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Motorola Moto G6 Plus review: Hands-on with Motorola’s big mid-range phone for 2018

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The Motorola Moto G range is easily one of the smartphone industry’s most popular. With the Moto G6 Plus, the biggest, most impressive entry in Motorola’s affordable smartphone lineup has just arrived.

Motorola Moto G6 Plus review: Everything you need to know

As its name suggests, the Motorola Moto G6 Plus is the larger of the three new Moto G 2018 range of phone. Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S9+ or the iPhone 8 Plus, the Moto G6 Plus isn’t actually that much bigger than its smaller counterpart, the Moto G6. With a 5.93in display, it’s just 0.2in larger than the regular G6.

In fact, there’s a lot of similarities between the G6 and G6 Plus. Glance from one to the other and you’d be excused from thinking they were the same handset. However, on the inside, there is a difference – and it’s quite a big one.

For starters, the Moto G6 Plus contains a more advanced processor, a more capable camera, lots more RAM and a bigger battery. In terms of going toe-to-toe with other mid-range devices, the G6 Plus sits more comfortably in line with the Sony XA2 and XA2 Ultra than the Moto G6 does, and for a lower asking price.

Motorola Moto G6 Plus review: Specifications, price and release date

Display

5.9in 1080 x 2,160-pixel IPS

CPU

2.2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 630

RAM

4GB / 6GB

Storage

64GB

Battery

3,200mAh

Rear Camera

Dual 12MP + 5MP with pixel phase detect autofocus, dual-LED flash

Front Camera

8MP, front flash

Price

£269

Release Date

May 2018

Motorola Moto G6 Plus review: key features and first impressions

So, the Motorola Moto G6 looks almost identical to that of the G6, which is no bad thing. But it’s uncanny just how difficult the two are to tell apart. As with the G6, the G6 Plus has Gorilla Glass on the front and back and soft curved edges at the rear.

Its fingerprint reader is still located on the front, with the circular dual-camera module at the rear appearing very much like it did on the G5 and G5 Plus. All the buttons and ports sit in the same locations too, with the volume and power buttons sitting on the right edge, with the SIM/microSD combi tray located on the top edge and a USB Type-C port along the bottom next to a 3.5mm headphone jack. Just like the Moto G6, the G6 Plus has a p2i water-resistant coating instead of a full IP-rating.

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On the inside, however, everything is different. There’s a 3,200mAh battery – as opposed to the G6’s 3,000mAh one – and a faster 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor. This is paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage and, compared to the Moto G6, should mean the Moto G6 Plus is a little nippier and less laggy than its smaller counterpart. As with almost every Motorola Android phone, it runs as close-to-stock Android as you’ll find on a non-Google phone.

The dual-camera array on the underside of the Moto G6 Plus may seem similar to that of the Moto G5 Plus’ but, once again, things are actually quite different. Your primary camera is a 12-megapixel shooter with a 5-megapixel secondary camera that’s used to provide depth information for depth editing. Its aperture is also different due to utilising a brighter f/1.7 aperture and dual-pixel autofocus.

Selfies should look pretty much identical between devices as both use the same 8-megapixel front-facing camera with identical flash systems.

Currently, it’s unclear just how much of a difference the Moto G6 Plus’ specs will actually make over the Moto G6. Having been unable to spend as much time using the G6 Plus over the standard G6, this hands-on is really only the most introductory of experiences. There are clearly notable improvements though, with specifications suggesting it will certainly be a more adept device compared to the G6. For instance, the Moto G6 Plus can also record in 4K thanks to is camera and the Snapdragon 630, whereas the G6 is limited to just 1080p.

Motorola Moto G6 Plus review: Early verdict

On first impressions, the Motorola Moto G6 Plus is a tricky phone to judge. It looks and feels identical to the Moto G6, but it’s £50 more expensive and seems to benefit from only fractional improvements to specifications.

These improvements undoubtedly mean a better experience overall, but does it really equate to the price difference in handsets? On the showroom floor, it’s unlikely people will plump for the Plus when the G6 will suffice, and that’s a real shame. Hopefully the differences really stand out once we can really put the Motorola Moto G6 to the test in our full review.

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