Motorola Moto G6 review: A budget phone shouldn't be this good | Apps & Software

How do you follow-up last year’s wonderful budget-friendly Moto G5 Plus? Well, you could start with the outside. Add a second rear camera for portrait mode photos. Trade that micro-USB port in for USB-C. Get rid of the 16×9 screen ratio and go tall with a trendy 18×9 display that shows more content vertically. Say bye to the metallic back side and hello to a glass back with curved edges, specifically Gorilla Glass 3.

The overall result would be a phone that looks decidedly 2018 but with pretty much everything we loved about last year’s Moto G5 Plus. And that’s exactly what the Moto G6 is.

Last year’s Moto G5 Plus hit a sweet spot between features, design, performance and price. The Moto G6 ($260 at Amazon.com) hits most of those, but misses with a shorter battery life.

The Moto G6 looks sleek and modern. It has a groomed slicked-back hair vibe that makes it look anything but affordable. And despite having shorter battery life than last year’s Moto G5 ($160 at Amazon.com) and G5 Plus, I thoroughly enjoyed the Moto G6, especially when I remembered that it costs $249, £219, AU$399 — that’s crazy-affordable compared to the $1,000 iPhone X.

Roughly the same size as the Moto G5 Plus, the Moto G6 has thinner bezels and a back glass that curves at the edge for a comfortable grip. Like nearly every phone with a glass back, it collects more fingerprints than an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. But I really like this new design especially because the Moto G6 doesn’t look like a “cheap” phone.

If you’re outside the US and your budget has some wiggle room, the Moto G6 Plus deserves a strong look. And if the Moto G6’s body styling isn’t up your alley, check out last year’s Moto G5S Plus ($289 at Amazon.com).

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On the left is the Moto G6 and on the right the Moto G6 Play. The dual-camera unit on the Moto G6 looks like a shocked face emoji.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Moto G6, G6 Plus, G6 Play: What’s the difference?

I tested the Moto G6 with 32GB of storage, 3GB of RAM and no NFC. I bring this up because there are three new G-series phones for 2018. To confound things further, each model is tweaked a bit depending on where you live.

  • Moto G6 Play: This is the most affordable of the three phones. In the US, it costs $50 less than the Moto G6. You get a lower resolution display, a single rear camera, but also the biggest battery of the three — a 4,000mAh whopper more capacious than the one found in the Galaxy S9.
  • Moto G6: Though it’s the same size as the Moto G6 Play ($205 at Amazon.com), the Moto G6 has a higher resolution display, dual-rear cameras and a more powerful processor. In the UK and Australia, the Moto G6 comes with NFC and there’s “step up” UK version with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.
  • Moto G6 Plus: Despite not being available in the US, the Moto G6 Plus is the highest-end option in the Moto G family. It has a 5.9-inch display instead of the 5.7-inch ones found on the G6 and G6 Play and the battery is slightly larger than the one in the G6. The UK model has NFC and an option for 6GB of RAM.

Moto G6, G6 Plus, G6 Play top features and prices

Key features of the Moto G phone family

Moto G6 (US, UK, Australia) Moto G6 (UK) Moto G6 Plus (UK, Australia) Moto G6 Play (US, UK, Australia)
Price (without discounts) $249, £219, AU$399 £239 £269, AU$499 $199, £169, AU$329
Screen 5.7-inch 5.7-inch 5.9-inch 5.7-inch
Processor 1.8 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 1.8 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 1.4GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 427
Storage 32GB 64GB 64GB 16GB (US only), 32GB
RAM 3GB 4GB 4GB, 6GB (UK only) 2GB (US only), 3GB
Battery 3,000 mAh 3,000 mAh 3,200 mAh 4,000 mAh
Rear camera(s) 12-megapixel & 5-megapixel 12-megapixel & 5-megapixel 12-megapixel & 5-megapixel 13-megapixel
NFC Yes (UK, Australia), None (US) Yes Yes Yes (UK), None (Australia)
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Here’s a photo of a cable car taken with the Moto G6. The photo has good dynamic range keeping the sky in-balance with the cable car.


Patrick Holland/CNET

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