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Motorola Moto G8 Power Lite review: A handsome all-day phone

The Moto G8 Power Lite may sound like an average on paper, but it has all you're expecting from a 10,000 smartphone sub-Rs these days. Easily this is one of our top recommendations in the category of budget phone.

To smartphone manufacturers, budget phones are a tricky thing to do. On the one hand, there must be enough bells and whistles to draw attention while on the other hand, the end-product must be light for both the customer and the business. Over the past few years, Xiaomi and Realme have dominated the 10,000 sub-Rs segment with multiple options but most of the good options have soared past the 10,000 Rs mark with recent price increases.

This is where Motorola finds an opening with its Moto G8 Power Lite. Keeping its mouthful name aside, this is a phone that ticks the basic necessities on paper, yet it doesn't cost a bomb. In fact, the Moto G8 Power Lite at Rs 8,999 in a pandemic-induced economic slowdown era makes for a sensible choice for budget smartphone buyers to go along with business.

That said, when you also have an option to find the Realme Narzo 10A, the Moto G8 Power Lite isn't alone. How does the G8 Power Lite fare as a budget smartphone then?

Design and build

The days are gone when 10,000 sub-Rs phones flaunted shiny new metal bodies. In this segment, glass is not an option and therefore, phone designers need to rely on plastic bodies to keep costs low. Nevertheless, plastic allows for fascinating design and the Moto G8 Power Lite is a fine example.

Motorola has gone for the trendy new matte finish on the Moto G8 Power Lite and it makes the phone attractive. The matte finish makes the rear practically smudge-free and gives the courage to hold the phone without a case. The faith is also due in part to the show of the aspect ratio of 20:9 which makes a tall and slim body possible. That said, Motorola is bundling in the package a plastic case and a screen-guard.

But not all of that. With the camera hump concept Motorola's attention to detail is clear. The layout is similar to that of the Moto G8 Plus but the camera humps outstanding, giving the flat design a 3D vibe. That together with the capacitive fingerprint sensor masked by the Motorola logo makes the Moto G8 Power Lite one of its segment's most strikingly looking smartphones. The G8 Power Lite is an attention magnet especially in the Arctic Blue colour.

The loudspeaker is on the back rather than on the sides, which results in muffled sounds when the phone is kept on its back. The edges hold the touch and satisfying buttons to click on. What's not satisfying though is the presence of a micro USB port, which brings back the hassles of aligning your charging cable right at all the times.

The Moto G8 Power Lite has a relatively modern design at the front, with a wide 6.5-inch monitor on top with a waterdrop notch. The bottom chin is small, but this is the case in this section for all other products. Did I mention this is one of the very few phones on the market that features a stuffed LED notification light in its top-bezel?

Two things that caught my attention were repellence to weight and water. The weight distribution on the Moto G8 Power Lite is well balanced, despite having a 5000MAh battery. Also, the phone shouldn't die if you take it out during the rains, because it has a water-repellant coating.

Display

The Moto G8 Power Lite gets a regular 6.5-inch display with small bezels on the sides. This is a standard IPS LCD screen with a 720p resolution which is on par with what you get at this price from all other phones. 720p resolution isn't necessarily the sharpest image on a 6.5-inch display, but after considering the price it seems foolish to lament. For most everyday activities, when you peep a pixel, you do not notice the lower resolution.

What impressed me more was display quality. This screen is shiny and vibrant. Watching YouTube videos and scrolling through pictures or web pages is a pleasant experience overall. There is some light bleeding from the edges while on dark backgrounds but this generally affects the viewing experience. This display is more than enough for a budget phone user to perform basic tasks and entertainment.

Performance

In terms of hardware capability, if you consider on-paper specifications, the Moto G8 Power Lite falls right between Redmi 8 and Realme Narzo 10A. There's a MediaTek Helio P35 chipset, which by 2020 standards isn't exactly a quick chip. It falls behind Helio G70 of the Narzo 10A, but is superior to Snapdragon 439 of the Redmi 8. Hence, from challenging titles you can't expect good gaming results.

That said, otherwhere Motorola has balanced it out. By default, you get 4 GB RAM and there's 64 GB of onboard storage, which can be expanded to 256 GB via a micro SD card. There's a bone stock version of Android 9 Pie to add to the list. It is disappointing not to see Android 10 at launch but after reaching out to Motorola, I was told that the Android 10 update is coming by September.

You get an impression that the Moto G8 Power Lite isn't really a powerhouse, but it's enough to keep you working without problems for everyday tasks. The Moto G8 Power Lite was able to travel through daily tasks with ease during my use. Switching between a few simple tasks like WhatsApp, Gmail and Messages hasn't been a brainer for the phone. Except for Twitter (the software isn't well suited for Mobile phones), the social media applications worked well. Sometimes there were a few noticeable jitters and slowdowns while posting photos or opening up a couple of apps, but none of them caused app crashes.

The Moto G8 Power Lite can also do a fair amount of gaming, provided that you stick to casual games and not run PUBG MOBILE on it. Motorola's version of Android 9 Pie is clean and free of any bloat or device advertising — a welcome change from other Chinese smartphones' ad-infested gaudy interfaces. There are no preloaded third-party devices, except for Twitter.

You get a clean Android experience out of the box, and Motorola's optimisations ensure it continues to run as expected. Motorola also bakes features in its Moto Experiences that encourage everyday use of the handset. Stock Android fans have a strong reason to find the Moto G8 Power Lite.

Cameras

High-resolution 48-megapixel camera sensors have not yet reached the 10,000-segment sub-Rs, so you need to be content with older sensors. There's a 16-megapixel main camera on the Moto G8 Power Lite with an F2.0 lens. This is accompanied by a macro camera with 2 megapixels and another camera with a depth of 2 megapixels. The camera in front uses an 8-megapixel sensor.

These are not state-of-the-art cameras and therefore there is a need to dial expectations down. You 're not even going to like what you see in the viewfinder. However, it is a different story once you click the photo.

Motorola has performed well on its image processing algorithms and in daylight and gloomy conditions it makes good looking images. The pictures look vivid with near-natural colors and when you turn on the HDR, colors are improved to allow a wider range of dynamics. The images don't have as much clarity as a 48-megapixel sensor but there isn't much to tell if you're not zooming in. Those are images which you can use without much editing on social media.

The images also have a good balance in exposures and most of the time, it looks like the image processing comes with an expensive camera. There are occasional concentration hunting problems and in difficult low light conditions, grains start creeping up slowly while the specifics are lost further. Nevertheless, the main camera of the Moto G8 Power Lite is more than enough for an average user to take decent photographs.

The macro camera is perfect for taking daytime close-up images but seek to avoid using it in dim lighting. The depth camera does its job nicely and in portrait mode images, the subject separation is fine. The front camera is decent too as colorful and clear selfies come out. Photos aren't quite sharp and the beauty modes try to smudge out the skin and hair.

Battery

This is the Moto G8 power lite hero app. Motorola has plunged into this phone a 5000mAh battery, which makes it hard to phone to destroy in a single day. Coupled with a power-efficient chipset and a low-resolution display, the Moto G8 Power Lite is easily a two-day handset, even with moderate use. Once used as a secondary phone without messaging applications, battery life goes beyond it. It feels so good not to charge your phone so frequently.

Charging such a big battery is a pain and with the supplied 10W charger, it takes up to two hours to fill up. The existence of a micro USB port forced me to learn how to connect the charging cable in dark rooms and I wish Motorola could have pressed for a USB-C port, because all other telephones in this section have the Type-C port.

Conclusion

Is the G8 Power Lite Motorola Moto a worthy purchase for Rs 8,999? That surely is based on my use and experience. Motorola has done a few positive things, like display quality, battery life, a clean Android interface, and a decent camera (main camera) setup. This also looks amazing. There are also some disadvantages, especially when you consider the older Helio P35 chip, an outdated version of Android, an average front camera and a micro USB port. As a consumer, it completely depends upon you whether the combination of these pros and cons make sense.

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