A pioneer in telephony 45 years ago, Motorola is no longer one of the leaders in this industry today. But if there is one sector in which the brand still succeeds in distinguishing, it is good in the mid-range. With the new Moto G, Motorola reiterates its magic formula: a configuration as close as possible to the premium for an affordable price. This year, the Moto G6 inherits a glass back, an 18: 9 screen and facial recognition. All this in a phone boosted by a Snapdragon 450 with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage space (expandable by Micro SD).
Compared to last year's Moto G5, the Moto G6 clearly goes upmarket. No more large screen borders and unsophisticated design, the smartphone finally looks like a high-end device. The glass back with Gorilla Glass protection is nice to look at (but likes fingerprints) and the dual camera module placed in a circle at the back gives the device character.
Up front, Motorola is rewriting its full name for the first time in several years, and placing it right above the main button, which also serves as a fingerprint sensor. The manufacturer does not give in to the trend of sensors on the back (less easy to access), and that's great!
The 5.7-inch 18: 9 screen is also very user-friendly. If its brightness of 416 cd / m2 is a bit tight under intense lighting (in full sun in particular), its high contrast of 1: 1849 and the good general quality of the display allow you to enjoy it in most cases. To watch streaming videos or browse social media, this is more than ideal. The Moto G6’s LCD panel delivers a resolution of 2160 by 1080 pixels, and has slightly rounded edges, which enhance the premium appearance.
With its Snapdragon 450, the Moto G6 cannot compete with the smartphones it wants to take inspiration from. In use, this lack of power is sometimes felt, especially when trying to launch a big game. But overall, the Moto G6 offers a more fluid navigation. To send messages, browse social networks, take a few photos or play on public transport (for low-resource consumption), the smartphone shows no sign of slowing down. The device benefits from a recent and almost pure (8.0) version of Android, well optimized.
With 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage, the Moto G6 is more than enough for everyday use. We can also add a MicroSD card to expand the memory, in addition to two Nano SIMs, thanks to a triple-entry drawer. Note that for 269 euros, a model with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage is sold exclusively on Amazon.
In autonomy, the Moto G6 is doing well, nothing more. During our versatile autonomy review which simulates various uses, the Motorola smartphone lasted 9:05 am. It’s barely more than last year’s model (already judged to be tough), which can be a problem with heavy use. In this case, it would be better to keep a charger close at hand. For endurance enthusiasts, it should be noted that Motorola will market a slightly more entry-level model, the Moto G6 Play, but which has a 4000 mAh battery against 3000 mAh for the Moto G6. On appeal, however, the smartphone is in a high range since it lasted almost 24 hours.
Always in control
Equipped with an Android 8 with a lighter overlay (only a few applications from Motorola and Microsoft are installed by default), the Moto G6 takes advantage of some interesting software features, starting with gesture control, which is an originality of Moto ranges for several years. And that we do not necessarily wait on a phone at 249 euros.
By making a double sharp gesture with your smartphone, you turn on the flashlight. By placing it face down on a desk, you activate do not disturb mode. By tapping on the screen with three fingers, you take a screenshot. Finally, by shaking the device, we launch the camera … You understand, a multitude of small functions which one can, it is true, do without but which make the use of the device more cool. Kind of like we have superpowers.
To navigate, Motorola also offers some interesting functions. No need to have a virtual navigation bar: you can use the main button. Press once to return to the home screen, swipe left to go back, or right to launch the multitasking drawer. It's intuitive and it works very well.
In addition to the fingerprint sensor, Motorola offers a particularly effective facial recognition function. It's faster, it's true, but the technology of the Moto G6 has the advantage of working even when your room lacks lighting. Again, we did not expect so much from a device sold for 249 euros.
Failing to integrate an “Always On Display” screen, Motorola offers a mode that wakes up the screen each time the smartphone senses movement, for example to display the time or a few notifications. A practical function on paper, but which proves to be penalizing in use (in terms of autonomy in particular) due to the extreme sensitivity of the sensor. Even when it is not frankly requested, the Moto G6 wakes up (too) often at the slighreview vibration or movement of air nearby. A sensitivity adjustment would have been welcome. Otherwise, you can deactivate this mode.
Camera: good ideas, but a perfectible result
Equipped with a dual camera module, the Moto G6 focuses particularly on the photo. Unfortunately, the result is revealed … at the height of a smartphone at 249 euros, with its qualities and its defects. The main 12 Mpix sensor is responsible for taking photos, while the second 5 Mpix is used to create a bokeh effect for portraits. Both modules open at f / 1.8.
In high light as in low light, the smartphone takes photos of perfectible quality. The color of the images turns a little too often to orange and the pictures show distortions in the corners. Nothing disastrous, however.
Fortunately, Motorola offers fun features like the color filter, which can keep only one color in the heart of a black and white photo. Again, it's a nice surprise. It's not the kind of possibility you'd expect to find in the mid-range, and it works pretty well.
In video, the result is also positive. The device has good software stabilization, and successfully tunes up fairly quickly. We are limited to Full HD, but the result is there.