Motorola Moto G6 Review: A basic value smartphone
Motorola's taken its Moto G recipe and honed it for the Moto G6 with pleasing results.
- 18:9 display
- Good battery performance
- Camera is good for its price range
- Ordinary performance
- Thin fingerprint sensor can be hard to hit
- No water resistance
Motorola has focused in the past few years on providing solid budget handsets. The Moto G series is its long-standing (and most widely available in Australia) take on an affordable phone.
The Motorola Moto G6 doesn't break new ground or bring new concepts to the budget/mid-range space, but it's a sound handset for the money.
Motorola Moto G6: Design
Motorola's 2018 handsets differentiate themselves from their predecessors with the use of 18:9 displays. That means that they're rather taller than 2017's 16:9 models. This isn't a unique play, with direct budget competitor Alcatel doing likewise, for example.
The Motorola Moto G6 features a 5.7-inch 1080x2160 pixel display, which isn't exceptional to speak of in resolution terms.
The big design change here is that the Moto G6 is an all-glass phone, front and back, to give it a style that somewhat reaches above its price bracket. It looks nice when you take it out of the box, but predictably, it rapidly becomes a home for fingerprint smudges absolutely everywhere. Like most glass-backed phones, the Moto G6 is also rather slippery in the hand. Sourcing a case to wrap around it would be a wise investment.
The Moto G6 isn't compatible with Motorola's rather more premium Moto Mods, but you'll still find a rather Mod-like round camera bump at the back.
Controls run up the right hand side for volume and power, while a front-facing thin fingerprint sensor sits on the bottom bezel. Your experience may vary, but I found the smaller size a slight problem during testing, especially for unlocking with my thumb.
One very welcome design touch comes via the Moto G6's dual SIM card tray. Dual SIM itself isn't an unusual touch, but most phones with the feature tend to use that second SIM card slot for microSD card expansion as well.
This forces you to choose between storage and multiple SIMs. The Moto G6 has an extra-long SIM card tray with 3 slots, so you can run two SIM cards as well as boost its internal 32GB of storage.Back to top
Motorola Moto G6: Camera
Motorola's cameras have tended towards being functional without being exciting, and that's a trend that continues with the Moto G6. The basic combination of a front-facing 8MP f/2.2 lens and dual 12MP f/1.8/5MP f/2.2 lenses is technically solid, but you've got to know what you're getting here.
While the rear camera array does feature two lenses, you can't use that second lens by itself in any way.
Instead, the secondary camera adds bokeh style "portrait" effects as well as enabling additional modes such as the "cutout" mode. This allows you to capture a subject and remove much of its background within the camera.
That's a trick you could manage with a standalone app or off-camera Photoshop work. The in-camera results can vary a lot, but for simple ease of use, it may have some benefits.
The Moto G6's camera certainly isn't bad. It's just that it's exactly what you'd expect at this price point, and not much more. The mid-range/budget phone space is pretty competitive right now, and this is an area that Motorola should address in the Moto G6's successor if it wants to stay competitive.
Here's some sample photos from the Motorola Moto G6:
|Motorola Moto G6 Sample Photos|
Motorola Moto G6: Performance
The Moto G6 runs on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 450 SoC with 3GB of RAM as tested, alongside 32GB of internal storage with microSD expansion capabilities.
Again, that's quite a regular recipe for a smartphone, and it's not surprising that the Moto G6 performs adequately for a phone in its price range without being exceptional
It's much the same story in the graphics arena, where the Moto G6 isn't all that flashy at all:
Motorola hasn't gone down the Android One path for its Australian handsets just yet, which means you don't quite get those upgrade advantages, but you do get a range of smart Motorola software enhancements.
If you're a long-time Moto user, you'll find being able to access actions such as a double chop to quickly switch on the rear light quite handy.
One feature we're still waiting to see on a G-series phone is some level of proper water resistance. The Moto G6 can take a little light rain (as I discovered thanks to Sydney's recent penchant for sudden showers) but immersion would be a quick way to kill the Moto G6.Back to top
Motorola Moto G6: Battery life
Budget handsets don't typically feature top-line processing power, but you can often make up for that by getting a lot of battery life out of their less-demanding systems.
This is exactly what happened with the Motorola Moto G6 in our tests. Its 3000mAh battery lasted through Geekbench 4's battery test very well indeed:
The Motorola Moto G6's battery isn't working all that hard during Geekbench 4's linear battery test, but its actual stamina is quite remarkable, joining only a very few handsets overall to record more than 600 minutes of running time in that test.
The good news extends out to daily use, where two-day battery life is achievable.
Charging is via USB C, making its very welcome debut in the Moto G series this year, although there's no sign of wireless Qi charging. Maybe next year, Motorola?Back to top
Motorola Moto G6: Should you buy it?
Motorola's G series phones are simple devices for a market that doesn't want particularly flashy features, just decent performance at a moderate price point.
The Moto G6 fulfils that remit precisely. It's a very easy recommendation for existing Moto owners looking for an upgrade from an older handset.
However, if you're simply looking in the budget space, you've got plenty of choices to consider. The Moto G6 remains a good quality buy, but Motorola can't simply keep cruising along doing the same old thing with so many competitive devices to consider.Back to top
Motorola Moto G6: Pricing and availability
The Motorola Moto G6 is available in Australia outright for $399.
Buy the Motorola Moto G6 from Amazon AU
With dual rear cameras, a sturdy gorilla glass body and a 5.7 inch display, Motorola's affordable Moto G6 gives you all the smartphone features you need without breaking the bank.View details
Motorola Moto G6: Alternatives
Motorola Moto G6: What the other reviewers say
|Trusted Reviews||"It isn’t quite the budget pioneer it once was, but the latest Moto G is still a fantastic phone."||4.5/5|
|TechRadar||"The Moto G6 may not feel or run like a flagship phone, but it’s not pretending to be one."||N/A|
|Tom's Guide||"Another great choice among midrange rivals, but one that hardly pushes any boundaries for the segment."||8/10|
|Wired||"The Moto G6 still reigns supreme as the best bargain smartphone."||N/A|
- Product Name
- Moto G6
- Display Size
- 5.7 inches
- Snapdragon 450
- Operating System
- Android 8.0
- Front camera
- Rear camera
- Dual 12 MP/5MP
- 153.8 x 72.3 x 8.3 mm
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