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)
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.
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.
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.
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
Earpiece and Bottom-firing speaker
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
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
Indoor – 400 lumens office light
Low light <40 lumens
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.