Galaxy S8 vs. Moto G8 Power: Is an old flagship better than a new budget phone?

With costs of flagship phones just like the iPhone 11 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra and the OnePlus 8 Pro ($999 at OnePlus) repeatedly breaking the $1,000 mark, shopping for a finances handset or a used older-generation mannequin can prevent large cash.

But what’s the higher choice: shopping for a used flagship that launched just a few years in the past or getting a brand-new finances phone? Will the efficiency be nearly as good? Can they deal with the identical duties? Are they each protected to make use of? 

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

To discover out, I pitted two telephones towards one another. One is the Galaxy S8 ($420 at Amazon). Launched in 2017, the phone was the top of mobile expertise in its day. With a strong processor, an excellent single rear digicam, a beautiful curving display and a water-proof design, the Galaxy S8 earned a glowing rating in CNET’s review on the time. I picked it up preowned within the UK for less than £205 (about $255 or AU$370). 

Available new for round that value is the Moto G Power (known as the Moto G8 Power within the UK). Brand-new (it was launched in April), it prices £220, $275 or AU$399 — a very inexpensive choice. It has a 6.4-inch display, 4 rear cameras, an octa-core processor and the newest Android 10 software program.

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Galaxy S8 vs. Moto G Power: Is a used phone higher than…


The Galaxy S8 was the flagship of its day, however yesterday’s prime tech all the time trickles right down to turn into immediately’s naked minimal and this older phone put up a hell of a struggle. Its processor efficiency outstrips the Moto, its single digicam takes beautiful photos and its waterproofing and Android Pay assist makes it a stable finances choice.

The Moto G8 Power’s a number of cameras, nevertheless, do present extra taking pictures choices, its battery life is far better and its up-to-date Android software program means it will keep safer to make use of for years to return. The S8, however, will not obtain safety updates for for much longer, making it extra weak to hackers.

Read extraThat used or refurbished Android phone might be unsafe

It’s that security subject that clinched the win for the Moto G8 on this piece, however learn on to see extra element on how I got here to that conclusion.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

It may be three years previous, however the Samsung Galaxy S8’s nice processor efficiency, succesful single rear digicam, waterproofing and Android Pay compatibility make it a compelling alternative nonetheless for these purchasing for used telephones on a finances.

Read our Samsung Galaxy S8 review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Motorola’s Moto G Power has a giant, vibrant display, a number of rear cameras and the newest model of Android. It’s a superb finances purchase when you’re after a brand-new phone.

Read our Moto G Power review.

Processor efficiency: Galaxy S8 beats Moto G Power

Both telephones pack octa-core processors. The Galaxy S8 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset whereas the G8 Power contains a Snapdragon 665. Both have 4GB of RAM. 

On our suite of benchmark exams, the Galaxy S8 was the clear winner, with higher efficiency noticed for each processor and graphics exams. You can see the total breakdown of rating on the bar graph under, however the takeaway right here is that regardless of being three years previous, the Galaxy S8 is the higher performing phone.

Moto G Power vs. Galaxy S8 efficiency chart


Geekbench 5 Single core

Geekbench 5 Multicore

3D Mark Sling Shot


Longer bars equals higher efficiency

It’s noticeable, too. While on a regular basis navigation across the dwelling screens is comparable on each telephones, the S8 handles graphically demanding video games higher. When the G8 Power is ready on the default high quality, the sport Asphalt 9: Legends was just a little stuttery and have become virtually unplayable once I modified the graphics to excessive. The S8 dealt with these excessive graphics with little seen slowdown. 

Less demanding video games such because the peaceable Alto’s Adventure performed completely nicely on each telephones. They additionally dealt with photograph enhancing in Snapseed and high-definition video streaming on YouTube and Netflix with out breaking a sweat.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Winner: The S8’s superior processor processor efficiency makes it higher geared up to deal with the number of demanding video games on the Google Play Store. For on a regular basis duties like e mail and WhatsApp although, you will not discover the distinction.

Camera: Galaxy S8’s single rear digicam vs. Moto G8 Power’s 4

When it launched, the S8’s single rear 12-megapixel digicam was among the many best cameras found on a phone. But issues have moved on and immediately’s telephones pack a number of cameras, providing wider angles and telephoto zooms. The Moto G8 Power packs 4 cameras on its again: a typical 16-megapixel, an 8-megapixel ultrawide, an 8-megapixel 2x telephoto zoom and a 2-megapixel macro. 

You’d suppose that with these many cameras, the Moto G8 Power could be the clear-cut winner. But the Galaxy S8 places up a hell of a struggle. 

Moto G Power.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Galaxy S8.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

In this primary shot overlooking Edinburgh’s Dean Village, the S8 has higher wanting distinction than the Moto, which seems to be considerably washed out compared. 

Moto G Power.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Galaxy S8.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The similar is true on this scene taken inside Dean Village. The Moto has evidently tried to brighten the shadows, nevertheless it’s not a great look and the punchier tones of the S8 are a lot better.

Moto G Power, large angle.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The Moto’s further cameras do make it easier to get totally different views from the scene vantage level, nevertheless. This large scene captures extra of the fluttering flags…

Moto G Power, 2x zoom.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

…whereas this zoomed view offers a lovely composition across the numerous chimney stacks — neither of which the S8 can obtain. 

Moto G Power macro lens.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Galaxy S8.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The Moto G8 Power’s macro mode allowed me to focus nearer on this flower, however the low 2-megapixel decision means there’s not a lot element within the last picture. I truly want the shot from the S8, which has sufficient decision to let me crop additional into the picture and nonetheless have higher wanting element.

Winner: It’s a toss-up. The Galaxy S8 takes superior photos from its single digicam and gives higher colours and distinction. But the Moto G8 Power has extra taking pictures choices, which snag photographs that would not be doable with the S8. Neither is a transparent winner over the opposite, so it comes down to non-public desire.

Battery: Moto G8 Power’s enormous cell retains on going

As the Moto G8 Power’s identify suggests, the phone packs a meaty battery: 5,000-mAh. That vastly outstrips the Galaxy S8’s 3,000-mAh cell. The G8 Power does have a much bigger display to energy although, which seemingly takes a toll on battery life. 

While we’re nonetheless ready on official lab take a look at outcomes for the G8 Power, I carried out a small-scale take a look at of my very own. After one hour of streaming a YouTube video (with equal excessive brightness and quantity muted on each telephones) the Galaxy S8 had dropped from absolutely charged to 87% remaining. The Moto, nevertheless, solely dropped to 94%. Anecdotally, the S8 can final a lot of the day — however provided that I used to be aware about my energy utilization. To eke out essentially the most juice, I prevented demanding gameplay and video streaming. In common, when you’re considering of constant to make use of your phone throughout an evening out after work, count on to energy up earlier than you allow the workplace (ought to places of work and nights out ever turn into issues we do once more). 

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Winner: The Moto G8 Power, with its capacious battery, will not battle to get by way of a full day of use and has loads of energy to spare to order a midnight pizza. (Pepperoni. Extra cheese.)

Security: The Moto G8 Power’s up-to-date software program offers peace of thoughts for longer

Because any phone that does not have the newest safety patches is extremely vulnerable to being hacked, software program safety on an older handset is a good larger deal than it usually is. Most Android producers are inclined to assist their telephones for 2 to a few years, then successfully reduce them free because it turns into too time-consuming to maintain updating older fashions.

The newest software program model for the Galaxy S8 is Android 9 (aka Pie), with safety updates that arrived earlier this April. That means it is just about bang updated and due to this fact protected to make use of. According to Samsung’s update info page, the S8 will obtain quarterly (quite than month-to-month) safety updates, though for the way lengthy it will obtain these updates is not recognized and Samsung wasn’t in a position to give a transparent reply when contacted. It’s price noting that the S7 Active (launched in 2016) remains to be receiving safety patches, so it is doable the S8 could have some time forward of it but. 

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

As for the Moto G8 Power, safety is a giant benefit. It’s brand-new, runs the newest Android 10 software program and can seemingly not solely obtain the following large replace to Android 11, however can even obtain safety patches additional down the road. 

Winner: When your phone receives an replace additionally will depend on your service, however because the newer phone, the win goes to the Moto G8. In addition, Motorola’s update page reveals that it is presently updating telephones way back to 2018’s Moto E5. Based on that, it is truthful to imagine that the G8 Power will nonetheless be protected to make use of in early-mid 2022.

Design, show and extras

The Galaxy S8 seems to be and feels just like the extra luxurious phone, even accounting for the slight scuffs and scratches that trace that it was preowned. The curved glass and stable really feel is extra premium than the plastic-backed Moto G8 Power. 

But there isn’t any denying that the Moto’s huge 6.4-inch show makes movies extra immersive than the S8’s 5.8-inch display. True, its decision is not as excessive, leading to a decrease pixel density (399 ppi in comparison with the S8’s 570 ppi), however you probably will not discover a distinction. When I used the phone, icons and textual content on the Moto seemed completely crisp and sharp, and high-resolution movies look nice.

The S8 does up the stakes with IP68 waterproofing (the G8 Power solely has a nano coating to guard itself towards gentle splashes), in addition to NFC, which helps you to use Android Pay and Samsung Pay. 

Both telephones have rear fingerprint scanners, cost with the newer USB-C kind cable, and have 64GB of storage with the choice to increase with a microSD card.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Winner: The addition of waterproofing and NFC for Android Pay put the Galaxy S8 forward, however the Moto G8 Power’s larger display can be useful to these of you wanting to look at Netflix on the go.

Which must you purchase?

It’s more durable than I assumed to decide between the 2. Despite being three years previous, the Galaxy S8 holds its personal extraordinarily nicely, with glorious processor and digicam efficiency, a luscious design and options like waterproofing and Android Pay compatibility. 

The large level towards it’s the software program. While it is nonetheless technically receiving safety updates, it’s extremely a lot in the direction of the tip of its supported life cycle and as per the recommendation from business specialists, utilizing an unsupported phone will be harmful. 

Using expertise for longer is one thing we must always all try to do and rescuing used telephones from ending up in landfill is definitely a great factor. But it is necessary to take action safely and persisting in utilizing an unsupported phone, exposing your private data and banking particulars, even nude pics, to hackers is not a threat it’s best to take. 

As such, the S8’s life like usable life is not so long as the Moto G8 Power’s. The Moto additionally has the good thing about the larger display and it presents digicam options not discovered on the S8. 

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Given these factors, my cash must go on the Motorola Moto G8 Power, if just for the peace of thoughts of getting its software program supported for longer. 

Had I spent only a bit extra, nevertheless, I might have picked up the Galaxy S9 ($600 at Sprint), used, for underneath £300 — being a whole yr newer than the S8 I used, its life like life is quite a bit longer, which might resolve my foremost concern over the S8. I’ve little doubt that the S9 would have been the clear winner on this shootout.

So do take into account shopping for used — it is a good way of placing superior tech in your pocket, not stretching your finances and rescuing an in any other case nice phone from landfill. But it is necessary to buy good: Buy from a trusted supply (I used MusicMagpie within the UK however Gazelle performs an an identical service within the US) and ensure it is current sufficient that it will nonetheless obtain safety updates for a very long time to return. 

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Tarun Banerjee

Professional Web Designer & Developer,Expert in SEO & Digital Market, Founder of Tech Hunt.

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