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The surveys don’t lie, the greatest problem with modern smartphones is autonomy. The Motorola Moto G8 Power has come up with an “ingenious” solution: equip the device with a huge battery!
Its predecessor the Motorola Moto G7 Power (Check on Amazon) lasts longer, but the G8 Power has better specs: it uses a better SoC and a higher resolution display.
Read more: Moto G7 Power review: beyond the battery
However, with a price of (Check on Amazon) it goes into that extremely crowded market range dominated by Chinese brands that make value their key strength.
It is a valid smartphone, with good performance, but its cameras do not convince us, especially at night. In short, it will not be easy to dominate over the various Xiaomis, Realmes, and Oppos.
Motorola Moto G8 Power – Design
Since it has such a large battery inside, the Motorola Moto G8 Power is quite thick. But not obese. The dimensions conform to those of other smartphones with similar characteristics: 156mm in height, 75.8mm in width, and 9.6mm in thickness. On the contrary, the weight is slightly less than 200 grams. This device has rounded edges and corners, making it comfortable to hold in hand.
Motorola has been slowly but surely perfecting its phones over the years. This model reduces the screen bezels to a minimum, delivering a 6.4-inch panel on a phone that is approximately the same size as the G7 Power (which has a 6.2-inch display). The notch is also gone, replaced by a punch-hole for the selfie camera.
The shell is made entirely of polycarbonate, which is not necessarily a bad thing, quite the contrary. It is a rigid material, which does not bend, and has a beautiful glossy finish. Its added toughness, in case of a drop, is more valuable than the purely aesthetic function of a glass back cover (there is no wireless charging).
The rear cameras are vertically aligned at the top left corner, and in the center, we have the fingerprint reader underneath the Motorola logo.
And since this is a “basic” device it also sports features that more premium devices tend to overlook, like a 3.5mm headphone jack and a SIM tray that can hold two SIM cards, or a SIM card and a microSD card for storage expansion.
Sadly, there is no NFC, thus there is no way to use this phone for payments.
Motorola Moto G8 Power – Display
The 6.4-inch LCD panel has a resolution of 1080×2300 pixels and is very convincing, although we do start to see budget devices that use an AMOLED panel. It is sharp enough (398 PPI), bright enough (445 nits) to see outdoors, and with good contrast (1582:1) for an LCD.
Although not OLED, this screen has an “Always On Display”, which is called “Active Display” that allows you to see the notifications even with the screen turned off. Motorola was one of the first companies to implement this feature and it works quite well, but is “penalized” by the IPS panel. Indeed, when active, the entire screen is turned on, even the black portions, and therefore it consumes more battery. Fortunately, autonomy is not a problem with the G8 Power.
The audio delivers excellent quality, with a true tone rendering, both in and out. The stereo speakers can reproduce sound with a very high volume without sacrificing quality. There is no distortion and the high and medium frequencies are present. There is a lack of bass but it is a “flaw” common to most smartphones. And as we said before there is also a 3.5mm headphone jack. This is one of the best budget smartphones when it comes to sound.
Motorola Moto G8 Power – Camera
On the back of the Motorola Moto G8 power, we find the camera module which is composed of 4 sensors. A 16-megapixel (f/1.7) wide sensor, an 8-megapixel (f/2.2) wide-angle lens, an 8-megapixel (f/2.2) telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom and a 2-megapixel macro lens.
During the day, photos are quite good with all three lenses. Obviously, the bigger main sensor is the one that guarantees the best results, while the macro lens, although fun to use, is very limited.
As you would expect, the images deteriorate when we shoot in the evening or in low light conditions. In fact, there is no night mode that can come to our rescue, and the results are hardly usable. Both the wide-angle lens and the zoom lens suffer from their reduced aperture, which does not allow them to capture enough light. In this way, the software is forced to intervene by increasing the ISO, and a lot of background noise appears as a result. Using the main camera, the results are somewhat better, but again hardly shareable.
The selfie camera has a 16-megapixel (f/2.0) sensor and a performance similar to the rear main camera, with a very convincing bokeh effect.
On the video side, you can record movies up to a maximum resolution of 4K at 30 frames per second. but the best results are achieved with the main camera in 1080p at 60 fps. There is no optical image stabilization (OIS) so try to keep the device as steady as you can.
We must also spend a few words regarding the software, which is based on Android 10. The customizations made by Motorola are in line with what we saw in the past, they are minimal but meaningful. This results in a lightweight OS, with no added bloatware, that doesn’t tax the modest hardware.
Among the features added by Motorola is Moto Display (Always On Display) and Moto Actions: these are gestures that allow you to turn on the flashlight, launch the camera app, or mute the sound by simply shaking, turning or flipping the device. Finally, Moto Gametime optimizes performance and disables notifications during game sessions.
Motorola Moto G8 Power – Performance
The Motorola Moto G8 Power uses the Snapdragon 655 paired with 4Gb of RAM. This is a budget SoC but is good enough to handle some light multitasking and fast enough to handle most games as well. It can even run PUBG Mobile in the lowest settings.
The low-energy processor and software optimization in combination with the 5,000mAh lithium battery help achieve excellent results in terms of autonomy. The Motorola Moto G8 Power is a battery champion. It will easily last you for two working days and with light use even three!
The device also comes with a 15W fast charger but since the battery is so large, it still needs 2 hours to fully charge (better do it at night).
The Motorola Moto G8 Power (Check on Amazon) is the undisputed champion when it comes to battery life. Impressively, it is not a one-trick pony. It has a good display, it is able to run most apps, including some demanding games, the software is really easy to use and the overall design is streamlined and practical.
Sadly, the photo compartment is not on par. Having 4 cameras, makes the phone much more versatile and also more attractive, overall. However they lack performance, especially in poor lighting conditions.
The biggest problem, however, is that today we can find many valid alternatives in this price range. The Samsung Galaxy M30 (Check on Amazon), the Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 (Check on Amazon), the Realme 5 Pro (Check on Amazon), the Oppo A9 2020 (Check on Amazon), and even the Motorola Moto G8 Plus (Check on Amazon) offer similar performance, with better displays and cameras, for the same price.