Motorola has gone a little crazy trying to compete with Chinese companies in recent years, releasing new budget- and mid-range phones on what feels like a monthly basis throughout 2019, and that trend looks to continue in 2020.
New Motorola-branded smartphones all have a USP, as any good product should. The One Vision is great for entertainment, the One Action is ideal for stabilised video and the One Macro is perfect for up-close shots. But, the question is, who looks for a phone that’s specifically good at stabilising video, or one that’s dedicated to macro photography? Surely the ideal option is to bundle the great features across the range into a single smartphone that appeals to a much wider audience?
That’s what the Moto G8 Power looks to do, unofficially of course, when it launches on 20 February. Alongside the headline 5000mAh battery and Snapdragon 665 chipset that Motorola claims will last a full three days on a single charge, the G8 Power features the headline features of many of Motorola’s 2019 smartphones, especially in the camera department.
The Moto G8 Power features a dedicated macro mode that performs at as little as 2cm away from the subject, which if you’ll cast your minds back a few months, was the headline feature of the Motorola One Macro. You’ll also find a 118-degree wide-angle lens for photography and video, allowing up to four times more of a scene to be captured compared to standard lenses – one of the key features of the Motorola One Action. There’s also a telephoto lens, the key feature of the Motorola One Zoom, although it’s admittedly capped at 2x instead of 3x.
If you thought that was it, you’d be wrong; you’ll also find Dolby-powered audio like the One Vision and a tall, high-res OLED display with a hole punch that admittedly isn’t an exact copy of the display of the Motorola One series’ smartphones, but it’s very similar. You’ll also find the same 15W fast charge tech as the One series too.
Now that all might sound a bit Frankenstein’s Monster-esque, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. In fact, the Moto G8 Power has the potential to be the star of Motorola’s budget- and mid-range collection, taking the best elements of previous smartphones and bundling them into a single, reasonably-priced package.
During my hands-on time with Motorola’s latest budget smartphone, I was pleasantly surprised at the number of features on offer – especially when it came to the inclusion of a 6.4in OLED display, Fast Charging tech and a whopping 5000mAh battery, all of which are usually exclusive to at least mid-range phones, if not flagship-level devices.
It’s the rear-facing quad-camera setup that’ll get most consumers excited; alongside the main 16Mp ‘Rapid Focus’ sensor, you’ll find an 8Mp 118-degree ultra-wide sensor, an 8Mp 2x telephoto lens and a 2Mp macro lens. It’s hard to test the practical results of the camera setup in a hands-on environment, but I must admit, the sample snaps I took looked way more detailed than I was expecting – especially from a £219/$249 smartphone.
While it’s amongst the most capable of budget smartphones, the G8 Power isn’t the most exciting phone on the market when it comes to look and feel. The design offers nothing exciting when compared to the rest of the Motorola range, but with that being said, it’s definitely a more attractive option than other budget-friendly smartphones available right now – especially with the unique finish that refracts the light to give depth to the plastic rear. One thing we will say though; it’s a fingerprint magnet and a half.
But while the G8 Power has the potential to be a great phone, Motorola is in the midst of a crisis; aside from releasing a bunch of phones that individually make up all the elements of a great phone, the branding that separates the various tiers of smartphone is becoming ever more confusing, especially with Motorola dropping the ‘8’ from the G8 series in the US (as well as changing some of the specs!) and releasing some handsets in some Western markets but not others.
Motorola; if you do anything in 2020, please sit down, take a few hours – or even days – to really think about what consumers want and take a long, hard look at your line-up, both present and future. Consumers don’t want a flurry of smartphone releases every few months, especially when each of those phones, as Motorola’s branding suggests, specialise in a single area. Be more Moto G8 Power, guys.