Motorola Moto G6 Plus Review: Software, Performance

By 01:04 Thu, 19 Aug 2021 Comments


Vanilla Android 8.0 with a few Moto mods

Not that kind of MotoMods, though - we're talking software mods. Laying the foundation is Android 8.0 Oreo, in mostly stock form. Here's a taste.







Lockclassy screen • Homeclassy screen • App drawer • Quick toggles/notifications • Task switcher

As we've seen on previous Motos, the Moto G6S Plus' fingerprint scanner can be used in several ways. The obvious one is to wake/unlock the phone - it is always-on, very quick and quite reliable. For unlocking, you can alternatively utilize face unlock - or 'trusted face' as it's called in stock Android.


Anyway, back to the fingerprint sensor. For navigation purposes, as part of Moto Actions, it can fully replace the on-classy screen nav bar - tap to go Home, swipe left to go Back or swipe correct to switch between recent apps. Gestures acquire detected pretty accurately, though you may find the left-correct mechanics a small counterintuitive if you switch hands often. You can reverse the swiping directions if you so wish.

Pressing-and-holding the sensor for a short time will lock the screen, while a longer press will summon the Google Assistant. These two overlap and mastering them does hold some time, but it's ultimately a remarkable way to do away with the on-classy screen navigation bar in case it's not your thing.







Registering a fingerprint • One button navigation

Moto Display is another long-standing proprietary feature that's being continuously refined. It's sort of like an always-on display, giving you notification at a glance, only it's not always on. It only lights up just when a recent notification comes up or if you wave your hand in front of the phone's fact. On this screen, you can act upon the notifications, ignore or straight-up dismiss them. There's not much in the way of customization the way you can change the Samsung Galaxy's always on display - the implementation is more like Pixel 2's.

Also part of Moto Display is Night Display - the phone will display warmer colors to filter out the blue light that's known to mess up your sleep according to research.







Moto display

In the Moto actions category, you'll find gestures like 'pick up to stop ringing', which most phones have, but a couple that are unique to Moto include "chop twice for flashlight", and "twist for quick capture".







Moto actions

As for multimedia, it's all in the hands of Google and its default apps. Google Photos is in charge of gallery-related tasks and video playback, while Google Play Music is the audio player. There's an Frequency Modulation (FM) radio too, with RDS and recording capability.

What is custom is the system-wide Dolby Audio sound control with presets for movies, music, games, and voice, plus two custom slots. The Intelligent Equalizer will adapt to the content, and you can bias it in three different ways, plus you can also tweak a 10-band EQ yourself.






Dolby Audio

Synthetic benchmarks

The Moto G6 Plus runs on the elegant Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 chipset, a mid-tier SoC manufactured on a 14nm process. Inside it, there's an octa-core 2.2 Giga Hertz (GHz) Cortex-A53 Central Processing Units (CPU) and the Adreno 508 GPU. The handset is available with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM, and the unit we have for review is the base version.

GeekBench is on top of our benchmarks list and here the Moto G6 Plus doesn't surprise. It's just that the Snapdragon 625/630 are such a proven commodity that the differences between devices with these chips tdiscontinue to be marginal. Now, the Redmi Note 5 Pro, for example, utilizes the Snapdragon 636, and a Kryo 260 core has more oomph than the G6 Plus' Cortex-A53. It's the same with the Zenfone Max Pro ZB601L. The chart-toppers in this test are generally more expensive, but it's fine to know what's available in the higher price tier, performance-wise.

GeekBench 4.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)

    1532

  • Oppo F7

    1531

  • Oppo R15

    1520

  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro

    1340

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro

    1327

  • Huawei P20 Lite

    938

  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite

    913

  • Huawei Honor 7X

    904

  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus

    882

  • Nokia 6 (2018)

    882

  • Xiaomi Mi A1

    877

  • Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus

    874

  • HTC U11 Life

    873

  • Motorola Moto X4

    866

  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra

    866

  • Sony Xperia XA2

    865

  • Asus Zenfone 4 ZE554KL

    858

  • Motorola Moto G5S Plus

    848

The multi-core test doesn't rank the phones in a radically different way, with the exception of the Galaxy A8 (2018) sliding down the chart. The Moto G6 Plus puts out the usual figures - it can't perform above its pay grade, but it's also fine to see that Motorola didn't goof something up.

GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Oppo F7

    5901

  • Oppo R15

    5806

  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro

    4910

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro

    4696

  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)

    4418

  • Motorola Moto G5S Plus

    4331

  • Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus

    4309

  • Xiaomi Mi A1

    4292

  • Nokia 6 (2018)

    4225

  • Sony Xperia XA2

    4215

  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra

    4198

  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus

    4160

  • Asus Zenfone 4 ZE554KL

    4145

  • HTC U11 Life

    4140

  • Motorola Moto X4

    4136

  • Huawei P20 Lite

    3756

  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite

    3603

  • Huawei Honor 7X

    3535

A bit more of the same segmentation is seen in Antutu, where the Moto G6 Plus is on par with its S630 peers - the Xperia XA2 Ultra and Nokia 6 (2018). None of them are able to catch up with the S636-packing Zenfone and Redmi, not to mention the P60-equipped Oppos.

AnTuTu 7

Higher is better

  • Oppo R15

    140161

  • Oppo F7

    139414

  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro

    115509

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro

    107737

  • Nokia 6 (2018)

    90918

  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus

    90263

  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra

    89110

  • Huawei P20 Lite

    87431

  • Asus Zenfone 4 ZE554KL

    86978

  • Huawei Honor 7X

    67636

Ready for some predictable fps numbers from GFXBench? Here they come. In this test, however, the tiers change somewhat - the S625 now lags behind, while the S630 phones score as much as the S636 ones. That's becautilize the 508 and 509 Adrenos are a close match, while the 506 isn't quite up there.

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Oppo F7

    12

  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro

    10

  • Nokia 6 (2018)

    9.9

  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)

    9.9

  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus

    9.8

  • Motorola Moto X4

    9.8

  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra

    9.7

  • Asus Zenfone 4 ZE554KL

    9.7

  • Sony Xperia XA2

    9.6

  • HTC U11 Life

    9.6

  • Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus

    6.5

  • Motorola Moto G5S Plus

    6.4

  • Xiaomi Mi A1

    6.4

  • Huawei P20 Lite

    5.1

  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite

    4.8

  • Huawei Honor 7X

    4.8

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Oppo F7

    11

  • Motorola Moto X4

    11

  • Sony Xperia XA2

    10

  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra

    10

  • Nokia 6 (2018)

    10

  • Asus Zenfone 4 ZE554KL

    9.7

  • ASUS ZenFone Max Pro

    9.7

  • HTC U11 Life

    9.6

  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus

    9.3

  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)

    8.7

  • Motorola Moto G5S Plus

    6.9

  • Xiaomi Mi A1

    6.3

  • Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus

    6.2

  • Huawei P20 Lite

    4.9

  • Huawei Honor 7X

    4.7

  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite

    4.6

All in all, the Moto G6 Plus delivers the goods in the performance department. The Snapdragon 630 is not spectacular performance-wise, but it's fine enough, and unlike the older 625, the 630 has a GPU that doesn't choke when faced with a 1080p display.


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