Motorola is one of the biggest brands in the communications technology business and they have never hesitated to innovate and push the envelope. The Moto smartphones have had a new lease of life since the first Moto G was launched a few years ago. The Moto G series then went from strength to strength and ruled the budget segment. There was a bit of a lull after the Moto G4 and the company had to struggle with the G5. The new G6 was launched a few hours ago in India. I spent good time with the device and here is my review of the Moto G6
Motorola is one of the companies that originally wrote the playbook on mobile phone design along with Nokia and Blackberry and with the Moto G6, you see that they are back on the top of their game. They have gone for a glass sandwich design with gorgeous Gorilla Glass 3 on both the front and the rear. This phone is arguably one of the best looking phones of the year and definitely the best in the budget segment. The materials used are premium and holding the phone in your hand feels really good. The Moto design team is back in full form. I am totally loving the look and feel of this device.
Like I said earlier, it’s clad in Gorilla Glass 3 at the front and back, so it’s easy to clean and is very resistant to scratches, scuffing and cracks – and those curved edges at the rear lend it a seriously classy look. A color-matched chrome-finish frame and a circular camera housing that gleams an expensive watch finish off the high-class look. A special mention of the camera ring that has now come to become the hallmark of Motorola design. It takes a lot of effort and solid conviction to go with a pronounced camera ring and design around it. The G6’s slightly bowed-out top and bottom edges, and its softly rounded corners help to give the phone an identity all of its own. Kudos to the team. It does stand out in the crowd. You get a p2i water-repellent coating on the device, which at least should keep it safe from harm should you spill your tea on it. A word to the wise, please use a back cover to avoid smudging this beauty.
On the bottom of the phone there’s a USB-C slot in the middle and thankfully, a 3.5mm headphone jack, so you can use your wired headphones with this phone. I wasn’t sure if Moto would keep the headphone jack for this phone, as it’s dropped it from its flagship products, so fans of wired headsets will be happy to see the feature retained here. Motorola has also kept the fingerprint sensor on the front of the phone, right below the display, it doesn’t take up much space, so the bottom bezel is quite thin and looks good. The sensor worked efficiently.
The display has been dramatically improved over the Moto G5S from 2017. The Moto G6 comes with an 18:9 aspect ratio display, and that’s an IPS LCD at 5.7 inches.You get a Full HD+ resolution, so it’s slightly higher than Full HD phones because of the taller screen size. Given the price and target audience of this phone, the display is a class topper in the segment. The new aspect ratio isn’t just good looking for the handset, there’s more screen packed into a smaller body. As a result, I found the G6 easier to hold than the Moto G6 Plus, and the screen is bright, with strong viewing angles too. Sunlight readability and color temperature are both excellent. There is an adaptive brightness setting too if you want to use it.
Battery life on the Moto G series has always been acceptable and the Moto G6 is no exception to this rule. Both the newly launched Moto G6 Play and Moto E5 Plus have a much bigger focus on long life battery with 4000mAh and 5200mAh cells in respectively, but the Moto G6 only has a 3000mAh battery. Having said that, it’s still offers a full day from a single charge with mixed usage. One of the days I was testing it I really put it through its paces and it needed a recharge at around 8 PM, but with average usage you should find it’ll last you through bed. In my case, I was putting it through extremely high usage for the sake of the review. I would very easily give it full marks on the battery and the fast charger that you get in the box does get you up and going in a jiffy without any hassles.
The Moto G6 has a dual-sensor setup, with a 12MP sensor working in tandem with a 5MP one actively supporting it. It’s not as powerful as what you’ll see on flagships like the Huawei P20, OnePlus 6, Samsung Galaxy S9 and that means you don’t get the same benefits, but I’ve been impressed by what I can do with this rear shooter. It actually made a decent photographer out of me. Photos taken using the auto mode look high-quality, and you’ll be happy to share them on social media. I found the camera can be a little slow to take a photo especially when the objects are moving, which can be irritating, but as long as you’re taking a photo of something static it won’t be a problem. The 12MP sensor has an aperture of f/1.8, while the 5MP secondary sensor is f/2.2. The second sensor plays a major role when you’re using the phone’s Portrait mode, which is a feature I’ve particularly enjoyed using on the phone. The portrait mode enables you to focus on a foreground subject and apply three different basic effects to your photos. You can blur the background, make part of the image black and white for a ‘color pop’ effect, or do a simple cutout of the foreground. I have had endless hours of fun playing with the cameras on this phone and I am very satisfied with the results. The 16 MP front-facing camera includes low light mode, which lets in up to 300% more light to make up for poorly lit conditions.* Combine that with an LED flash, and your selfies turn out great in any kind of light. *In low light mode, increasing the pixel size reduces resolution to 4 MP.
The phone also comes with 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, for example a Wikipedia page, or details of where you can buy an item. The phone can also read text in front of the camera and scan it into a business card for you directly from the camera UI without additional apps. This is a nifty feature to have. Here are some pictures I took with the phone
The Moto G6 is running Android 8 Oreo, and it an almost stock Android experience. Motorola has made a few tweaks to the stock interface, but for those tweaks are extremely useful and stay out of your way. The extras include Motorola’s own Moto app, which brings with it a few features you won’t get from other manufacturers.
This app will let you know if you are about to run low on storage or find your battery dying too early in the day, and help you to optimize your phone’s performance. I found this very useful on days when I was on the move and could not afford a productivity loss for my phone. The app also enables you to set up Moto Actions, which are actually motions that serve various useful functions. For example, if you make a karate chop motion twice with the phone in your hand the torch will turn on. This could prove useful if you’re in the dark and need the torch quickly, but you’ve to remember to set it up in the first place. Using this useful 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. You can use the fingerprint sensor for navigation actions such as step back, open your active apps or to return to the home screen.
Unlock your phone simply by letting the camera see your face. It knows who you are thanks to face recognition software, so you don’t need to enter your password. The fingerprint reader on Moto G6 does more than just unlock your phone. Also use it to control your phone. One long press on the fingerprint reader unlocks and locks your phone. Then swipe left to go back, swipe right to access recent apps, or tap once to go home
I have tried music through the speakers, wired headphones – the 3.5mm headphone jack is present and very effective here – and a Bluetooth headset, and found the volume and quality to be okay. 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. During long play of audio and video, I found this feature very useful. My multimedia experience with this device has been top notch.
The gaming and multi-tasking on this phone are good and I was not able to see any stutters or lags anywhere during my usage of the phone as a daily driver. The phone is running a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 chipset, which punches above its weight here. Performance-wise, the phone is very capable and nippy.
Pricing & Availability
Moto g6 will be available exclusively on Amazon.in and at Moto Hub stores across India in Indigo Black color and 3GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB variants starting at INR 13,999
Motorola is back with the Moto G6 and this phone is a must buy! The force awakens and the Jedi returns. At INR 13,999 this is a totally unmissable and brilliant budget phone! Go for it!