Moto G8 Power and G8 Power Lite, hands on: Two long-lasting and affordable handsets, but the G8 Power wins out

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Moto G8 Power (left) and Moto G8 Power Lite (right).
Images: Motorola

Motorola’s affordable Moto G8 smartphone family has four members: Moto G8 Plus (£219.99 inc. VAT from a third-party vendor at the time of writing), G8 Power (£219.99), G8 (£179.99) and G8 Power Lite (£149.99).

Each of these handsets has different specifications, and while the idea is to offer plenty of choice, it can all seem slightly confusing. To add to the confusion, the Moto G8 series is not available in the US, although there are successors to the G7 series in the shape of the Moto G Power ($249.99), Moto G Stylus and Moto G Fast ($199.99). All clear?

Here we examine the budget Moto G8 Power Lite and the higher-end Moto G8 Power. Previously we have evaluated the Moto G8 Plus and the Moto G8

This is how the core specifications compare:

Moto G8 Power Moto G8 Power Lite
Processor Snapdragon 665 MediaTek Helio P35
RAM / storage 4GB / 64GB 4GB / 64GB
Display 6.4-inch IPS LCD, 2300 x 1080, 399ppi 6.5-inch IPS LCD, 1600 x 720, 269ppi
Cameras Front 
16MP f/2.0

Back
16MP f/1.7 wide
2MP f/2.2 macro (2cm)
8MP f/2.2 ultra wide (118˚)
8MP f/2.2 telephoto (2x optical)

Front
8 MP f/2.0

Back 
16MP f/2.0 wide
2MP f/2.4 macro
2MP f/2.4 depth

Slots dual SIM (second SIM or MicroSD) dual SIM plus MicroSD
NFC no no
Battery 5000mAh 5000mAh
Dimensions 155.95 x 75.84 x 9.63mm 164.94 × 75.76 × 9.2mm
Weight 197g 200g
Android version 10 9 (Pie)
Price (inc. VAT) £219.99 £149.99

The immediate points of comparison are the Android versions, camera setup, processor and screen. 

The differences between Android 9 and 10 are well documented, but for those who want the very latest Android version, clearly it’s the Moto G8 Power that wins out. Both handsets have Motorola’s gesture controls that let you do a karate chop motion with the phone to turn on the flashlight, for example, or twist the handset in your wrist to open the camera app.

On the processor front, the G8 Power Lite, as the name suggests, is the less capable option. I ran the Geekbench 5 CPU test on both handsets, with the following results:

Geekbench 5 CPU test Moto G8 Power Moto G8 Power Lite 
Single core 312 170
Multi core 1398 923

None of these scores are hugely impressive — flagship Android handsets score around 800 (single core) and 3000 (multi-core), for example — and it’s worth noting that I had to wait for both handsets to act on screen taps at times. Still, the G8 Power Lite was sometimes interminably slow to respond, and far from at its best when resolving web pages. Lack of responsiveness is a cardinal sin in any handset, so the G8 Power Lite needs to stand out elsewhere to make a compelling case for purchase.

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RAM and internal storage are the same across the two models (4GB/64GB), but if you want to boost the storage then it’s worth noting that the G8 Power requires you to sacrifice the second SIM slot in order to use a MicroSD card. By contrast, the G8 Power Lite lets you have two SIMs and a MicroSD card at the same time.

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The 6.4-inch Moto G8 Power.
Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The handsets have slightly different screen sizes, and very different pixel counts. The G8 Power definitely wins here: its screen is almost imperceptibly smaller than G8 Power Lite’s (6.4 versus 6.5 inches), but the resolution difference — 2,300 x 1,080 (399ppi) in the G8 Power and 1,600 x 720 (269ppi) in the G8 Power Lite — is something you’ll notice every day. The G8 Power Lite’s moderate resolution doesn’t enhance video viewing, text reading or web site browsing; I also felt the G8 Power Lite lacked brightness, to the extent that it became difficult to read outdoors in bright sunlight.

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The 6.5-inch Moto G8 Power Lite.
Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

There’s also a larger bottom bezel on the G8 Power Lite, while the front camera is in a cut-out on the left side on the G8 Power and a small central teardrop on the G8 Power Lite. The bezel difference, along with the slightly larger 6.5-inch screen size, means that the G8 Power Lite is almost a centimetre taller than the G8 Power, with a screen-to-body ratio of 82.2% compared to 85.1% for the 6.4-inch G8 Power.

There are major differences in the two phones’ camera setups. For selfies, you get just 8MP resolution on the G8 Power Lite, with 16MP available on the G8 Power. Both front cameras are adequate for the odd photo here and there, but neither is exactly leading edge.

The more affordable G8 Power Lite has three cameras at the back — 16MP wide angle, 2MP macro and 2MP depth-sensing. This setup is capable enough as long as you don’t try to take photos in low light conditions, and I found the macro camera rather fun.

The G8 Power has four rear cameras — 16MP wide angle, 8MP telephoto (with 2x optical zoom), 2MP macro (2cm focus distance), 8MP ultra-wide (118˚) and 8MP telephoto (2x optical zoom). The ultra-wide lens adds to the variety of shots available, and while low-light performance still isn’t great, it’s otherwise a good all-round performer.

Both handsets are powered by a 5,000mAh battery, with the G8 Power supporting fast charging (18W) and the G8 Power Lite offering 10W rapid charging. 5,000mAh is large for a handset battery, and both Moto G8 models turned in good benchmarks, running for two days of mainstream usage on a full charge. It’s worth noting that the G8 Power Lite charges via a legacy Micro-USB connector, while the G8 Power is up to date with a USB-C port.

Despite their similar names and large-capacity batteries, there are more differences than similarities between these two phones. The more affordable handset doesn’t always come off worse — if you need two SIMs and MicroSD expansion, then look to the £149.99 G8 Power Lite. But the Lite model’s screen is disappointing and the processor is underpowered, and it’s noticeably larger and more unwieldy. So if your budget stretches the extra £70, we recommend the £219.99 Moto G8 Power.

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