The Motorola G-series used to be a go-to for those looking for a quality Android on a budget. Is that still the case? The mid-range market is flooded at the moment, not least by devices from Motorola itself. So where does the G8 Plus sit among the Motorola One range? Here’s our full review.
Motorola Moto G7 Plus release date and price
Launched at the end of October, the Motorola G8 Plus enters a crowded middle sector of the market. In the UK the price is fixed at £239 (around $300). That’s £30 less than the current price for the G7 Plus, and the Motorola One Vision, but £20 more than a Motorola One Action. That’s the smartphone market these days: a phone for every single price point.
Two different color variants are available, Cosmic Blue and Crystal Pink. Currently, the only memory format available is 4/64GB. You can buy the phone directly from the Lenovo website, but it’s also on Amazon.
Motorola Moto G7 Plus performance
For the G8 Plus, Motorola has opted for a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor with 2.0GHz octa-core CPU and Adreno 610 GPU, and a third-generation AI engine which is supposed to be 20 percent more energy efficient than the previous gen.
You shouldn’t be expecting a performance machine at this price point, but because the software is nice and clean the G8 Plus can handle most of your daily tasks without too many problems.
Multitasking is a bit of a drag due to the limited 4GB of RAM.
As you can see from the benchmark scores in the table below, the G8 Plus can comfortably keep up with the new Honor 9X, but is no match for the Realme X2 with its Qualcomm Snapdragon 730 and 8GB of RAM. Both the Honor 9X and the Realme X2 cost a touch more than the G8 Plus, but it just goes to show you that price and performance don’t always scale equally.
Motorola Moto G8 Plus benchmarks comparison
|Honor 9X||Moto G8 Plus||Realme X2|
|3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme ES 3.1||890||1080||2356|
|3D Mark Sling Shot Volcano||932||
|3D Mark Sling Shot ES 3.0||1150||1745||3358|
|3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited ES 2.0||16463||23075||36312|
|Geekbench 5 (Single / Multi)||322 / 1348||315 / 1398||540 / 1716|
All that said, I didn’t have any problems with performance on the Moto G8 Plus during my testing period. The home screen and app drawer were responsive, and I only really noticed the performance drop off when switching between the G8 Plus and a flagship smartphone that costs four times the price.
A pick ‘n’ mix of Moto’s current cameras
The rear camera setup on the Motorola G8 Plus looks elaborate at first glance, but the manufacturer has slipped the autofocus module and the LED flash into this compartment, so what you are looking is actually a triple rear camera – fairly standard for the industry these days.
Motorola has been mixing things up with the camera hardware on its One series phones, offering different sensors for different purposes on the One Zoom and One Action, for example. The G8 has taken bits from both, and you end up with a kind of pick-n-mix of what the company has used in the past. The Action Camera, which is a tilted image sensor, allows videos to be recorded in 16:9 in portrait.
The camera setup in the Motorola G8 Plus is as follows:
- 48-megapixel main sensor (f/1.7, Quad Pixel technology, 1.6um)
- 16-megapixel Action Cam (f/2.2, Quad Pixel technology, 2.0um, dedicated ultra-wide FOV 117° video)
- 5-megapixel depth sensor (f/2.2, 1.12um)
There’s also a 25-megapixel selfie camera (f/2.0, Quad Pixel technology, 1.8um). There’s also some algorithm magic going on here too. Selfies are saved a 6.25-megapixels when the lighting gets poor to improve results. This one is taken from the Motorola One Zoom.
The main 48-megapixel camera does a solid job for daytime shots.
If it feels like you’ve read this kind of sentence a million times before, it because you have. Almost all smartphones right down to those at the $300 level now have perfectly acceptable main shooters. The bells and whistles vary, of course, but for those who just want to point and shoot to capture photos for sharing on social media or sending to friends, you really don’t gain much these days by spending more money.
The autofocus is particularly snappy on the G8 Plus, with that laser system doing its job rather well. Dynamic range could be better, but I’m nitpicking a little here. It’s also not possible to actually take pictures with the wide-angle Action Camera designed for video. This seems like an obvious missed opportunity and a bit of a blunder. Perhaps a software update will add the possibility further down the line.
- Gallery of images taken with the Motorola Moto G8 Plus
Motorola Moto G7 Plus battery
The Motorola G8 Plus packs a 4000 mAh battery.
You can easily expect to hit a full day of battery life from the G8 Plus, with more moderate users more than likely finding themselves getting closer to two full days. Fortunately, it seems like we are finally reaching the end of the microUSB’s lifecycle, with now not even inexpensive smartphones sticking the older port. You’ll get USB-C on the Moto G8 Plus.
There is also support for both 15W and 18W TurboPower – Motorola’s fast-charging technology – but it’s the 15W charger that you’ll get in the box. It still takes around two-and-a-half hours to charge from zero to 100 percent, which is not exactly lightning-fast, but it’s better than nothing. Given the very good autonomy of the phone and the price of the device itself, I’m willing to give it a pass on the not-so-fast fast-charging.
The company’s focus on the G7 Plus is its camera, which although it is not yet up to the top of the line, it is certainly an improvement over last year’s model, leaving us curious to see what will be brought to the Moto Z4 Play and Z4. We are working on the full review for you now.