The Moto G6 is an Android smartphone with a lot of baggage. Five years ago, Motorola was a company struggling to find its identity but it hit upon a golden strategy almost by accident with the original Moto G. Since then, the G has gone from strength to strength and has become firm's most popular ever phone.
For a budget phone, the Moto G6 is nothing short of exceptional. It doesn’t have quite the same level of specifications as flagships costing hundreds of pounds more, but it delivers astonishingly good value for money and has a great camera, too.
Just to reiterate, the Motorola Moto G6 is one seriously good-looking smartphone, but the beauty is not just skin-deep. It’s clad in Gorilla Glass 3 at the front and back, so it’s easy to clean and should be resistant to scratches, scuffing and cracks – and those curved edges at the rear lend it a seriously classy look. A colour-matched chrome-finish frame and a circular camera housing that gleams an expensive watch finish off the high-class look.
On the negative side, the camera housing sticks out quite a long way and it does tend to pick up and harbour pocket dust at an alarming rate. There’s also no full waterproofing or IP rating here. You get a p2i water-repellent coating instead, which at least should keep it safe from harm should you spill your tea on it.
Inside the Motorola Moto G6 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 – an octa-core 14nm processor running at 1.8GHz – with 3GB of RAM and a rather measly 32GB of storage to back it up. It’s a modern chip but not the most powerful on the block.
Battery life wasn’t amazingly good from the phone’s 3,000mAh power cell. It lasted 10hrs 46mins in our video-rundown test, which is below average. However, true to Motorola’s claims, it will last a day in regular use, if not a little longer if you’re careful.
For the money, though, the quality of the photographs you can capture with the Moto G6’s camera are nothing short of stunning. In low light, the Moto G6 achieves the perfect balance of grain to noise suppression with the camera retaining a truly impressive amount of detail and colour. It’s not Samsung Galaxy S9 or Google Pixel 2 levels of good, but this phone costs a fraction of those handsets, and it isn’t far behind.
Motorola Moto G6 review: Verdict
The Moto G6 is a stunning budget phone, and although I have been comparing it to the Honor 9 Lite, it’s actually a level above. It has its shortcomings – there’s a touch of lag on the camera shutter, and the screen isn’t the brightest – but these aren’t deal breakers.
The quality of images the camera can produce is amazing, the design is fabulous, and the software is chock full of useful extras, while still retaining the look of stock Android.
With the Moto G6, Motorola is well and truly back on form. If you’re in the market for a phone at around this price, the only alternative you should consider is its slightly more expensive sibling, the G6 Plus, which is faster, has slightly longer battery life, and a better display.