Galaxy S8 vs. Moto G8 Energy: Is an outdated flagship higher than a brand new funds cellphone?

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

With costs of flagship telephones just like the iPhone 11 Professional, Samsung Galaxy S20 Extremely and the OnePlus Eight Professional ($999 at OnePlus) usually breaking the $1,000 mark, shopping for a funds handset or a used older-generation mannequin can prevent large cash.

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


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To seek out out, I pitted two telephones in opposition to one another. One is the Galaxy S8 ($420 at Amazon). Launched in 2017, the cellphone was the head of cell expertise in its day. With a strong processor, a terrific single rear digital camera, a beautiful curving display and a water-resistant design, the Galaxy S8 earned a glowing rating in CNET’s evaluate on the time. I picked it up preowned within the UK for under £205 (about $255 or AU$370). 

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

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The Galaxy S8 was the flagship of its day, however yesterday’s prime tech all the time trickles all the way down to grow to be at the moment’s naked minimal and this older cellphone put up a hell of a battle. Its processor efficiency outstrips the Moto, its single digital camera takes attractive photos and its waterproofing and Android Pay help makes it a stable funds choice.

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

Learn extraThat used or refurbished Android cellphone is perhaps unsafe

It is that security problem 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.

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It is perhaps three years outdated, however the Samsung Galaxy S8’s nice processor efficiency, succesful single rear digital camera, waterproofing and Android Pay compatibility make it a compelling alternative nonetheless for these searching for used telephones on a funds.

Learn our Samsung Galaxy S8 evaluate.

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Motorola’s Moto G Energy has an enormous, vibrant display, a number of rear cameras and the most recent model of Android. It is a superb funds purchase in the event you’re after a brand-new cellphone.

Learn our Moto G Energy evaluate.

Processor efficiency: Galaxy S8 beats Moto G Energy

Each telephones pack octa-core processors. The Galaxy S8 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset whereas the G8 Energy incorporates a Snapdragon 665. Each 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 may see the complete breakdown of rating on the bar graph under, however the takeaway right here is that regardless of being three years outdated, the Galaxy S8 is the higher performing cellphone.

Moto G Energy vs. Galaxy S8 efficiency chart


Geekbench 5 Single core

Geekbench 5 Multicore

3D Mark Sling Shot


Longer bars equals higher efficiency

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

Much less demanding video games such because the peaceable Alto’s Journey performed completely properly on each telephones. In addition they dealt with picture enhancing in Snapseed and high-definition video streaming on YouTube and Netflix with out breaking a sweat.


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

Digital camera: Galaxy S8’s single rear digital camera vs. Moto G8 Energy’s 4

When it launched, the S8’s single rear 12-megapixel digital camera was among the many greatest cameras discovered on a cellphone. However issues have moved on and at the moment’s telephones pack a number of cameras, providing wider angles and telephoto zooms. The Moto G8 Energy packs 4 cameras on its again: a normal 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 Energy can be the clear-cut winner. However the Galaxy S8 places up a hell of a battle. 


Moto G Energy.

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Galaxy S8.

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On this first shot overlooking Edinburgh’s Dean Village, the S8 has higher trying distinction than the Moto, which appears to be like considerably washed out compared. 


Moto G Energy.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET


Galaxy S8.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

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


Moto G Energy, broad angle.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The Moto’s further cameras do enable you to get completely different views from the scene vantage level, nevertheless. This broad scene captures extra of the fluttering flags…


Moto G Energy, 2x zoom.

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…whereas this zoomed view provides a beautiful composition across the varied chimney stacks — neither of which the S8 can obtain. 


Moto G Energy macro lens.

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Galaxy S8.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The Moto G8 Energy’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 trying element.

Winner: It is a toss-up. The Galaxy S8 takes superior photos from its single digital camera and offers higher colours and distinction. However the Moto G8 Energy has extra capturing choices, which snag pictures that would not be attainable with the S8. Neither is a transparent winner over the opposite, so it comes down to non-public desire.

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

Because the Moto G8 Energy’s identify suggests, the cellphone packs a meaty battery: 5,000-mAh. That vastly outstrips the Galaxy S8’s 3,000-mAh cell. The G8 Energy does have an even bigger display to energy although, which probably takes a toll on battery life. 

Whereas we’re nonetheless ready on official lab take a look at outcomes for the G8 Energy, I performed 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 totally 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 acutely aware about my energy utilization. To eke out probably the most juice, I prevented demanding gameplay and video streaming. Usually, in the event you’re pondering of constant to make use of your cellphone throughout an evening out after work, anticipate to energy up earlier than you allow the workplace (ought to places of work and nights out ever grow to be issues we do once more). 


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

Safety: The Moto G8 Energy’s up-to-date software program provides peace of thoughts for longer

As a result of any cellphone that does not have the most recent safety patches is extraordinarily susceptible to being hacked, software program safety on an older handset is a good greater deal than it usually is. Most Android producers are likely to help their telephones for 2 to a few years, then successfully minimize them unfastened because it turns into too time-consuming to maintain updating older fashions.

The most recent software program model for the Galaxy S8 is Android 9 (aka Pie), with safety updates that arrived earlier this April. Meaning it is just about bang updated and subsequently protected to make use of. In keeping with Samsung’s replace information web page, the S8 will obtain quarterly (somewhat than month-to-month) safety updates, though for a way lengthy it will obtain these updates is not recognized and Samsung wasn’t capable of give a transparent reply when contacted. It is price noting that the S7 Lively (launched in 2016) remains to be receiving safety patches, so it is attainable the S8 can have some time forward of it but. 


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As for the Moto G8 Energy, safety is an enormous benefit. It is brand-new, runs the most recent Android 10 software program and can probably not solely obtain the subsequent large replace to Android 11, however can even obtain safety patches additional down the road. 

Winner: When your cellphone receives an replace additionally is dependent upon your service, however because the newer cellphone, the win goes to the Moto G8. As well as, Motorola’s replace web page exhibits that it is presently updating telephones way back to 2018’s Moto E5. Based mostly on that, it is truthful to imagine that the G8 Energy will nonetheless be protected to make use of in early-mid 2022.

Design, show and extras

The Galaxy S8 appears to be like and feels just like the extra luxurious cellphone, 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 Energy. 

However there is no 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 almost certainly will not discover a distinction. Once I used the cellphone, 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 Energy solely has a nano coating to guard itself in opposition to mild splashes), in addition to NFC, which helps you to use Android Pay and Samsung Pay. 

Each telephones have rear fingerprint scanners, cost with the more moderen USB-C kind cable, and have 64GB of storage with the choice to broaden 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 Energy’s greater display will likely be helpful to these of you wanting to observe Netflix on the go.

Which must you purchase?

It is tougher than I believed to decide between the 2. Regardless of being three years outdated, the Galaxy S8 holds its personal extraordinarily properly, with glorious processor and digital camera efficiency, a luscious design and options like waterproofing and Android Pay compatibility. 

The large level in opposition to it’s the software program. Whereas it is nonetheless technically receiving safety updates, it’s extremely a lot in the direction of the top of its supported life cycle and as per the recommendation from business specialists, utilizing an unsupported cellphone might be harmful. 

Utilizing expertise for longer is one thing we should always all attempt to do and rescuing used telephones from ending up in landfill is definitely a superb factor. Nevertheless it’s vital to take action safely and persisting in utilizing an unsupported cellphone, exposing your private information and banking particulars, even nude pics, to hackers is not a threat you must take. 

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


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

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

Had I spent only a bit extra, nevertheless, I may have picked up the Galaxy S9 ($600 at Dash), used, for underneath £300 — being a whole 12 months more moderen than the S8 I used, its practical life is lots longer, which might resolve my important concern over the S8. I’ve little question that the S9 would have been the clear winner on this shootout.

So do take into account shopping for used — it is an effective way of placing superior tech in your pocket, not stretching your funds and rescuing an in any other case nice cellphone from landfill. Nevertheless it’s vital to buy good: Purchase from a trusted supply (I used MusicMagpie within the UK however Gazelle performs an similar service within the US) and ensure it is latest sufficient that it will nonetheless obtain safety updates for a very long time to return.