Moto G8 Plus review

The Moto G-series has been instrumental to ‘Moto’ brand success in India. In fact, the Moto G was the first successful ‘online exclusive’ phone in the country and the first to bring Qualcomm chipset to the affordable price segment. The new Moto G8 Plus comes at a time when the brand stands overshadowed by aggressive online competition from Chinese brands like Xiaomi and Realme but is scripting a grand comeback.

Moto G8 Plus will leverage the goodwill that ‘moto’ brand, and particularly the G-series, still commands, but is it good enough to do justice to such expectations? We have been testing the phone for over a month, and now that we have a good grasp on the fundamentals, here’s our detailed Moto G8 Plus review with pros and cons. 

Moto G8 Plus Specs

Models Moto G8 Plus
Display 6.3-inch, 2280×1080, waterdrop notch
Front Camera 25MP 
Rear Camera 48MP+ 16MP+ 5MP 
Processor 2.0GHz octa-core Snapdragon 665
Memory 4GB RAM+ 64GB storage, expandable up to 512GB (Hybrid)
Battery 4000mAh with 15W TurboPower charging 
Software Android 9 Pie
India Price Rs. 13,999 Buy Now

Moto G8 Plus Unboxing: What’s in the box?

  • Moto G8 Plus phone
  • 15W TurboPower charger
  • USB-C cable
  • SIM ejector pin
  • User manual
  • TPU case

The Moto G8 Plus comes bundled with standard box content. The protective case is decent but certainly not the best in business. There’s no pre-applied screen protector on the phone’s screen.

Moto G8 Plus Review: Design and Build Quality

The Moto G8 Plus follows the same design as the Motorola One Action. The phone is predominantly made of polycarbonate and there’s a subtle gradient on the glass-finish back, which is expectedly prone to smudges. The iconic moto logo (which isn’t a dimple anymore) doubles as the fingerprint sensor.

The G8 Plus isn’t exactly a slim phone and has a stretched waistline, but it is still fairly light and quite manageable in our hands. Then there’s a quasi quad-camera system with not 4 but 3 sensors (really, moto?) split in two parts. The camera modules jut out a bit but the bundled TPU cover can successfully even out the hump.

On the front, the major portion is dominated by the screen which has a familiar u-shaped notch for the selfie camera. There’s a wider-than-usual earpiece just above the notch that also acts as a secondary speaker while playing music. The Moto G8 Plus screen is bordered by thick bezels or, in other words, the screen-to-boy ratio is not the best in class.

On the right-hand side edge, there’s volume rocker and power key. The ridges on the power key ensure that you can intuitively locate it with your fingers. The phone has a reversible Type-C charging port and retains the audio jack. The SIM tray is hybrid, so you will have to choose between using two SIM or using a microSD card slot. 

There are no bending or flexing issues that came to our notice. Motorola also states that the Moto G8 Plus has a water-repellent design with an IP-52 official rating (same as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro). Overall, the G8 Plus plays it safe with the design. Moden design labels are all there and the phone is comfortable to wield, but at this point in time, it feels quite generic.

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Moto G8 Plus Review: Display

Unlike the One series phones with extra-tall 21:9 screens, the Moto G8 Plus has a more customary 19:9 panel. There’s a 6.3-inch full HD+ screen (400 PPI) and Lenovo is using a well-calibrated LTPS LCD panel.

The display looks sharp and offers good viewing angles. The user has a choice to choose between Natural, Boosted and Saturated color profiles. The Natural profile works best for us but even in the default mode colors are well balanced. Whites aren’t perfect still they are better than some of the popular phones in this price bracket. 

Moto doesn’t officially reveal details about the screen protection type. In our practical experience, the phone managed to remain scratch-free during our review. The oleophobic coating is also decent enough to avoid smudges. 

Moto G8 Plus Camera Review

The Motorola G8 Plus has triple rear cameras with the 48-megapixel sensor (Samsung GM1) leading the charge. The camera uses pixel binning technology and combines four pixels to capture better details and dynamic range. 

The 48MP sensor is assisted by a 5MP depth sensor (f/2.2, 1.12um), and a 16MP Action camera. The wide-angle shooter also supports quad-pixel technology and has 117° field of view for videos. The 25MP selfie camera also has pixel-binning so it churns out 6MP selfies in low light.

Moto G8 Plus also gets the ‘Action camera’. This mode lets you shoot wide landscape videos while firmly gripping the phone in the portrait orientation. The action camera can record 4K footage that’s electronically stabilized but is missing OIS.

The default camera app is AI-enabled and also has additional features like Smart Composition, Auto Smile Capture, and Shot Optimization. Motorola has also added Google Lens, Night Vision, and Spot Color and few other tricks inside the camera app.

During our testing, we took quite a few shots from the Moto G8 Plus in different conditions to assess the camera.

By default, the camera shoots in 12MP resolution. As you can see, the Moto G8 Plus camera managed to deliver satisfactory results in well-lit conditions.  The images have good details and look vibrant without going overboard.

The G8 Plus camera manages to handle highlights well most of the time. The HDR option is there but it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference here. The Moto G8 Plus dynamic range is a bit muted as compared to the competition.

The image quality tumbles down significantly in low light conditions. The detail deteriorates and noise becomes quite evident in shots taken in low light. Having said that, the Night Mode labeled as Night Vision does come handy in poor lighting.

The action camera might entice you and it is fun but the video quality isn’t much to brag about. The video stabilization is good even without OIS but the level of noise plays spoilsport here.

Motorola also has pixel binning for the selfie camera. As a result, the 25MP sensor outputs 6MP images with better details and dynamic range. The selfies we shot in proper outdoor lighting turned out decent.

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Moto G8 Plus Performance and Software

After the Exynos experiment on the One Vision, Lenovo is back to using a Qualcomm chip. Lenovo has opted for Snapdragon 665 chipset which we have earlier tested on the Mi A3 (review) and Realme 5 (review). The octa-core chipset is clocked at 2.0GHz. The Snapdragon 665 SoC has integrated Adreno 610 GPU and is further aided by 4GB RAM.

Our Moto G8 Plus has  64GB inbuilt storage along with support for up to 512GB of microSD storage. The G8 Plus draws juice from a 4000mAh battery which is refiled using 15W proprietary Turbo-charger (which is bundled within the box). 

Continuing with its traditional closer to stock Android approach, Motorola G8 Plus offers bloatware-free, system-level ad-free almost pure Android experience. If you have used a Motorola phone in the past, all those nifty Moto gestures are available on the Moto G8 Plus. Features like always-on display and essential DRM L1 for HD streaming are also there. 

With almost vanilla Android software, the G8 Plus handles almost everything flawlessly. During this review, we didn’t encounter any letdowns while performing our day-to-day activities. The RAM management is slightly aggressive, so you might notice that switching back to previous apps taking a tad longer occasionally.

We also ran PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty Mobile on the Moto G8 Plus during our time with the phone. The gaming experience was decent as it managed to run both games in medium settings smoothly. As we have experienced in the past, attaining ‘High’ settings is a bit too much for the Snapdragon 665 and that continues to be the case with the Moto G8 Plus.

Another important aspect that lets the Moto G8 Plus stand out is its Audio prowess. The phone offers powerful stereo speakers with Dolby Audio, and also has wireless streaming covered with connectivity options like Bluetooth 5.0 and aptX support.

Moto G8 Plus Benchmark Performance

  • Antutu Score: 166,489
  • 3DMark Slight Shot Extreme (OpenGL ES): 1134
  • 3DMark Slight Shot Extreme (Vulkan): 1005

Moto G8 Plus Review Verdict

The Moto G8 Plus price in India for the 4GB RAM and 64GB storage variant is Rs 13,999 which makes it look expensive in comparison with Mi A3, Realme XT (review), and Redmi Note 8 Pro (review).

The sub-15K domain has been seeing some fierce competition and this is where value for money supersedes brand value.

In such times, Moto is betting big on the action camera which isn’t a big strength. In our opinion, the Moto G8 Plus’ clean and bugs free UI is what makes it stand out.

Apart from Software, the Stereo speakers with Dolby audio, a good enough display, and decent performance are the few things that work in its favor. If these things matter to you, the Moto G8 Plus is the phone you may buy. 

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