Moto G6 vs. Honor 7X: Which is the better budget phone?

The Moto G series from Lenovo-owned Motorola has dominated the budget smartphone scene for a few years now, but we were blown away by the amazing value offered by the Honor 7X last year.

Now it’s 2018 and the Moto G6 has been unveiled with some nifty extras and a modern makeover. How does one of the best budget options from last year stand up to it? We decided to compare the two to find out.

Specs

Moto G6 Honor 7X
Size 153.8 x 72.3 x 8.3 mm (6.01 x 2.85 x 0.33 inches) 156.5 x 75.3 x 7.6 mm (6.16 x 2.96 x 0.30 inches)
Weight 167 grams (5.89 ounces) 165 grams (5.82 ounces)
Screen size 5.7-inch IPS LCD 5.93-inch IPS LCD
Screen resolution 2,160 x 1,080 pixels (424 pixels per inch) 2,160 x 1,080 pixels (407 pixels per inch)
Operating system Android 8.0 Oreo Android 7.0 Nougat (upgradeable to Android 8.0 Oreo)
Storage space 32GB, 64GB 32GB, 64GB
MicroSD card slot Yes, up to 128GB Yes, up to 256GB
Tap-to-pay services No No
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 HiSilicon Kirin 659
RAM 3GB, 4GB 3GB, 4GB
Camera Dual lens 12MP and 5MP rear, 8MP front Dual lens 16MP and 2MP rear, 8MP front
Video 1080p at 60 fps, slow-mo video 1080p at 30 fps
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 4.2 Bluetooth 4.1
Ports 3.5mm headphone jack, USB-C 3.5mm headphone jack, Micro USB
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Water resistance No No
Battery 3,000mAh

TurboPower Charging

3,340mAh

 

App marketplace Google Play Store Google Play Store
Network support All major carriers AT&T or T-Mobile
Colors Black, Deep Indigo Black, Blue, Gold, Red, Gray
Price $250 $200
Buy from Motorola HiHonor
Review score Hands on 4 out of 5 stars

Performance, battery life, and charging

honor 7x review in hand full best honor 7x cases
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Moto G6 has Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 450 processor inside, and that’s backed up by 3GB or 4GB of RAM. We expect it to be a smooth performer that should meet most people’s needs. The Honor 7X is packing a HiSilicon Kirin 659 processor and, once again, comes with 3GB or 4GB of RAM. We found it to be generally zippy, though it occasionally struggled with graphically challenging games. We need some more hands-on time with the G6, but benchmarks so far reveal pretty similar performance for these phones. Both come with 32GB or 64GB of storage on board and room to expand via a MicroSD slot.

With a 3,000mAh battery, the Moto G6 should have plenty of stamina, and when it’s time to chargeit,  Motorola’s TurboPower technology can deliver up to 15W, giving you hours of battery life in minutes. The Honor 7X has an even bigger 3,340mAh battery, but it doesn’t support fast charging, so it will take considerably longer to charge up than the G6. Sadly, wireless charging has not reached the budget end of the market yet. This one’s closer than you might expect, so we’re going to call it a tie for now.

Winner: Tie

Design and durability

moto g6 hands on 9
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

With that big, rounc signature camera module on the back, you instantly know that the Moto G6 is a Motorola phone. The back is made of curved glass. and there’s still a recessed glass fingerprint sensor on the front, though the bezels have been slimmed down and the screen elongated compared to last year’s Moto G5. The best design change is the switch to USB-C for the charging port, which is reversible and allows for faster charging. The glass is not going to be particularly durable, but there is a P2i water-repellent coating that should guard against rain and splashes.

The Honor 7X has a curved aluminum body with two camera lenses at the top of the back and an indented fingerprint sensor further down. The front of the phone is all glass with the Honor logo on the bottom bezel. In addition to the tougher metal body, Honor has designed air pockets into the corners to reduce the risk of drop damage. Unfortunately, the 7X lacks water resistance and still relies on a Micro USB port for charging. Both phones have a 3.5mm audio jack.

This is a narrow win for the G6, but some people will prefer the design of the Honor 7X, so try to get hands on with them before you decide.

Winner: Moto G6

Display

honor 7x review app close
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

This neck-and-neck competition doesn’t get any clearer when we move on to display. The Moto G6 has a 5.7-inch IPS LCD with a resolution of 2,160 x 1,080 pixels, which translates to 424 pixels per inch. The Honor 7X has a 5.93-inch IPS LCD, also with a resolution of 2,160 x 1,080 pixel, which translates to 407 pixels per inch. The 18:9 aspect ratio is standard now, even for budget phones. The G6 is slightly sharper, but slightly smaller. Both are decent and perfectly readable, but lack the brightness levels you’ll find in more expensive phones.

Winner: Tie

Camera

moto g6 hands on 14
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The deadlock continues as we find dual lens cameras in both these phones. The Moto G6 pairs a 12-megapixel lens with a 5-megapixel lens, while the Honor 7X opts for a 16-megapixel and 2-megapixel combo. Both have 8-megapixel front-facing cameras. The dual lens setup allows for portrait modes and a bokeh effect that blurs the background, though, as you’d expect, neither of these phones achieves it with the same style as the latest flagships. We need a bit more time to see how good the Moto G6 camera is, but it should be slightly better than the camera in the 7X.

One clear advantage with the G6 is the ability to record 1080p video at 60 frames per second. It’s also capable of slow motion and time lapse videos. The Honor 7X can only manage 1080p at 30 frames per second and lacks the slow motion option.

Winner: Moto G6

Software and updates

moto g6 hands on 17
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

If you opt for the Moto G6, then you’ll enjoy the latest Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box. It’s a near stock Android experience, with just a few handy extras thrown in on top, such as Moto Actions, which enables gestures like the ability to wave your hand over the screen to see notifications. Motorola has already said that the Moto G6 will be upgraded to Android P when it comes out.

By contrast the Honor 7X shipped with Android 7.1 Nougat and EMUI 5.1 over the top, which was a definite weak spot for the phone. It has since been updated to Oreo with EMUI 8.0, which is a major improvement, but it’s still a big step removed from the near stock Android on the G6 and definitely packs more bloatware. We don’t know if the Honor 7X will ever get Android P.

Winner: Moto G6

Special features

honor 7x review back full
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

There isn’t much to speak of in the special features department. The inclusion of dual lens cameras is probably the headline for budget phones like this. Both also offer some handy extras in the software, but there’s nothing that gives one a clear edge over the other.

Winner: Tie

Price

If you want to buy a Moto G6, then you’ll need to cough up $250. The Honor 7X is $50 cheaper at $200. The Moto G6 will work on all the major carriers, but it’s important to note that the Honor 7X lacks CDMA support, so it’s no use to you if you’re on Verizon or Sprint. We think $50 is quite a big gap at this end of the market, so this is an important win for the Honor 7X.

Winner: Honor 7X

Overall winner: Moto G6

This was a surprisingly close contest considering that the Honor 7X came out at the tail end of last year and costs a full $50 less than the Moto G6. With the update to Oreo, the Honor 7X is still a compelling bargain. Budget aside, we think the Moto G6 is a slightly better phone, chiefly because we prefer the software and the camera, but the fast charging and USB-C are also important.

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