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Moto G7 vs. Moto G6: Should you upgrade?

Moto G6 and Moto G7
Moto G6 and Moto G7 (Image credit: Android Central)

Moto G7

Moto G7

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The Moto G7 fully embraces the display cutout, sporting a waterdrop notch up front. While the exterior isn't all that different from last year, the innards have been overhauled, and the G7 is powered by a Snapdragon 632 chipset. Combine that with the immersive screen and it's a decent budget phone in 2019.

Moto G7

Budget king

Reasons to buy

+
Great design
+
Solid build quality
+
Powerful internals
+
Works on all four U.S. carriers

Reasons to avoid

-
No NFC
-
Lack of software updates

Moto G6

Moto G6

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A year on, the Moto G6 is still a pretty solid phone. The hardware isn't quite the fastest you'll find in this segment, but the arrival of the Moto G7 has discounted the G6, and at its lower price you get a lot of value for your money. The G6 finally got updated to Android Pie earlier this year, but you shouldn't expect to see much further support.

Moto G6

Still going strong

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent value for money
+
All-day battery
+
Works on all four U.S. carriers

Reasons to avoid

-
No NFC
-
Aging hardware

Motorola is the king of budget phones, and the Moto G7 comes with robust internals and a refreshed design aesthetic that's fitting of 2019. But what hasn't changed since the Moto G6 is the clean software experience, making the Moto G7 a fantastic budget option.

The Moto G7 has better specs and a gorgeous new display

Moto G6 and Moto G7

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

Right off the bat, there are two key changes in the Moto G7 that make it stand out from last year's G6: the screen has significantly thinner bezels thanks to the switch to a 19:9 aspect ratio, and the Snapdragon 632 offers better performance. The changes upfront are particularly noteworthy, as the Moto G6 had rather large bezels with a fingerprint sensor on the bottom bar.

The Snapdragon 632 chipset offers a step up in performance over the Moto G6 .

The Moto G7 in comparison looks cleaner up front, and the fingerprint sensor has been moved to the back, where it now sits under Motorola's iconic Batwing logo. The back is still made out of glass, but the frame is now polycarbonate instead of metal. The design at the back hasn't changed all that much from last year, with Motorola focusing its attention on the display.

The Snapdragon 632 chipset has more grunt than the aging Snapdragon 450 on the G6, and you immediately notice better performance in day-to-day tasks. That said, the Adreno 506 is the same GPU used in the Moto G6, and in 2019 it's starting to show its age. You're not going to see issues with lightweight titles, but load up Fortnite or PUBG and you'll notice lag.

Elsewhere, the Moto G7 has the same foundation as the G6. It also has a 3000mAh battery with 15W fast charging, but steps up to 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage as standard. It also works on all four major U.S. carriers, a key consideration for a phone in this category.

CategoryMoto G7Moto G6
Operating systemAndroid 9.0 PieAndroid 9.0 Pie
Display6.2-inch IPS LCD, 2270x1080 (19:9)
Gorilla Glass 3
5.7-inch IPS LCD, 2160x1080 (18:9)
Gorilla Glass 3
ChipsetSnapdragon 632
4 x 1.8GHZ Kryo 250 Gold
4 x 1.8GHz Kryo 250 Silver
Adreno 506
Snapdragon 450
8 x 1.0GHz Cortex A53
Adreno 506
RAM4GB4GB
Storage64GB32GB/64GB
MicroSD slotYes (up to 512GB)
Dedicated slot
Yes (up to 256GB)
Dedicated slot
Rear camera 112MP f/1.8 PDAF12MP f/1.8 PDAF
Rear camera 25MP f/2.25MP f/2.2
Front camera8MP f/2.28MP f/2.2
ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.2 LE
GPS
FM radio
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.2 LE
GPS
FM radio
Audio3.5mm jack
Single speaker
3.5mm jack
Single speaker
Battery3000mAh
Non-removable
3000mAh
Non-removable
ChargingUSB-C
15W
USB-C
15W
Water resistanceNo ratingNo rating
SecurityFingerprint sensorFingerprint sensor
Dimensions157 x 75.3 x 8mm
172g
153.8 x 72.3 x 8.3mm
167g
ColorsCeramic Black, Clear WhiteSilver, Blush, Black, Deep Indigo

Similar software, but updates are still a sore point

Motorola's software story is one that's beset with issues. The skin itself is one of the best around, thanks to a clean interface that has thoughtful customizations in the form of Moto Display and Moto Actions, but the update situation leaves a lot to be desired.

Motorola doesn't have the best track record when it comes to updates.

Motorola has consistently lagged behind the field when it comes to rolling out platform and security updates, and some variants of the Moto G6 were still stuck on Android 8.1 Oreo until as recently as July. Given Motorola's history, it's unlikely the Moto G6 will get any further updates past Pie.

As for the Moto G7, you get Pie out of the box, but you shouldn't get your hopes up on an Android 10 update any time soon.

If you purchased the Moto G6 last year, there's little reason to upgrade to the Moto G7. The display has thinner bezels, but the screen quality hasn't changed all that much, and the rest of the updates aren't meaningful enough to warrant a switch. The Moto G6 is still plenty capable in 2019, especially with the update to Android 9 Pie, and you can hold off until next year to see what Motorola has to offer.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.