Motorola Moto G8+ Plus – Unlocked, International GSM review 2021

Moto G8

Motorola Moto G8+ Plus – Unlocked, International GSM review 2021

There are nine phones in the Moto G8 line – that’s a huge step up over the four of the Moto G7 contingent or the three of the Moto G6, and as a result, it can be easy to confuse the phones or struggle to work out which handset is the best for you.

Well, there are nine named Moto G8 phones, but we’d argue the number is actually slightly lower. That’s because while different assortments of the handsets have been released in different countries, some of them are just the same phone re-named. However, that’s not always the case… it’s all a bit confusing really.JUMP TO A MOTO G8 PHONE


Moto G8 Play
Best Moto Power
Moto G8 Power Lite
Best Moto G Power
Moto G Stylus
Top Moto G Pro
Moto G Fast

We’ve called these phones the Moto G8 devices, but bear in mind in the US Motorola is releasing them under the name ‘Moto G’. This is part of the reason of the confusion, because if you’re not well versed in phone names it can be hard to know if this is the most recent line, but thankfully elsewhere the company has stuck to ‘G8’.

Motorola Moto G8+ Plus – Unlocked, International GSM review 2021

To help you get your head around them, we’ve come up with this explainer guide to help you understand the phone you’ve been considering, and how it slots into the Moto G8 phone line hierarchy. RECOMMENDED VIDEOS FOR YOU…

To the right we’ve compiled a list of all the different names of Moto G8 phones – click it and it’ll take you to an explainer on the phone. Generally, this list is ranked from least powerful (and cheapest) and most powerful (and priciest) so you can see how the handsets compare.

To be clear, this isn’t a list telling you which is the best overall Motorola phone, as we’ve got our best Motorola phone guide for that, which includes other lines as well like the Edge, Z, and One device. This is just a way to help you understand what Motorola is currently doing with the G line of handsets in 2020.

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Moto G8 Play

The lowest-end phone in the line is the Moto G8 Play, which you probably haven’t seen for sale in many places. This is because the Moto G8 Play was announced with little fanfare, and was only released in a few countries in Latin America. You can’t pick the phone up in the US, UK or Australia from carriers or Motorola’s website, although you can import it if you really want.

The Moto G8 Play has a 6.2-inch HD screen, MediaTek Helio P70M chipset paired with 2GB RAM, 32GB storage, a 4,000mAh battery, three rear cameras including a 13MP main snapper, and has an old-school microUSB port as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack.

We found the Moto G8 Play listed on Amazon US for $200 (roughly £160, AU$290), although this is for an international version which was presumably imported from another region. We’d expect it to be more affordable in regions it was released in.

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Moto G8 Power Lite

The Moto G8 Power Lite is a specced-down version of the Power, which is listed further on, though the phone it has most in common with is the aforementioned G8 Play. It has a microUSB port, and a notch instead of a ‘punch-hole’ cut-out like most the rest of the devices on this list, which shows its budget roots.

The Moto G8 Power Lite has a large 6.5-inch HD display, Mediatek Helio P35 chipset with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, a large 5,000mAh power pack (hence the name), and three rear cameras with a 16MP main snapper.

The Moto G8 Power Lite launched for £150 / AU$279 (roughly $190) though at time of writing it hasn’t been released in the US yet. In Australia it’s one of only three of the Moto G8 line available, alongside the ‘base’ device and the Plus model.Today’s best Motorola Moto G8 Power Lite dealsNo price informationCHECK AMAZONWe check over 130 million products every day for the best prices

Moto G8 / G Fast

This is the ‘main’ Moto G8 phone, and it’s probably the first handset in the line most would consider buying, due to the lack of suffixes. It’s also the only device in the line available in the US, UK and Australia, though in the first it was released under a different name (more on that later). 

The Moto G8 has a 6.4-inch HD screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 chipset, 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, a 4,000mAh battery and three rear cameras lead by a 16MP snapper, with an 8MP ultra-wide as well.

In the US, the Moto G8 is actually called the Moto G Fast, and it’s the same in every respect except it has 3GB RAM and 32GB storage – the flash module on the back is in a slightly different place too.

This phone costs $200 / £180 / $329, so it’s only a small step up from the Power Lite, and the real trade-off is that you’re getting a better processor and USB-C port in exchange for a smaller battery. If you want the best of both worlds, the next phone is best for you.

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Moto G8 Power | Unlocked | International GSM only | 4/64GB | 16MP Camera | 2020 | Black

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Check out our Moto G8 review

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Moto G8 Power / G Power

The Moto G8 Power was released as the Moto G Power in the US, although it’s exactly the same phone. When the Moto G8 series phones started being released, this naming convention indicated the whole series was just rebranded in the US, but since that some Moto G phones have been released elsewhere.

The Moto G8 Power is named for its big battery which, like the Lite, is 5,000mAh, although in the Power you’ve got a USB-C port to charge it up quicker. The phone has a 6.4-inch FHD screen, Snapdragon 665 processor with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, and four rear cameras with a 16MP main snapper. This is the most affordable device in the line to have a telephoto lens for zoomed pictures, as while the Moto G8 and G8 Play have ultra-wide cameras, the rest just have depth sensing or macro shooters.

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Moto G Power | 3-Day Battery1 | Unlocked | Made for US by Motorola | 4/64GB | 16MP Camera | 2020 | Black

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The Moto G8 Power or G Power costs $250 / £220 (roughly AU$370), so again it’s a step up from its predecessor. It’s still a budget phone, but not as much so as its aforementioned siblings.

Check out our Moto G8 Power review here

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Moto G8 Plus

The Moto G8 Plus was the first phone in the series to be launched, all the way back in late 2019, and it didn’t come to as many regions as we expected given, at the time, we thought it’d be the top-end phone in the line.

The Moto G8 Plus has a 6.3-inch FHD display, Snapdragon 665 chipset with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, a 4,000mAh battery and three rear cameras lead by a 48MP main snapper, with one of the other snappers being a 16MP ‘action cam’ video snapper pinched from the Motorola One Action.

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You could pick up the Moto G8 Plus for £240 (roughly $300, AU$435), so it’s a touch pricier than the Power, but it doesn’t differentiate itself in price that much from its predecessor. The phone does have a few features we’d expect from a 2019 phone that feel a touch out of place in a 2020 phone. There’s both a physical notch and just Android 9 pre-installed, but they’re just effects of the release date.

Check out our Moto G8 Plus review here

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Moto G Pro / G Stylus

The final phone in the Moto G8 series doesn’t hold the numerical name, but the release date suggests it’s an honorable member anyway, and that’s the Moto G Stylus. This was launched in the US in February alongside the Moto G Power, and later another version was released elsewhere called the Moto G Pro – the only difference in this model is slightly faster charging.

The highlight of the Moto G Stylus is that it has… well, a stylus, which you can use to control the phone. Other than that it has a 6.4-inch FHD display, Snapdragon 665 chipset with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage, a 4,000mAh battery and three rear cameras with a 48MP main shooter. It’s not too different from the G8 Plus, then, but the storage space and stylus may sway some.

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Motorola Moto G8+ Plus – Unlocked, International GSM review 2021

The Moto G Stylus or G Pro costs $300 / £290 (roughly AU$500), so it’s pricier than the G8 Plus in the one region both are available, and indeed it’s the top-end device in the Moto G8 line. It’s not a pricey device by any account, but if you want a new Motorola phone and it has to be a G8 device, this is the most specced-up.

Pocket-lint) – There are a lot of phones in the Moto G series. Like, a whole lot. So working out which budget performer is the one for you – in addition to this G8 there’s also the G8 PlusG8 Power, the G8 Power Lite – could be somewhat taxing.

A lot of that decision, we suspect, comes down to price. And for under a couple of hundred of your local currency, it’s this ‘standard’ G8 that will prove highly attractive. Indeed, affordable phones don’t come better than this.

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Design & Display

  • Display: 6.4-inch IPS LCD, 720 x 1560 resolution, punch-hole camera
  • Dimensions: 161.3 x 75.8 x 9mm / Weight: 188g
  • Finishes: Pearly White, Neon Blue
  • Fingerprint scanner to rear
  • 3.5mm headphone jack

Motorola has slowly but surely been refining its handsets over the years, with the G8 ditching the excessive company branding and name-splattering, with just the more subtle ‘batwing’ M logo on the rear, doubling-up as the area where the fingerprint scanner lives.

The Moto G8 is fairly chunky, though, on account of its significant battery capacity. There’s a 4,000mAh cell driving everything behind the scenes – which is a full third more capacity than the outgoing G7 from last year. It’s not quite as much as the G8 Power – which has a 5,000mAh battery – the clue there being in the name: the Power device is destined to be even longer-lasting.

Motorola Moto G8+ Plus – Unlocked, International GSM review 2021

As design has improved, screen bezels have been whittled down too. No, there’s not the curved edge finesse of a flagship here, but gone are the days when you’d have to buy a brick with no finesse. The 6.4-inch panel might sound large, but it’s perfectly manageable even with one-handed use.

The teardrop screen notch of the G7 before it has been 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’s is overall neater. Although we think the earlier teardrop notch was actually the preferable solution.

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Motorola Moto G8+ Plus – Unlocked, International GSM review 2021

It’s in the resolution department where the G8 holds back a little. That’s a defining factor of this handset compared to those that cost a little more in the range. The resolution might be called HD+, but we’re talking a stretched 720p panel – like when TVs came out years ago and were called “HD Ready”. Fewer pixels in your face doesn’t mean a bad experience by any means though: the G8 provides a bright enough and neutral colour balance (it’s less yellow than our OnePlus 8, as it happens).

The G8 also includes 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 up to 256GB – which you might need, given the 64GB on-board memory found here). 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.

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Performance & Battery

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 665, 4GB RAM
  • Software: Android 10 operating system, Moto app
  • Battery: 4,000 mAh, USB-C charging (10W)

When dealing with budget phones you might not expect great performance, but actually, we’ve found the G8 to stand in rather well as our day-to-day device. It’s got the same chipset and RAM as per the G8 Power, thus our experience has been one and the same.

No, it’s not a flagship with the whizziest processor, but the Snapdragon 655 from Qualcomm is good enough for handling multiple apps and good enough for some gaming too. Don’t overload it with dozens of apps, but we’ve been jostling between Gmail and South Park: Phone Destroyer without issue.

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Motorola Moto G8+ Plus – Unlocked, International GSM review 2021

When it comes to longevity, the G8 does a sterling job here too. It’s a flip-the-coin consideration as to whether you buy this handset, though, or spend an extra fifty notes buying the G8 Power, which has a 25 per cent battery capacity boost, faster charging, and a higher-resolution screen to boot.

Whichever makes best sense for your needs, however, the G8’s battery easily skirts through 24 hours of use with ease. We’d say the G8 Power probably delivers around a 20 per cent longevity boost overall. But with the G8 running fully loaded we’ve always been making it to bed with over 30 per cent battery life remaining.1/5POCKET-LINT

Moto G8 review software image 4
Moto G8 review software image 1
Moto G8 review software image 3

Although we’re certainly dealing with no flagship handset here, it’s still a capable device. As we’ve levelled at other lower-end Motorola phones, however, the Wi-Fo 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. None of which are write-off problems by any means.

Motorola Moto G8+ Plus – Unlocked, International GSM review 2021

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. If you don’t like it, however, the typical three softkey control mechanism is available too – and that’s easy to activate when setting up the phone, or later down the line.

Motorola is also on point when it comes to leaving software largely uninterrupted too. There is one app – called Moto – which handles a few additional controls though: Actions, Display, Gametime. That covers physical actions, such as karate chop for the torch to come on; the peek display to show notifications; and offering detailed DND controls during gaming sessions. All positive stuff.

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Cameras

  • Triple rear camera
    • Main: 16-megapixel, f/1.7 aperture, 1.12µm pixel size, phase-detection autofocus (PDAF)
    • Wide: 8MP, f/2.2, 1.12µm
    • Macro: 2MP, f/2.2
  • Seflie camera: 8MP, f/2.0

It’s rare to find a phone with fewer than one rear camera these days. The Moto G8 is playing the same game, as it delivers a main 16-megapixel camera, alongside a wide-angle offering, and a third lens used for macro/depth.1/10POCKET-LINT

Moto G8 review camera samples image 1
Moto G8 review camera samples image 1

Motorola Moto G8+ Plus – Unlocked, International GSM review 2021

First, the bad news: the ultra-wide sensor here isn’t up to scratch. It performs poorly in general, failing to deliver sharp images, while its low-light abilities are also poor. It can be handy for the odd snap but, ultimately, we’d avoid using this lens.

The macro lens is, as far as we can tell, only present to tick the ‘triple camera’ box. Its results are poor, you have to activate the mode manually anyway and, frankly, we’d forget about this existing.

On the flip side to that, however, the main camera is pretty good – especially for a phone so affordable. There’s ample sharpness and the camera app is, in good light response to use.1/4POCKET-LINT

Moto G8 review camera samples image 1
Moto G8 review camera samples image 1

Wide-angle sample – 100 per cent crop

However, there are fewer modes available overall – no fancy night capture mode here, for example – and there’s some peculiar processing going on too. For low-light images sometimes the results are all smeary, sometimes they show a lot more image noise; there are also peculiar pathes and blobs where the system thinks its intelligently smoothing an area out, but is doing so ineffectively.

The big take-away from this camera setup is two fold: first, it’s trying too hard, the ultra-wide and macro lenses are of limited use here; second, the main camera is perfectly reasonable – and we’d prefer this to be the only lens on the rear if it meant more money-saving, leaving the multi-camera offerings for the pricier handsets in the G series line-up.Verdict

Affordable phones used to mean all kinds of compromises, but the Moto G8 shows that you can now buy on a budget without giving up some of the finesse.

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Sure, don’t expect the world from this device’s camera setup, plus it lacks in some spec areas where its other G series models offer more – the G8 Power has more resolution and battery capacity, for example – but that’s not to hold this device back. Far from it.

In short: you won’t find a better affordable phone than the Moto G8. It’s one smooth operator for the money.

Is the Moto G8 any good?

The Moto G8 Power is the phone that will impress you when it comes to battery life, but this device is also capable of lasting for two days with light usage and should certainly last you a full day even if you’re using your phone a lot.

Is Moto G8 better than G7?

The G8 Power increases the display size to 6.4-inches, which is 0.2-inches larger than the Moto G7 Power. … The Moto G7 Power meanwhile, has an HD+ resolution, offering 1570 x 720 pixels across the 6.2-inch screen. This results in a pixel density of 279ppi, making the G8 Power the sharper of the two.

Moto G8
Moto G8

How much is Motorola G8 in Nigeria?

The Price of the Motorola Moto G8 Plus is around $199, which is about 72,137 Naira, 1,091 GHC, and 19,977 Kenyan shillings. The Moto G8 Plus released in October 2019 and is currently available for purchase in stores.

Is the Moto G8 coming to the US?

The standard Moto G8 was unveiled in March 2020, and it went on sale in Europe soon after that. The phone costs £179.99 / AU$329 (about $220) but it isn’t coming to the US (though you can buy the Moto G Power and Moto G Stylus there, both of which are part of the same range).

Pros: Sound quality and size. Facial recognition. Cons: There is no color mode on the phone even if shown on the manual. Volume adjustment not working on YouTube. Quality of the picture very poor since it cannot be adjusted via Colour mode which is missing.I currently own a Motorola G6 plus phone …

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