Despite the fierce competition, the Moto G line continues to be a reference within the mid-range. The trick to stay is to improve performance year after year and, also, bet on different models that cover more needs. This year the Moto G family is made up of three members and today’s protagonist is the older brother: the Moto G6 Plus.
The Moto G6 Plus climbs a notch in the mid-range and is in the range of 300 euros with components such as its Snapdragon 630 chip, 4 GB of RAM, the double camera or that glass design that represents a clear leap towards premium. Nor should we forget the camera, a rear dual sensor that brings the popular bokeh mode. After analyzing it in depth, now it is my task to draw conclusions after a more extensive test, specifically one month. Is the Moto G6 Plus still convincing?
Moto G6 Plus in video
Raising the bar on design, but keeping the hump
As I said, the design is one of the points that have improved in this generation. After testing the Moto G5, without a doubt, the Moto G6 have made an important leap in terms of aesthetics and materials. Metal frame, glass covering both sides, very careful finishes … Motorola has wanted to convey the premium feeling of the most advanced mobile phones and it has succeeded.
But everything that is premium is dirty. It is enough to take it a couple of times so that the back is fogged by fingerprints and loses that distinctive reflective look. Here the use of the silicone case that comes in the box is a solution, but although it is transparent it does not stop hiding the design in a way. I have ended up using it.
The Moto G6 Plus is the largest of its kind, but the elongated format helps to provide a comfortable grip and the size is not excessive.
The size is a highlight and the Moto G6 Plus is the first of its kind to mount a 5.9-inch screen. This will not appeal to everyone, but the fact of having a panel with an elongated format helps to make the operation quite comfortable. In addition, its shapes adapt well to the hand, it is not slippery (neither with a cover nor without it) and it is quite light. It is true that the front frames could have been tightened more, partly due to having kept the fingerprint reader in the front, but despite those additional millimeters it is not bulky, or at least not more than other mid-range of its generation.
Speaking of screen, no complaints in terms of quality. The IPS panel offers a very complete visual experience and it delivers both from the point of view of sharpness and brightness and color reproduction.
But not everything was going to be good, the design of the Moto G6 Plus also has a flaw and it is something that Motorola already has us used to: the hump of the camera. The dual camera is one of the star features of this model and It seems as if with that pronounced ‘bump’ they are trying to remind us that it is there all the time.
We are talking about a mobile with a profile of 8 millimeters, it is not thick, but it does not seem so thin that the camera protrudes almost two millimeters. At sight it is very striking, largely because the module is quite large and not the typical more discreet oval pickup that we usually see, although in return it gains originality. The camera on that round module is already a hallmark.
The camera hump may be more or less aesthetically pleasing, but what is clear is that the module is more exposed to bumps or scratches.
We may like it more or less aesthetically, but there is an indisputable fact and that is that when it stands out, the module is more exposed to bumps or scratches. I thought that attaching the included silicone sleeve would solve the problem but it only minimizes it. The camera still sticks out quite a bit, something we notice every time we support the mobile. In this month I have not dropped it even once and I have been careful, but despite this there are small marks of use on the frame that surrounds the glass. They are minimal but there they are, and if the test lasted several more months or even years (the usual use that we give to a phone) the marks would be more evident. Of course, the glass that protects the camera is pristine.
Performance makes the difference, autonomy not so much
I recently reviewed the Moto G6 and was pleasantly surprised by how well it performed with a Snapdragon 450. Knowing that the chip in the Moto G6 Plus is a Snapdragon 630, I was already expecting a level of performance, and it has been.
When we talk about day-to-day tasks such as chatting, posting on networks, taking photos or checking email, it is very difficult to find the line that separates the mid and high range in terms of power and with the Moto G6 it has become even more complicated. I have not had problems at any time, even managing several apps at the same time and switching between them quickly. However, the exception comes with games that ask for a lot of power. The clearest example I have lived with PUBG, which recommends playing with the graphics in low quality and in general it is not quite fine.
In performance, the Moto G6 Plus is above many models in its range. On the other hand, although the autonomy is good, it moves in the average and fails to stand out.
As already commented in the analysis, the Moto G6 Plus does not reach the level of a high-end, but it is undoubtedly above other models in the same range. Of course, in autonomy it does not stand out so much. Most days, its 3,200 mAh battery has given me a whole day without problems, but not much more. There is no complaint, but neither can I speak of autonomy as something to highlight.
Fast charging makes up for this and has made charging, although more frequent than I would like, a less ‘painful’ process. In an hour and a half we have the battery full, but if we have little time we can also get 50% in half an hour.
Face unlock and fingerprint reader, is it necessary?
Let’s talk about the safety of the Moto G6 Plus. As I said before, the fingerprint reader has stayed in the front and I have to say that, after a while using a mobile with a rear reader, it has been a relief to return to the front location. I missed unlocking the mobile while on the table without having to pick it up, especially if, in addition, the reader’s response is as fast as that of this model. The reader’s response is quick and accurate despite its elongated shape, I have rarely had to recognize the finger for it to be recognized.
But the security of the Moto G6 Plus does not stop there and, as current trends mark, Motorola also bets on an additional facial unlocking system. There are no special sensors, everything is done through the front camera. Or what is the same, We are talking about the unlocking system built into Android as standard, so in terms of security it is much better to use the fingerprint.
The Moto G6 Plus is ‘shielded’ with a fingerprint reader and the fashionable unlocking method: facial recognition. After a month it seems expendable, but I admit that it works well.
I have used both systems in combination and the truth is that facial unlocking is totally dispensable. As with most mobiles, for it to work we have to activate the screen first, so in the time it takes to do that we can put our finger on the reader and unlock the mobile. It is also a bit uncomfortable if, for example, we only want to activate the screen to see the time, since in many cases it is unlocked because it is quite accurate (in good light). I personally think that both methods combined are not necessary and I ended up removing facial recognition, but it never hurts to have more options available.
An attractive double camera but that asks for light
Motorola brought the dual camera to the Moto G line with the Moto G5S Plus and for this generation it continues to bet on this configuration. Here the advantage it offers us is the bokeh or background blur, no zoom or angle. The results of portrait mode are quite good, as long as the light accompanies, yes. The cutouts of the figures tend to be a bit artificial in some cases, but the camera app allows us to adjust the amount of blur manually and thus achieve a more natural and not so ‘blob’ effect.
Portrait mode achieves a fairly successful crop if the light is good. It also lets us edit the amount of blur for a more natural effect.
In addition to the portrait mode, the Moto G6 Plus takes advantage of its duality to offer cropping effects such as the substitution of the background or the color highlight with which we can keep the figure in color and make the background remain black and white. They are the typical functions that you try when you discover them but that end up being forgotten immediately afterwards. Other modes such as manual, with which we can control many parameters, give much more play and get more personalized effects.
The camera performs well in all other scenarios, but it often reminds us that we are dealing with a mid-range. Dynamic range suffers in bright scenes though HDR mode usually restores detail quite well. At night it defends itself fairly well as long as we do not enlarge the image too much and we do not try to photograph moving objects. As an image is worth a thousand words, we close this section with a gallery of photos taken with the Moto G6 Plus.
One month with the Moto G6 Plus
I test quite a few mobiles, many of them mid-range, and I usually notice a steeper jump between these and my usual smartphone, a high-end. However, after a month with the Moto G6 Plus, I have felt more comfortable than with other smartphones in its price range.
The excellent optimization of its software and a more than decent hardware make the user experience above what we could expect from a Moto G. Its screen also comes out well, wide, sharp and with excellent color reproduction. The camera is the section where the gap that separates the ranges is most noticeable, and is that despite a fairly well resolved bokeh mode, the quality of the shots can be improved, especially in more complicated conditions.
The Moto G6 Plus shines in user experience, display and design. The camera complies, but it is the point where it reminds us that we are dealing with a mid-range.
In general, the set is balanced and does not have great shortcomings, but it is true that its 299 euros place it in a price range that is a bit ‘in no man’s land’. Below that is the Moto G6 that also offers a very balanced experience, while paying a little more we can go to a more complete premium mid-range. Is the Moto G6 Plus recommended? Totally. He is good looking?…