If your budget allows you to afford the Nokia 7.1, do yourself a favor and pick it up over the Moto G6. It's better in virtually every way and is a phone that you'll be able to use confidently and enjoyably for the years to come. With that said, the Moto G6 is still a great purchase for people on tighter budgets and makes sensible compromises that don't detract too much from the overall user experience.
Which of these phones is right for you?
The Nokia 7.1 and Moto G6 are both really great phones, but each one caters better to a certain audience depending on what kind of budget you have.
Starting first with the Nokia 7.1, this is, hands-down, one of the very best phones you can buy for under $400 or $500. I was tasked with reviewing the phone when it first came out back in November, and since then, it's become one of my top recommended phones.
Why? The Nokia 7.1 is a joy to use and makes you feel like you're using a device that could easily cost $600+.
Its metal and glass build not only looks great, but it also feels fantastic in the hand. The power and volume buttons press with a satisfying click, the entire body feels incredibly sturdy, and there's a decent amount of weight that prevents it from feeling too lightweight and cheap.
It's really hard not to love the Nokia 7.1.
The display is a good size at 5.84 inches, and while there is a notch, it's pretty minimal and is something you forget about after a couple days of use. Everything on the screen is bright and crisp, and in addition to natively supporting HDR10 content, the Nokia 7.1 can even convert regular SDR videos into HDR ones — resulting in an image that's much more vibrant and colorful.
Another big highlight here is the software experience. The Nokia 7.1 shipped with Android Oreo but has since been updated with the latest build of Android 9 Pie. The user interface very closely resembles the stock experience found on Google's Pixel phones, and since it's part of the Android One program, it's guaranteed to receive two years of major software updates. Add that together with Nokia's reliable track record of pushing these updates out in a timely manner, and that's a level of support seldom seen for phones of this price.
Lastly, Nokia 7.1 keeps the punches coming with solid performance, excellent battery life, and a dual camera combo that's more than capable of capturing some pretty good photos.
|Nokia 7.1||Moto G6|
|Operating System||Android 9 Pie
|Android 8.0 Oreo|
2220 x 1080
Gorilla Glass 3
19:9 aspect ratio
2160 x 1080
Gorilla Glass 3
18:9 aspect ratio
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 636||Qualcomm Snapdragon 450|
|Rear Camera 1||12MP
|Rear Camera 2||5MP
Expandable up to 400GB
Expandable up to 128GB
|Battery||3,060 mAh||3,000 mAh|
|Security||Rear fingerprint sensor||Front fingerprint sensor|
The Moto G6, on the other hand, is worse in virtually every way when compared side-by-side to the Nokia 7.1. The screen isn't HDR compatible, the processor is quite a bit weaker, the cameras aren't quite as good, and the design doesn't feel as polished as the 7.1's.
Here's the thing, though. The Moto G6 can be purchased for just a little under or over $200 depending on which version you buy, and at $150 less than the Nokia 7.1, you're keeping a lot more cash in your wallet by picking it up instead.
Besides, while the G6 is technically worse than the Nokia 7.1 on a few different levels, it's a really commendable phone in its own right. The display still looks good, the processor is perfectly fine for most regular use, and the glass build feels a lot nicer than it should for a phone that costs this much.
If you decide you'd like to go the G6 route and save some money, there's just one thing we really want you to keep in mind. Motorola's history of updating its Moto G series phones isn't great, and as of right now, there's no definitive date set in place as to when the G6 will be updated to Android Pie. When the Pie update does finally roll around, that's likely the last major Android upgrade the G6 will ever see.
One of Android's finest
One of the best mid-rangers you can buy
As a result of getting to use the Nokia 7.1 for our full review last year, it's become my go-to recommendation for when people ask me which Android phone they should buy under $400 or $500. It really is incredible how much good stuff Nokia was able to cram into a phone of this price.
Great for tighter budgets
An excellent choice for $200 budgets
While cheaper than a lot of high-end phones, $350 is still a lot of money for some people to spend, and if that sounds like you, you can still buy the Moto G6 with confidence. It may not be as amazing as the Nokia 7.1, but it does the basics really, really well and provides a better experience than it should at this price.
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