Moto G6 vs Moto G5S

The Moto G line has long represented the best of budget phones in our eyes here at Tech Advisor. But with the G6, Moto is straying into mid-range territory as the specs and design warrant a bump in price.

And just to confuse you more, there are three of them – the G6, G6 Plus and G6 Play.

Here, we look at how the three Moto G6 phones compare with last year’s Moto G5S to see which of the Moto line up is worth your cash.

Check out our reviews of the G6G6 Plus and G6 Play

Price and availability

The three Moto G6 phones will launch on 2 May. The G6 will cost £219/249€, the G6 Play £169/199€ and the G6 Plus £269/299€.

The Moto G5S retails for £199/249€ while the larger G5S Plus is £229.99 at Carphone Warehouse in the UK.

So you’ll only have to spend a tad more to get the G6 for £219, and the lower end but higher battery G6 Play is the cheapest of the bunch at £169.

Moto G6 Play, G6 and G6 Plus

Design and build

Motorola has aped the smartphone trend of the moment by giving its G6 line up all 18:9 tall displays. And with the glass backs of the G6 and G6 Plus, these are cheap phones that look like high-end models.

The G6 Play on the other hand keeps a plastic back casing but still looks the part. Compared to the G5S and G5S Plus, the new G6 line looks sleeker (given their taller screens)

The G6 and G6 Play have 5.7in displays while the pricier G6 Plus has a 5.9in screen. Oddly, the cheaper G6 Play has a cool rear mounted fingerprint sensor built into the ‘M’ Moto logo on the back.

The G6 and G6 Plus have front mounted fingerprint sensors below the screens, and all three models tote front facing cameras as expected.

If you aren’t a fan of the tall or glass designs, then the Moto G5S is still a good option with a fingerprint sensor on the front and smaller 16:9 display. The G5S Plus is still a good choice too if you can get hold of one, but they do look cheaper than the flashy G6 range despite actually costing more in most cases.

Features and specs

The specs are where most of the differences are, but things can get confusing. Here’s a handy chart:

  Moto G6 Moto G6 Plus Moto G6 Play Moto G5S Moto G5S Plus
Price £219/249€ £269/299€ £169/199€ £199 £229
Available May 2018 May 2018 May 2018 Now Now
Operating system Android 8.0 Oreo Android 8.0 Oreo Android 8.0 Oreo Android 7.1.1 uprgraded to 8.0 Oreo Android 7.1.1 uprgraded to 8.0 Ore
Display 5.7in Full-HD+ IPS, 18:9 5.9in Full-HD+ IPS, 18:9 5.7in HD+ IPS, 18:9 5.2in Full-HD+ IPS, 16 5.5in Full-HD+ IPS, 16
Processor 1.8GHz Snapdragon 450 2.2GHz Snapdragon 630 1.4GHz Snapdragon 430 1.4GHz Snapdragon 430 2.0GHz Snapdragon 625
Graphics 600MHz Adreno 506 700MHz Adreno 508 450MHz Adreno 505 450MHz Adreno 505 600MHz Adreno 506
Memory 3GB/4GB 4GB/6GB 3GB 3GB 3GB/4GB
Storage 32GB/64GB Up to 128GB 32GB 32GB 32GB/64GB
MicroSD support Up to 128GB Up to 128GB Up to 128GB Up to 256GB Up to 256GB
Connectivity Dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n, GPS, Bluetooth 4.2 Dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, GPS, Bluetooth 5.0 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n, GPS, Bluetooth 4.2 Dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n, GPS, Bluetooth 4.2 Dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n, GPS, Bluetooth 4.2
Fingerprint scanner Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rear camera: Stills 12Mp + 5Mp dual, f/1.8 12Mp + 5Mp dual, Dual AutoFocus Pixel, f/1.7, 1.4um pixels 13Mp, PDAF, f/2.0 16Mp, f/2.0 13Mp, f/2.0
Rear camera: Video 1080p @ 60fps 4K 1080p @ 30fps 1080p @30fps 2160p @30fps
Front camera: Stills 8Mp 8Mp 8Mp 5Mp 8Mp
Front Camera: Video 1080p @ 30fps 1080p @ 30fps 1080p @ 30fps 1080p @ 30fps 1080p @ 30fps
Audio Front speaker with Dolby Audio, 3.5mm jack Front speaker, 3.5mm jack Front speaker, 3.5mm jack Speaker, 3.5mm jack Speaker, 3.5mm jack
Waterproofing P2i P2i P2i US only Water repellent nano coating Water repellent nano coating
Battery 3000mAh 3200mAh 4000mAh 3000mAh 3000mAh
Charging tech TurboPower, USB-C TurboPower, USB-C TurboPower, Micro-USB TurboPower, Micro-USB TurboPower, Micro-USB
Dimensions 153.8x72.3x8.3mm 160x75.5x8.0mm 154.4x72.2x9mm 150x73.5x9.5mm 153.5x76.2x8mm
Weight 167g 167g 175g 157g 168g

Take it all in folks, that’s a lot of info.

The bottom line is that all five of these phones are quite similar. First decide if you want a tall display or not – if you do, then go for the G6. If you scout around for a deal you might find the G5S models cheaper elsewhere if it doesn’t bother you though.

We prefer the glass back of the G6 and G6 Plus here but you also get USB-C on those two. The newer standard will future proof your phone and more than anything else microUSB ports are just worse and tend to break more often.

The dual cameras on the G6 and G6 Plus also allow for portrait photos that you can only normally take on a high-end device.

Moto G5S Plus

Then again, you may like the sound of the G6 Play’s 4,000mAh battery that will surely last at least two days, much like the high-end Moto Z2 Play.

The G6 Plus has a Snapdragon 630 processor and therefore is the most capable of the bunch. Unless you are a gamer, we have found that phones with 600 series Snapdragon processors often feel very similar to higher-end devices with Snapdragon 800 series chips.

The G6 Plus can also record in 4K if you’re looking for that feature on a budget.

Software

The G6 phones all come with Android Oreo. This is great to see on cheaper devices, and means they will run better, have more features and be more secure.

The G5S phones technically can be updated from Nougat to Oreo, but it’ll depend on your operator and region as to if and when that happens.

Whichever you get, Motorola’s Android skin is pleasingly plain in that it doesn’t stray too far from Google’s stock version. This means animations are fast and the phones again feel far more expensive than they actually are, especially on the G6 Plus with its superior processor.

Moto G5S

Moto G5S Plus: Specs

  • Android Nougat 7.1.1
  • 5.5in 1920x1080 Full HD IPS touchscreen, 401ppi
  • 2.0GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
  • Adreno 506 graphics
  • 3/4GB RAM
  • 32/64GB storage
  • microSD slot up to 256GB
  • Dual 13Mp cameras, f/2.0, dual LED flash
  • Video 2160p @ 30fps
  • 8Mp front camera, f/2.0, LED flash
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Nano-SIM
  • GPS NFC for payments 3,000mAh non-removable battery 153.5 x 76.2 x 8 mm 168g
  • Android Nougat 7.1.1
  • 5.5in 1920x1080 Full HD IPS touchscreen, 401ppi
  • 2.0GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 625
  • Adreno 506 graphics
  • 3/4GB RAM
  • 32/64GB storage
  • microSD slot up to 256GB
  • Dual 13Mp cameras, f/2.0, dual LED flash
  • Video 2160p @ 30fps
  • 8Mp front camera, f/2.0, LED flash
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Nano-SIM
  • GPS NFC for payments 3,000mAh non-removable battery 153.5 x 76.2 x 8 mm 168g

SHOULD I BUY MOTO G5S PLUS?

The Moto G5S and G5S Plus are still excellent budget choices in 2018 if you prefer the normal 16:9 displays. And you might be able to find them cheaper if you shop around.

But the Moto G6 line has better designed phones, more features and slimmer phones for around the same price. With Oreo out the box, the G6 is probably a better buy for not much more money.

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