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Moto G8 Plus: The Good, The Bad, And The X Factor
Motorola has been creating ripples with its One series in the market by bringing good design and some innovative features to the table. Well, it's about time those features come to its G series. So, the Indian market now has the Moto G8 Plus priced at Rs. 13,999. The device borrows its action camera from the Moto One Action but uses a Snapdragon SoC instead of an Exynos processor (thankfully). The phone does, however, stick to the classic Motorola feel and that's appreciated.
But gone are the days, when the competition in the affordable segment was only among a few OEMs. Now brands like Xiaomi and Realme are hitting the right chords with the masses and selling their smartphones like hotcakes. This also means, launching another mid-ranger in the much-crowded market isn't going to be a cakewalk for Motorola. So is this device a good value for money? Or is it just another forgettable smartphone in the flooded market? Let's break it down for you.
Moto G8 Plus: The Good
Sticking To Its Roots Aesthetically
The Moto G8 Plus has a classic Motorola design. It has a flat display with a curvy back, a handy grip and the sturdiness of a G series smartphone. It has a notch and a thick chin, which is a compromise you'll have to make with this design.
It uses a plastic rear panel with a gradient finish. The back panel also houses the action camera along with a vertically aligned sensor array (with uneven spacing between the lenses for no apparent reason).
The back panel also has the Moto branding which doubles as a fingerprint scanner. But overall, the phone feels good to hold and using it with one hand shouldn't be a problem. I still feel the notch could have been slightly smaller as it feels a bit intruding.
Stock Android Makes Things Smooth
One of the best parts of using the Moto G98 Plus is the stock Android experience. It doesn't come with any redundant pre-installed apps or bloatware. You get a neat and clean UI that can be customized according to the user's preference. Besides, you don't need to worry about Android updates as the stock version is the first in line to receive software upgrades.
The smartphone runs on Android 9 Pie out-of-the-box, however, the company has promised Android 10 update soon. The interface includes a launcher similar to what you find on Pixel phones.
You get features such as Digital Wellbeing, Adaptive Battery, Adaptive Brightness, and gesture-based navigations. As for the security, the phone uses biometric authentication methods like Face Unlock, Pattern/Pin lock, and fingerprint scanner.
2K Display Does The Trick
The Moto G8 Plus comes with a 6.3-inch IPS LCD panel with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixel resolution. It offers a pixel density of 409ppi and color reproductions look decent. I wouldn't call it the best display in the segment but it still does the job fairly well.
The colors look vivid and apt for multimedia consumption from video streaming apps such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. It doesn't have the Widewine L1 support which means you won't be able to access the HD content from these platforms, but that's forgivable at this price point.
Other than that I found the display to offer an ample amount of brightness and sharpness. I watched a few videos and played some games and my experience was decent if not great.
Moto G8 Plus: The Bad
Isn't that An Old Processor
The Moto G8 Plus is backed by the Snapdragon 660 processor, which we've already seen on devices that saw the light of day almost a year ago. It' not a bad processor by any means but there are other smartphones in this segment that have moved to the next generation of chipsets. Motorola should've done the same.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon 660 is very much capable of handling a 48MP camera, gaming, but you'll surely notice a performance drop when compared to its successors. In a segment where we're witnessing major upgrades in quick succession, going forward with a dated processor doesn't sound like a great decision.
Something’s Restricting The Camera
The Moto G8 Plus embraces a triple camera disguised as a quad camera. There's a laser autofocus sensor that's aligned with camera lenses. The setup is equipped with a 48MP + 16MP + 5MP sensors. The camera app offers a ton of modes and filters.
We also managed to test the camera for a brief period and noticed that the camera does a good job of taking detailed shots. The macro shots are also good and the colors appear true-to-eyes. However, what's restricting the device from being a better camera is the lack of recording at 48MP. It would have added a whole new functionality to the camera.
Dual SIM Or MicroSD Card?
Another thing that won't please the users is the lack of a dedicated SIM card slot. You can either use two SIM cards or one SIM and one microSD card. So if you are someone who uses two SIM cards, bid adieu to 512GB of external memory. You'll have to make do with the onboard 64GB.
We have seen a lot of smartphones in this price range that offer a dedicated microSD card. Motorola's own Moto E6s comes with a dedicated slot and it costs way less than the Moto G8 Plus. We would've liked the device even more if the company had placed this functionality.
Moto G8 Plus: The X Factor
Capture All The Action Vertically
All that said, there's one thing that sets this device apart from the crowd. That's the 16MP wide-angle Action Cam which allows you to capture the adventure in the panorama mode but while holding the device vertically. Isn't that something cool? Yes, it is.
You have to give it to Motorola to put in such a thoughtful feature, which might come in handy in a lot of instances. For example, the feature can be used if you want to record for a longer duration and don't have a tripod on you. Since holding the phone vertically offers more stability and doesn't fatigue your arm quickly, you can make good length videos without much hassle.
The company pulled this off by altering the orientation of the lenses. I was able to shoot videos with ease and thanks to the ultra-wide lens you don't lose anything on the scene you're trying to capture. I believe this feature will attract content creators
Hit Or A Miss?
Priced at Rs 13,999, the Moto G8 Plus doesn't sound like a bad deal at all. We also wouldn't call it the best out there but it still has something that sets it apart in the ocean that the mid-range segment is. In a time where the OEMs are after huge batteries and higher RAMs, bringing a pretty practical feature might work in favor of Motorola.
Besides, the device offers a good sturdy design, a decent display, an old yet powerful processor and all that complemented by stock Android, which will soon be updated to the latest version. If you are someone seeking a break from Xiaomi and Realme devices and do not shy away from trying out something new, the Moto G8 Plus seems to fit the bill.