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June 29, 2018

Should you buy the Moto G6?

by John_A

In a sea of good budget phones, should you buy what Moto’s selling?

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A lot of ink is spilled over expensive flagship phones that cost an arm and a leg — and $1000. But most people don’t need a phone that costly.

The Moto G6 is one of those phones that really, truly delivers everything you need in a smartphone at a reasonable $249 price. But should you buy it? Let’s walk through the reasons why and why not.

First, are the specs good enough?

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The Moto G6 comes with everything you’d expect in a phone: a Snapdragon 450, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 3000mAh battery, a 12MP rear camera, a fingerprint sensor, and a 5.7-inch HD display. It also runs Android 8.0 out of the box.

Let’s address the elephant in the room: is the Snapdragon 450 platform powerful enough to do what needs to get done? The answer is yes.

While it may seem like it’s a significant downgrade from the Moto G5 Plus’s Snapdragon 625, it’s basically the same chip. The only major difference is the speed of the individual cores — they run at 1.8GHz compared to the 2.0GHz on the S625. In real-world use, the two chips are indistinguishable. But the Snapdragon 450 has all the same power efficiencies of modern Qualcomm chips.

If you don’t know what all this means, don’t sweat it: just know that the Moto G6 is plenty fast enough for gaming, Instragramming, and everything else you need a phone to do.

How’s the battery life?

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Everyone wants their phone to last well into the evening, and the Moto G6 delivers, too. The 3,000mAh battery is plenty big on its own, but combined with the Snapdragon 450 and Motorola’s power-effiienct build of Android, you’re not going to need to worry about battery life.

Is the camera any good?

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It is! In fact, it’s better than any $250 phone we’ve reviewed to date. Check out the quality for yourself.

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There’s a 12MP main camera with an f/1.8 lens for real depth of field, and there’s also a secondary rear sensor that provides depth information for features like portrait mode and color cut-out. The second sensor isn’t great, and neither are the portrait photos that come from it, but the primary one is good enough that it doesn’t matter.

Here are some more photos.

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The selfie camera is pretty good, too.

What else do you need to know?

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The phone is made of Gorilla Glass 3 front and back, and it’s got curved sides, so it can be a bit slippery. I’d recommend buying a case for your Moto G6 as soon as possible. (I like this clear case if you still want to see the shiny finish.)

And if you’re upgrading from an early Moto G phone, you’ll notice the G6 charges with a different type of cord. It’s called USB-C, and it’s awesome — and reversible!

Finally, the phone works on all major U.S. carriers, so once you buy it you don’t have to worry about whether it will work if you switch providers.

What are the main competitors?

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The Moto G6 doesn’t exist in a vacuum. The $200 to $300 price range is full of great options, like the $269 Nokia 6.1 and the $199 Honor 7X, but neither provide the same well-rounded experience as the Moto G6.

Honor 7X review: A budget champion

Why you shouldn’t buy the Moto G6

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There are a couple things that keep the Moto G6 from being a sure thing. First, the screen isn’t amazing, and it doesn’t get bright enough to easily use outdoors, so if you spend a lot of time in the sun this probably isn’t the phone for you.

Second, Motorola isn’t great about releasing software updates, so don’t expect to receive monthly, or even quarterly, security patches. Or, when Android P comes around, to see it in 2018. While Motorola has committed to improving its update cadence, we haven’t seen much evidence of that yet.

Why you should buy the Moto G6

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For all the reasons I stated above, plus more. This is a $250 phone that looks, feels, and performs like one double the price.

It’s also available through Amazon’s Prime Exclusive program for $235, which makes it an even better deal.

See at Amazon

Moto G6, G6 Plus and G6 Play

  • Moto G6 Plus review: Mastering the art of the mid-range phone
  • Moto G6 review: Finding success in compromise
  • Moto G6, G6 Play, and G6 Plus specs
  • Join our Moto G6 forums

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