Motorola has updated the Moto Power, called the G8 Power in the UK and Europe or Moto G Power in the US, bringing in a new version of this battery-busting smartphone.

As far as affordable phones go, you'll be hard pressed to find anything with a battery this large - it's 5000mAh - but for 2020 Motorola has updated pretty much all aspects of this phone from the 2019 model, with expanded camera options, more power and higher quality materials.

A smarter build

  • 155.95 x 75.84 x 9.83mm, 197g
  • Smoke Black or Capri Blue

The Moto G7 Power wasn't the most interesting phone to look at. It had a typically glossy rear and was quite think and those things more or less continue. But the G8 Power is a better looking phone. That rear now has a subtle patterning to it, like a very fine pin stripe and that helps lift this phone and give it some character.

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It's still thick and it's still heavy but that's a side effect of the massive battery. The curved edges mean that it's not too much of a handful, but from the front things are better looking as Motorola has ditched the notch.

That leaves you with a fashionable punch hole camera in the top left-hand corner, very much on trend for 2020 devices.

Moto has also turned up the sound quality on this phone, with dual speakers tuned by Dolby offering stereo sound. We gave that a quick test and there was appreciable volume and good quality too, great for gaming or watching ad hoc YouTube clips.

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First impressions of this phone are good, despite being down at the affordable end of the scale, it still has some premium class to it, something that Motorola has been good at doing. It's also a water repellent design, so if it does get splashed, it shouldn't get ruined. 

Display and hardware specs

  • 6.4-inch LCD display, 2300 x 1080 pixels
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 665, 4GB RAM, 64GB + microSD
  • No NFC

The Moto G8 Power isn't a flagship phone, so the Snapdragon 665 and 4GB of RAM comes as no surprise. For the price we think this is plenty of power - it's an update of the G7 Power and having used that phone for some time, we found it's actually plenty capable. You might not be able to play games on the highest settings, but you'll still be able to play them.

The 64GB of storage isn't the most generous, but it's easily expanded using microSD. There's also a 3.5mm headphone socket.

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There are a couple of omissions on the hardware front: there's no 5GHz Wi-Fi support and there's no NFC either, meaning you won't be able to use this phone with Google Pay - one of the downside of having a phone from the affordable end of the market. 

The display is now a little larger than before, but gets a bump in resolution, so it's likely to better. First impressions are pretty good, although it's an LCD display and not quite as impactful as the sort of displays that you get on flagship devices. We've mentioned the removal of the notch and this does result in a large, usable, display space.

From the brief time we've spent with this phone we can't assess its overall power or performance and we have no idea how well the display will cope with more challenging conditions. 

Battery life

  • 5000mAh battery, 15W charging

The Moto G8 Power is all about battery life. It was the longest lasting phone that we tested in 2019 and we expect that to be repeated in 2020. Previously the G7 Power would give you about 2 days of use, almost comically good compared to some of the flagships that struggle though a single day. 

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Motorola says that thanks to better battery technology and optimisation, you'll now get 3 days of  usage from this phone. We've not been able to test that, but we can't wait to give it a go. But Motorola isn't alone in offering big batteries any more, as there's been a rise in big battery models, not only at the flagship end, but lower down the scale too.

The Moto G8 Power also support 15W charging, with an 18W TurboCharger in the box.

The five cameras

  • 16MP, 1.12µm, f/1.7 main camera
  • 8MP, 1.12µm, f/2.2 ultra-wide camera
  • 2MP, 1.75µm, f/2.2 macro camera
  • 8MP, 1.12µm, f/2.2 2x telephoto camera
  • 16MP, 1.0µm, f.2.0 front camera 

Perhaps surprisingly, Motorola has moved from a single camera on the Moto G7 Power up to four cameras on the G8 Power - that's a huge leap in terms of what you're trying to offer to customers.

There's the main camera supported by ultra-wide, macro and telephoto, the sort of thing you normally find on leading phones. But we approach these with some caution: putting cameras in the phone isn't hugely expensive and it's obvious that customers like cameras - but getting them all to deliver is a different question. 

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The main camera here is 16-megapixels, but the perhaps concerning figure is the 1.12µm pixel size. That's small and that might impact on the camera's overall performance (smaller pixels mean less light and photography is all about light). We've not had the chance to test it, but we'll pay close attention to this.

The addition of ultra-wide angle is fun, because this is a more forgiving format of lens where you expect distortion and so lower quality is less of a concern. The macro is again fun, with Moto saying this will get you closer to the subject than any other Moto G model - from 2cm. 

Finally there's the telephoto, here offering 2x optical zoom. On the front camera Motorola is opting for 16-megapixels. 

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We'll give these camera a full test once we get our hands on this phone for a little long, so see whether they deliver on all these photography promises.

Software 

  • Android 10
  • Free from bloat 

One of the best things about Motorola's phones is that they don't fill them with bloat. They rank alongside Nokia in that regard, a far cry from the likes of Redmi or Samsung who heavily customise their devices. 

The Moto G8 Power launches on Android 10, with a couple of tweaks from Motorola to support its gestures, but otherwise it's free from unwanted bloat.

First Impressions

The Moto G7 Power was one of our favourite phones of 2019, delivering staggering battery life with very little fuss and at a price that made it a lot more accessible than many high flying devices. The Moto G8 Power looks, on paper, as though it's going to repeat that experience. 

That's an exciting proposition: while there will be plenty of devices boosting their specs in 2020, this is a phone that focuses on what really matters - battery life.

We have some reservations about all the new cameras that have been added to the back, but we'll be sure to test those once we have the phone in for review. 

The Motorola Moto G8 Power will be available from 20 February in the UK, for £219.