In this Motorola Moto E6 Plus review, I’ll take you through everything you need to know about this affordable smartphone from its design and display to the camera and performance.
Motorola has done a great job to cement itself as a trusted and affordable smartphone manufacturer, in fact, their handsets are regularly featured in T3’s guide to the best cheap phones.
Their most budget range, the Moto E series, offers cheap handsets with basic specs and features. Sitting within the sixth generation of the phones, the Motorola Moto E6 Plus has a 6.1inch display, a two-lens rear camera system and a fingerprint sensor. Let’s get straight down to it, here’s the full Motorola Moto E6 Plus review.
Motorola Moto E6 Plus review: price and what’s new
The Motorola Moto E6 Plus was launched back in 2019, so is now available from lots of retailers for really competitive prices. At the time of writing, you can pick the phone up for as little as $54 in the US and £80 in the UK. Take a look at the widgets for more recent pricing.
It’s safe to say that this is a seriously cheap phone, but how does it differ from the other handsets in the Moto E6 series, those being the Moto E6 and the Moto E6 Play?
The Moto E6 has the same processor and 6.1inch HD+ display, but the Moto E6 Plus improves on it with a better camera system. The Moto E6 Play, on the other hand, is a smaller phone with a 5.5inch display with a lower resolution and a more basic processor. All three handsets are cheap with 32GB storage and 2GB RAM. The Moto E6 series was later followed by the Moto E7 series.
Motorola Moto E6 Plus review: design and display
In taking the Motorola Moto E6 Plus out of the box, the first thing I noticed was just how light it was to hold. Measuring 155.6 x 73.06 x 8.6mm and weighing just 150g, it feels like a small phone but manages to pack in a pretty big display.
The phone doesn’t come with the battery installed, you’ll have to pull off the back cover to slot it in before you can use it. I found the back to be pretty stiff and it took me a while to successfully get it off. It also felt a little flimsy, like you could easily snap the plastic casing on the back whilst trying to remove it. In the box, you get a clear plastic protective case which makes it feel more sturdy, which might give you a bit more peace of mind.
The Motorola Moto E6 Plus is available in two colours, Polished Graphite (silver) and Bright Cherry (red). I saw the silver version, the shiny finish made it look like a more premium device than it is, although admittedly because of its largely plastic design, it is prone to fingerprint marks. I found myself constantly trying to wipe it clean. It has thick bezels and a black-framed hole-punch camera on the front. On the back, there are two camera lenses integrated into the casing and a fingerprint sensor in the middle, which works quickly to unlock the display. On the frame is a 3.5mm headphone jack, a power button and volume controls as well as a Mini USB charging port.
With a 6.1inch HD+ display, the 1560 x 720p resolution is hardly flagship-level quality and you won’t be able to stream video in Full HD. If you are looking to spend less than £100 on a phone, then it’s likely you aren’t expecting an ultra-clear screen anyway. It’s as good as you will get at this price. It is relatively sharp and well-defined and it was bright enough to see on a sunny day. The colours weren’t entirely accurate but that won’t be too apparent for day-to-day tasks.
Motorola Moto E6 Plus review: camera
Onto the camera, the Motorola Moto E6 Plus has a 13MP main rear camera paired with a 2MP depth sensor, the front selfie camera is 8MP. As with any budget handset, the camera won’t produce photography with award-winning detail and clarity, yet its point-and-shoot photography was actually alright.
Pictures came out looking bright with decent colouring which in the right conditions could easily produce decent shots to use on social media. If you look more closely though, colours did look a little dull and the camera struggled to balance the light and dark areas of the shot. If you zoom into the photos, you’ll also see that lines look a little blurred and finer details are grainy. So despite being surprisingly alright for a cheap phone, the two-lens camera system definitely had flaws. See the gallery below for some examples of shots taken on the Motorola Moto E6 Plus.
There’s no dedicated night mode here, but it does have an LED flash to illuminate scenes at night. In comparison to other handsets, there isn’t that much to play around with, Motorola has kept the different camera modes to a minimum, with Bokeh, Panorama and Face Beauty being the only options to choose from. In terms of video, you can film in resolutions up to FHD. They came out looking shaky, dark and grainy, though.
Motorola Moto E6 Plus review: performance
Using the MediaTek Helio P22 mid-range chip and 2GB RAM, the Motorola Moto E6 Plus is unlikely to blow you away with speedy performance. Considering its price it manages to hold its own yet won't be a good choice for anyone who spends a lot of time on their phone. In Geekbench 5, the Moto E6 Plus scored 138 in single-core and 482 in multi-core. What that tells you is the performance is certainly that of a very budget phone, you won’t be able to play larger mobile games, but it will get you through basic everyday tasks.
To store all of your files and photos, it only has 32GB storage but you can expand it using a MicroSD card. As you might expect from such an affordable phone, there’s no 5G or WiFi 6 to give you super-fast internet, nor is there NFC to make contactless payments.
The 3,000mAh battery is unlikely to provide days and days of battery life either. I ran a video on full brightness over two hours, in that time the battery dropped by 38% so would have lasted around five hours in total. That’s quite low in comparison to the 15+ hours provided by some flagships. You also can’t expect to get fast charging, it only comes with a 5W Mini USB charger which took just under four hours to recharge the phone from empty to 100%.
Running on Android 9, the Motorola Moto E6 Plus has a comfortable and familiar Android experience. It comes with a few useful apps pre-installed, like Google Photos and Gmail. You’ll also be able to make use of voice commands through the Google Assistant. Unlike other Motorola handsets, it doesn’t have handy Moto Experiences like Gesture controls.
Motorola Moto E6 Plus review: verdict
Spending less than £100/$100 on a smartphone, you really can’t expect much more than something that just works. It won’t cope with large games, you won’t get a high-quality display and the camera won’t win any awards. So it’s worth managing your expectations when you’re making your decision on which phone to buy.
The Motorola Moto E6 Plus will work well for someone who isn't glued to their smartphone, for those who just want to be able to send some text messages, make a few calls here and there, and even occasionally post to social media.
What is good about this phone is how small and light it is, it’ll fit into your pocket and you won’t have to worry about damaging it because of the plastic casing. It’ll do everything you need it to, and because it’s Motorola, the Android experience feels seamless to use too. The Motorola Moto E6 Plus is definitely worth considering if you are on a very tight budget.
Motorola Moto E6 Plus review: also consider
Another phone that costs less than £100 worth considering is the Nokia 3.4, it’s a usable smartphone for not very much money at all. If you're looking to get a new Android handset while spending as little as possible, then we'd suggest getting the Nokia 3.4 somewhere on your list.
If you are on the hunt for a cheap phone, but you want a decent camera, you won’t get much better than the Google Pixel 4a. It is a lot pricier than the Moto E6 Plus, but the extra cash will be worth it for improved performance and better photography.
- These are the best Android phones you can buy