Our pick

Moto G6 Plus

Underwhelming

Moto G6

The Moto G6 Plus combines an evocative glass-backed design with solid internals, a great camera, and fantastic battery life. Sadly, the phone isn't officially sold in the U.S., so you'll have to pick up the unlocked international model, which lacks warranty.

$279 at Amazon

Pros

  • Decent value
  • Attractive design
  • Great camera
  • Vibrant display

Cons

  • No warranty
  • GSM-only

The Moto G6 has the ingredients to be a decent budget phone, but the Snapdragon 450 chipset just isn't powerful enough to drive the Full HD panel. Couple that with Motorola's lackadaisical attitude toward updates and you're better off picking up the Moto G6 Plus.

$209 at Amazon

Pros

  • Works on all four U.S. carriers
  • Decent camera
  • Great build quality
  • All-day battery life

Cons

  • Lackluster performance
  • Still on Oreo

Should you buy the Moto G6 or the Moto G6 Plus?

Moto G6 Plus

Both the Moto G6 and G6 Plus share a similar design aesthetic that features a glass back, 18:9 FHD panels, and fingerprint sensors below the screens. The Moto G series is Motorola's bread and butter, and as has been the case for a few years, the manufacturer releases a slew of models around the world based on market requirements. In the U.S. for instance, Motorola is selling the Moto G6 and the G6 Play but not the more powerful G6 Plus, with the larger variant predominantly aimed at Asian markets.

However, you can now pick up the international variant from Amazon U.S. for $279, or $70 more than the standard Moto G6. As it is a model that's not officially sold in the U.S., you lose out on warranty — and compatibility with Verizon and Sprint —- and if you're okay with making that compromise, the Moto G6 Plus is a much better device.

Both phones look the same, but the Moto G6 Plus has much better performance.

For starters, the G6 Plus is powered by the Snapdragon 630, a stalwart in the budget segment. The Snapdragon 630 has eight Cortex A53 cores that are clocked up to 2.2GHz, and the result is reliable performance that ensures you don't notice any slowdowns in day-to-day use. Meanwhile, the standard Moto G6 is powered by the Snapdragon 450, and while that chipset also has Cortex A53 cores, they're underclocked, resulting in occasional lags and stutter.

The Moto G6 Plus also has a marginally larger 5.9-inch display — versus the 5.7-inch screen on the Moto G6 — and while both phones offer FHD+ resolution, the panel on the G6 Plus is better in day-to-day usage, offering much more vibrant colors. The Moto G6 Plus also has a larger 3200mAh battery that delivers better battery life than the 3000mAh unit on the standard G6. Both phones manage to last the course of a day, but the G6 Plus just offers that little bit extra, ensuring you don't have to worry about the phone running out.

And when it comes to charging, you can leverage 15W fast charging via the bundled wall charger.

Category Moto G6 Plus Moto G6
Operating system Android 9.0 Pie Android 8.1 Oreo
Display 5.9-inch IPS LCD, 2160x1080
Gorilla Glass 3
5.7-inch IPS LCD, 2160x1080
Gorilla Glass 3
Chipset Snapdragon 630
Adreno 508
Snapdragon 450
Adreno 506
RAM 4GB 4GB
Storage 64GB 64GB
MicroSD slot Yes (up to 256GB) Yes (up to 256GB)
Rear camera 1 12MP, f/1.7, Dual PDAF
4K at 30fps
12MP, f/1.8, PDAF
1080p at 30fps
Rear camera 2 5MP, f/2.2 5MP, f/2.2
Front camera 8MP, f/2.2 8MP, f/2.2
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, NFC, GPS Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS
Battery 3200mAh
Non-removable
3000mAh
Non-removable
Charging USB-C (2.0)
15W fast charge
USB-C (2.0)
15W fast charge
Water resistance Splash resistant Splash resistant
Security Front fingerprint sensor Front fingerprint sensor
Dimensions 160 x 75.5 x 8 mm
167g
153.8 x 72.3 x 8.3mm
167g
Colors Deep Indigo Deep Indigo

The Moto G6 Plus also wins out when it comes to connectivity, offering Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0, and the international version that's sold on Amazon also comes with NFC. The standard Moto G6, meanwhile, doesn't have dual-band Wi-Fi, and it lacks NFC as well.

The Moto G6 is still running Oreo, whereas the G6 Plus is receiving the Pie update.

While both phones sport 12MP main cameras, the f/1.7 imaging module on the G6 Plus delivers better photos in low-light scenarios. Both phones are strictly average when it comes to the camera side of things, but between the two the G6 Plus takes better photos.

Then there's the issue of updates: the Moto G6 is still running Oreo, but Motorola has kicked off the stable Pie update for the Moto G6 Plus. Motorola was once lauded for its timely updates, but that is just not the case anymore, and if you care about being on the latest version of Android you're better off selecting the G6 Plus.

For two phones that look the same, there are a lot of differences under the hood. The Moto G6 Plus is clearly the winner thanks to a more robust chipset, better camera, more vibrant screen, and better battery life. The marginal difference in cost between the two models makes the Moto G6 Plus a no-brainer if you're in the market for a sub-$300 phone.

Our pick

Moto G6 Plus

A solid budget option

The Moto G6 Plus manages to strike a decent balance between performance and value, and the glass design gives it an added sense of style. You miss out on warranty and compatibility with Verizon and Sprint, but if you're looking for a decent budget phone for use on T-Mobile or AT&T, the G6 Plus is a great choice.

Underwhelming

Moto G6

Completely misses the plot

The Moto G6 shares the same design aesthetic as the G6 Plus, but it doesn't have anywhere near the same levels of performance. You're better off paying th e$70 premium and getting the Moto G6 Plus.

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