Latest and greatest

Moto G7

Still going strong

Moto G6

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.

$290 at Amazon

Pros

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

Cons

  • No NFC
  • Lack of software updates

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. Some variants are finally getting updated to Android 9 Pie, but you shouldn't expect to see much further support.

$199 at Amazon

Pros

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

Cons

  • Still on Oreo
  • 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 one of the best budget phones of the year.

The Moto G7 has better specs and a gorgeous new display

Moto G7 vs. Moto G6: Should you upgrade?

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.

Category Moto G7 Moto G6
Operating system Android 9.0 Pie Android 8.1 Oreo
Display 6.2-inch IPS LCD, 2270x1080 (19:9)
Gorilla Glass 3
5.7-inch IPS LCD, 2160x1080 (18:9)
Gorilla Glass 3
Chipset Snapdragon 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
RAM 4GB 4GB
Storage 64GB 64GB
MicroSD slot Yes (up to 512GB)
Dedicated slot
Yes (up to 256GB)
Dedicated slot
Rear camera 1 12MP f/1.8 PDAF 12MP f/1.8 PDAF
Rear camera 2 5MP f/2.2 5MP f/2.2
Front camera 8MP f/2.2 8MP f/2.2
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.2 LE
GPS
FM radio
Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.2 LE
GPS
FM radio
Audio 3.5mm jack
Single speaker
3.5mm jack
Single speaker
Battery 3000mAh
Non-removable
3000mAh
Non-removable
Charging USB-C
15W
USB-C
15W
Water resistance No rating No rating
Security Fingerprint sensor Fingerprint sensor
Dimensions 157 x 75.3 x 8mm
172g
153.8 x 72.3 x 8.3mm
167g
Colors Ceramic Black, Clear White Silver, Blush, Black, Deep Indigo

Similar software, but updates are still a sore point

Moto G7 vs. Moto G6: Should you upgrade?

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, with most variants of the Moto G6 still on Oreo — though Verizon models are finally starting to make the move to Pie. 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 while Motorola is committing to bi-monthly security updates, its track record doesn't fill me with confidence.

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.

Latest and greatest

Moto G7

Sexy new design, same great software

The Moto G7 offers a great new design at the front, and the tweaks to the internal hardware means you'll get better performance in day-to-day tasks. The software is unchanged from last year, and although the rest of the updates are iterative, it's still a great option for the money.

Still going strong

Moto G6

90% of the phone for a fraction of the price

The Moto G6 still has a lot to offer. If anything, it's a smart idea to forgo the Moto G7 and get your hands on the G6 if you're in the market for a new budget phone in 2019. You'll save money in the process and get a device that's mostly identical to the Moto G7.

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