Moto G6 Play Review: First Look


Kicking off Motorola’s updated Moto G line-up is the Moto G6 Play, a sleek budget phone that costs just £169. But is it the UK’s new best budget phone?

The Play model is a stripped-down version of the G6 and G6 Plus, but it’s not a compact phone: this is a 5.7in smartphone with a huge 4000mAh battery. 

Moto G6 Play Price & Availability

The Moto G6 Play is a truly budget phone at £169 (199€). It will go on sale on 2 May 2018 at EE, O2, Carphone Warehouse, Tesco, Amazon, Argos and John Lewis.

However, if budget is your primary concern, note that Motorola also announced the cheaper still Moto E5 (£119) and Moto E5 Plus (£149) at the G6 launch event, and there’s not a huge difference between the G6 Play and E5 Plus. The E5 Plus has a larger screen and higher-capacity battery, too.

We’ve explained the differences between Moto G6, G6 Plus and G6 Play here.

Moto G6 phones

Design and build 

While the G6 (reviewed) and G6 Plus (reviewed) look pretty much identical, the Moto G6 Play has a slightly different design. You can tell it’s part of the same range of phones, but the Play has a few quirks that make it stand out. 

For starters, the fingerprint scanner is on the back and has the Moto logo on it. You might prefer the placement compared to the front-mounted G6 and G6 Plus, but that’s entirely down to personal preference.

At first glance you’d think Motorola had removed its headphone jack, but actually it’s moved it from its position next to the USB port on the G6 and G6 Play to the top of the device. Another change here: that port is Micro-USB rather than USB-C.

While the more expensive G6 models have a sleek 3D glass rear cover, the G6 Play is plastic. It still looks and feels good, and actually the plastic cover helps in terms of grip.

The other thing missing here is a p2i water-repellent coating (in the UK at least), so you’ll have to be a little more careful with it.

Another thing to note is that the G6 Play is a bit chunkier at 9mm and weighs a reasonable 175g. These aren’t huge differences to the other G6 phones, though. 

Moto G6 Play screen

Specs and features 

So the screen of the G6 Play remains at 5.7in but the resolution drops to HD+, so it’s 720p but with some extra pixels to make up the 18:9 aspect ratio. 

The screen isn’t as nice to look at as that on the G6, of course, but it’s not terrible either. It’s more than sufficient at this price, and this is one of the cheapest 18:9 phones we’ve seen (also see the £199 Honor 9 Lite).

It’s impressive to see the G6 Play has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, which matches the entry configuration of the regular G6. However, the processor drops from a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 to a 430.

The lower-grade chip means performance isn’t as good, and in a tangible way.

Motorola has given the G6 Play a 13Mp camera, but there’s no secondary lens. There’s phase detection autofocus and an f/2.0 aperture.

After a quick play, pun unintended, the camera seems reasonable for a phone this cheap, but it doesn’t have the same features as the more expensive models.

Video is limited to 1080p at 30fps, though the phone can still record slow-motion. The front camera is 8Mp like the others but, again, has fewer features. 

Although most areas are downgrades, the Play offers a much higher-capacity battery than both the other G6 phones. It’s a whopping 4000mAh, compared to the 3000- and 3200mAh G6 and G6 Plus.

Motorola says this means you can get no less than 32 hours usage from the device, which sounds amazing. Like the others, it also benefits from Turbo Charging: you can get six hours of life from a 15-minute charge.

Moto G6 Play camera

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Software and apps

Overall the experience on the G6 Play isn’t any different but, as mentioned, many of the neat camera features are missing here. That makes quite a difference.

You still get Android 8.0 Oreo with a stock interface – it’s very much the experience you get on Google’s own Pixel devices.

That means Android as it’s intended, with no bloatware to take up valuable storage. 

Motorola does add its own Moto app, which contains helpful things such as actions and things you can do with the display. The G6 Play doesn’t have Moto Voice, though.



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