This post is based on predicted specs for the Moto G5 Plus front camera. I have to admit that I was disappointed to hear that the front camera uses the Omnivision OV5695 sensor. I've seen how it performs on other phones and wasn't a big fan of the image quality in general. In this disadvantage post I will explain why, if indeed the Moto G5 Plus comes with this camera specs; there is little room for excitement.
The Moto G5 Plus front-facing camera allegedly uses the OmniVision OV5695 image sensor and a F2.2 aperture lens. The OV5695 is now a new sensor, announced on November 5, 2015 alongside the OV5675. Thsi is a cost-effective sensor that utilizes improved pixel technologies to help bring high image quality in a small form factor.
The OmniVision OV5695 has 1.12-micro pixel size and uses Omnivision's renowned PureCel technology, which from my understand it similar to Sony stacked sensor technology, where the imagine array is separated in the different layer from the sensor processing pipeline. I've already checked out the quality of the Omnivision OV5670 (%MP, 1/5", 1.12-micron pixels) in the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 front camera and found it to be quite mediocre.
Now, the OV5695 is a better sensor than the one in the Redmi Note 3. First of all, it is larger in size (1/4-inch vs 1/5-inch). Because both have the same 5MP resolution, this translate to larger 1.4-micron pixels, which by itself is a big advantage. Larger pixels means that more light photons can be collected by the sensor for any give photodiode. This should lead to an improved color reproduction, higher dynamic range and less image noise.
This sensor in the front cmaera of the G5Plus uses the OmniBSI+ pixel architecture. This is not a new technology. The OmniBSI+ was introduced back in January 2012 and the OV8825 was the first to use it. This is the second generation of the original OmniBSI+ Back-illuminated sensor technology which according to OmniVision, it brings improved image quality, including increase in full-well capacity, better quantum efficiency and improved low-light sensitivity.
So the new pixel technology alongside a larger sensor with beefier pixels should make all the different in the world here. I was a bit disappointed to hear about a f/2.2 lens and I hoped to have at the same f/2.0 aperture like the Redmi Note 3 front camera.
Now, we already have a phone that has a front-facing camera with that exact same sensor as the one hinted to come with the Moto G5 Plus, and it's the Meizu PRO 6 which comes with the OV5695 sensor and a 28mm (35mm equivalent) f/2.0 lens. Both Android Authority and GSM Arena has reviewed the Meizu Pro 6. I've seen the selfie sample images taken with the Meizu Pro 6 and I the image quality was quite good in terms of color reproduction and skin tones. Yet, I've noticed softness in details even in sunlight. I was expecting much more from that phone's front camera configuration and almost all of its competitors can perform better than this.
We can just assume that the Moto G5 Plus front camera with the same sensor and even slower lens, will perform less than the Meizu Pro 6, especially in low-light. I guess Lenovo had to make some compromises and go with a cheaper front camera specs. To be honest, I was expecting much more from that sensor. I mean, we have a relatively larger pixels and a fast aperture, but maybe the sensor technology is just isn't on par with Sony's equivalent.
So although this post is based on prediction specs, if the Motorola Moto G5 Plus ends up with that front camera specifications, it might disappoint the selfie enthusiasts among you, but we'll have to wait and see.