Motorola Moto G6 Play Review

Great display and camera for the price, but lacks greatly in performance

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NOTE: In my first impressions I said the G6 Play was a glass phone, but under closer inspection (I took off the case that came with the device) the device is an all plastic build.

Intro:

The Moto G6 Play is the “budget” version of Motorola’s budget G series of devices. I stated in my first impressions that it was a glass backed phone, but I was wrong on that statement and realized that it is an all plastic phone after I had written my impressions. Otherwise everything else was correct.

On to the specs!:

The phone is running a Snapdragon 427 processor and adreno 308 GPU. 2gb of RAM and 16gb of storage, or 3gb of RAM and 32gb of storage. The version I will be talking about is 2gb RAM and 16gb storage that you can buy from Verizon. It also has a 5.7 inch IPS LCD, at 1440x720p at an 18:9 aspect ratio. It has a 4,000 mAh battery and can do up to 10 watt charging. The single rear facing camera 13mp with phase detection autofocus and at an f/2.0 aperture. It can only do up to 1080p 30fps video, but at the carrier price of $129.99 there’s not much room to complain. The rear facing fingerprint sensor is still one of my favorite things, regardless that I am now more used to front facing sensors with my personal device being the Moto Z2 Play.

Dat display tho:

I was honest to goodness surprised at how good the display is, regardless of it being 720p. As far as color goes it’s hands down the best between the G6 and the G6 Play. Even setting them both to the same color temperature and the colors to vibrant the G6 Play has much whiter whites than the regular G6 with its 1080p LCD. Don’t get me wrong it still looks washed out in comparison most other displays, but if you’re looking purely at the display it is fantastic.

Moto G6 Play on the left and Moto G6 on the right. Bothare at max brightness

Performance:

Beside that plastic build, the performance is where you really start to see the G6 Play’s “budgetness” showing. I can’t describe the performance as any other way than just bad. But I was surprised by this considering Motorola has a good track record and is not very heavy handed with their Android skin. Examples include, when scrolling it’s not responsive, when swiping it’s the same way, even typing and bringing down the notification shade feels like a chore with how unresponsive and slow the entire software experience is. Also, don’t even think about trying to anything while downloading audio, apps, or video cause the G6 Play just chugs whenever it’s downloading something.

Battery life:

The battery life was fantastic, but considering the G6 Play is running a 720p display, I was still a little underwhelmed by it. If you’re looking for a phone that will definitely last you an entire day the G6 Play has got you there. I spent an entire day using gps for two hours, and playing locally downloaded via bluetooth for about 6 hours, but even stil I was expecting to be able to run it a little longer than for a day to a day and a half considering the resolution of the display and the batteries’ capacity.

Camera:

My opinion on the camera hasn’t changed from my first impressions. For a budget phone, the rear facing 13mp sensor does a good job. If you’re willing to learn how to use some basic manual options, and willing to take the time to do some post editing, you can get a half decent shot for those that wanna become Instagram famous.

Sound:

The single front facing speaker gets pretty loud. It’s good for those times you forget headphones, but if you do remember to bring headphones you can use those old headphones you love since this device has a headphone jack. One thing I did find interesting is that from my experience audio seems to be a touch louder over bluetooth versus a wired connection with the G6 Play.

Overall thoughts:

From my experience with the G6 Play I cannot recommend this device at any price. Even though you can get the model I reviewed for $129.99 through Verizon. The slow software experience is the deal breaker, but if you’re on a very tight budget and can’t afford a mid ranger, like the Moto X4, then I would say do yourself a favor and at least buy the normal Moto G6 over the G6 Play. You will get a camera that may only be nominally better, but the software experience is at least not frustratingly slow.

We want to thank Motorola for supplying the Moto G6 Play for review. This review has not been paid for by Motorola and the thoughts are the writer’s own thoughts of the device.

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