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Are Moto's new G6 and E5 budget phones worth buying?

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Late last month, Motorola unveiled its latest budget smartphones: the £219 Moto G6 and the £120 Moto E5. These phones certainly look like strong options in the lower end of the market, but which of the five different models should you get? In this article, we'll tell you what you need to know about each phone. Let's get started!

Moto E5: Design, Specs, Features & Software

Let's start with the E5, which is available in the UK as two models: the £120 E5 and the £150 E5 Plus.

 

Both phones have a modern 18:9 aspect ratio display at 720p resolution, with bezels top and bottom instead of an on-trend notch. This screen is immediately a step up over last year's models but not as impressive as flagship phones which generally run at 1080p, 1440p or even 2160p (4K).

 

The E5 Plus has a slightly larger screen than the vanilla E5, 6 inches compared to 5.7 inches, which is compensated for with a larger battery as well, 5000mAh vs 4000mAh. Both batteries are quite hefty, which should allow you to use the phone for two or even three days between charges.

 

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Above: Moto E5 (left) vs Moto E5 Plus (right). Image credit: Motorola via GSMArena.

 

Internally, both phones have mid-range aspirations with a Snapdragon 425 processor, 2GB or 3GB of RAM and 16GB or 32GB of storage; the E5 Plus unsurprisingly offering the better specifications. This low-power yet modern hardware should run the near-stock Android 8.0 Oreo with ease, although more complex games and apps might slow it down.

 

In terms of features, there's fast charging via Micro USB, a rear fingerprint reader and the usual one camera on the back and one on the front. The camera systems are different between the two models, with the E5 getting a standard 13MP rear camera and the E5 Plus going for a more modern 12MP camera with a larger sensor. Both cameras have a 5MP shooter up front, but the E5 Plus' is a little brighter.

 

For £120, the Moto E5 looks like an incredibly solid smartphone thanks to its modern design, sizeable battery and stock Android. The E5 Plus is also worth a shout, as its even bigger battery, better camera and larger screen could make it worth that 25% premium. The Moto E5 will arrive in June, so stay tuned!

Moto G6: Design, Specs, Features & Software

Now let's move onto the more confidently mid-range Moto G6. This phone costs £100 more than the entry-level E5 at £220, with a Plus model available for £260. There's also a cheaper option, the G6 Play, at £170 which we'll look at separately.

 

So what do you get for your extra investment? Well, there are improvements throughout, starting with the screen. The relatively low-res 720p screens from the E5 have been upgraded to 1080p while keeping the size the same, providing a sharper look and better VR compatibility. The back of the phone has also been coated in curved glass, providing a look similar to the iPhone and Galaxy flagship phones. 

 

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Above: Moto G6. Image credit: Motorola.

 

The G6 phones are powered by a slightly faster Snapdragon 450 or significantly faster Snapdragon 660 processor, depending on whether you get the vanilla or Plus model. This is backed with 3GB or 4GB of RAM and 32GB or 64GB of expandable storage. Battery sizes are less impressive than the E5 though, at 3000mAh for the G6 and 3200mAh for the G6 Plus. These phones should last longer than the E5 before becoming bogged down thanks to their upgraded specs, and once again stock Android 8.0 will ensure there's no cruft wasting system resources.

 

Another big upgrade from the E5 to the G6 is the switch to a trendy dual rear camera setup, with a 12MP primary camera and a 5MP secondary camera for depth sensing, allowing for photos with a blurred background that imitates the look of a larger lens with a narrow depth of field. An 8MP front-facer is also included. Both models are near identical, with the G6 Plus just offering a brighter f/1.7 aperture main lens compared to the f/1.8 of the standard G6.

 

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Above: Moto G6 Plus. Image credit: Android Central.

 

Other nice features include splash proofing (what IP rating hasn't been disclosed) and USB-C fast charging. Moto have also squeezed a fingerprint reader onto the front of the phone, which may be more convenient than the rear mounted fingerprint reader of the E5. 

 

Of course, there's also a third member of this family, but it's a bit of an oddball. The G6 Play costs £170, putting it just £10 north of the E5 Plus and £50 shy of the standard G6. The G6 Play loses the glass back, upgraded screen, better processor, second rear camera and front-facing fingerprint reader that define the Moto G6 series. Instead, it keeps the 4000mAh battery of the E5 but has the RAM and storage of the entry-level G6. This is a bit of a weird combination, but perhaps it will be of interest to someone who wants the E5 but doesn't want to install a Micro SD card immediately.

 

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Above: Moto G6 Play. Image credit: Expert Reviews.

 

The Moto G6 and G6 Plus seem like much more obvious phones to recommend, with some nice features and improved specifications that should keep them running well for longer. In my mind, this justifies their £100 price jump over the E5. The Moto G6 and G6 Plus are available now.

Wrapping up

So which phone do you like the look of? Let me know in the comments!

 

That's all we have time for today! I hope you've found this article helpful. Thanks and we'll see you on the next one!


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12 Comments
guide

Nice review and summary. I had a Moto G (2nd gen) a good while back. Decent phone but it only came with 8GB of RAM so there wasn't a huge amount of spare storage, but it had good build quality and didn't come with too much bloatware. In fact i still have it as a spare phone. Would definitely buy another Moto handset in the future. The G6 and G6 Plus don't look too shoddy at all.

cicerone

I've just bought a £220ish new phone. Similar spec to the G6 which is adequate for me. Can't see any point in spending 2 or 3 times that on something marginally 'better'.

enigma

I really wonder if they will be much better than G5 edition. After all, they are much more expansive this year. But let's hope it brings more value too. Only concern I'd have is battery life. Considering screen size, might not be perfect.

seer

the G6 looks appealing

but to me why spend so much money on a phone that you may not be able to use in certain places in a year or two after up dates and other issues 

I've never been able to see why people want the latest everything straight away 

just wait few months it will be half the price Smiley Happy yes as you can see i like to not waste money 

chaperon

Good price , acces to Google play store and stock Android ... Battery life might be OK for a day of medium usage... 

Let's see what others are bringing to the table 

counsellor

Thanks for blog. Always very useful to get updates on phones that are available in this price range.

Cheers

novice

Thanks for the info - in a clear understandable way. I am looking to get another phone in a wee while and your sensible blog has helped me to eliminate a couple of prospects

professor

Good review, the fact the are running a stock android system should make them good performers. 

The G6 certainly looks like a step in the right direction. 

I think since Lenovo took the brand over however they have lost the point of what the Moto G is supposed to be about.

The original Moto G was a proper fully functional smart phone for a little over a hundred quid. There was nothing fancy about it it, it just worked.

You got stock Android, and timely updates. 

I gave up on them with the G4. The updates more or less stopped, and the build, finish and general reliabilty of the handsets became very poor.

If I was in the market for an inexpensive phone that was built to last, that had decent software support I'd buy a Nokia 6 2018. Same price, way better hardware.

G6 Plus is the way to go but the Moto G Plus models have started creeping up in price the last 2 years beyond the budget phone realm into mid range territory