Which Motorola Moto G8 should you buy?

A trio of strong Moto options, but there are key differences

As usual, Motorola has a bevy of new Moto G budget phones on offer for 2020 – but this time around, the company has taken a rather odd tact of announcing and releasing them.

The Moto G8 Plus was first out the gate and released in late 2019 – in fact, we reviewed it back in November. Motorola also released a trimmed-down Moto G8 Play, but only in Latin America.

Meanwhile, the Moto G8 Power was earlier this year and then the regular Moto G8 was added to the stable weeks later. Curious. There are also some key changes in approach and design in the mix. We already know the G8 Plus is a winner, and there's good reason to believe the others will be strong as well.

Eager to get a quality phone on the cheap this spring? Here's on verdict on each of the Moto G8 models out in the UK and which is best for you.

Moto G8 (£179)

The Moto G8 is the core of the line, of course, but Motorola is shaking things up for 2020. It's sort of a hybrid of the base G7 and the cheaper G7 Play in terms of approach to specs, thanks to a 720p+ resolution display here. That's low, and at 6.4in it does look a bit fuzzy - but it's not a deal-breaker. Still, the last few base Moto G models all had 1080p panels.

Like some other models, the Moto G8 has a punch-hole camera cutout on the front – plus it has three back cameras (16MP main, 8MP ultra-wide, 2MP macro). You'll get a mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 chip here along with a beefy 4,000mAh battery pack. At £179, it'll save you a solid wad of cash over the other models, although the plastic build and lack of NFC do reinforce its low-budget status.

Moto G8 Plus (£239)

The Moto G8 Plus is kind of the odd duck here – not only has it been out since last year, but it also eschews the punch-hole screen design. Instead, this 6.3in 1080p screen has a small dewdrop notch at the top center.

Elsewhere, it has the same processor and battery pack, although you're likely to get better photos thanks to the 48MP main back camera sensor alongside a 16MP ultra-wide video-only camera (like the Motorola One Action) and 5MP depth sensor. The backing is plastic, but at least it has a cool colour flourish to it. The £239 price point is enough of an increase to make you consider whether it's really worth the extra scratch.

Moto G8 Power (£219)

The Moto G8 Power sits between those two models in terms of price point, but could be the most appealing handset of the bunch for some users. It has the 6.4in punch-hole screen of the Moto G8, but it bumps the resolution to 1080p. And it has an extra-large 5,000mAh battery pack to keep you going and going through a heavy day.

Elsewhere, the processor is the same, while the back camera array actually has four sensors in the mix: 16MP main, 8MP telephoto, 8MP ultra-wide, and 2MP macro. The £219 price point saves a little bit of cash compared to the Plus while getting you more battery life in the process, but poor low-light camera performance and the lack of NFC do weaken the overall package compared to the Plus.

Moto G Stylus (US$299)

The Moto G Stylus, meanwhile, is unlike any of these phones – or any previous Moto G model – in one key respect: the stylus, of course. Motorola is gunning for Samsung's ultra-luxe Galaxy Note line with this budget alternative.

It has the 6.4in 1080p punch-hole screen of the Moto G8 Power with the cameras of the G8 Plus, as well as the same processor as all of them and a 4,000mAh battery pack. It's sort of a mix-and-match of the other models… with a pop-out stylus, as well. It's out in the States right now at a price of $299 (about £245), but there's no word yet on a UK release.

Which should you buy?

Out of the three models released in the UK, the Moto G8 Plus is the best of the bunch. That makes sense given that it's the priciest, but it's features like NFC and solid camera quality that give it the slight edge.

Shave £20 off the tally and you'll get better battery life from the Moto G8 Power, which could be critical if you need a phone that lasts and lasts. The standard Moto G8 does suffer a bit, but it's a great phone for under £200. If you're looking to keep cost at a minimum, that's one of your best options right now.

The Moto G Stylus isn't releasing in the UK as of this writing, so we don't have a verdict there -- but reviews out of the States suggest that it's a solid budget option for anyone who craves a stylus but doesn't want to shell out for a Galaxy Note.