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Moto G6 Plus Camera Review: Super-charged mid-range snapper

The Moto G6 Plus is a more premium version of the standard Moto G6, packing a faster processor as well as an even bigger screen – cos 5.7-inches apparently just isn’t satisfying enough.

When it comes to the camera tech, the Plus is again the big boy of the G6 family. At first glance there’s not much difference between this and the Moto G6. Housed on both phones is a dual-lens snapper with a primary 12-megapixel lens, plus a 5-megapixel secondary lens for those Portrait shots. However, while the standard G6 lenses rock an f/1.8 aperture and Phase Detection Autofocus, the beefy G6 Plus camera serves up a wider f/1.7 aperture and Dual Pixel Autofocus tech.

So what does that actually mean? Well, that wider aperture lens means the Plus should technically perform a wee bit better in low light. And secondly, the use of Dual Pixel Autofocus in the G6 Plus should result in faster focusing, as every pixel is used in the process rather than a small percentage.

Read next: Moto G6 camera review

Moto G6 Plus camera app

You can launch up the Moto G6 Plus camera app in the boring usual way, by tapping the app icon. Or in the fun, exciting, and potentially hazardous way – double-twisting with your wrist. It’s a bit tricky, but it works most times.

The app is nicely laid out, with reasonably fast access to the video mode and various bonus features – more on these shortly.

You also have a number of nifty shortcuts right there on the main screen. The Active Photos option for instance shoots a brief snippet of video with each photo, to bring your photo gallery to life – great news if you shoot a lot of cat pics. Be warned that this feature of course eats up more storage space.

You’ll also find full manual controls if you want them, although thankfully the Moto G6 Plus’ auto mode is on the whole very solid indeed.

Moto G6 Plus camera photo quality

Viewed on a smaller screen such as a laptop or tablet, our G6 Plus photos looked just as sharp as any taken on a more premium mobile. It’s only when you check them out on a TV screen that you realise the 12-megapixel lens hasn’t captured quite as much detail. Still, for everyday snaps, the results were perfectly fine. Colours are nice and punchy without appearing artificial, which especially helps when shooting a vibrant scene.

The G6 Plus also deals well with high dynamic range, so you can merrily shoot attractive buildings or your bestie against a bright blue sky. But it’s low light situations where the G6 Plus shows its superiority over the standard G6. For a start, that focus doesn’t struggle half as much in dim conditions to lock onto your subject and produce a sharp shot. And the resulting image is much more clear, with less grain and more natural colours.

Dive into that Portrait mode and you can expect pretty good results, comparable to other budget handsets like the Honor 7C. The background is successfully blurred while your subject remains pleasingly crisp – at least, for the most part. There’s often a bit of smudging around some of the edges, although nothing extreme.

We also like the Spot Colour feature, which can isolate one particular hue and turn everything else black and white. It can occasionally glitch out a bit, but it works impressively well most of the time.

If you fancy yourself as a bit of an Instagram superstar, that 8-megapixel front-facing camera is a good ‘un. You even get an LED flash to light up your face when needed.

Moto G6 Plus camera video quality

As for video, the G6 Plus can shoot up to 4K resolution movies – a jump over the standard G6, which can only manage Full HD at up to 60FPS.

The lens adapts immediately to any changes in focal distance, to keep your subject sharp; a benefit of that Dual Pixel Autofocus. Harsh lighting conditions can occasionally flummox the Plus however, with lots of lens flare and oversaturation when the sun is really shining.

We also noticed that any kind of breeze often resulted in audio distortion, which sounded quite bad in some of our samples. Not great if you’re going to film outside a lot.

Still, the digital image stabilisation at Full HD resolution is rather good, helped by some serious cropping around the borders of the picture. The effects aren’t quite as strong at 4K levels, as you might expect, although the results aren’t too jarring either.

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