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The Moto G6 Play has a secret weapon that its pricier Moto G-siblings don't: A big ol' honking battery. For many people including myself, an affordable phone with a seemingly endless battery is the smartphone paradox. The iPhone X and Pixel 2 cost much more than the Moto G6 Play but still get less battery life.
|Moto G6 Play||Moto G6||Moto G6 Plus|
|US price||$199||$249||not sold in US|
In terms of design, the Moto G6 Play gets all the hand-me-downs from the Moto G6 family and the Moto G5 family before it -- some fit better than others. The Moto G6 Play doesn't have the slick-looking Gorilla Glass 3 back of the Moto G6 and G6 Plus. It uses a micro-USB port instead of the more fashionable USB-C one and it lacks dual-cameras. Again, it's $50 less than the Moto G6, so I didn't exactly expect the works here.
In hand, the Moto G6 Play feels dense and solid. It's not water-resistant, but Motorola says that it's splash proof aka don't spill your coffee on it or at least no more than a few drops. On the back, is a fingerprint reader that's cleverly incorporated into the Motorola logo. Out of all the rear fingerprint readers I've used, the belly button-shaped reader on the Moto G6 Play is the absolute easiest to find and use without looking.
The Moto G6 Play's software isn't flashy. It runs a fairly stock version of Android 8.0 Oreo and has minimal extra apps. The tweaks Motorola does add are thoughtful and fun. I mean who doesn't love making a double karate chop motion to turn on the flashlight?
Like the Moto G6, the Moto G6 Play has a 5.7-inch 18x9 ratio display. However, the resolution is only 720 HD instead of the 1,080 HD displays found on the Moto G6 and G6 Plus. In use, this isn't as horrible as it sounds. Images, websites and videos look good on the display. The only time I ran into trouble was in direct sunlight trying to take photos. The display was nearly impossible to use as a viewfinder.
The Moto G6 Play's low-resolution screen combined with its large battery gives the phone a terrific battery life on a single charge. In our looped video battery tests (in airplane mode), the Moto G6 Play's battery lasted an average of 15 hours and 16 minutes. That's five and a half hours longer than the Moto G6, which lasted 9 hours and 41 minutes.
I used the Moto G6 and G6 Play side-by-side for the better part of a day. By the time 5 p.m. rolled around the Moto G6 had 56-percent of its battery charge left. The Moto G6 Play has 81-percent left.
The camera on the Moto G6 Play is good. In good light, it was actually difficult to tell pictures from the Moto G6 and the Moto G6 Play apart. To my eyes, the cameras on the Moto G6 have a slightly better dynamic range and handled digital zooming better.
In darker environments, like a restaurant or a nighttime street scene, the Moto G6 Play did OK. Low light photos looked softer and had more noise -- those blurry specs that show up in darker colors.
Surprisingly, the Moto G6 Play offers slow motion video albeit at a 960x540-pixel resolution. And I should note that the selfie camera like on the Moto G6 has its own flash.
When it comes to speed, the Moto G6 Play earned one of the lowest scores of any phone we tested this year. However, in use, and maybe because it runs on Android Oreo, it did well at everyday tasks like scrolling through Instagram, Twitter, messaging and taking photos. It handled games like Super Mario Run and Monument Valley well.
For a phone that costs just a couple hundred dollars, the Moto G6 Play is a good daily driver. But if you're looking for more speed check out its slightly more expensive siblings the Moto G6 and G6 Plus.
|Motorola Moto G6 Play||Motorola Moto G6||Motorola Moto G6 Plus||Motorola Moto G5||Motorola Moto G5 Plus|
|Display size, resolution||5.7-inch; 1,440x720 pixels||5.7-inch; 2,160x1,080 pixels||5.9-inch; 2,160x1,080 pixels||5-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels||5.2-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels|
|Dimensions (Inches)||5.1x2.8x0.4 in||6.1x2.8x0.3 in||6.3x3x0.3 in||5.7x2.9x0.37 in||5.9x2.9x0.3 in|
|Dimensions (Millimeters)||154.4x72.2x9mm||153.8x72.3x8.3mm||160x75.5x8 mm||144.3x73x9.5 mm||150.2x74x7.7 mm|
|Weight (Ounces, Grams)||6.2 oz; 175g||5.9 oz; 167g||5.9 oz, 167g||5.1 oz, 145g||5.5 oz, 155g|
|Mobile software||Android 8.0 Oreo||Android 8.0 Oreo||Android 8.0 Oreo||Android 7.0 Nougat||Android 7.0 Nougat|
|Camera||13-megapixel||12-megapixel and 5-megapixel||12-megapixel and 5-megapixel||13-megapixel||12-megapixel|
|Processor||1.4GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 427||1.8 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 450||2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 630||1.4GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430||2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625|
|Storage||16GB/32GB||32GB/64GB||64GB||16GB, 32GB||32GB, 64GB|
|RAM||2GB, 3GB||3GB, 4 GB||4GB, 6GB||2GB,3GB||2GB, 3GB, 4GB|
|Fingerprint sensor||Back||Below screen||Below screen||Below screen||Below screen|
|Special features||Splash-proof, 10-watt fast charger||Dual-SIM, Splash-proof, time lapse video, Turbo Charger||Dual-SIM, Splash-proof, time lapse video, Turbo Charger||Dual-SIM, splash-proof||Dual-SIM, splash-proof|
|Price off-contract (USD)||$199||$249||NA||NA||$229 (32GB); $299 (64GB)|
|Price (GBP)||Converts to £140||£219 (32GB); £239 (64GB)||£269||£169, £179||£249|
|Price (AUD)||Converts to AU$256||AU$399||AU$499||Converts to AU$291||Converts to AU$300|