Quick heads up:
I have not had enough time with the Moto G6 Play to write a full review, and I am also currently waiting to receive an activated Verizon sim from Motorola. I want to wait until then so I can get a good idea of everyday battery life as well as just general day to day use on a mobile network.
Basic info and specs:
The G6 Play is the “younger sibling” to the Moto G6 and G6 Plus. It runs a Snapdragon 427 CPU with an Adreno 308 GPU. An 18:9, 1,140x720p (HD+) IPS, LCD, a massive 4,000 mAh battery, a rear facing fingerprint rather than the usual front facing, and it comes with either 16gb of storage and 2gb of ram or 32gb of storage and 3gb of ram.
My initial thoughts:
The two biggest things that stuck out to me was the display resolution and the battery. I thought a combination like that should be able to last a long time. I don’t really want to say too much about battery life since I have only been using the G6 Play for a couple of days, but I will say that the battery has lasted me into two days without a desperate need to be charged.
I was not the one that unboxed this device that honor went to, fellow OneTechStop writer, Nicholas Sciancalepore. If you want see another unboxing by Nick, professional unboxer, you can find that by clicking the link here. In the box you will receive the Moto G6 Play, a micro USB cable, a 10 watt wall adapter, and Motorola was generous enough to include a case in the box as well.
So what’s it like to hold the phone and stuff?:
Well to start with, most people will probably want to put that case on it right away because the G6 Play is an all glass design. While aesthetically pleasing, it makes the device very slippery to hold. I love that Motorola finally incorporated the fingerprint sensor into that iconic Motorola logo. It’s something I have wanted Motorola to do with the G series since they introduced fingerprint sensors with the G4 Plus. This also is a bit of double edged sword though and it means that the one “button” navigation Moto action is not present in the G6 Play.
So you said Moto action?:
Yes, it’s part of Motorola’s skin of Android. Motorola’s spin on the Android OS is very minimal compared to most other device manufacturers. Moto actions and Moto display are some of my favorite additions that Motorola adds. The double chop for flashlight and double twist for camera are present, and Moto display is one of the few always on displays that lets you interact with notifications on that screen allowing music control and being able to quickly open to that app by just holding down in the notification and swiping up.
The Moto G6 Play is actually my first device I have used with an 18:9 display. Regardless of resolution and pixel density I learned from this experience that I really don’t like an 18:9 aspect ratio. While I do like how much easier it is to hold the G6 Play in one hand because it can be more narrow thanks to that aspect ratio, but I don’t like the experience when consuming media. Most videos I watched on YouTube didn’t fill the entire display and when I would zoom to fill the display it would cut off a bit of the top and bottom of the video. Otherwise, it’s probably the nicest looking 720p display I have ever used. Even for an LCD display the colors are fairly vibrant, for the resolution, and very white, whites.
What’s your initial software experience been like?:
Even when keeping under consideration that I am using a device with a lower end SoC the software experience is slow. Don’t make the same mistake I made on day one and download too many apps at once. The G6 Play does not respond well when it is downloading anything. Even typing on the keyboard is unresponsive when running more than 2 apps at a time. So I’ll have to try to keep that in mind during the rest of my time with the G6 Play.
The front facing camera is 8mp and has the, very Motorola, front facing flash. I have not really used the front camera yet, but I am interested to see how low light selfies will come out since I have not really used a device that has that built in. The rear sensor is 13mp with phase detection autofocus at an f/2.0 aperture. The rear camera is not bad when taking pictures as long as you keep HDR off. With it on it takes a long time to take a shot (about 5-7 seconds). The only other caveat is when using the double twist action to start the camera it takes a little while to register. I thought it didn’t work a few times I tried using it.
The Moto G6 Play has a single front facing speaker that doubles as the earpiece when sending and receiving calls. I have not been able to test call quality quite yet, but when listening to music or streaming video the sound quality is good. If I didn’t have headphones, or bluetooth speaker with me it wouldn’t be the end of the world for me. Especially since the G6 Play has a headphone jack. Something I wish I didn’t need to be surprised to see on a new phone.
So far the Moto G6 Play, on its own, is a bit of mixed bag. It has a very nice display for its lower resolution, so far very good battery life, and a decent camera. I am still cautious about the performance, and I am both happy and bummed about the positioning of the fingerprint sensor.