Moto X4 vs. Moto G6: What are the differences, and which should you buy?

Moto G6 next to Moto X4
Moto G6 next to Moto X4 (Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

Moto X4

Though originally launched last year for $400, the Moto X4 has come down significantly in price, and is still receiving regular software updates. Its hardware design feels a bit old in 2018, but it's still a solid phone with great build quality and clean, useful software.

Moto X4

Yesteryear's hotness

Runs the newer Android 8.1 Oreo
Some models are being updated to Pie
Better cameras than the Moto G6
Hardware design looks dated
Unremarkable battery life

Moto G6

The Moto G6 is about as premium as a $200 phone gets, with outstanding build quality and a tall aspect ratio display that fits right in with much more expensive devices. It's running older software than the Moto X4, but it's still plenty capable.

Moto G6

Midrange is in

Modern design with an 18:9 display
More power-efficient chipset
First Moto G with USB-C
Secondary camera is just a depth sensor
Won't receive Android 9 until 2019

The Moto G6 is the company's latest in its wildly popular line of low-cost phones, modernizing the brand with 2018 design traits and refreshed internals. Last year's Moto X4 has seen a number of price drops in the last year, though, to the point you can get it for even cheaper than the G6. So what's a better use of your money; last year's mid-range, or this year's budget option?

The Moto X4 is still a great phone

The Moto X4 is over a year old now, but its specs still hold up well against the Moto G6. It's got a few advantages; the Snapdragon 630 is a bit more powerful than the 450 (you'll find the same Snapdragon 630 in the higher end Moto G6 Plus, and the Moto X4 is IP67-certified for water and dust resistance, whereas the Moto G6 simply features splash resistance. In addition, certain variants of the Moto X4 ship with 6GB of RAM, while the Moto G6 maxes out at 4.

Depending on where your Moto X4 came from, the software may be more up to date than that of the Moto G6, as well. Most Moto X4 units run Android 8.1 Oreo with some slight Motorola customizations, but users in India are starting to see an over-the-air update to Android 9 Pie. The Moto G6, on the other hand, isn't expected to receive Pie until early 2019, with Android 8.0 installed in the meantime.

The Moto X4 also benefits from better cameras. Though both features dual lenses, the Moto G6's secondary sensor is simply for measuring depth for Motorola's selective focus features, which most won't find terribly useful. On the other hand, the Moto X4's secondary lens allows for wide-angle photography, unlocking much more creative potential. The Moto X4 also captures video at up to 4K at 30fps — the Moto G6 maxes out at 1080p.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Moto X4Moto G6
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1 Oreo (9 Pie on Indian models)Android 8.0 Oreo
Display5.2-inch IPS LCD1920 x 1080, 424PPI5.7-inch 18:9 IPS LCD2160 x 1080, 424PPI
ChipsetOcta-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, 8x 2.2GHz Cortex-A53 coresOcta-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450, 8x 1.8GHz Cortex-A53 cores
GPUAdreno 508Adreno 506
ExpandableYes (microSD slot)Yes (microSD slot)
Water resistanceIP67splash-resistant
Rear Camera12MP f/2.0 + 8MP f/2.2, PDAF, 4K at 30fps12MP f/1.8 + 5MP f/2.2, PDAF, 1080p at 60fps
Front Camera16MP f/2.0, 1080p video8MP f/2.2, 1080p video
ConnectivityWiFi ac, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS, GLONASS, USB-CWiFi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, GLONASS, USB-C
SecurityFingerprint sensor (front)Fingerprint sensor (front)
Dimensions148.4 x 73.4 x 8mm153.8 x 72.3 x 8.3mm

...But so is the Moto G6

Don't be too scared off by the Moto X4's advantages; the Moto G6 has plenty of its own. For one, it has a much more modern design, thanks to the larger 18:9 display. It's still made of glass, and Motorola used the same reflective coating around the back as the Moto X4. By all means, this phone looks and feels much more premium than its price tag would have you believe.

In addition, the Moto G6 features the same 3000mAh battery as found in the Moto X4, but a more power-efficient processor should keep it running for a bit longer, and the 15W TurboPower support means it'll recharge just as quickly. That processor also ensures smooth performance; while not quite as powerful on paper as the Moto X4's Snapdragon 630, the Snapdragon 450 inside of the Moto G6 is plenty capable for carrying out daily tasks and even some casual gaming.

Of course, Motorola's popular Moto Actions are still present, meaning you can still double-twist the Moto G6 in your hand to launch the camera or double-chop to toggle the flashlight. You're not missing out on many hardware features either, since the G6 retains the 3.5mm headphone jack and front-facing fingerprint sensor, as well as the USB-C port — a first for the Moto G line.

When the Moto X4 first went on sale for $400, the G6 was a clearly better value for most people, but with both phones set at nearly the same price these days, it's not as cut and dry. The Moto X4 has received better software support thus far, with Android 9 Pie starting to roll out to some models, but the Moto G6 has a much more modern design and better endurance. It's a tough call, but the newer software and slightly lower cost of the Moto X4 make it an appealing option.

Hayato Huseman

Hayato was a product reviewer and video editor for Android Central.