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Moto G8 Plus review: Better than peers in the segment, with unique imaging

Priced Rs 13,999, the Moto G8 Plus, bringing together the best of the Motorola One-series and Moto G-series smartphones, is a unique product in the midrange segment

Khalid Anzar  |  New Delhi 

Moto G8 Plus
Moto G8 Plus

Motorola, a smartphone brand now owned by Chinese electronics manufacturer Lenovo, recently launched the Moto G8 Plus smartphone in India at Rs 13,999. Though a Moto G-series device, it gets its cameras from One-series of smartphones, albeit with some changes.

The phone also has Dolby-tuned dual stereo speakers, something most other phones in the segment lack. Likewise, there are several other things that make the G8 Plus an interesting product. Business Standard took the Moto G8 Plus out for a spin to see how it fares on key smartphone parameters — design, features, performance, etc. Here is what we found:

Design

The Moto G8 Plus is a neat blend of the Moto G-series and One-series On the front, the Moto G8 Plus’ waterdrop-shaped notch-screen design makes it similar in appearance to its predecessor, the Moto G7 Plus. The back, on the other hand, resembles the recently launched One Macro with a gradient reflective design and a vertically aligned camera module on the top-left corner.

The phone’s rear cover and chassis are made of polycarbonate which makes it prone to smudges and scratches. Thankfully, the phone comes with a clear transparent TPU cover that adds a layer of protection to the otherwise feeble back cover and chassis. But the screen is covered under Panda glass protecting it from everyday abuses.

Display and audio

The Moto G8 Plus has a 6.3-inch waterdrop-shaped notch screen of a fullHD+ resolution. Named Max Vision, the screen has a tall 19.5:9 aspect ratio, which provides additional space to accommodate more on-screen content than conventional 16:9 aspect ratio screens. However, the screen’s unconventional aspect ratio leaves thick black bars on both sides when used for multimedia consumption. You can stretch the videos to fill the empty space, but that results in a cropped view and hampers the experience. Thankfully, the phone has Widevine L1 certification required for streaming video content from over-the-top platforms in high definition. Moreover, the phone has Dolby-tuned stereo speakers that are loud and crisp and make it a better offering than most competitors for comprehensive multimedia experience.

Camera

The Moto G8 Plus has a triple-camera set-up on the back, featuring a 48-megapixel primary sensor, a 16MP ultra-wide sensor and a depth sensor. On the front, there is a 25MP selfie shooter.

All cameras other than the depth one have the pixel-binning (quad pixel) technology, so the sensors use effective megapixels by default, instead of their native resolutions.

The phone’s primary sensor is a capable shooter. It takes detailed shots with a decent dynamic range and satisfactory contrast in day light. In low light, the phone’s night mode comes in handy, brightening a dim-lit frame and capturing details that otherwise remain in the dark. The phone’s night mode might not be the best in the segment, but it is a good value-added feature complementing the phone’s overall imaging capabilities.

The ultra-wide sensor, tilted in 90 degrees, limits its use to video recording, capturing an ultra-wide field of view (FoV) in the phone’s portrait orientation. The phone also records regular videos through its primary camera in the landscape mode, but that is not where the magic happens. In terms of output, the ultra-wide-angle sensor supports electronic image stabilisation (EIS), which reduces motion shakes and allows stable video recordings — but this is at the expense of a cropped FoV. In terms of performance, ultra-wide-angle videos come with a lot of detail and the EIS works fine to reduce motion jerks and hand trembles.

The phone’s front camera is a good one. It has an auto beauty mode that enhances selfies artificially, making them look unnatural but beautiful. It also has a portrait mode which adds a background blur effect to selfies and enhances them.

The Moto G8 Plus is a one-of-its-kind smartphone for imaging. It covers a wide spectrum in photography and videography, but in an unconventional way.

Performance

The Moto G8 Plus is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 system-on-chip, mated with a 4GB RAM and 64GB storage – expandable to up to 512 GB using a microSD card. Though the phone is powered by a vanilla Android 9 Pie operating system, it performs better than the Motorola One-series This could be due to a more efficient mobile processor. The phone’s user interface is sleek and handles day-to-day operations without any hiccups.

The phone is powered by 4,000 mAh battery, which is good for a day’s on-battery time on regular usage. The device supports 15W fast charging, which takes around two hours to fully charge a completely drained battery.

Verdict

At Rs 13,999, the Moto G8 Plus, bringing together the best of the Motorola One-series and Moto G-series smartphones, is a unique product in the midrange segment. You might like to explore this phone for its unconventional take on imaging, all-round multimedia capabilities, smooth performance and decent on-battery life.

First Published: Fri, November 08 2019. 18:05 IST
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