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Moto G6 review

One of the best budget phones, plus the shiny looks

Interface and reliability

  • Android 8 Oreo software that looks similar to Google's intended look
  • Moto Actions gives you some easy shortcuts to features like the torch

One of the best things about Moto phones is their stock Android experience. It runs the latest version of Android 8 Oreo with slight Moto customisations on top. Moto isn't among OEMs that bloats the UI with tons of apps and features. Instead, most of the features added on top are useful and do make operating the phone easy. There's no clutter of unwanted apps, and even the icon pack is same as stock. 

 The extras include Motorola’s own Moto app, which brings with it a few features you won’t get from other manufacturers.

This app helps you with the storage and battery management by suggesting best ways to optimise phone's performance. The feature works pretty well, it helps save a lot of space by removing duplicate files and junk from the phone.

The app also enables you to set up Moto Actions, which are motions that act as shortcuts to various functions. I've always been a lover of these actions, one of the best features Moto has been putting in their phones from years. 

One of them is the karate chop motion, which turns on the flash if you do it twice. Then there's a twist to turn camera action that turns on the camera and also switches between front and rear snappers.

There are more gesture enabled features like pick up to silent a call or turning your phone over to put it into ‘do not disturb’ mode.

All of these are useful, but again you do need to remember that they’re there, and set them up, to be able to make use of them.

Within the Moto app you can also turn on a feature called ‘One-button nav’, which will give you a bit of extra screen space as it eliminates the need for the navigation buttons that appear along the bottom of the display.

Instead you can use the fingerprint sensor for navigation, a feature found on older Moto G phones as well. 

Movies, music and gaming

  • Good audio performance considering the price of the phone
  • There's a 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Acceptable gaming performance

The Moto G6 is neither build to offer amazing audio or video quality, but it won't disappoint, especially for its price. I used the 3.5mm jack and the loudspeaker too, and did not find anything extraordinary to be happy about. It's pretty average, nothing special here. 

There’s an app on the phone called Dolby Audio, which enables you to set up and tinker with sound profiles for different media on your phone. You can create film, music, game and audio profiles, as well as two custom ones.

I did use the music mode on this. It offers preset settings for equaliser, but you'll hardly end up using them unless you are an audiophile or using a good set of headphones.

The loudspeaker on the G6 is quite powerful though. It's not as powerful as you'd find on HTC or Sony's but, still better than it's counterparts.

I've already mentioned that the display is crisp and gives an immersive video viewing experience. The brightness isn't very high, but it's not going to be a hurdle in movie watching experience. But yes, you might struggle watching under bright sun, which is quite normal. 

For gaming, I won't suggest you to buy this if you're particularly interested in graphic-heavy mobile games. It does run basic games well, or even the Asphalt 8 if you consider it a benchmark. But when it comes to games like graphic-intensive online multiplayer titles like PUBG, it does has its shortcomings. 

Performance and benchmarks

  • Features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 chipset with 3GB of RAM too
  • 32GB of storage in main option, but there's also a 64GB variant

Over 15 days of testing the Moto G6, I figured that he Moto G6 is quite a performer for its price. When I first looked at the Snapdragon 450 chipset, my expectations weren't sky-scraping. 

As mentioned, it is running a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 chipset, which impressed us on the Xiaomi Redmi 5 earlier this year, and it punches above its weight in a similar way here. 

On Geekbench 4 the Moto G6 returned a multi-core score of 3,807. That's much better than the Moto G5S, which scored 2,294 in the same test last year, although it falls short of the Moto G5S Plus, which scored 4,312.

For basic usage, I didn't find it to be struggling at any point of time yet. It launches apps quickly, switching between apps is smooth, and multitasking isn't limited to just 5-6 apps. I managed to work seamlessly with more than 10 apps open at one point of time.

if your'e switching from a flagship phone to Moto G6, you might find some popular apps taking longer than usual to launch, but the difference isn't frustrating. 

For those who prefer speed and power over design, the Redmi Note 5 Pro is an option that brings way more power to the table at exactly the same price. It runs a Snapdragon 636, and offers 4GB of RAM on the base variant. Also, if you think Snapdragon 450 is good for your need and you can compromise on the extras that the Moto G6 offers, you can consider the cheaper Redmi 5 as well. 

Verdict

The Moto G6, just like it's predecessors, brings the design and features from a mid-range phone to sub-15K. Individually, the phone is a perfect balance of beauty and power at this price, but the competition offers a rather high-specced device at the same price point. So, if power is only what you need, you can check out either the Redmi Note 5 Pro or the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1.

Nevertheless, the Moto G6 has some key advantages over them and it matters to many. You should buy it if you like flaunting your phone, it undoubtedly looks much more premium for its price and only Honor 9 Lite has something to compete here. On top of that, the Moto exclusive features do play a part in making it an interesting buy. Stock Android loyalists can get a smooth Oreo experience, and a guarantee to the next update. 

Lastly, small elements like a USB Type-C port, Turbo Charger and Splashproof body make it an option worth considering.