I have recently been overwhelmed with budget Android phones to review, in the past few days I have covered the Umidigi A1 Pro and the Alcatel 3V. Both of these phones are superb for the price, but with the £100 price point, you do have to make some sacrifices.
The Moto G6 costs from £219 SIM-free or from £20pcm with Vodafone which makes it sound expensive compared to the previous phones, but it is still about 25% of the price of many flagships, and less if you compare to the iPhone X.
The full specification of the Moto G6 includes:
- Display – 5.7 inches 1080 x 2160 pixels, 18:9 ratio with a 75.4% screen to body ratio
- OS – Android 8.0 (Oreo)
- SoC – Qualcomm SDM450 Snapdragon 450 – Octa-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53 – Adreno 506
- Memory – 64 GB, 4 GB RAM or 32 GB, 3 GB RAM
- Camera – Dual: 12 MP (f/1.8) + 5 MP (f/2.2), phase detection autofocus, dual-LED dual-tone flash
- Front Camera – 8 MP (f/2.2), LED flash, 1080p
- USB – 2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector
- Battery – Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery
- Extras – 3.5mm headphone jack, NFC
Design and Build
While there is nothing particularly stand out with the specification, it is a solid spec for a phone this price. I was sent the 32 GB, 3 GB RAM model but there is also a 64 GB, 4 GB RAM model exclusive to Amazon.
32GB is a good size for a budget phone, you have plenty of storage left over after you install any favourite apps. You then have the option to increase things later with micoSD.
Compared to the previous 2 phones I have reviewed, it has slightly ordinary looks, it is quite compact and has reasonably large bezels top and bottom. It has a glass back and aluminium frame which makes it a lot lighter than the Umidigi and feels much nicer in the hand than the Alcatel.
The fingerprint sensor is located on the front of the phone which is my preference, and I found it quick and responsive to unlock the phone when needed.
On the bottom of the phone, you get USB Type-C with fast charging along with the 3.5mm headphone jack.
On the rear of the phone is a large camera bulge house the dual camera system, the phone also comes with a clear plastic case and with this applied the camera bulge is gone, sitting flat with the case.
While the display doesn’t take up all of the front of the phone, it is still a decent 5.7-inch, and I find it fits nicely in my below average sized hands. It is smaller than my Mate 10 Pro, so this may be why it feels nice in the hand. The 1080 x 2160 pixel display with an 18:9 aspect ratio gives it a modern look and is bright and vibrant, it can’t compete with a flagship but I didn’t experience any washed out colours or graininess.
The overall build quality and feel of the phone feels far superior to the previous models I have reviewed, which helps justify the extra money
I have been pleasantly surprised with all the phone cameras I have used recently in the budget range, this is also true with the Moto G6.
While I was happy with the other 2 phones, they both suffered from shutter lag. The Alcatel has some issues with image artefacts that looked like a double exposure, and the Umidigi camera app crashed more than ones. I experienced none of these issues here.
I am quite a poor photographer all my photos are taken on auto often with very little thought involved. So, my opinion may not be the most professional. However, I think the Moto G6 takes great shots, well above it the standard you would expect from a phone at this price. I found the images all appeared to have brighter and more vibrant colours than the previous 2 phones, in particular if you enable HDR mode. There were hardly any blurry shots during my testing, which again is important to me. I am too lazy to take multiple shots or check how good a shot all the time.
For the more talented photographers, you get a feature rich manual mode, with various settings that are beyond my comprehension.
The only slight downsides I noticed was transitioning between modes; there was a small delay. Nothing major but if you are in a rush to get a shot it can delay things. The phone doesn't perform quite as well as premium models when there is limited light, a common problem with all phones, and more so with budget phones.
It doesn’t quite compare to the quality of the Mate 10 Pro, but that is an unfair comparison as this phone is less than half the price.
The camera app also has some image recognition software that enables you to take photos of objects you come across, or landmarks in a city you’re visiting, and get information about them. It can be a little slow analysing the imagines, but I have found it t be surprisingly accurate.
Software & Performance
This isn’t quite Android One, but Motorola has done a good job of keeping their hands off the interface too much.
Motorola includes the Moto App which introduces some nice additional features to the phone, the same as I saw on the Moto Z2 Force. It has some battery optimisation features, as well as the ability to make hand gestures in front of the phone to carry out actions or run apps.
One of the features I liked on the Moto Z2 Force that is also on this phone is the Moto Display which wakes the screen briefly with notification info.
Vodafone has also installed the My Vodafone app, and a widget. The app doesn’t auto load or nag you though, so it is no concern, and you can uninstall it too.
Everything else about the phone looks and feels like stock, and it all runs buttery smooth with no notable laggyness within apps of menu browsing. The Snapdragon 450 maybe bordering on the low end but you can tell it is superior to the MediaTek processors found in many ultra-low budget phones.
I am not a huge gamer, but it can handle some light gaming with no issues at all. I downloaded Lara Croft Go as a test, and it was perfectly playable.
It is also worth noting that the phone has NFC, so it is fully compatible with contactless payments in the UK.
The 3000mAh battery appears to be the standard for most phones at the moment, but the Moto G6 fairs reasonably well here. I found that the battery drain was noticeably slower than the Alcatel, and I was able to get a decent day use out of the phone when I stuck with general use activities such as social media, email and Spotify. On the day I took dozens of photos, things did drain quicker, but this is to be expected.
It is not amazing, but it is more than adequate. As a bonus the phone uses USB-C, and you get Turbo Power which it Motorola’s version of Quick Charge. So on the days, you do need to charge mid-way through, it doesn’t take too long.
The Moto G6 is a great phone, it does everything you want from a phone well and without serious slowdowns, or glitches, and it does it at an affordable price tag.
The previous 2 phones were good, but that was because they were so cheap, they performed better than the price suggested, but you still had to make some sacrifices with performance, features and build quality.
The G6 is double the price, but for the money, I don’t feel you are making too many sacrifices. It is not as good as my Mate 10 Pro, but if I were to keep it as my main phone, I don’t think I would notice the difference on a day to day basis.
In particular Android felt very responsive for most apps, and the camera has the ability to take some great snaps.
You can get some great contracts with the phone via Vodaphone here
Moto G6 Review
Product Name: Moto G6
- Build Quality - 90%90%
- Design - 80%80%
- Camera - 90%90%
- Battery - 80%80%
- Performance - 85%85%
- Price - 80%80%