Motorola g8 2020 sets new bang-for-buck-index

The Motorola g8 2020 sits in the middle of the good, better and best g8-series scenario. The g8 power lite at $279, the g8 at $329 and the g8 PLUS at $449.

Motorola g8 2020 ticks all the ‘money’ boxes.

We have detailed specs for all three here. I think Motorola has done a sterling job in packaging the Motorola g8 2020 – its eight generation – to offer the right mix for the Aussie mass-market.

That is not to say you should not spring for the g8 PLUS that we awarded 5/5. Sure, its 18W fast charge, 48MP (binned to 12MP) camera, NFC and 1080p screen are desirable – but not necessarily, well, necessary.

The g-series are Motorola’s bread and butter. Highly regarded as great fleet phones and typical customers shop at JB Hi-Fi or Office Works where they know they will get the genuine Australian model.

Review: Motorola g8 2020 Model XT2045-6 Dual Sim (the ‘6’ denotes Australian APAC certified)

  • Australian website here
  • Price: $329
  • Colours: Neon Blue or Pearl White
  • Warranty; 12-months ACL compliant
  • Comes with Bumper cover, 10W charger and buds
  • Country of manufacture: China
  • Motorola is formerly an American smartphone company owned since 2014 by Chinese technology firm Lenovo. It is fair to say that the integration of the two companies is complete and Motorola has embarked on regaining its crown as a leading global smartphone maker.

Well, the action is heating up. Until recently you had to spend closer to $500 to get this specification, but as tech gets faster, cheaper and better, Motorola has managed to pack more in – bang-for-buck.

Warning: Only buy the genuine model XT2045-6. We name and shame the primary grey market and parallel importers here. Do not buy from Kogan/Dick Smith, MobileCity/MobileCity, Allphones, Amazon and eBay merchants, TobyDeals and many more.

Motorola g8 2020

We use fail, pass and exceed for each test paradigm. The Motorola g8 is as a mass-market smartphone where we expect offer good value with few compromises.

Screen – PASS

6.4” 20:9 1560×720, 19:9, 268 ppi, IPS – STBR 82.2, Teardrop

It is not the brightest screen (we estimate 400 nits maximum and 1500:1 contrast), so I suggest that you turn off Adaptive Brightness and just select the level you need. It is a colder blue/white offering Natural, Boosted and Saturated pre-sets. At maximum brightness, it is just daylight readable.

There is no screen protection

Processor – PASS+

Snapdragon 665 SoC 11nm, 4 x 1.8GHz A53 and 4 x 2GHz A73

It is a mid-range SoC with 3rd generation AI including 2D face unlock and triple-camera support. It incorporates an X12 LTE modem (600/150Mbps), Wi-Fi AC Wave 2 1×1 MIMO, BT 5.0/aptX and supports Quick Charge 3.0 technology.

But while the processor supports Wi-Fi AC and QC charging Motorola has not implemented these as it did in the g8 PLUS as for cost-saving reasons.

Geekbench single/multi 311/1360 meaning it performs as well as any other phone using this SoC, e.g. g8 PLUS, Realme 5, and OPPO A5/A9. It did not throttle at all.

RAM/Storage – PASS

4GB LPDDR4 and 64GB eMMC (47GB free) and Micro-SD to 512GB (shared slot with Sim 2).

It is not a gamer’s phone.

LTE (tested in a 3-bar area – dBm – lower is better) – EXCEED

Signal strength is -89dBm, which is good and interestingly it finds the next nearest tower at -95 and the one after that at -109. This should have strong reception in city and country towns.

It has LTE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 18, 19, 20, 26, 28, 38, 40, 41 and supports VoLTE, HD Voice.

The dual sims are standby – separate ringtones.

Comms – PASS

Wi-Fi 4 N 2.4Ghz. It has excellent signal strength at -22dBm and 86Mbps on 2.4Ghz. It held the speed out to 35 metres when the dBm dropped to -60.

BT 5.0 LE has aptX, SBC and AAC codecs.

GPS is assisted and accurate to within 10 metres. It is suitable for turn-by-turn navigation.

NFC: No so buy the g8 PLUS

FM Radio: Yes

Battery – PASS

Motorola calls this a 40-hour battery, and that is possible with aggressive battery saving enabled.

4000mAh with a USB-C 2.0 PD 1.0 5V/2A (10W) charger. Motorola mistakenly calls this a fast charger, but it’s a straight linear charger taking over 3.5 hours to go from 0-100%.

Discharge rate is around 400mA, so it should have about ten days standby.

  • Video loop 1080p at 50% brightness and aeroplane mode – over nine hours.
  • Full load – five hours
  • PC Mark battery test: 18+hrs
  • Typical use – 26 hours

Our experience is that you will need to charge daily and with prudence will get two days use.

Sound – PASS

  • 3.5mm
  • Earpiece and Bottom-firing speaker
  • Dual mics
  • Ringer 80dB, media 76dB, voice 60dB from earpiece – all tests with audio effects off

Unlike the g8 PLUS the earpiece and bottom speaker at not matched and don’t do Dolby. It has a mid-centric signature for clear voice.

Build – PASS

It may be a glass/plastic sandwich, but it does not feel cheap. IPX2 means splash-proof.

There is no toughened screen protection. A clear bumper cover comes in the box – please use it.

It is 161.3 x 75.8 x 9 mm x 188

Android 10 – EXCEED

Pure Android with a few Moto apps. Motorola has a massive commitment to OS and security updates.

Moto Actions: Quick capture, Fast flashlight, Three-finger screenshot, Screenshot editor, Flip for DND, Pick up to silence, Media controls, Swipe to shrink

Camera – PASS – what you expect


  • 16MP, f/1.7, 1.12um, 65° FOV Sensor OmniVision Ov16e10
  • 8MP F/2.2, 1,12um ultrawide 118° FOV- Samsung ISOCELL S5k4h7
  • 2MP Macro (doubles as Depth as well), F/2.2, 1.75um – Sensor OmniVision Ov02a

Auto HDR and LED flash
Laser and Phase detection autofocus
4K@30fps with EIS

Features: Shot optimization, Auto smile capture, Gesture selfie, Smart composition, HDR, Timer, Active photos, Manual mode, Portrait mode, Portrait lighting, Cut-out, Macro, Spot colour, Cinemograph, Panorama, Live filter, High-res zoom, RAW photo output, Best shot, Google Lens

Motorola g8 2020
Perfect colour, detail and exposure
Motorola g8 2020
8X Zoom is not bad but there is a lot of noise in it.

Indoor – 400 lumens office light


Motorola g8 2020
Macro works but the colour is wrong – should be bright orange with royal blue print

Low light <40 lumens

Motorola g8 2020
Reasonable low light but a lot of noise softens details


8MP f/2.0, 1.12um. 68.6° FOV – Samsung ISOCELL S5k4h7, 1080p@30fpsa with EIS

Features: Screen fill flash, HDR, Timer, Face beauty, Auto smile capture, Gesture selfie, Shot optimization, Active photos, Manual mode, Portrait mode, Spot colour, Cinemograph, Group selfie, Live filter

Camera summary: AI can lead to a strange interpretation of colours, especially food shots. Can have variable results for no apparent reason. Macro is not up to standard.

GadgetGuy’s take – The Motorola g8 2020 is everything and more that you expect from a $329 phone

If all you have is $329, then it is for you. While I prefer the g8 PLUS at $449 and there is no real loss of amenity apart from NFC. I have not reviewed the g8 power lite, but spec-wise the g8 is the one I would recommend.

It’s a mass-market device. It is not supposed to excite you like OPPO’s Find X2 Pro vegan orange leather or the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra with a 100x zoom – this is one for all of us.

Here you get more than you should expect for your hard-earned Renminbi! Speaking of AUD to Renmimbi the exchange rate has plummeted, and now A$1 gets 4.82 yuán, so China’s currency manipulation during COVID has helped lower the price of its exports.

Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating2 Votes
Good camera but don't expect miracles
Decent battery
Fingerprint sensor on the back where it should be
The screen is not the brightest abd too cold blue
No Wi-Fi AC, NFC or QC