Motorola finally announced the Moto G6 – the successor to the Moto G5, our favourite mid-range device – on Thursday during an event in Brazil.
Every time I check out a new Moto G smartphone, I question why I pay so much for the high-end flagships. There was no exception when I checked out the Moto G6 at a pre-brief demo event in New York City. When it boils down to it, Motorola’s “G” series smartphones do everything I need a smartphone to do for a fraction of the price I usually pay for a new smartphone.
Usually, there are tell-tale design elements that Moto G devices are in the “mid-range” of the smartphone spectrum, like a plastic back. But Motorola is blurring the line between mid-range and high-end quite considerably with the Moto G6’s design.
Check out the Moto G6, which costs $US250 and will be available to buy “in the coming months:”
From the front, the Moto G6 is a pretty standard smartphone.
The Moto G6 isn’t especially exciting on the front, but that’s absolutely fine considering its $US250 price tag. At that price, no one should expect the ultra-narrow bezels and curved displays we’re seeing in the high-end flagship devices.
One thing the Moto G6 has that you’ll usually find on high-end Android devices is a 5.7-inch display with an 18:9 aspect ratio, which makes the screen taller rather than wider. It’s a nice touch, as it lets you see a little bit more of your apps than the standard 16:9 displays on smartphones from 2016 and before. And the display has a 1080p resolution, which anyone can be happy with.
It has a fingerprint sensor on the front with a neat little trick.
The Moto G6’s wide fingerprint sensor can also be used with swipe gestures – the same Android navigation buttons and actions you usually see at the bottom of the screen. Swipe right on the fingerprint sensor to get your recently-opened apps, press it to go home, and swipe left on it to go back.
It’s a nice touch that lets you hide the Android notification buttons so they get out of the way of your apps and content on the screen.
The Moto G6 runs a pretty clean version of Android, which is always a good thing.
I’m partial to smartphones that run clean versions of Android. There’s little bloatware and extra design elements, and the Moto G6 ran Android 8.0 smoothly during my short time with it as a result. And that’s with its mid-range-but-still-powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor.
You’ll get to choose from two different models of the Moto G6, including the $US250 model with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, and another with 4GB of RAM for a slight performance boost and 64GB of storage.
Both models will support extra storage with a microSD card up to 128GB.
It has a few extra features that tie in nicely with Android.
Motorola does add a few extra features in its version of Android running on the Moto G6, like gestures that act as shortcuts for the camera and flashlight. These extra features seem genuinely useful, and they didn’t feel like they bogged down the Moto G6’s performance.
You’ll find actual glass around the back of the Moto G6, which is pretty amazing considering the phone’s price tag.
Around the back you’ll find another feature that’s usually reserved for expensive high-end Android devices: A glass back. It looks and feels positively premium, and makes the Moto G6 feel like a high-end Android phone.
At the same time, while glass backs are nice, they’re one more thing that can break. And it doesn’t really offer much more aside from aesthetics on the Moto G6. Glass backs on premium Android devices afford features like wireless charging, for example, which is absent on the Moto G6. Still, I wasn’t expecting the Moto G6 to have wireless charging, and you do get that premium device look and feel with the glass back.
It is, indeed, a very nice phone for its price.
Holding and looking at the Moto G6 isn’t exactly the same experience as it is with the Galaxy S9, LG G6, or Pixel 2, but it’s pretty close.
The Moto G6 isn’t water resistant, but it is “water repellent.”
You don’t get the same kind of water resistance that the high-end Android devices have, but Motorola did add water-repellent nanocoating to the phone’s innards. Motorola claims the nanocoating is actually better than the usual “IPXX” ratings on high-end smartphones, as their nanocoating doesn’t become compromised if – or when – you drop the Moto G6.
Motorola emphasised comfort in the Moto G6 design, and it delivers.
The curved edges of the Moto G6 and its light weight make the phone comfortable to hold and use, at least during my short time with the phone during the demonstration.
The Moto G6 has a dual-lens camera.
The Moto G6’s 12-megapixel and 5-megapixel dual-lens camera gives you portrait mode, which is another feature that’s usually reserved for high-end phones. I’ll be testing out the Moto G6’s camera when I get my hands on a review unit.
And just in case you’re wondering, the Moto G6 does come with a headphone jack.
It’s not surprising that the Moto G6 comes with a headphone jack, but anyone interested in the Moto G6 who wants to keep using their wired headphones without a ridiculous dongle can rest assured that they will have a headphone jack.
You also get a USB-C port that includes fast charging for the Moto G6’s 3,000mAh battery.
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