Moto G8 Plus review: Is the new Moto G phone worth the asking price?https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/tech-reviews/moto-g8-plus-review-specifications-features-price-6106309/

Moto G8 Plus review: Is the new Moto G phone worth the asking price?

Moto G8 Plus review: The Moto G8 Plus sports a 48MP triple rear camera setup including a 16MP Action Cam. Here is how the Snapdragon 665 powered Motorola phone performs.

  • 4.0
  • Rs. 13999
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Moto G8 Plus review: The new G-series from Motorola is here. (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

Motorola is trying to get where it used to be in the Indian smartphone market in the past and the Lenovo-owned brand has introduced device after device in a bid to do so. However, the smartphones from Motorola aren’t just targeted at increasing their offerings, but most of their phones have also turned out to be value for money devices. The latest to join the party is the new G-series smartphone– Moto G8 Plus.

Motorola says that it has combined the goodness of Moto One Vision and the Moto One Action into a single smartphone to make the Moto G8 Plus. The specifications of the smartphone on paper look really promising and for a price of Rs 13,999, it makes for a tempting proposition. But does Moto G8 Plus delivers what it promises? Here is our review of the Moto G8 Plus.

Moto G8 Plus specifications: 6.3-inch FHD+ display | Snapdragon 665 processor | 48MP (primary) +5MP (portrait) +16MP (Action Cam) triple rear camera | 25MP front camera | 4,000mAh battery | 15W TurboPower charging | Android 9 Pie

Moto G8 Plus price: Rs 13,999

Moto G8 Plus review: Design

The design of the Moto G8 Plus is good but not as exciting as the other Moto devices that have been launched this year. The polycarbonate body of the Moto G8 Plus looks quite pleasing because of its colour scheme and both the colour models — Cosmic Blue and Crystal Pink — have a gradient finish where the colour emerges from the bottom to meet the black from the top around the Moto-branding at the centre.

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Moto G8 Plus review: The Moto G8 Plus has a polycarbonate body that looks like glass. (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

The back mostly looks like glass, but it is better to use the phone back cover that comes in the box to save it from smudges and scratches. The build of the phone is a bit broader (19:9) than most of the other phones out there, but the Moto G8 Plus still sits well in the hands owing to its ergonomic design. However, the volume buttons on the Moto G8 Plus are placed a bit too high for the comfort.

Moto G8 Plus review: Display, Sound

Moto G8 Plus sports a 6.3-inch FHD+ display with U-shaped notch on top. The display offers good viewing angles and decent contrast while producing vivid colours. The screen doesn’t reflect sunlight too much and the visibility is fine outdoors.

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Moto G8 Plus review: The Moto G8 Plus sports an IPS LCD display. (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

The Moto G8 Plus excels at the audio quality with its Dolby tuned stereo speakers. The sound is loud and doesn’t come across as noise even when the volume is set to maximum. The high and mid frequencies are good and Moto G8 Plus gives a strong bass output. The speaker, coupled with the punchy display, makes up for a good multimedia experience. Also, the earpiece (that works as a secondary speaker) is loud enough to make a call outdoors in a traffic jam without any hindrance.

Moto G8 Plus review: Camera

Motorola has combined the cameras of the Moto One Vision and the Moto One Action to make the triple rear camera setup of the Moto G8 Plus. The primary lens on the G8 Plus is a 48MP Quad Pixel sensor (same as the One Vision) clubbed with a 5MP depth sensor and a dedicated 16MP Action Camera (same the One Action).

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Moto G8 Plus review: The phone sports 48MP+5MP+16MP triple rear camera setup. (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

When the subject is close to the camera, the Moto G8 Plus takes punchy and crisp pictures in daylight with nice sharpness levels and ample details. However, in landscape shots, the details are lost and the camera struggles to produce colours. The camera of the Moto G8 Plus doesn’t tread well on the dynamic range and exposure levels. The end result is nice portrait shots and only decent looking landscape pictures.

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Moto G8 Plus camera sample: Normal shot (Image resized for web) (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)
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Moto G8 Plus camera sample: Normal shot (Image resized for web) (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)
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Moto G8 Plus camera sample: Normal shot (Image resized for web) (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)
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Moto G8 Plus camera sample: Normal shot (Image resized for web) (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)
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Moto G8 Plus normal shot: The exposures aren’t good. (Image resized for web) (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)
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Moto G8 Plus normal shot: Colour reproduction is not good as close up shots (Image resized for web) (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

The Moto G8 Plus has a serious problem with focus adjustment. The lowlight performance of the camera is okay, but the images start to lose details as it starts to get dark. The night mode on the Moto G8 Plus comes handy here to reclaim that lost visibility and colour.

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Left– Normal shot | Right– Night Vision increasing the sharpness and visibility (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

The Moto G8 Plus has a 5MP portrait lens to take bokeh shots. The edge-detection is quite aggressive, but works well in daylight conditions. In the daylight situation, the portrait shots look crisp and retains a fair amount of details, but struggles in low-light.

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Moto G8 Plus camera sample: Portrait mode (Image resized for web) (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

The colour spot mode on the Moto G8 Plus is my personal favourite, and it lets you take some beautiful pictures allowing only a single colour to retain in the picture while stripping the rest. The feature is native to the camera UI of Motorola phones.

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Moto G8 Plus camera sample: Spot Colour mode (Image resized for web) (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

The selfie camera does a good job at colour reproduction and keeping skin tone natural. The low light performance is not good. The edge detection at the front camera is quite aggressive but not accurate and so results in an abrupt transition of blur levels.

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Moto G8 Plus camera sample: Selfie camera portrait mode (Image resized for web) (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

For video recording, you have the option to choose between the primary lens and the Action Cam. The 16MP Action Cam has a wider field of view and it captures horizontal video while you keep the phone vertical. The Action Cam video supports FHD video recording up to 60fps, whereas the 48MP camera supports up to 4K resolution. However, both the primary lens and Action Cam support enhanced video stabilisation up to 30fps FHD resolution. The performance of the Action Cam in the Moto G8 Plus is the same as the Moto One Action.

The Action Cam has good focus adjustment and also handles exposure well. The videos have good colours and the contrast levels are also acceptable. The camera UI also enables you to record slow-mo and timelapse videos. While the slow-mo is not good, the timelapse is actually good when you use the Action Cam with video stabilisation.

Moto G8 Plus review: Performance

The Moto G8 Plus handles day-to-day tasks easily and doesn’t lag or stutter when pushed to the extreme. You can have as many Chrome tabs and apps opened in the background and it will work as smoothly as it does normally. Switching between apps is also seamless but the phone kills heavy apps in the background if there are too many apps running in the background.

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Moto G8 Plus review: The UI is clean and bloatware-free (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

There are no bloatware or unwanted notifications to slow down the phone. The UI is fast, snappy, and efficient. I like the Moto Actions on the phone that offer gestures for specific tasks like turning on the flashlight, navigate through the interface.

The Moto G8 Plus is capable enough to not only play casual games, but you can also play some graphics-heavy games like PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty. Even though the graphics are not that great, the SD665 lets you play PUBG at medium settings. The game doesn’t face lag or extreme heating issues. However, things change drastically for Call of Duty Mobile that runs smoothly on the phone without any stutters or noticeable frame drops. Call of Duty lets you forget that it is a phone priced under Rs 15,000.

Moto G8 Plus review: Battery

The Moto G8 Plus comes with a 4,000mAh battery with support for 15W TurboPower charging. The battery backup is quite good as it lasts a full day and a half on above moderate usage. The fast charger comes in the box and it can charge the phone from 10 per cent to 75 per cent in around an hour. The phone takes around two hours when you charge it to full from zero.

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Moto G8 Plus review: The phone comes in two colour variants (Express Photo: Mohammad Faisal)

Moto G8 Plus review: Verdict

Based on the performance, the Moto G8 Plus justifies its asking price of Rs 13,999. The phone has a good camera, a dedicated Action Camera, good audio quality, smooth performance, and long battery backup. There is a lot of competition in the under Rs 15,000 price segment, but Moto G8 Plus surely holds its own.