(Pocket-lint) - Loads of surveys say it: the biggest pain point with a smartphone is the battery life. Which Motorola's Moto G8 Power looks to squash in one very simple way: plonking a massive-great battery into the handset to give it truly epic battery life.
That was the mantra of the G7 Power before it, a phone that we thought was relatively unbeatable for its price point. The follow-up model expands a few specifications, adding multiple cameras, a higher-resolution screen and punch-hole front camera into the mix.
That does mean the G8 Power adds a little more cost, yet remains solidly in the affordable camp. So is the G8 Power worth the extra and is it the best long-lasting phone you can buy?
Design & Display
- Display: 6.4-inch IPS LCD, 1080 x 2300 resolution, punch-hole camera
- Dimensions: 156 x 75.8 x 9.6mm / Weight: 197g
- Finishes: Smoke Black, Capri Blue
- Fingerprint scanner to rear
- 3.5mm headphone jack
Because there's such a big battery inside the Moto G8 Power is fairly chunky. But we're not talking grossly obese. This handset has rounded edges and corners, while its footprint isn't that different to many current top-end flagship devices, so it's comfortable to hold.
Motorola has slowly but surely been refining its handsets over the years, this model dumps the excessive company branding and whittles the screen bezels down to a minimum - delivering a 6.4-inch panel in a handset that's about the same size as the G7 Power before (which has a smaller 6.2-inch panel).
The notch has also gone, replaced by a punch-hole for the front camera. While earlier Moto devices, such as the Moto One Vision, had massive punch-hole solutions, the G8 Power is much neater. So that's a positive. We've not found it too distracting during use at all.
That resolution has been scaled up compared to its predecessor, too, now delivering a Full HD+ resolution. Think of that like a HD television, with a bit extra to accomodate the height, squashed into a 6.4-inch handheld. That's plenty of resolution for the scale - especially at this price point. It's a definite jump compared to the outgoing G7 Power.
Being a more affordable phone, the G8 Power also brings some desirables that higher-end handsets tend to omit: there's a 3.5mm jack for your headphones, for example, while the SIM slot is large enough for two cards (or use one for microSD storage expansion).
However, there's no NFC (Near Field Communication), so while there is Bluetooth for broadcasting to wireless headphones and the like, there's no way this phone can be used for payments using Google Pay.
Performance & Battery
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 665, 4GB RAM
- Software: Android 10 operating system, Moto app
- Battery: 5,000 mAh capacity, 15W charging
When dealing with budget phones you might not expect great performance, but actually we've found the G8 Power to stand in rather well as our day-to-day device.
No, it's not a flagship with the whizziest processor going, but the Snapdragon 655 chipset at its heart is good enough for handling multiple apps and clocks fast enough to handle some gaming too. So if you like a bit of Candy Crush in-between Gmail times then you're covered, no problems. Even PUBG Mobile runs on lowest graphics settings.
The much bigger part about the G8 Power's make-up is its battery life. The 5,000mAh cell at its heart is around 1,500mAh greater capacity than many competitors, making it genuinely long-lasting.
This battery will last through 24 hours with ease; even during long days, with plenty of hotspot use and a couple of hours of gaming, we're still finishing the day with 50 per cent charge. Lighten up the use a bit and you're looking at a phone that doesn't need charging every day.
It comes with a 15W TurboPower charger in the box, while there's a USB-C connection on the base - so when it does come to recharging, it doesn't take long.
Can the G8 Power do no wrong? Well, its Wi-Fi connectivity is slow, so documents and apps can take longer to download. There's no NFC, as we've mentioned. And the 64GB storage on board is hardly huge - but can be rectified with a mSD card purchase. So, really, there's no write-off problem by any means. Plus, that huge battery mitigates such foibles in our eyes.
In terms of software, the G8 Power comes with Google's Android 10 operating system. That means gesture control is the default, ensuring the small-bezel screen can look its best without virtual keys in the way. These may take a little getting used to, but it works smoothly once you're up to speed.
Motorola is also adept at not overloading that software with excesses. There's one app - called Moto - which handles a few additional controls: Actions, Display, Gametime. The first allows for physical actions to deliver outcomes, such as flip phone to Do Not Disturb. The second permits peek display to show notifications, or always-on display when it recognises you're looking at the phone. The last is new to the app, delivering detailed controls over notifications and actions during gaming sessions. They're all welcome controls and additons, so it's only positive here.
- Quad rear camera
- Main: 16-megapixel, f/1.7 aperture, 1.12µm pixel size, phase-detection autofocus (PDAF)
- 2x zoom: 8MP, f/2.2, 1.12µm, PDAF
- Wide: 8MP, f/2.2, 1.12µm
- Macro: 2MP, f/2.2
- Seflie camera: 16MP, f/2.0
While the G7 Power was content with its one basic camera, the G8 Power has amped things up a bunch with a quad rear camera setup. This is becoming more the norm in phones. But is it really worth it?
There's two sides to that answer. On the one hand the versatility offered by a main camera, 2x tele zoom, ultra-wide and close-up macro allows for greater opportunity when shooting. Thing is, those sensors, attached to different lenses, mean varying quality between those cameras - sometimes very dramatically. Which makes us wonder if it was really a worthwhile measure overall. For example: you can see the steps made when jumping from wide to main to zoom in our gallery example above.
On the other hand, there's the breakdown in quality. When you look at the pixel-level detail, i.e. at 100 per cent, the kind of processing artefacts and image noise to darker areas and photo corners are pronounced - especially in the ultra-wide and zoom cameras - which points out these extra cameras aren't quite up to scratch.
Thing is, you're probably only going to be looking at these shots on a phone, so such details aren't all that important for many. Just keep in mind that with the G8 Power you're not going to end up with a Huawei P40 Pro beater.
The macro camera is also poor. We've long said this of such cameras, as they utilise a 2MP sensor and the image noise as a result is very prominent. We said the same of the Moto One Macro phone, but still the company thinks its a good idea to offer such a feature. It makes close-up shooting easy, sure, but the results aren't worth it.
The big take-away from this quad camera setup is that the main lens is the best one by some margin, with perfectly decent image quality. The other optics are of limited quality, but we like the practicality. And at this price point getting that flexibility isn't something many others put on offer.
The Moto G8 Power is boss when it comes to battery life. This phone lasts an age. And then some.
Impressively, it doesn't compromise too much to achieve this. It's capable of running a bunch of apps, including games, the software is really smooth to use, and the overall design - ignoring the thickness as a result of the battery size - is on point.
That it's such an affordable phone is remarkable. Yes, it's more cash than the G7 Power by a chunk. But with more screen prowess, more storage, greater camera versatility, an even neater design overall, there's very little the G8 Power lacks.
If you're shopping on a budget: the Moto G8 Power is the class-leading affordable phone.
Moto G7 Power
If budget is everything and you can find the previous generation Power then it'll be a cut of the price. You won't get as many cameras, or as resolute a screen - but the battery capacity is one and the same, making this a super long-laster.
Redmi Note 7
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20, What3Words CEO, and Withings Sleep Analyzer reviewed - Pocket-lint podcast ep. 65
Xiaomi makes the Redmi sub-brand, with the aim on affordability. The Note 7 ticks all the boxes when it comes to screen size and performance, but we find the software to be less fluid than the Moto. The battery life, while fine, isn't a patch on the G8 Power either.