The Moto G series has been one of the go-to devices for many people in the mid-range segment – some would even say it reinvented that segment with the first Moto G in 2014. The series has been known to offer a great price-performance balance which has attracted many consumers over the years. The company has now added a new Moto G to the series, and it comes with some major design and specs changes as compared to its predecessor. Will it be able to take the Moto G tradition forward?
Moto G6: G for them glassy, Moto X, feels!
The Moto G series has come a long way in terms of design and looks. From plastic to metal, the smartphones in the family have always managed to keep up with design trends in the industry, and because glass seems likes the new metal, the Moto G6 comes with it.
The front of the smartphone is dominated by the 5.7-inch FHD+, 18:9 aspect ratio display that comes with a screen resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels. While the tall display is the major attraction on the front, Motorola has not tried too hard to hide the bezels around it. All the four bezels around the display are very discernable. The bezel above the screen carries the secondary camera, the earpiece/speaker, the LED flash and the proximity sensor – no, Moto has not said “hello” to the notch. The one below the screen sports the capsule-shaped fingerprint scanner and the company’s logo. There are no capacitive buttons on the lower bezel just like the predecessor, and the smartphone uses on-screen buttons for navigation. If you are not a big fan of on-screen buttons, you can always turn them off and use the fingerprint scanner for navigation.
Flip the phone around, and the premium-ness of the device will hit you right in the face. The glass back makes light rays bend when they fall on it and has edges that curve on the outside – something we also saw on the very gorgeous Moto X4. On the upper half, the company has placed Moto’s iconic circular camera unit, and the circumference has the same watch-like notches that we saw on the Moto X4, but who is complaining because it does make the phone stand out. The camera unit has a set of dual cameras along with dual tone LED flash. A little down south from that is the company’s logo. The rest of the back remains plain.
A problem that many glass backs face is smudging, but for some reason, smudges on the Moto G6 are not as noticeable as we have seen in some of the other smartphones. The back does pick up smudges and fingerprints, but you will not have the urge to clean it every 5 seconds because they are just not as obvious. Incidentally, the glass itself is Corning Gorilla Glass 3.
While the front and the back of the smartphone are sheer glass, the frame of the device is made up of aluminum but is coated with a reflective material. The base of the smartphone carries the USB Type C port and 3.5 mm audio jack while the top houses the dual SIM card tray with dedicated MicroSD card slot. Moving on to the sides, Moto has kept the left side of the smartphone completely clean while the right side sports the volume rocker and the textured power/lock button.
Overall, the Moto G6 looks beautiful. It reminds us a lot of the Moto X4, launched last year with a tall display added to the mix. And that is not a bad thing because the G6 is by far the best look G series smartphone that the company has launched. Because of the curvy sides, the device sits very well in hand. It measures 153.8 x 72.3 x 8.3 mm and weighs 167 grams. The smartphone is not the most compact or the lightest we have seen in recent times but does not feel uncomfortable to hold or use. And again, thanks to some Moto magic, it does not seem slippery, unlike most glass backed phones we have used.
Middling internals, as usual
Motorola has not only upped its design game but has also taken a step forward when it comes to specs. The Moto G6 comes with a 5.7-inch Full HD+ display with 18:9 aspect ratio and a screen resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels (as mentioned earlier, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3). The smartphone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor coupled with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage (there is also a 3 GB/32 GB version). The storage can be expanded up to 128 GB via microSD card, for which there now is a dedicated slot (no need to sacrifice a SIM card slot).
In the camera department, the smartphone comes with a set of dual cameras on the back with a combination of a 12-megapixel sensor and a 5-megapixel sensor with PDAF and dual tone LED flash. Yes, the cameras will offer depth of field and claim to be the best snappers on a Moto G, but interestingly, they also come with the “smart camera” (Moto has not used the AI word) feature that recognizes faces and also identifies landmarks and objects, and can also scan text. On the front, the device houses an 8-megapixel sensor with LED flash. And yes, there is face unlock support. The smartphone is powered by a 3,000 mAh battery with Turbo Charge for faster charging and there even is a TurboPower charger in the box. The device runs on Android 8.0, and yes, it is largely stock Android with a few Motorola touches, including Moto Gestures and a more elaborate camera app.
The Moto G6 comes with a front port loudspeaker with support for Dolby Sound and also has P2i water-repellent coating (no IP ratings here, so be careful). Connectivity options on the device include 4G LTE, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS. There is support for dual nano-SIM cards along with a dedicated slot of microSD card. And yes, you can find an FM radio on board as well.
Going up against very serious competition
The Moto G has been one of the most popular series in the mid-range segment. And unlike many of its competitors, it has made its presence felt in spite of never really being laden with the most powerful processors or accompanied with big numbers in the spec sheet – Motorola has always tried to play the experience card, blending decent (rather than exceptional) hardware with the clean Android experience, and of course, the assurance that the Motorola name brings to many. And it looks as if the latest addition to the family, the Moto G6, will try to take this tradition forward. The hardware on the G6 is frankly nothing to rave about on paper, although its design is easily among the most premium at this price point.
Which of course brings us to the price itself. The Moto G6 (3 GB/32 GB) is priced at Rs. 13,999 while the 4 GB/ 64 GB variant is priced at Rs. 15,999. Notwithstanding the premium design of the phone, these do seem to be on the higher side, especially when you consider that Asus and Xiaomi have Snapdragon 636 devices at lower or similar prices. Asus and Xiaomi both have stock Android devices in the price range as well. Even the looks of the device have a challenger – the Honor 9 Lite is very respectably specced and comes with a mirror finished back at a lower price, and if one is ready to invest a little more and values design, there is the downright gorgeous Huawei P20 Lite. Want metal rather than glass? There is the Nokia 6 (2018) in contention as well.
There is a Moto G in the market. And it looks better than ever before. But it has its task cut out matching a competition that has upped its design and spec game significantly. Just how well it manages to do that will be revealed in our detailed review in the coming days.