Motorola Moto G6 & G6 Play hands-on

The Moto G line has been a longtime strong competitor in mid-range landscape, so it's no surprise that another year brings yet another successor into the equation. This time around, though, we're getting a one-two punch as both the Moto G6 and G6 Play are being introduced simultaneously packing trendy features – while complemented with affordable prices.


Borrowing some of the new design aesthetics introduced by its sibling in the Moto X4, both the Moto G6 and G6 Play are redesigned with glass finishes and rounded edges that make them utterly stunning for their price points. However, it should be noted that the G6 technically is wrapped in 3D Gorilla Glass 3 – while the Moto G6 Play is covered in 3D polymer glass of no particular branding. To tell you the truth, it's really difficult to tell apart the two kinds of materials, but Corning's glass will still offer the superior protection.

With the new designs, the phones are accompanied with 3.5mm headphone jacks and p2i water-repellent coatings that'll safeguard them from minor splashes. Considering they're mid-range devices and all, it's swell that the designs of the phones have taken a more premium approach, but at the same time, the glass surfaces makes them somewhat more fragile.


Going with the trends we've seen in the industry for the last year, both handsets now feature displays with 18:9 screen aspect ratios. Specially, the Moto G6 is fashioned with a 5.7-inch 1080x2160-pixel "Max Vision" IPS LCD display – while the Moto G6 Play is donning a 5.7-inch 720x1440-pixel "Max Vision" IPS LCD display. Indeed, there's a details superiority on paper with the Moto G6's display, but it's really tough to discern when you're looking at the two from normal distances.

In our short time checking the two out, we're entranced by the sheer iridescence of the two displays, as colors pop with some serious saturation to get our attention. Viewing angles, too, seem pretty decent as they don't seem to distort all that much. And finally, they're able to output a reasonable amount of brightness in the bright conditions we were checking them out!

User Interface

Diving into the software running on the two phones, they're both running a mostly stock Android 8.0 Oreo experience – so purists will be happy to see that out of the box. Naturally, being Moto branded smartphones, you can expect to find many of Moto's signature features that we've come to appreciate. From the vast Moto Actions at our disposal, to Moto Display that breathes useful information, there's nothing really out of the ordinary that we haven't seen before. Although, with the Moto G6, new Moto Actions allow us to leverage the fingerprint sensor for one-touch navigation to mimic the typical Android on-screen menu controls.

Running the show behind the scenes, the Moto G6 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 SoC coupled with 3GB/4GB of RAM, the Adreno 506 GPU, and 32GB/64GB of storage. Meanwhile, the Moto G6 Play is packing a Qualcomm Snapdragon 427 SoC coupled with 2GB/3GB of RAM, the Adreno 308 GPU, and 16GB/32GB of storage. Both smartphones also feature microSD card slots for storage expansion. While basic functions seem to perform fine in our quick assessment, they're really not meant to handle processor intensive things like gaming, but they can still probably do that to an extent if you're willing to accept slightly choppier frame rates.


Now, if you're a shutterbug and all, you'll probably want to go for the Moto G6 primarily because of its dual camera implementation, which boils down to 12MP and 5MP sensors with an f/1.8 aperture. This combination, naturally, allows the phone to capture portrait shots that blur the background with bokeh. In addition to that, the camera is tweaked with additional features such as landmark recognition, text scanning, spot color, and face filters to keep you occupied.

Conversely, the Moto G6 Play is only accompanied by a single 13MP sensor with an f/2.0 aperture lens and phase detection auto-focus. Not surprisingly, its camera features are a bit more reserved, limited to things like slow motion, panorama, and manual mode.

As for their front-facing cameras, both are blessed with 8MP snappers with LED flashes as well.


In the battery department, however, it's the Moto G6 Play that's graced with the beefier 4,000 mAh battery cell, which should deliver great longevity considering it's only dealing with a 720p+ display. As for the Moto G6, there's a 3,000 mAh inside of its body, which we're curious to see how it performs given the significantly smaller capacity. On the flip side, it's benefiting from having a 15W TurboPower Charging courtesy of its USB Type-C connection – whereas the Moto G6 Play has a 10W fast charging system with its microUSB connection.


Price wise, they're going to be positioned at a relatively sweet spot for being classified as mid-rangers. We're told that the Moto G6 will come in at $249 when it arrives, while the Moto G6 Play gets the discounted price of $199. Looking at the two price points, the $50 difference separating the two might not seem all that much, but given how the Moto G6 seems to have the more robust package, like its dual-camera system, faster processor, and higher resolution display, there's absolutely more value accompanying that extra $50. So far, there's no word on when we'll see them launch, but it shouldn't be too long from now.

Related phones

Moto G6
  • Display 5.7" 1080 x 2160 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 450, Octa-core, 1800 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh
Moto G6 Play
  • Display 5.7" 720 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 427, Quad-core, 1400 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 4000 mAh(29h talk time)



1. biagnosis

Posts: 106; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

No G6 Plus announced??

2. Nimbus

Posts: 442; Member since: Apr 02, 2018

Yea strange thing wonder where that is maybe should be around corner of annoucement.

3. Lanx1998

Posts: 59; Member since: Mar 06, 2017

WTF G6 scoring SD450 even G3 had SD 617.

4. Nimbus

Posts: 442; Member since: Apr 02, 2018

No u misinformed g3 had sd410.

5. rouyal

Posts: 1583; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

If you are a fan of large displays (too large for me), stock android, and a budget price, I think this is a good option. Well done, Moto. Good looking phone. Can’t find a straight answer on if both G6 and G6+ both have NFC. I think that should be pretty much standard on all mid range phones.

8. Sharky

Posts: 259; Member since: Jun 24, 2008

Its probably going to end up being market dependent again, which sucks. If it is then I'm sure neither will have NFC in the US.

6. Duncdawg26

Posts: 179; Member since: Jan 20, 2017

It's official - my next phone will not be a moto g. The g+ isn't coming to the states! >:( Super lame. They say it's only going to the markets the x4 wasn't released in >:( The x4 was an overpriced small phone. It started at $400 and if you YouTube honor 7x vs moto x4, it's definitively slower than the 7x... Moto still has a chance at my money with the z3 play but only if they break from their habit of overpricing it...

7. bbslimer

Posts: 17; Member since: Nov 23, 2011

So no G6 plus for the US? Wouldn't the G5s plus be a better option than the standard G6? Is this just a stall tactic to wait and sell off G5s plus inventory? I mean the 625 snapdragon is better than the 450 right? I'm just confused why the plus isn't being advertised for the US ma rket.. Maybe they will release it with a carrier... Or since Amazon pulled the G5s down, maybe they will make a splash with amazon? Oh well... It'll sort itself out

9. gandalf_the_junkie

Posts: 32; Member since: Feb 22, 2018

450 is just a 625 with slower clocks (200 mhz slower). 450 is the first 400 series on the 14nm process. I'm assuming the g6 camera will be superior. Better screen to body ratio, and a little longer in height because 18:9.

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