Motorola Moto G6 Play review

GSMArena team, 18 May 2018.

Display

Extra-tall displays are an increasingly common sight on budget devices nowadays. Even though the new aspect ratios typically leave you with less horizontal real estate, it is still hard to complain or argue against the practical benefits of more vertical room for most everyday tasks. Especially, when the deal does not include a notch.

Motorola Moto G6 Play review

Just like many of its competitors, Motorola decided to hunker down and bring 18:9 to the masses, including as part of the affordable Moto G6 Play package.

Users looking to same a few bucks from the regular Moto G6 won't have to sacrifice on screen diagonal at all.

The Play does come with a slight bump down in resolution. But, 720 x 1440 pixels and a density rating of 282ppi is still pretty decent for an entry-level phone.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Motorola Moto G6 Plus (Max Auto) 0.564 776 1376
Motorola Moto G6 Plus 0.418 610 1459
Motorola Moto G5S (Max Auto) 0.415 582 1402
Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus 0.548 555 1013
Motorola Moto G6 Play (Max Auto) 0.419 554 1321
Xiaomi Mi A1 0.351 551 1570
Huawei P Smart 0.356 531 1492
Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) max auto 0 518
LG Q6 0.288 510 1771
Xiaomi Redmi 5 0.378 503 1331
Nokia 6 (Global version) 0.364 484 1330
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) Max Auto 0 482
Motorola Moto G6 Play 0.339 476 1404
Huawei Honor 7X 0.236 458 1941
Motorola Moto G5S 0.266 415 1560
Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017) 0 408
Huawei P8lite 0.45 362 802
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) 0 348

The IPS LCD panel Moto managed to acquire and fit inside the G6 Play budget is decent, if not particularly impressive. Under normal conditions, its brightness tops off at 476 nits, with respectable enough contrast. Max Auto allows it to shine at up to 554 nits, at the cost of some contrast.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Apple iPhone X
    5.013
  • OnePlus 5T
    4.789
  • Samsung Galaxy S8
    4.768
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    4.658
  • Samsung Galaxy S9
    4.63
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
    4.537
  • Motorola Moto Z2 Play
    4.459
  • Oppo R11
    4.454
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Oppo R15 Pro
    4.251
  • Samsung Galaxy Note7
    4.247
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Nokia 8
    4.239
  • Google Pixel 2 XL (pre-update)
    4.234
  • OnePlus 3T
    4.232
  • Google Pixel XL
    4.164
  • ZTE Axon 7
    4.154
  • Samsung Galaxy Note8
    4.148
  • Meizu Pro 7 Plus
    4.147
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
    4.124
  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro (normal)
    4.096
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei P20 Pro
    4.087
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    4.052
  • Google Pixel 2 (pre-update)
    4.023
  • LG V30
    4.022
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro
    3.998
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 7
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 8 (True Tone)
    3.957
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
    3.935
  • Lenovo Moto Z
    3.931
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • OnePlus 5
    3.914
  • Samsung Galaxy C5
    3.911
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    3.865
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)
    3.842
  • Sony Xperia XZs
    3.818
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)
    3.812
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
    3.804
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    3.798
  • LG V20 Max auto
    3.798
  • Sony Xperia XZ
    3.795
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Xiaomi Mi 6
    3.767
  • Sony Xperia XZ1
    3.765
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact
    3.729
  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus (True Tone)
    3.725
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)
    3.688
  • Huawei P20
    3.683
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Huawei Mate 9
    3.68
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact
    3.675
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
    3.597
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    3.588
  • Sony Xperia XZ2
    3.58
  • LG G6
    3.556
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Motorola Moto Z Play
    3.526
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
    3.523
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.523
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • Nokia 7 plus
    3.479
  • nubia Z11
    3.466
  • Huawei P10 Plus
    3.456
  • HTC U Ultra
    3.453
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra
    3.445
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Motorola Moto G6 Play
    3.419
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • LG V20
    3.402
  • Huawei P10
    3.379
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    3.378
  • Oppo R9s
    3.352
  • Honor 8 Pro
    3.341
  • Oppo F7
    3.333
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Lenovo P2
    3.316
  • Archos Diamond Omega
    3.305
  • Honor 9
    3.289
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s
    3.276
  • Nokia 5
    3.261
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    3.244
  • Nokia 6 (Global version)
    3.238
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 2
    3.228
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Oppo F3 Plus
    3.218
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
    3.206
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2
    3.19
  • ZTE Nubia Z17
    3.159
  • Oppo R11s
    3.153
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • HTC U11 Life
    3.108
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • HTC U11
    3.089
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Asus Zenfone 4 ZE554KL
    3.019
  • Sony Xperia XA1
    3.012
  • Motorola Moto X4
    3.012
  • Sony Xperia L1
    2.994
  • LG Q6
    2.987
  • Huawei P10 Lite
    2.974
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Huawei P20 Lite
    2.952
  • Xiaomi Redmi 5
    2.951
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Sony Xperia XA2
    2.938
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4
    2.92
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    2.913
  • Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus
    2.913
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.906
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Huawei Honor View 10
    2.896
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime
    2.893
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    2.884
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium (sRGB)
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Nokia 3
    2.871
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Lenovo Moto M
    2.813
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • Nokia 2
    2.752
  • Meizu MX6
    2.751
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Huawei Mate 10 (normal)
    2.742
  • Motorola Moto G5S Plus
    2.737
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Huawei Honor 7X
    2.734
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    2.714
  • Meizu M5
    2.71
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    2.689
  • Huawei P9 Lite
    2.679
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    2.679
  • vivo V7+
    2.671
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix
    2.658
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite
    2.654
  • Oppo F5
    2.653
  • Doogee Mix
    2.642
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4a
    2.635
  • Xiaomi Mi 5X (Standard)
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia XA
    2.609
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    2.582
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus (max auto)
    2.582
  • Meizu M5s
    2.58
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL
    2.563
  • Huawei P Smart
    2.563
  • Xiaomi Mi Max 2
    2.561
  • HTC U11+
    2.556
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A (Y1)
    2.556
  • Lenovo Moto G4
    2.544
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Huawei Honor 7 Lite / Honor 5c
    2.506
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • BlackBerry Motion
    2.494
  • Oppo F1s
    2.481
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Huawei nova
    2.467
  • Lenovo Vibe K5
    2.459
  • Meizu m3 max
    2.447
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2.424
  • Xiaomi Mi 5X (Auto)
    2.417
  • HTC 10 evo
    2.407
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • Vivo V7
    2.404
  • Sony Xperia E5
    2.386
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • Oppo F3
    2.376
  • vivo V5 Plus
    2.371
  • Meizu m1 note
    2.362
  • Huawei nova plus
    2.329
  • Razer Phone
    2.328
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Sony Xperia L2
    2.266
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • HTC U11+ (EU)
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Meizu M5 Note
    2.189
  • Huawei Honor 6
    2.169
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (X20)
    2.145
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Xiaomi Mi 4S
    2.095
  • Acer Liquid X2
    2.084
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • vivo V5
    2.059
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    1.996
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1.944
  • Meizu m3 note
    1.923
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Nokia X
    1.291
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215

The Moto G6 Play offers a less than stellar experience under strong sunlight, but it's still usable in most cases.

On a more positive note, color accuracy is surprisingly good, if a few conditions are met. In it's default mode, the whites on the G6 Play screen have a distinct blue hue. Switching between the Standard and Vivid color modes does little to correct that. The maximum deltaE sits at 6.4, with a maximum of 13.3 in the blue.

However, setting the color temperature from the default setting to Warm does yield tangible results. This way, you can get the color deviation down to a respectable average deltaE of 3.8 and a maximum of 6.5. Almost what we would consider color-accurate.

Moto G6 Play Battery Life

At 9mm thick, the Motorola Moto G6 Play is quite a chunky phone, no question about it. Still, it does compensate for it's girth, at least to some extent, with a large 4,000 mAh battery. Sure, you could justifiably argue that a lot of the juice end up kind of wasted on the inefficient 28nm Snapdragon chipset. Undoubtedly, something newer, like the Snapdragon 450 would do a better job, with its 14nm node. Failing that, the older and now likely more affordable Snapdragon 625 is tried and true and still a solid choice.

But, we might be getting a bit too picky. The Snapdragon 430 (non-US) review unit, we tested at the office still did a solid job, stretching the 4,000 Mah battery pack to its full extent.

It scored an overall endurance rating of 92 hours - more than respectable.

Motorola Moto G6 Play review

Looking at the particular numbers in detail, Motorola appears to have done a bang-up optimization job all-around. The near-vanilla Android OS definitely helps a fair bit and as a result, the Moto G6 Play easily breaks the 200-hour barrier in standby.

Even with its older 28nm development process, the Snapdragon 430 and its X6 LTE modem, in particular, manage to clock in over 30 hours of call time. Google's Chrome browser and File app/video player don't disappoint either. Both manage to keep pushing content on the HD+ display for over 14hours on a single charge. Overall, while the Moto G6 Play is a bit on the chunky side, it feels quite comfortable away from a power outlet for prolonged periods of time.

Motorola was also considerate enough to include support for its own Turbo power fast charging standard in the Moto G6 Play. It is actually one of the cheapest phones out there, with quick top-off support.

The Moto G6 Play is, theoretically capable of sucking in power at up to 15W. However, we can't really confirm is a compatible Turbo Power charger will be provided in the box. Package contents frequently differ from market to market and Lenovo has a pretty bumpy track record in this area. So, the best way to go about it is to check with your local retailer of choice.

Our endurance rating denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Motorola Moto G6 Play for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We've established this usage pattern so our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Loudspeaker

Motorola was definitely generous in the battery department, but the loudspeaker setup is a whole other story. The Moto G6 Play only has a single speaker - the earpiece, above the display. It is powered to pump out some volume and that's about it.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) 64.1 65.3 68.5 Below Average
Motorola Moto G6 Play 62.6 68.0 71.0 Average
Moto M 64.5 72.9 72.0 Good
Motorola Moto G6 Play (Dolby audio) 66.1 70.0 76.2 Good
Nokia 2 66.7 70.6 75.0 Good
LG Q6 67.0 69.3 76.1 Good
Xiaomi Redmi 5 66.1 68.4 82.1 Good
Huawei P Smart 65.9 70.8 85.8 Very Good
Huawei Honor 7X 66.4 71.1 85.1 Very Good
Motorola Moto G5S 76.1 72.7 81.0 Excellent
Sony Xperia L2 67.4 72.2 91.6 Excellent
Motorola Moto G5S Plus 91.5 74.9 86.9 Excellent

The G6 Play is a bit quiet, especially in its default mode, with the audio equalizer turned off. Speaking of which, it's a bit odd that Motorola decided to provide a really in-depth audio equalizer, for the single, underwhelming speaker. It even bears the Dolby audio branding.

Dolby audio equalizer - Motorola Moto G6 Play review Dolby audio equalizer - Motorola Moto G6 Play review
Dolby audio equalizer

Still, we can't complain too much, unlike most smartphone audio tuning suit, this one did not reduce the overall output volume. On the contrary, it increased it slightly, while also managing to open up the soundstage noticeably. If configured correctly, that is.

If you spend enough time tweaking the sliders and toggles, for your content of choice, you can actually achieve tangible results, like a clearer voice in movies or richer simulated bass, if that's your thing.

Audio quality

Motorola Moto G6 Play matched the splendid clarity of its Plus sibling in the active external amplifier part of the test. Its loudness fell seriously short though, giving away its lower standing.

Loudness remained below average when we hooked up our headphones too, but the clarity was downright impressive. The Moto G6 Play delivered a performance that would be worthy of a device with a much higher price tag. Unless you have high impedance headphones and the volume is actually a deal-breaker, you really can't wish for much more than that.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Motorola Moto G6 Play+0.06, -0.03-89.086.60.00520.019-87.3
Motorola Moto G6 Play (headphones)+0.06, -0.03-90.587.10.00540.028-77.3
Motorola Moto G6 Plus+0.00, -0.03-93.693.50.00500.011-94.6
Motorola Moto G6 Plus (headphones)+0.02, -0.02-93.593.40.00670.033-81.0
Oppo F7+0.01, -0.10-92.592.70.00190.0077-91.2
Oppo F7 (headphones)+0.50, -0.20-91.491.80.00790.402-51.5
Nokia 6 (2018)+0.10, -0.20 -37.580.40.00184.735-93.3
Nokia 6 (2018) (headphones)+0.05, -0.03-94.390.20.00270.019-58.6
Nokia 7 Plus+0.02, -0.31 -38.881.70.00134.690-95.9
Nokia 7 Plus (headphones)+0.25, -0.23-93.390.40.00450.227-53.9
Honor View 10+0.02, -0.01 -92.692.60.00210.012-94.4
Honor View 10 (headphones)+0.17, -0.03-92.092.10.00230.092-52.8

Motorola Moto G6 Play frequency response
Motorola Moto G6 Play frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

Reader comments

  • M.Kamran Khan

Its Internel Space 2GB or 3 GB

  • amc

Just got the G6 Play, having problems with trying to switch it off. Every time I choose 'Power Off' it looks like it is switching off but then powers back up again. Any suggestions?

I am i terested to know what bitrate is the video recording...256kbps or 320kbps? And what is the maximum brightness is the phone capable of?