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Moto G8 Power Lite review: powerful battery, lite performance

On: June 10, 2020

Motorola‘s G-series smartphones are typically affordable, value for money devices. The latest launches in the G-series line-up this year include the Moto G8, Moto G8 Power, Moto G8 Plus and Moto G8 Power Lite. The Moto G8 Power Lite, as the name suggests, is a stripped-down variant of the Moto G8 Power.

Also readVivo V19 review: a good looking smartphone with powerful cameras

The smartphone was launched in India a couple of weeks ago, and joins the only other member of the G8 family currently available in India, the Moto G8 Plus. As the name suggests, the Moto G8 Power Lite features a massive battery. The remaining specs are quite basic, however. I have been using the smartphone for a couple of weeks now, and here’s my take on the latest Motorola device.

Design and display

As is expected from an entry-level handset, the Moto G8 Power Lite comes clad entirely in polycarbonate. While the plastic body of the smartphone does feel a little tacky, the massive 5,000mAh battery lends it a confidence-inducing heft and at 200g, the phone feels solid in the hand. The rear panel does pick up smudges, but they are easy to wipe off, so I didn’t bother with a case.

The Arctic Blue variant I received has a light blue tone at the bottom, which gradually melts into a teal gradient towards the top. The Moto G8 Power Lite is also being offered in a Royal Blue paint job, which has darker hues.

There is the signature Motorola batwing logo towards the centre of the back panel, with the fingerprint scanner embedded inside. The fingerprint scanner is easy to locate and is super fast as well. Towards the left of the scanner is the triple camera module with Motorola’s new camera design, where the primary lens sits alone, and the other sensors with the LED flash are placed inside a pill-shaped module. There’s a noise-cancellation mic next to the primary camera. The loudspeaker grille is placed towards the bottom left of the back panel, which results in the sound being muffled when placed on a table.

On the bottom edge, you’ll find a micro-USB port with a noise-cancelling mic. As for the other elements, the physical buttons are on the left edge, while the dual nano-SIM tray with a dedicated microSD slot is on the right. You will find the 3.5mm audio jack on the top edge of the device.

Motorola has equipped the smartphone with a 6.5-inch IPS LCD MaxVision display with a resolution of 1,600 x 720 pixels. The 20:9 display comes with a screen-to-body ratio of around 82 percent, thanks to the waterdrop notch on the top. The display itself is punchy and sharp enough for an entry-level offering. However, the brightness is on a lower side, and you will need to crank it up in direct sunlight. Also, there’s no protective layer on the display, and I would suggest putting on a tempered glass screen protector to avoid any mishaps.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Moto G8 Power Lite comes with support for Widevine L1 certification. This means the handset support HD content from OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Cameras

The Moto G8 Power Lite comes with a triple-camera setup on the rear and a single selfie shooter on the front. At the back, you get a 16-megapixel main camera with PDAF, a 2-megapixel depth sensor and a 2-megapixel macro lens. In the front, the waterdrop notch houses an 8-megapixel shooter for selfies and video calling. The camera app offers features like HDR with face beauty, dual camera bokeh, panorama and full HD video recording at 30fps.

The camera app offers five shooting modes including photo, video, bokeh, macro and panorama, which can be accessed by sliding on the viewfinder. The primary camera captures decent photos in broad daylight. However, it often struggles with exposure, due to which sky tends to look washed out and shadows lack details. The situation doesn’t improve when the sun goes down, as the pictures turn out quite grainy.

The macro mode on the handset can capture decent close-up shots. The portrait mode picks up edges accurately and creates a pleasing bokeh effect, the intensity of which can be adjusted while taking the picture using the on-screen slider.

Coming to selfies, the 8-megapixel shooter in the front captures natural-looking selfies with near-perfect skin tones. I was also impressed by the software-induced portrait mode on the front camera, which delivers pleasing bokeh results.

Performance, software and battery

Handling the performance of the Moto G8 Power Lite is the MediaTek Helio P35 chipset, which is a downgrade from the Moto G8 Power’s Snapdragon 665 SoC. The processor is accompanied by 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, which can be expanded further up to 256GB. In my day-to-day light use, the G8 Power Lite handled basic usage well, with light multitasking involving Netflix, Forza Street and a couple of social media apps open in the background. Therefore, if you are a moderate user, the G8 Power Lite will not disappoint you.

However, the story is different when it comes to gaming, as PUBG opened in low graphics settings by default. And while the gameplay was smooth, I did notice an occasional frame drop. More casual games like Subway Surfer, Stick Cricket and others run without a hitch. Therefore, if you are casual gamer, the G8 Power Lite will serve you well, but if you take your chicken dinner seriously, know that there are smartphones with gaming processors available at this price point.

Coming to the software, the Moto G8 Power Lite boots a near-stock Android 9, with an update for Android 10 coming in the next few months. There’s no bloatware on the device, which translates into smooth and efficient performance. You get the proprietary Moto Actions integrated into the software, which lets users perform various actions through gestures like wrist twist to launch the camera and karate chop to turn on the flashlight.

The highlight of the budget smartphone is the 5,000mAh battery under the hood. During my stint with the smartphone, I managed to get at least a day and a half of usage, and this was with constant WhatsApp use, YouTube and little gaming in between. The only sore point for me was the absence of fast charging on the device, as it takes close to 2.5 hours to charge completely.

The competition

The Moto G8 Power Lite has been priced at Rs 8,999 in India, which means it stacks up against the Realme Narzo 10A (review), Redmi 8 (review) and Samsung Galaxy M01.

The Realme Narzo 10A is priced at Rs 8,499. While it offers only 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, it features a more powerful Helio G70 gaming processor and runs Android 10 out of the box. This makes it a preferred choice for heavy gamers. The two phones are pretty much on par with regards to cameras and battery life. In fact, in my experience, the Realme Narzo 10A captured better pictures despite having a lower resolution 12-megapixel primary camera thanks to features like Chroma Boost and pro mode.

The Redmi 8 is priced at Rs 9,499 and comes with the Snapdragon 439 SoC, which offers similar performance to the Helio P35. This phone also features a 5,000mAh battery, but with 18W fast charging through a USB Type-C port. While there’s a slightly smaller 6.22-inch display with HD+ screen resolution, it features a protective Gorilla Glass 5 layer on top. The camera performance of the 12-megapixel primary snapper on the back is on par with the G8 Power Lite, but it misses out on a macro mode.

As for the Samsung Galaxy M01, it also features the Snapdragon 439 SoC and is being offered in a lower configuration of 3GB + 32GB, 12MP dual cameras, 5-megapixel selfie camera, smaller 4,000mAh battery and a 5.7-inch display. Clearly, on specs alone, the Moto G8 Power Lite has an upper hand over Galaxy M01. The Samsung Galaxy M01 is also priced at Rs 8,999 in India.

Bottomline

The Moto G8 Power Lite is a solid offering with a 5,000mAh battery, stock Android and more RAM and storage than you would normally get at this price. However, it does miss out on a more powerful processor that you’d find on the likes of the Narzo 10A, and fast charging which you get on the Redmi 8. If these factors aren’t important for your usage though, the Moto G8 Power Lite is a capable phone in the sub-Rs 10,000 price segment.

Pricebaba’s rating:  7 / 10

What works:

  • Attractive design
  • Widevine L1 certification
  • Large battery
  • Stock Android

What doesn’t:

  • Average cameras
  • Slower processor
  • No fast charging
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Abhiman Biswas

Abhiman is obsessed with all things tech. His hobbies include reading on his Kindle and clicking random pictures on his phone. His secret superpowers happen to be mixing great cocktails and lip reading. In his spare time, you are likely to find him cleaning his aquascape, researching new species of aquatic fishes and planning which aquatic plants to buy next.