Motorola has released three new g6 series smartphones – the g6 Play (entry-level), g6 (mainstream) and the g6 Plus (upper-level). These replace its popular g5 series.

Motorola is now firmly bedded in as a Lenovo company. It has taken a while to regain its mojo since its acquisition by Lenovo from former owner Google in October 2014. It has been a difficult adjustment period where Motorola lost significant ground while waiting for the Lenovo synergies to kick in.

GadgetGuy caught up with Motorola’s guru Danny Adamopoulos recently where he admitted brand had been marking time under Lenovo, but it was well into its revival. “The g6 series is our first all Lenovo designed and produced range. It is excellent tech for the value,” he said.

That aside Lenovo’s strategy is simple. All Lenovo smartphones will come under Motorola’s purview. It will make a vast range to meet most niche markets. And it will not be a slave to ‘fashion’ releasing phones when it is ready instead of pumping them out on a six-month cycle. The iconic bat-wing logo phones will carry on the Motorola tradition. Just as Lenovo carries on the IBM ThinkPad tradition.

We think that is good. Back to the Motorola of old!

The Motorola range

  • Moto Z-series is the flagship and takes Moto Mods. These are add-on devices that expand the phone capabilities. The new Moto Z3 is available now in other markets (and will make its way to Australia soon). It will have all the top-end bells and whistles. In the meantime, we have the Moto Z2 Play introduced in October 2017, now at $499.
  • Moto X-series is an upper-mid-range with an IP68 rating, dual rear cameras etc. The Moto X4 is currently at $399.
  • Moto G-series is its mid-range, best-selling franchise. The new g6 family (Play, Standard and Plus) are doing well. These have 18:9 Max Vision display, 5.7 – 5.9-inch displays; good cameras; dual-sim with separate SD card slots; and are priced at $329, $399 and $499 respectively. You will find these at The Good Guys, Officeworks and other retailers.
  • Moto E-series is the value tiered products. The Moto E5 has a 5.7-inch screen, 13MP rear camera and more for $229. You will find this and the Moto E4 at Australia Post, Coles and Officeworks.
  • Moto C is the entry-level product and mainly sits as a hang-sell in grocery channels at $129. It is the one using a MediaTek processor.

Review – Motorola g6 series

g6 seriesRather than present a separate review on each phone here is a combination review. Each phone has strengths (and very few weaknesses). But we think price sensitivity first, and needs, second, will likely drive purchase decisions.

In Motorola parlance Play is the entry level, the standard g6 sits in the middle, and the Plus is at the top. It is good, better, best.

We issue the standard warning that you must buy the genuine Model with Australian firmware as it works on all Australian Carrier LTE bands.

Specifications

We have changed our ‘monolithic’ specifications table to place relevant comments and tests after each segment. In this review the first column is always g6 Play, then g6 and then g6 Plus.

g6 Play Model XT-1992-1
Quick Charger 15W
USB-A to micro-USB
Standard 3.5mm buds/mic
Clear soft plastic bumper case
https://www.motorola.com.au/products/moto-g-play-gen-6
g6 Model XT-1925-7
Quick Charger 15W
USB-A to USB-C cable
Standard 3.5mm buds/mic
Clear soft plastic bumper cover
https://www.motorola.com.au/products/moto-g-gen-6
g6 Plus Model XT1926-5
Same as g6
https://www.motorola.com.au/products/moto-g-plus-gen-6

The first impression

Play follows different design lines to the others. It has a capacitive fingerprint reader on the back, single camera etc. Its 4,000mAh battery is the USP (unique selling proposition). Price compromises include a 720p screen, Wi-Fi N single band, micro-USB, no NFC, polymer glass (an acrylic alternative) and slightly thicker frame. It is just a little too different from its bigger brothers. Perhaps a brother by a different mother!

g6 and Plus look almost identical. Apart from the different screen size and processor/ram they are twins. The capacitive fingerprint sensor and Motorola name (not the famed batwing logo) adorn the front.

However, we have higher expectations of the Plus with its Qualcomm 630 processor, more ram/storage, slightly brighter camera, and more post-processing power

All three are Deep Indigo colour which means black with the slightest hint of Indigo. Indigo is the colour made up of three-parts blue and one-part violet. To me, they look black except in sunlight.

All have slightly curved backs, and a round watch face styled camera bump. And all are uber slippery and fingerprint magnets.