Moto G6 and G6 Play First Impressions: Premium design, updated camera and the stock Android UI

Moto G6 will be available at Rs. 13,999 on Amazon.in. The Moto G6 Play will sell at Rs. 11,999 on Flipkart.com.

    Moto G6 and Moto G6 Play First Impressions

    In a bid to pioneer connectivity and democratize premium smartphone experience, Motorola has announced the 6th generation Moto G smartphones in India. Moto G6 and Moto G6 Play are the latest additions to company's highly popular budget series which has been around since last 5 years. The first Moto G smartphone was unveiled in the year 2013 in India and was a runaway success due to its seamless hardware-software performance. It was the first Moto G that started the trend of performance-driven Android smartphones in budget price-segment.

    Moto G6 and G6 Play First Impressions

    The new Moto G smartphones aim for the same success and come with a promise to deliver a premium smartphone experience at pocket-friendly price-point. The new Moto G6 and G6 Play offers big displays, refreshed design and near stock Android user experience which has always been the highlight of the Moto G handsets. Moto G6 is priced at Rs. 13,999 on Amazon.in and the Moto G6 Play will sell at Rs. 11,999 on Flipkart.com. .

    We were present at the launch event of Moto G6 and here's what we think about the new budget Moto G handsets.

    Design: Inspired by Moto X4

    The newest generation Moto G handsets are by far the most premium looking smartphones in Moto G series. And while the handsets get a new makeover; the design is not 100 % original. Moto G6 and G6 Play resemble the company's slightly premium handset- Moto X4. Both the smartphones have 3D contour glass back panel that reflects light with slightest of the movement. The smartphones are protected by Gorilla Glass 3 coating on both front and back.

    Moto G6 and G6 Play have gentle curves and rounded corners, making them quite ergonomic. In my brief time with the new devices, I found that they are better-looking handsets as compared to previous Moto G series devices and are also better suited for one-hand use. Moto G6 features a multi-function fingerprint scanner at the bottom of the display that in addition to unlock the handset also allows for screen navigation with just swipes and taps combinations.

    The best thing about the design part of new Moto G handsets is the Moto X4 inspired watch dial-like dual-lens rear camera setup. It gives the new Moto G handsets a premium look and feel and makes them distinctive in sub Rs. 15k price-point. Overall, Moto has done a good job in designing the new Moto G handsets. Even though the design is not entirely new and unique, the new Moto G handsets will not disappoint consumers.

    Display: Motorola’s first 18:9 aspect ratio devices

    With the new Moto G6 and G6 Play, Motorola has finally joined the league of taller display handsets. The new Moto G6 sports a 5.7-inch Full HD+ Max Vision IPS display. The Moto G6 Play also features a 5.7-inch 18:9 aspect ratio screen but sadly, the resolution maxes out at 720x1440 pixels. The IPS displays are bright and vivid; however, the blacks are not very deep in pitch dark situations.

    We are yet to test the new Moto G handsets outdoors to evaluate the screen's performance in direct sunlight. Overall, the new displays on Moto G6 series handsets are well suited for day-to-day tasks like reading, web browsing, YouTube videos, etc.

    Hardware: Entry-level Snapdragon processor

    Motorola has opted for a less powerful Snapdragon CPU, which can be a dealbreaker for Moto G6 as brands like Xiaomi and Asus offer snappier CPUs at the same price-point. Moto G6 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor, which is technically not as fast as the likes of Snapdragon 625 and Snapdragon 636 SoC that powers up the Redmi Note 5 and Redmi Note 5 Pro and Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 respectively.

    The CPU is paired with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, which can be further expanded by up to 128GB via micro SD card slot. Motorola says that combined with stock Android, the SD 450 will deliver lag-free performance; however, the choice of CPU is still questionable. We will stress test the new Moto G handsets to evaluate their performance while running day-to-day tasks. Wait for our verdict on the performance part as specs do not always tell the real story.

    Software- Stock Android UI

    Software has always been the highlight of Moto G smartphones and the new devices also ship with the stock Android UI. The smartphones run on Android 8.0 Oreo with no unwanted bloatware. You also get Motorola's thoughtful Moto actions that can come really handy in everyday smartphone usage. You can simply twist your wrist to launch the camera, perform a chop gesture to activate the flashlight and take a quick screenshot with three finger swipe. Besides, there are several other thoughtful gestures that work quite well and pace up the mobile user experience in everyday scenarios. Overall, the software experience is one of the major highlights of new Moto G smartphones.

    Camera: Dual-lens on Moto G6 with Google Lens support

    Moto G6 sports a dual-lens rear camera setup featuring 12MP+5MP sensors. And the Moto G6 Play has a single 13MP sensor coupled with a f/2.0 aperture lens. On the front, Moto G6 features a 16MP selfie camera, whereas Moto G6 Play bears an 8MP sensor coupled with an 80-degree wide-angle lens. The selfie camera now supports AR stickers.

    The dual-lens allows for hardware driven bokeh effect on Moto G6. It also offers selective focus which enables you to focus on a specific subject after taking a shot. The 16MP front-facing camera on Moto G6 works on Multi-Pixel technology and has a dedicated low light mode that combines the individual pixels for brighter selfies. The front-facing camera also offers face unlock feature. The new Moto G handsets will also have Active Photo mode, something like the Live photos mode we have tested on Apple iPhones. Importantly, the new Moto G6 camera will also feature Google Lens in the coming months after an update. Google Lens allows you to fetch information of products and objects by just pointing the camera.

    As far as performance is concerned, the camera seemed pretty average on both the handsets. The HDR mode seemed quite effective and portrait mode also showed some level of improvements on Moto G6 as compared to previous generation Moto G handset. We will spend some more time with new Moto G handsets to find out the camera potential of new devices.

    Battery and Connectivity

    Moto G6 is powered by a 3,000 mAh battery unit, whereas the Moto G6 Play is backed by a bigger 4,000 mAh battery unit. Both the handsets ship with TurboPower charger which as per Motorola can deliver up to 6 hours of battery backup with just 15 minutes of charge.

    On the connectivity front, you get the usual set of features like 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, dual-SIM, 3.5mm headphone jack and USB Type-C port.

    Verdict

    The new Moto G devices look and feel better and run the latest Android software with a clean and minimal UI. The cameras on Moto G6 show some improvements; however, we are yet to test the camera performance in detail to give a final verdict. Besides, the other specifications and features seem pretty basic.

    There's no doubt that Motorola Moto G series is quite popular in India; however, the budget smartphone segment is now fiercer than ever. The new Moto G series has to face a tough fight from Xiaomi's latest Redmi Note 5 devices and the recently Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1. Stay tuned for our review of Moto G6 and Moto G6 Play on Gizbot.com.

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