Moto G7 vs. Moto G6: Which midrange Motorola phone reigns supreme?

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Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Motorola Moto G series has long been considered one of the best options for people looking to buy a midrange smartphone. Now, the company has taken the wraps off of a new device in the series — the Moto G7. But it has got some serious competition ahead of it. Not only are there some great midrange phones from other companies, but the new phone also needs to be a whole lot better than the previous-generation Moto G6 to be worth buying.

Is it all that much better? We put the two phones head to head to find out if it’s a good idea to upgrade.

Specs

Moto G6 Moto G7
Size 6.06 x 2.85 x 0.33 inches (153.8 x 72.3 x 8.3 mm) 6.18 x 2.96 x 0.31 inches (157 x 75.3 x 8 mm)
Weight 5.9oz (167g) 6oz (172g)
Screen size 5.7 inches 6.2 inches
Screen resolution 2,160 x 1,080 pixels 2,270 x 1,080 pixels
Operating system Android 8.0 Oreo Android 9.0 Pie
Storage space 32/64GB 64GB
MicroSD Card slot Yes Yes
Tap-to-pay services (NFC) No No
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 Qualcomm Snapdragon 632
RAM 3/4GB 4GB
Camera Dual rear 12MP and 5MP, front 8MP Dual rear 12MP and 5MP, front 8MP
Video 1080p at 60 fps 4K at 30 fps, 1,080p at 60 fps, 720p at 120 fps
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 4.2 Bluetooth 4.2
Ports USB-C, 3.5 mm headphone jack USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Water resistance Water-repellent coating Water-repellent coating
Battery 3,000mAh 3,000mAh
App marketplace Google Play Google Play
Network support All major carriers All major carriers
Colors Black, Deep Indigo Ceramic Black, Clear White
Price $249 $299
Buy from Motorola TBA
Review score 3.5 out of 5 stars Hands-on

Performance, battery life, and charging

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Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Moto G7 is the newer device here, so it’s not unreasonable to expect that it’ll step things up in the performance department — and step things up it does. While the previous Moto G6 only had a Qualcomm Snapdragon 450 processor, the Moto G7 goes for a 600-series chip instead with the Snapdragon 632. That’s a pretty big improvement over the Moto G6 — a 50 percent speed improvement, according to Motorola. On the Moto G6, that chip is coupled with either 3 or 4GB of RAM, while the G7 sticks with 4GB. Last but not least is storage — the Moto G7’s 64GB beats out the options for either 32GB or 64GB on the Moto G6. Both devices have a MicroSD card slot though, so you can expand on that storage if needed.

Battery life on the two phones is very similar, if not exactly the same. Both phones have a 3,000mAh battery, though considering the Moto G7’s larger display, it’s possible it’ll use up that juice a little quicker. Neither of the two phones have wireless charging, but both do have a USB-C port at the bottom and both support fast charging.

Considering the vastly improved processor in the Moto G7, it’s the winner here.

Winner: Moto G7

Design and durability

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Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Moto G6 isn’t a bad-looking phone. It has a relatively large display on it, a fingerprint sensor at the bottom of the front, a classic Moto camera bump on the back, and a relatively modern look.

If you want something a little more contemporary, though, the Moto G7 is the clear winner. It expands the display even further, adopting the edge-to-edge display trend, with a teardrop notch for the front-facing camera. Say what you will about notches in general, but as far as they go, this one doesn’t look all that bad. The phone does still have a chin at the bottom, though it only has the Motorola logo, not a fingerprint sensor, which is on the back. The G7 also features a standard Moto camera bump, and it’s just as massive.

Motorola has been lacking a little in the durability department. Neither of the two phones have any official water-resistance, so you’ll want to keep your device well away from any water. They’re also both built from Gorilla Glass 3, meaning if you drop them, it’s possible you’ll pick up a cracked phone.

Because of the more modern look, the Moto G7 is the winner here.

Winner: Moto G7

Display

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Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The display on the two phones is very similar. Both devices technically have a 1,080p display, but because of the slight variation in aspect ratio, the resolution of the Moto G7 is a little different. While the Moto G6’s screen size comes in at 5.7 inches, the Moto G7’s screen sits at 6.2 inches. Because of that, the pixel density is slightly different too — it’s 424 pixels-per-inch (PPI) on the Moto G6, and 405 PPI on the Moto G7.

The Moto G6’s display has a higher pixel density, but the Moto G7’s is bigger. Ultimately, we don’t think people will be able to tell the difference in pixel densities, but they may enjoy the bigger screen real estate — so we’re giving the G7 the win.

Winner: Moto G7

Camera

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Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

On paper, the cameras on both devices are pretty much the same. They each have a dual camera with one 12-megapixel sensor featuring an aperture of f/1.8 and one 5-megapixel depth sensor. They also both have a front-facing camera of 8 megapixels. The Moto G6 introduced a feature called Cinemagraphs that allows you to capture photographs with an element of movement. The G7 has this, and also adds a few more camera features. There’s Auto Smile Capture, which snaps a photo as soon as a smile is detected on camera. High-Res Zoom enhances the quality of photos when you zoom in digitally, and there’s also a Hyperlapse option for videos you shoot.

The new features give the Moto G7 the edge, but image quality will need more testing.

Winner: Moto G7

Software and updates

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Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Both the Moto G6 and the Moto G7 run Android, but they ship with slightly different versions of it. The Moto G6 ships with the now aging Android 8.0 Oreo, while the Moto G7 ships with Android 9.0 Pie. Considering the fact the Moto G7 is newer, it will be supported for a longer time period. Motorola has promised it will get updated to Android Q.

Winner: Moto G7

Special features

Midrange devices are generally aimed at offering good value for the money and not much else, and that certainly seems to be the case here. Still, Motorola has included a few cool software features, as it does on all of its phones. For example, you’ll get Moto Actions, which allows you to access certain apps and features through gestures. You’ll also get Moto Voice, which allows you to open apps with your voice, while Moto Display delivers an always-on display. These specs are the same across both phones.

Winner: Tie

Price

The Moto G6 is currently available for under $200, which is actually quite a good price for the phone. It’s available unlocked on Amazon, and from a range of carriers. The Moto G7 will be available at some point in the spring, though we don’t know exactly when yet. We do know that it’ll cost $300, which is a little more than the launch price of the Moto G6.

Overall winner: Motorola Moto G7

While the Moto G6 is definitely a high-quality device, the Moto G7 really steps things up. It has a better processor, improved design, and more. At this point, we don’t think it’s worth getting the Moto G6 because the Moto G7 Play is available for the same price. It has the same processor as the Moto G7, so it’s the better alternative instead of going for the older phone.

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