Motorola is back in the smartphone arena’s budget category with the new Moto G6 Series of smartphones that includes the G6 Plus, the G6, and the G6 Play.

Motorola Moto G6 Review

The standard variant, G6 lies in the middle of the trio and is a worthy upgrade over the last year’s G5 and G5s with a premium glass design, a tall screen, competent cameras and almost stock Android. It is available in the US and Australia at a starting price of $249 USD and $398 AUD respectively.

Is the G6 worthy enough to be called the top budget friendly phone of 2018 which can beat Huawei Honor 10 or Nokia 7 plus? Read our review to find out.

The Pros

  • Premium Glass Design
  • Tall and Clear Display
  • Dual Sim and Dedicated microSD Card Slot
  • Stock Android with Few Motorola extras
  • Affordable Price

The Cons

  • Sunlight readability can be a problem
  • The slippery back may leave smudges
  • The camera takes time to focus  

The Design

The design and build quality are one of the biggest changes we have witnessed in Motorola Moto G6. It’s crafted from 3D glass and the back looks shiny and premium but you have to be careful as it can be slippery and prone to fingerprints. It’s highly advisable to use a back cover.

In some regions, the set does come with the cover pre-applied. With curved edges and a frame of aluminum around them, it also allows easy holding on the hands and reminds us of the Honor 9. On the bottom of the set, there’s a much-welcomed USB type C slot along with a 3.5 mm headphone jack. With a dimension of 153.8 x 72.3 x 8.3 mm, it’s fine for the weight to be 167 g. The fingerprint sensor lies on the front that also acts as a home button. There’s also Gorilla Glass 3 coating for protection.

The slot for dual sim and dedicated microSD lies on the top which is a thing we haven’t seen in the recent flagships. The phone is splash proof but not water resistant. The back camera unit also has an interesting circular design. The earpiece and phone speaker has been combined into one unit on the top. The speaker is loud enough as its front-firing.

The Screen and Display

Motorola has improved in the screen department of G6 making it taller in size (5.7 inches). The screen is an IPS LCD and has Full HD+ resolution with an 18:9 aspect ratio. Watching videos and movies and browsing through photos on this device is a treat. The colors look sharp and vibrant when inside and the display is bright enough with solid viewing angles.

The screen struggles for a great readability score in direct sunlight due to IPS display. It has a below average brightness score of 413 nits. It should have been to at least 500 nits. This is the only flaw we found in the screen, other than that the display is exceptional.

The Cameras

The cameras can be considered competent given the price of G6. It houses dual 12 MP (f/1.8) + 5 MP (f/2.2) with phase detection autofocus and dual-LED dual-tone flash in a beautiful circular housing at the back. For taking normal photos and videos every day the main 12MP sensor is perfect. Colors are accurate and vibrant. The secondary 5MP camera is for the Portrait Mode for snapping with the Bokeh effect which lets you blur the background while focusing on the object.

You can shoot videos up to 1080p at 60/30fps. There are also various fun effects such as Face Filters which livens up your photos and videos. You can also record videos in slow motion. The front-facing camera is an 8 MP (f/2.2) with the much-needed LED flash that takes good selfies even in low light and record videos up to 1080p. With all such features, the cameras may be slow to focus but all are a welcome addition given the G6’s price.

The Software

Motorola has loaded G6 with almost stock Android Oreo (8.0). Though it’s not the latest (Oreo version 8.1), still the software experience on the phone is great. Moving around the menus is fast and smooth. You will not find any bloatware except Outlook and LinkedIn.

You also get the Moto app which includes many features that will be useful in daily usage. For instance, you can double twist to launch the camera and shake the phone to make the torch on and off. You also get a usual Face Unlock feature and the Dolby Audio software that enhances the audio experience coming from the speaker. Motorola has promised the phone would get Android P, but as can be seen in the recent times, this process would take time as the company has been rather slow in providing updates.

The Battery

The G6 comes with a 3000 mAh battery that is equal to even the recent premium flagships such as LG G7 ThinQ. It’s adequate enough to last a day and if you use the phone heavily then you may have to plug in frequently. Watching movies and playing games at maximum brightness may well even decline the battery even more.

If you use the phone for calls and messages and the occasional browsing and YouTube videos, then it is possible you may get through with more than one day. The good thing is that a TurboPower charger is included that provides 6-hour battery life in just 15 minutes. So your battery concerns may become less.  

Performance

The G6 comes with the fairly new octa-core Snapdragon 450 chipset coupled with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB storage that offers optimized performance but can’t be compared to the mid-range or flagship chipsets of 600 and 800 series that can be found in the recent premium flagships. We found the handset to perform normal tasks well and there was no lag in opening and resuming multiple apps. But if you are a heavy gamer and like to play graphics-rich games at high settings then you may have to look for alternatives as it becomes laggier. But games like PUBG Mobile would run well in low settings. It would have been great if Motorola had used a Snapdragon 600 series chipset for even better performance. To make things better, a 4 GB/64 GB version of G6 is also available.

Verdict

The Moto G series keeps getting better and better each year. The Motorola Moto G6 is an overall worthy upgrade and one of the best option for the budget-conscious people looking for a reliable smartphone that’s packed with all the essentials you need in 2018. You can get it a starting price of $249 USD in the US and $398 AUD in Australia.

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