The Motorola Moto G-series smartphones have long been popular in the budget segment. After Motorola launched a number of new One-series models, such as the Motorola One Macro and Motorola One Action (Review), in recent months, Motorola has now updated its Moto G-Series. The new Moto G8 Plus is now available in India. The main focus of the Moto G8 Plus, which is only available in one configuration, is on its cameras and stereo speakers with Dolby support.
The latter is not a characteristic that we normally find in the sub-Rs. 15,000 segment, which could make the Moto G8 Plus an interesting option for some people. At its retail price of Rs. At 13,999, this Motorola smartphone competes directly with the Realme 5 Pro (test) and the Samsung Galaxy M30s (test). Even the Redmi Note 8 Pro (review) is available in the same price range.
Does the Moto G8 Plus have enough features and performance to make it a worthy alternative? Let’s take a look.
Moto G8 Plus design
The Moto G8 Plus is reminiscent of the Motorola One Macro (review) in terms of the outer design, especially the arrangement of the camera sensors on the back. The case made of polycarbonate in the color Cosmic Blue looks good and also has a little purple highlight, depending on how you hold the phone against the light. There is also a Crystal Pink option. The back looks a bit like glass and is very resistant to scratches and scratches. However, if you want to be careful, you can use the supplied silicone case.
This phone is not too heavy, but at 9.09 mm it is a bit thicker. The sides are glossy and can sometimes get a little slippery. The structured on / off switch has good tactile feedback, as does the volume rocker, which is placed a little too high. The left compartment can hold two nano SIM cards, and the second slot can hold a microSD card (up to 512 GB) instead of a SIM card. We would have preferred a dedicated microSD card slot instead of a hybrid slot.
The Moto G8 Plus has a headphone jack at the top and a USB Type-C port at the bottom. The earphone and lower speaker work together to create a stereo effect. Motorola used a 6.3-inch LTPS-IPS display with panda glass to protect it from scratches. The resolution is Full HD + (1080 x 2280) and the aspect ratio is 19: 9, which Motorola calls the Max Vision display. The panel produces vivid and powerful colors, the brightness is sufficient for outdoor use and the viewing angles are quite large. The Settings menu also gives you some basic color adjustments.
The bezels around the display are not too narrow, but not too intrusive either. At the top is a water drop notch in which the selfie camera is located. The G8 Plus also has a Moto display, which is an environmental display mode that allows you to view missed notifications, battery level, time, etc. on the lock screen.
The rear cameras protrude a little and cause a certain imbalance on an otherwise flat surface. The fingerprint sensor has a Moto logo and is quite reliable in terms of its performance. You can also use the face release, which works well as long as there is enough light. The scope of delivery includes a case, a 15 W turbocharger, a SIM ejection tool and a Type-C cable.
Moto G8 Plus specifications and software
The Moto G8 Plus runs on the Snapdragon 665 SoC, which we saw in phones like Realme 5 (test), Xiaomi Mi A3 (test) and Redmi Note 8 (test). There is only one version of this phone with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. You'll also get 802.11ac dual band WiFi, Bluetooth 5, dual 4G VoLTE, NFC, support for three satellite navigation systems, FM radio and the usual set of sensors including compass and gyroscope.
Motorola also claims that the Moto G8 Plus is waterproof, although it doesn't have an official IP rating. It is designed to withstand light water splashes or light rain, but is not waterproof. You should therefore avoid immersing it in liquids.
The software is fairly slim and comes very close to Android. There is no bloatware and the standard apps don't spam you with unnecessary notifications or ads, unlike some other custom Android skins. The Moto G8 Plus comes with Android 9 Pie and our device had the security patch for September 2019. In addition to some from Motorola, digital wellbeing and the standard Android gestures are also available. With the Moto app, you can select Moto actions and set up the Moto display. Moto actions are shortcuts and gestures that let you quickly turn on the camera and flashlight, take a quick screenshot, and more.
There's also the Dolby Audio app, which allows you to increase volume and sound quality through the speakers, as well as the wired and wireless headphones. Some Google apps like slides, messages, and sheets are pre-installed, but others are not.
Moto G8 Plus performance and battery life
The Moto G8 Plus got along pretty well in everyday use. We were able to multitask effortlessly. Thanks to the Android user interface, it was easy to find what we wanted and we had no problems with the heating. Reaching the top of the large display is a bit difficult, but luckily there are many gestures that can help. For example, you can pull the fingerprint sensor down to pull down the notification shadow, or perform a simple screen movement by moving your finger diagonally to one of the lower corners to reduce the size of the screen. The ability to move your palm over the phone to wake up the display is also very convenient. You can even take a look at your notifications by holding the icon on the lock screen.
Moto G8 Plus benchmark numbers were also pretty decent. We achieved 170,004 points in AnTuTu, while the T-Rex test in GFXbench delivered 34 fps. The frame rate in the latter test was somewhat low because the Full HD resolution puts a strain on this processor. The same goes for heavy 3D games like PUBG Mobile. By default, the graphics preset "Low" was used, which didn't look very good, but at least didn't affect the gameplay too much. The phone got a little warm while playing, but not to an alarming extent.
The speakers of the Moto G8 Plus sounded excellent thanks to Dolby Audio. The earphone became as loud as the bottom firing speaker, which resulted in a good stereo effect. You can leave the Dolby setting at “Auto” or tinker with the bass, mids and vocals, depending on your listening style. This effect works when listening to audio through the speakers and via wired and even wireless headsets. This contributed to the bright and expressive colors of the display and ensured a pleasant multimedia experience.
The Moto G8 Plus supports Motorola’s 15W turbocharger. You even get a small logo in the clock widget that tells you when the phone is charging quickly. The phone can also be quickly charged using any standard Quick Charge 3.0 charger. In our battery loop test, the Moto G8 Plus ran 14 hours and 10 minutes, which is a good show.
With normal usage, playing games, using the camera and surfing the internet, we effortlessly sailed past one day and the next. When used more sparingly, we had an average of one and a half days. With the included turbocharger, we were able to charge the Moto G8 Plus battery from zero to 36 percent in half an hour. Up to 70 percent in one hour and completely in about two hours. These are not particularly good times, but they are still much better than not having a quick charge at all.
Moto G8 Plus cameras
The Moto G8 Plus has three sensors on the back – a 48 megapixel primary camera with an aperture of 1: 1.8; a 16-megapixel wide-angle camera specifically for GoPro-style videos; and a 5 megapixel depth sensor. The phone also has a laser autofocus module and an LED flash. The camera app is easy to use thanks to its simple layout. In addition to the main shooting modes, you can access a separate menu with additional modes such as portrait, panorama, and night vision, as well as some entertaining modes such as spot colors and cutouts.
In daylight, the main camera took good-looking landscapes and close-ups. It handles HDR well and balances the exposure of light and dark areas well. The colors were vivid but not overly enhanced, and the details were good. By default, this phone stores oversampled photos at 12 megapixels and there is no way to take photos at the full resolution of 48 megapixels. You can also capture RAW files in manual mode.
Close-ups looked good, with a lot of detail, vivid colors and very good sharpness. In low light conditions, close-ups still looked decent, with little to no noise. Landscape shots, on the other hand, had muddy details in poor lighting conditions, and black tones in the shadow regions could easily be destroyed.
Night Vision owners of the Moto G8 Plus made a noticeable difference. The colors were more punchy and the light areas were measured better, but the details didn't really improve. As long as you don't enlarge a photo too much, the results will look satisfactory. However, it is not foolproof and there have been cases where Night Vision took photos worse than in standard mode. It also takes a while to see the end result, as the phone processes it after taking a picture in the background.
The depth sensor has well recognized edges around our subject and blurred backgrounds. The blur effect can be adjusted before and after the shot. Lighting effects can also be added for dramas.
The 16 megapixel action camera can only be used to record video and not for still images, which is a little disappointing. Given that almost all manufacturers currently have wide-angle cameras on their phones, it's a shame that we can't use them for photos on the Moto G8 Plus. The wide-angle camera is accessed in video mode by a small toggle switch next to the trigger. The phone must be held vertically to record landscape videos, just like the Motorola One Action. We found this very practical when we were moving fast.
Videos captured with the Moto G8 Plus wide-angle action camera are stabilized at 1080p 30 fps, but not at 60 fps. In daylight, the video quality was good and the electronic stabilization worked quite well, albeit with a slight jerk when we made sudden movements. The video quality was much weaker in low light conditions, with clear grain and softer details.
If you switch to the main camera, you can set the resolution up to 4K at 30 fps, but without stabilization. Here the colors looked exaggerated depending on the motif. Videos are electronically stabilized at 1080p / 30fps, and the footage looks good and offers better color rendering. In low light conditions, the quality decreased and we noticed a focus hunt when taking pictures of landscapes.
The 25 megapixel selfie camera of the Moto G8 Plus has an aperture of 1: 2 and can be set to take selfies with this full resolution or with an oversampling value of 6 megapixels. We haven't noticed any discernible difference between the two resolutions, so it's worth saving space with the lower resolution. Selfies looked decent during the day, with good colors and details. You can activate the facial beauty mode, which smoothes skin textures.
In poor lighting conditions, the image quality was generally below average. Details were weak, there were visible noises and skin tones looked down. There are numerous shooting modes available for the selfie camera, e.g. B. spot colors, group selfie, portrait and even slow motion videos.
All in all, the Moto G8 Plus is equipped with a number of attractive functions. Its strengths are the slim Android experience, very good stereo speakers, a solid battery life, a razor-sharp display and an above-average camera quality for daylight shots. Compared to Motorola's One-series models like One Macro (Review), One Action (Review) and One Vision (Review), which are all in the same price range, we chose the G8 Plus for a better and lighter display to achieve faster SoC.
Compared to the competition with Realme 5 Pro (Review) and Redmi Note 8 Pro (Review), the Moto G8 Plus falls behind a bit. The processor is not the most powerful, especially for this screen resolution, which shows when it comes to playing heavy games. For this reason, most competitors at this price offer more powerful processors. The G8 Plus cameras aren't the most versatile either, because you can't take wide-angle pictures and the performance of all cameras was overwhelming in low light.
The Moto G8 Plus isn't the best all-rounder, but if standard Android, a good display, and stereo speakers are high on your list of priorities, it may be worth it.