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Motorola Moto G8 Plus hands-on review

A 48MP camera phone for under £240! Meet the Motorola Moto G8 Plus

Motorola Moto G8 Plus hands-on review
(Image: © Basil Kronfli/Digital Camera World)

Our Verdict

On first impression, the G8 Plus looks like a safe bet. It’s a well-priced phone with top-tier imaging credentials, a respectable midrange processor and slick design. Combined with a massive battery, we’re not anticipating any nasty surprises - midrangers are Motorola’s bread and butter, after all. That said, how well the camera performs is anyone’s guess, so check back for the full review.

For

  • Large, sharp screen
  • High-capacity battery
  • Impressive camera specs

Against

  • No OIS
  • Midrange power
  • No ultra-wide photos (just videos)

The Motorola Moto G8 Plus is official, loaded up with a 48MP triple-camera system, it features the same action-style ultra-wide camera introduced on the One Action, which captures stabilized landscape video even when the phone is held in portrait orientation. 

The G-series is an old faithful when it comes to premium features at affordable prices, with last year’s G7 Plus delivering OIS and seriously fast charing. This year, Motorola’s added another speaker, a newer processor, and more pixels to the mix, both on the front and back.

Thanks to a depth sensor and laser autofocus, as well as 4K video capture, given the price, it’s impressing on the specs front, and with Motorola’s track record, we’re expecting good things in the real world too.

Price and release

The Moto G8 Plus will be available in the UK at Amazon, John Lewis, Carphone Warehouse, EE & Argos from 28th October starting at £239; it will also be available in mainland Europe. We’re still awaiting US pricing and availability and will update this piece when it becomes available. 

Key specs and features

Motorola Moto G8 Plus hands-on review

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli/Digital Camera World)

Available in two new colours, red and blue, the G8 Plus looks demure but striking. The buffed frame melds into the curved back and flat display seamlessly, and it feels solid yet comfortable in-hand. Around the back is what looks like a quad-camera setup, but there are actually ‘just’ three cameras, with the lowest ring housing the PDAF and laser autofocus modules. 

Just like the G7 Plus, it charges via a USB-C port at its base, there are power buttons and a volume rocker to the right and there’s a big, bright display, clocking in at 6.3-inches with Full HD+ resolution. 

The G8 Plus also features a huge 4000mAh battery - excellent for a midrange phone, as well as an 18W Turbo Charger. That’s means zippier charging than an iPhone 11 Pro, despite the fact it clocks in at almost a quarter of the price.

Powered along by a Snapdragon 665 processor, while this isn’t going to break any benchmark records, combined with 4GB RAM, it’s a solid offering given how much it costs, and with 64GB storage, which can be supplemented by up to 512GB with a microSD card, this low-cost phone has just outperformed the Pixel 4 from a possible capacity point of view - Google, please, take note. 

Camera

Motorola Moto G8 Plus hands-on review

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli/Digital Camera World)

The camera on the G8 Plus is kind of like a Moto One Action, Moto One Vision love child. It features the same 48MP Quad Pixel camera system found on the Vision, and indeed the Moto One Zoom launched at IFA 2019 with the Action’s ultra-wide video camera. 

Quad Pixel tech - a fancy way of saying pixel binning - combines four pixels into one, giving the Moto G8 Plus an equivalent pixel size of 1.6μ, and turning 48MP images into 12MP shots with better dynamic range and improved noise handling.

The G8 Plus also features the ultra-wide video camera found on the Moto One Action, with its 117-degree field of view delivering the same focal length as the human eye.

It also brings back Night Vision, Portrait Mode, Colour Pop and more, records video at up to 4K, 30fps and on the front, nuzzled inside a water droplet notch is a 25MP selfie camera with an f/2 lens.

Motorola Moto G8 Plus hands-on review

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli/Digital Camera World)

Initial verdict

After about 30 minutes with Motorola’s latest G-series midrange flagship, we’re impressed by the design and price. Its specs impress, especially that battery capacity and camera setup, and thanks to Motorola’s stock take on Android, we can almost be guaranteed performance will be at least good. 

That said, just how good its camera is, remains to be seen. We’ve experienced wildly varying results from Sony’s 48MP sensor to date, so watch this space as we’ll be sharing our full review of the Moto G8 Plus in the coming weeks.

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