A great budget phone that justifies it’s place amongst its competition
Following the release of the Moto G7, the Moto G8 Plus aims to set itself apart from the other budget devices on the market by offering a mid-range device that is a significant upgrade on the Moto G7 and fits well with the Motorola’s popular G-series.
Lenovo-owned Motorola recently announced the return of their iconic foldable RAZR phone – an updated take their iconic phone from 2004, although it is the budget devices where Motorola have been garnering most of their success.
It’s fair to say Motorola faces some fierce competition in the mid/budget range market from Chinese vendors such as Xiaomi, realme, and Oppo. So does Motorola’s latest addition to the market justify its place amongst the competition?
While Motorola is innovating with the 2020 version of the RAZR, in terms of design, foldable devices are pretty much all that the smartphone vendors can do to deviate from the traditional smartphone formula. With no foldable devices arriving on the budget market any time soon, the Moto G8 Plus sticks to the winning design and looks very similar to last years’ G7, which isn’t a bad thing in the slightest.
The Moto G8 Plus sizes up at 9.09mm which is perfect for a smartphone but clocks in at 188g, meaning it is slightly heavier than other devices that are similarly priced on the market.
The smartphone comes in two colours – cosmic blue and crystal pink and the blue model features a dark, metallic finish, but this is pointless with the cover that Motorola provides in the box essentially ridding the phone of any of its colour on the back.
The fingerprint scanner is located on the back of the phone which divides opinion but feels very comfortable and unlocks pretty quickly and easily. I didn’t have any major problems with the fingerprint scanner and it worked as quickly as I would expect it to.
The phone comes with a headphone slot which is awkwardly located on the top of the phone. It made gaming with my wired headphones slightly difficult and I had to switch to a wireless alternative for more comfort. However, Just having a headphone slot these days is a bonus for any smartphone these days.
The design on the back of the phone is a redesign considering Motorola usually opt for a circular camera on each of their devices. In this case, the camera is replaced by traditional vertical lenses on the left-hand side of the phone.
- OS: Android 9.0
- Screen: 6.3 Inches
- Resolution: 1080 x 2280
- Memory: 4GB RAM
- Internal storage: 64GB
- Water-resistant: Splash resistant
- Rear camera: Triple-camera 48MP
- Front camera: 25MP
- Video: 1080 @ 30/60/120fps
- Battery: 4000mAh 15W charging
- Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0
- Dimensions: 158.4 x 75.8 x 9.1mm
- Weight: 188g
With competitors like realme and Xiaomi offering great cameras for a budget price, Motorola had to produce the goods with the G8 Plus and offering an improved triple-camera setup was a good start.
The phone is the first of the G-series to feature a 48MP lens and captures sharp, high-quality images in areas that are well-lit. It has an 8MP ultra-wide lens for videos which sounds great when considering its retail price of £239. Although it should be noted that the ultra-wide lens cannot be used for photos and is restricted only to videos.
The camera works great for casual photography and is captured at a 12MP resolution just as long as the lighting works for the picture and the camera is focused on the image.
It was on the gloomier days the camera does stumble a little as it struggles slightly with capturing colour. In fact, the darker it gets the worse the results get in terms of the quality of photos. The night photos are where the camera failed to perform admirably, often displaying grainy images that lacked essential detail.
After switching to night-mode, the photos improved slightly but were still grainy enough to be disappointing considering how Moto intends to stand out from the crowd in this department.
The phone’s day to day performance was as solid as expected. The Snapdragon 665 processor gives the phone a similar performance of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 and the realme 5. This coupled with 4GB of RAM means that it’s about what you would expect from a budget phone.
A major improvement on its predecessor is the battery life which is a key selling point of the phone. The Moto G7’s 3000mAh battery was impressive but the 4000mAh elevates this phone to a new level in that department. I used the phone for two days for casual viewing and web surfing and didn’t have to charge the phone at all.
A full charge of the device took roughly two and a half hours at 15W speeds which is significantly quicker than my iPhone XR but still not as quick as the realme 5 Pro which retails for £195.
The G8 Plus features an IPS LCD panel that is great for binge-watching and gaming for a low price and performs just as well as the other Chinese vendor’s budget phones.
Overall the Motorola G8 Plus is a dependable day to day device that succeeds on most fronts. We never expect the G-series devices to be the most innovative or groundbreaking mobile phones on the market, but much like the 2004 RAZR, the dependability of these phones is what essentially makes them so popular.
The G8 Plus does well on most fronts and exceeds expectations in some, particularly with its battery life and display. While the camera isn’t the best, even for a budget phone, the Moto G8 is a respectable crowd-pleaser that is sure to be successful in the budget range.
The phone retails for £239.