Three days without a charge: The Moto G8 Power put to the test


  • Smartphones
  • Saturday, 14 Mar 2020

In comparison to its predecessor, Motorola has made the bezels smaller in the G8 Power and added a cutout for the selfie camera. — Catherine Waibel/dpa

A smartphone battery that lasts longer than a day: This is the main selling point of the G8 Power, Motorola's new smartphone that promises as much as five days of juice. But great power comes with some limits.

If asked what they want from a smartphone, many users would say a longer battery life.

Motorola's G Power devices claim to be the answer to the seemingly perennial problem of dead batteries and constant charging. We look at the latest version to see whether it really does run and run.

The G8 Power is a radical departure from its predecessor. While the G7 Power with its not great HD display and energy saving hardware was far from elegant, the new version achieves a top of the range look for around US$250 (RM1,070).

The G8 Power looks like the new Motorola One with a 6.4in display that takes up almost all of the front of the phone except for a small display hole for the selfie camera. There's no chunky notch at the top of the display to accommodate the cameras and sensors.

In everyday activity the G8 Power with its 5,000 mAh battery does deliver long battery life.

With normal use – using a messenger app, listening to music, looking at photos – you can easily get three days out of one charge. Cautious users could probably even extend that to five days.

If you leave the Motorola G8 Power unattended, the battery will last a week or more. — Till Simon Nagel/dpaIf you leave the Motorola G8 Power unattended, the battery will last a week or more. — Till Simon Nagel/dpa

The battery allows quick charging and can be fully charged in a little over an hour. So far, so good. So how does the phone do in other areas?

The fingerprint sensor works quickly and reliably and if you look at the device, lift it or tap the display, your notifications are shown. The cameras with their wide-angle, super wide-angle, and double telephoto lenses take decent photos.

There's also a macro camera with a resolution of two megapixels for close-ups. Videos are shot at a maximum 4K resolution at 30 frames per second.

Android 10 is pre-installed at the factory, which means that you have modern software onboard.

There is one limitation, however. The device is not part of Google's Android One programme, which offers guaranteed updates and security patches.

How often and for how long the operating system will be updated is not clear, but Motorola promises at least Android 11.

If you look inside the phone, you can see how Motorola can offer the device at such a low price. There is 64GB of cheap eMMC memory and the option of either a memory card or a second SIM card.

Other than the four cameras and a fingerprint scanner, the black plastic rear of the Motorola G8 Power is rather minimal. — Catherine Waibel/dpaOther than the four cameras and a fingerprint scanner, the black plastic rear of the Motorola G8 Power is rather minimal. — Catherine Waibel/dpa

With no NFC chip, contactless payment isn't an option and when it comes to WiFi, the phone only supports version 4 and not the later versions 5 and 6. The processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665, which is faster than the chip in the G7 Power.

Most users probably wouldn't notice these technical subtleties in everyday life unless they play the latest games.

So the Moto G8 Power puts an end to the tiresome battery problem, at least for normal users. The device is cheap, sufficiently fast, and looks beautiful.

The Motorola G8 Power has a surprisingly powerful camera for its price range, with lenses from wide angle to tele and macro. — Catherine Waibel/dpaThe Motorola G8 Power has a surprisingly powerful camera for its price range, with lenses from wide angle to tele and macro. — Catherine Waibel/dpa

Motorola isn't alone in providing a large battery in a reasonably priced smartphone – Wiko, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Gigaset have all done the same – but the G8 Power delivers the most balanced package in this segment so far.

However, buyers should be aware of the somewhat Spartan hardware inside and consider carefully whether they want to compromise on that in return for better battery life. – dpa

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