Plus and Xiaomi Mi A1 both have dual-camera setups, the latter’s ‘2X Optical Zoom’ is claimed to help users click better photos even when the subject is a bit far away. But is it really any good?

The answer is yes. The ‘2X Optical Zoom’ achieved by the Mi A1’s dual-camera setup is no gimmick, and it works as it’s meant to. While it’s possible to click photos of faraway subjects with 2X digital zoom using the G5S Plus, the result from the Mi A1 is visibly superior.

Winner: Xiaomi Mi A1

Portrait Mode/Depth Of Field

Both Moto G5S Plus and Xiaomi Mi A1 can be used to shoot images with Depth Of Field effect. While the former achieves this using its ‘Depth Enabled’ option, the latter utilizes a dedicated ‘Portrait Mode’ to create the effect.

That said, the Depth Of Field effect achieved using the ‘Portrait Mode’ of the Mi A1 appears to be much better and natural than that created using the ‘Depth Enabled’ option on the Moto G5S Plus

Winner: Xiaomi Mi A1


Moto G5S Plus comes with an 8MP selfie camera having f/2.0 aperture, along with a single-LED flash. On the other hand, Xiaomi Mi A1 has a 5MP front-facing shooter.

Even though both smartphones do a more-than-admirable job of clicking selfies, those taken from the G5S Plus appear to be slightly better than those clicked from the Mi A1.

Winner: Moto G5S Plus


It’s hard to pick a clear winner when it comes to the imaging experience offered by the Moto G5S Plus and the Xiaomi Mi A1. The dual-camera systems on both smartphones are excellent (at least, for the price) and have their own set of positives and negatives, so it essentially boils down to individual preference(s).

If you want a smartphone that offers a generally well-rounded imaging experience, go for the G5S Plus. But if you have to have functionality-enhancing features like ‘2X Optical Zoom’ and ‘Portrait Mode,’ get the Mi A1.

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