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Motorola Moto G6 Review: A stunning looking budget phone

Written by  Ryan Cleeves Apr 26, 2018

This latest budget phone alongside the Moto G6 Plus and Moto G6 Play looks like an attractive proposition.

The design has moved forward in 2018 and the Moto G6 is now offering an 18:9 aspect-ratio screen, which is 5.7" corner to corner.

This sized screen is pretty well standard nowadays. But what is pleasantly surprising on a budget phone is that it surrounds this all with a glass and aluminium body that wouldn't look out of place on a much higher priced smartphone. This model is the most expensive standard Moto G ever, but £239 is still pretty reasonable for what you get.

Motorola Moto G6a

Specifications, price and release date

  • Screen: 5.7" IPS, 1,080 x 2,160
  • CPU: 1.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 (14nm, Adreno 506 graphics)
  • RAM: 3GB or 4GB
  • Storage: 32GB or 64GB
  • Rear camera: dual 12MP + 5MP, phase-detect autofocus, dual-LED flash
  • Front camera: 8MP, front flash
  • Price: (£239 for 4GB/64GB model, exclusively available on Amazon)

Motorola Moto G6b

Design and key features

It all looks pretty impressive, the Motorola Moto G6’s display is an IPS 1,080 x 2,160 panel with a pixel density of 424ppi, and it looks pretty slick. It's colourful, bright and appealing to the eye in all the right ways. First impressions are that it’s more than capable.

Where the Moto G6 steps in front of the Honor 7A and 7C is in its glass and aluminium chassis. The Honor looks fine but the glossy glass of the Moto G6 (Gorilla Glass 3 on the front and rear) is that little bit better. It's simply more glamorous and it’s curvaceous, with 3D glass at the long edges on the rear swooping up to meet the phone’s colour-matched chrome frame.

Fortunately, the Moto G6 has retained a little Moto G design DNA in its new phone. A good looking phone that slightly bowed-out top and bottom edges and softly rounded corners give the phone its own Moto identity. The circular camera surround on the rear completes the look and it's more than you would expect to get at this price point.

However, there’s no full waterproofing or IP rating here, but the phone does have a p2i water-repellent coating, which should keep it safe should you spill your juice on it. There’s also a fingerprint reader on the front below the screen, and inside is a 3,000mAh battery. Motorola says it’s good for a day’s use and, with the firm’s TurboPower charger in the box, it also says you should be able to gain around six hours use from 15 minutes of charging.

Underneath is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 – an octa-core 14nm processor running at 1.8GHz – with 3GB of RAM and a rather lowly 32GB of storage to back it up. It’s a modern chip and that 14nm manufacturing process suggests it should be able to deliver decent levels of stamina. 

While performance not being particulalrly impressive, it is at least a step up from the Moto G5 phones. You won't be playing demanding games at high detail levels, without disruption, but at such a low price this is to be expected.

Motorola Moto G6

I am glad to see that the Motorola Moto G6 has a microSD card slot, which you can use to expand storage by up to 128GB, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

It runs pretty close to stock Android (8 Oreo in this instance) with some useful extras addded to it. I’ve always like the Moto phones' gesture controls, which allow you to launch the camera or enable the torch by twisting the phone or shaking it, and those are still in place here.

On this new model is the addition of Dolby Audio processing. Accessible from the notifications menu, this allows you to tweak the EQ, apply volume levelling or choose from a number of different sound profiles, which include music, game and voice.

You also get Moto Voice, which comes in addition to support for Google Assistant. This works with the screen off and allows you to control do some things you can't with Google's voice recognition system. Finally, there's also face unlock, which seems to work well. 

Moto-G6-Camera 

Camera

The quality of the images the dual-camera produces, are a real plus. Unlike on the iPhone X, the second camera isn't there to add a zoom or wide-angle capabilities. It’s intended primarily to help the camera with depth perception, so it can more effectively apply the background-blur portrait effect, or cut out the background.

Put the camera into portrait mode, snap your subject and then you can go into the gallery and apply various different effects based on the depth data. You can blur the background to varying degrees, or replace or desaturate the background. This works quite well, but the edges of in-focus objects do take on a bit of a ragged edge.

The main camera is a 12-megapixel unit with an aperture of f/1.8 and phase-detect autofocus, which is fairly ordinary. It can’t shoot 4K video – only 1080p at up to 60fps. The secondary depth camera is 5-megapixel and the selfie camera on the front is 8-megapixel and comes with a front flash.

It looks like a solidly designed camera. In good light, photos snapped with this camera look great: bursting with texture and colour, with plenty of sharpness. However, it's not so impressive in low light, with plenty of noise but if used carefully you can still get decent shots.


motorola moto g6 64GB 5.7-Inch Android 8.0 Oreo UK Sim-Free Smartphone with 4GB RAM and 64GB Storage (Dual Sim) - Deep Indigo (Exclusive to Amazon) £239.00

Verdict

The Moto G6 is a great-looking budget phone and very capable. For £239, the Moto G6 is just stunning.

All round performance coupled with the new design and decent camera, it appears that Motorola has done it again with the Moto G6.

Samsung Galaxy S9
Also see: Samsung Galaxy S9 UK Review: A serious step up

 

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