Motorola could be set to really shake up the Moto G8 series of smartphones – we say that for a number of reasons, and while we don't know everything about the upcoming Motorola phones at this point, we do expect them to be different at the very least.
Since the launch of the Moto G7 series, Motorola invigorated the Motorola One series with many new handsets, so the company has a new range to compete with its previous flagships. On top of that, we've heard rumors that one of the Moto G8 range will launch months ahead of the others, in an unprecedented move.
While Moto G smartphones typically launch in the early months of the year, we could see the Moto G8 Plus by the end of October 2019. That's based on a rumor, but it seems press in certain countries are starting to get invites to an event that could actually be the smartphone launch. Saying that, it still seems the rest of the G8 phones are a way off yet.
While we wait for Motorola’s next range of impressive affordable devices to drop, we can expect the slow drip of leaks and rumors to gradually turn into a stream and a torrent in the build-up to the Moto G8’s release. Before that, we can look at the previous Moto G phones and see what we’d like to change in the 2020 versions too.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next incarnation in the Moto G range of budget phones
- When is it out? Possibly as early as October 2019
- How much will it cost? A range of prices, but all probably sub-$300 / £300 / AU$500
Moto G8 release date and price
We've got a possible release date for the Moto G8 Plus, and it's not what we'd expect. While Moto G smartphones usually release at the beginning of the year, we've heard the Moto G8 Plus will be launched on October 24, 2019.
That's well in advance of when we'd expect, although we've only actually heard about the Plus. It's possible Motorola is set to launch that smartphone earlier than the rest.
That means we’d expect to see the non-Plus devices launch in early 2020, perhaps in February in the build up to Mobile World Congress, the yearly phones and tech show in Barcelona, Spain. That’s when we saw the G7 range launch.
These devices launched at a range of prices, from $200 / £149 / AU$270 for the Moto G7 Play to £269 / AU$499 (roughly $325, but it didn’t release in the US) for the Moto G7 Plus.
The Moto G8 prices will probably reflect those of the G7 range, which have subsequently seen price cuts and deals, but we’ll have to wait until the phones launch for any solid prices.
Moto G8 leaks, rumors and news
There have been few Moto G8 leaks, but there's been one huge info-drop for the Moto G8 Plus.
It suggests the handset will have three cameras – a 48MP main snapper, a 16MP ultra-wide that uses the Motorola One Action's 'action-cam', and a 5MP depth sensor. On the front there will be a 32MP selfie camera in a notch.
The leak also says the phone will have a Snapdragon 665 chipset, 6.3-inch display, 4GB RAM, and 4,000mAh battery. Those specs make it seem like a general step up over the Moto G7 Plus, as we'd expect.
The next most leaked handset is the Moto G8 Play, as a hands-on photo of the smartphone provided some information on the device.
It's set to have a 6.2-inch screen, 4,000mAh battery, and 8MP selfie camera on the front. There are three rear cameras, but other than one having an ultra-wide angle lens, we don't know what their specs are.
In general the Moto G8 Play looks set to be far more advanced that the Moto G7 Play, but the phone price could increase to match.
There are some leaks attached to the Moto G8, which suggest the phone (or several in the range) will have a Snapdragon 655 chipset (which would be quite an upgrade from the Snapdragon 636 in the Moto G7 Plus).
Elsewhere, we've seen a leaked image showing a Motorola phone with a pop-up single-lens selfie camera, which would be a first for the brand, but the images aren't specifically linked to the Moto G8 so this could be something else.
They're likely real though as they line up with an earlier leak of a press image showing a Moto phone with no front-facing camera – there's no pop-up camera visible but that's likely how this would be achieved, though it’s also possible (yet unlikely) that the device uses an under-screen camera.
Judging by the Moto G8 Plus leak however, it's possible this pop-up camera could be a future Motorola One handset.
What we want to see
While we wait for the Moto G8 range of smartphones to launch, we’ve made a list of what features we’d like to see them pack.
1. NFC on all devices
NFC is a really useful feature of modern smartphones, used for functions like contactless card payments and easy pairing of Bluetooth devices. Yet not all the Moto G7 phones have NFC compatibility, which can be a nuisance for people who love using the tech.
We’d like to see NFC functions available on all Moto G8 phones, from the Plus model to the most affordable devices, and in all regions, as the presence of NFC on Motorola handsets sometimes varies by area.
2. Improved camera arrays
Save for the Moto G7 Power, each of the Moto G7 phones has two rear cameras – that’s okay for a budget phone, but you can now pick up affordable devices with three or even four rear snappers, so Motorola’s going to have to upgrade its cameras to keep the devices competitive.
The second camera on the G7 is a depth sensor for improved background blur on portrait pictures, but we’d like to see perhaps a telephoto lens (used for optical zoom) or an ultra-wide angle lens (with a bigger field of view for great selfies or panoramic shots), as these can be really useful in taking a great picture.
3. More specialized devices
The Moto G7 Power was a distinct member of the G7 family because of what it did ‘different’: it had a much bigger battery than the others. This specialization made the phone distinct, so if a big battery pack was a tempting draw in a smartphone, you knew which model to pick up..
We’d like to see more phones that are designed for various distinct purposes, to give the G8 line even more variation. Perhaps we could see a device with a camera array that’s much better than the competition (think four lenses) or even a 21:9 device, which is an aspect ratio some phones (including the Motorola One Vision) use because it’s great for viewing movies.
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