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LG Q6 vs Moto G5 Plus in-depth comparative review: Stunning design or great overall performance?

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The competition in the hugely-lucrative lower mid-range (Rs 15,000-Rs 20,000) smartphone segment has never been fiercer, with both big and small manufacturers launching numerous exciting handsets on a near-daily basis. And one of them is LG’s recently-launched Q6.

Wielding a gorgeous 18:9 display that immediately makes it stand out in a sea of identical-looking budget smartphones, the Q6 is pitted directly against what’s perhaps currently the best mobile handset in the Rs 15,000-Rs 20,000 price bracket – the Moto G5 Plus. But does the LG Q6 really have what it takes to topple the Moto G5 Plus off its throne?

Let’s find out!

Design and build quality | LG Q6 vs Moto G5 Plus Comparison

LG Q6

Take one look at the Q6 and you’re bound to be smitten. Easily the best-looking smartphone in its segment, LG Q6 has a one-of-a-kind design. The front panel is home to a tall 18:9 aspect ratio display (discussed in the next section) with thin bezels. Above the display lie the earpiece, 5MP selfie camera and the usual array of sensors. The bottom bezel is bare, except for an LG logo in the middle.

The Q6 has a smooth metallic frame, accentuated by antenna lines on all four sides. On the left, there are the volume buttons and two slide-out trays. One of them has a nano-SIM slot and a microSD card slot, while the other just has a nano-SIM slot. The power/sleep button is on the right, and the bottom is where the 3.5mm audio port, microUSB 2.0 port and microphone hole are. Up top, there’s just a secondary microphone.

Flip the Q6, and you’ll see a 13MP autofocus primary camera and LED flash. The speaker grille is at the bottom left, whereas the lower middle section of the rear panel has the Q6 logo and some regulatory information imprinted on it.

The build quality of the LG Q6 is great. The phone feels really sturdy in the hand and despite being made of plastic, its shiny back panel looks premium and adds to the overall aesthetics of the device. That said, it does get scratched pretty easily. The smartphone is also MIL-STD-810G compliant and thus, can withstand the occasional drop or two.

Moto G5 Plus

While it may not be a head-turner like the Q6, Moto G5 Plus still has a fairly good design, even if it’s a bit generic. The front panel is primarily taken up by a 5.2-inch display with pretty thick bezels, especially on the top and bottom. The top bezel houses the earpiece (which also doubles up as a front-firing mono speaker), 5MP selfie shooter and the usual assortment of sensors, along with a moto logo. The bottom bezel just has a pill-shaped fingerprint sensor at its center.

The Moto G5 Plus’s frame is smooth and well-built, but definitely not as sturdy as that of the LG Q6. There are shiny lines running across the top and bottom of the frame on all four sides. On the left, there’s a volume rocker and power/sleep button, with the latter having a slightly ridged texture. The top left has a dual nano-SIM/microSD card tray, whereas the bottom has the 3.5mm audio port, microUSB 2.0 port and microphone hole.

The smooth back panel of the G5 Plus has the secondary microphone at the upper left corner. As for the primary 12MP camera, it’s housed in a circular hump placed in the center of the top half of the back panel. The circular module also has a two-tone dual-LED flash and below it, is a shiny Motorola logo. The lower middle section has some regulatory information printed on it.

As for the build quality, the Moto G5 Plus isn’t half bad. It has a good in-hand feel and the smooth, curved back panel makes for a nice grip. However, the LG Q6, with its premium construction and killer design, is a class apart.

Winner: LG Q6

Display | Moto G5 Plus vs LG q6 Display Comparison

LG Q6

Without a doubt, the display is what single-handedly gives LG Q6 edge over Moto G5 Plus (or any other smartphone in the price segment, for that matter). With a unique 18:9 aspect ratio and curved corners (just like the ‘Full Vision’ display on its flagship sibling – G6), the Full HD (1080×2160 pixels resolution) panel of the Q6 is a sight to behold. Since it’s taller than conventional 16:9 displays, the Q6’s display allows more content to be viewed at a time, regardless of the orientation. The display is plenty sharp and renders everything with striking detail. Being an IPS LCD panel, it has great viewing angles and accurate colour reproduction. Auto-brightness works as it should, and sunlight legibility isn’t an issue either.

Moto G5 Plus

The G5 Plus has a 5.2-inch Full HD display, with a resolution of 1080×1920 pixels and a pixel density of around 424ppi. While definitely not as swanky as the Q6’s tall panel, it’s sharp enough to display all kinds of visual content sans any issues. The display on Moto G5 Plus is an IPS LCD unit and thus, has pretty accurate colour reproduction. Viewing angles are good, but definitely not the best. On the plus side, the G5 Plus’s display gets really bright and you won’t have any trouble using it in direct sunlight. Auto-brightness works well, but the ambient light sensor takes a little more time (as compared to that on the Q6) to adjust the backlight.

Winner: LG Q6

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Performance

LG Q6

Utilizing Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 435 SoC, LG Q6 is powered by an octa-core 1.4GHz CPU and Adreno 505 GPU. This is complemented by 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, with support for microSD cards of up to 256GB capacity.

Now, the above hardware is perfectly adequate for day-to-day tasks such as casual web browsing (with a few Chrome tabs open), video streaming and lightweight gaming. Even juggling randomly between ten different open apps works without any problems. But push the Q6 further, and limitations of its entry-level chipset begin to surface. Graphics-rich gaming titles such as Mortal Kombat X take up a lot of time to load and gaming for an extended amount of time causes the phone to heat up quite a bit. Video recording is also limited to Full HD, because that’s the maximum that Snapdragon 435 supports.

To put things into numbers, LG Q6 scored 533 (single-core) and 1760 (multi-core) in Geekbench 4, and 228 in 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme benchmarking tests.

Call quality on the LG Q6 was perfect during my test run, with the smartphone having no issues latching on to 4G/VoLTE networks.

Moto G5 Plus

Powering the Moto G5 Plus is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 SoC, having an octa-core 2.0GHz CPU and Adreno 506 GPU. The smartphone also has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage, and accepts microSD cards of up to 256GB capacity.

Arguably the most popular chipset for mid-range smartphones, the SD625 is definitely a step up from the SD435 that LG Q6 uses. As such, it helps the Moto G5 Plus power through daily tasks such as multi-tabbed web browsing, and music and video streaming without any efforts.

Although heavy titles (like the above mentioned Mortal Kombat X) take some time to load in this case as well, gaming performance is a lot better, thanks to the slightly more powerful GPU and an extra gig of RAM. Because of the Snapdragon 625, Moto G5 Plus can record 4K resolution video as well. The phone gets heated up a little when recording videos and playing games, but it’s nothing to get worked up over.

In our benchmarking tests, Moto G5 Plus scored 855 (single-core) and 4281 (multi-core) in Geekbench 4, and 464 in 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme.

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I didn’t face any issues related to call quality with the Moto G5 Plus during my test run. The smartphone latched on to 4G/VoLTE networks without any problems.

Winner: Moto G5 Plus

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User Interface & Software

LG Q6

The Q6 runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat out-of-the-box, with LG’s UX 6.0 layer baked on top. While some may see the lack of vanilla Android experience as a downer, the fact is that LG’s UI layer is one of the best-looking custom Android interfaces out there. And it’s not just about the visual goodness. UX 6.0 is jam packed with useful features like KnockON (double tap to turn screen On/Off), Comfort view (Blue light filter), tabbed settings menu, Game battery saver and of course, Face recognition unlock. The UI layer is quite smooth and doesn’t slow down the Q6 over time.

Not just that, LG’s own preloaded apps (e.g. Contacts, Calendar) are custom designed to take maximum advantage of the Q6’s 18:9 aspect ratio display. The smartphone isn’t heavy on bloatware, and the few apps that do come pre-installed (e.g. Smart Doctor, LG Mobile Switch, LG Smart World) are actually useful. These can be used to optimize the phone’s performance, diagnose hardware issues, and even customize the phone’s appearance by downloading everything from themes and wallpapers to ringtones and fonts.

Moto G5 Plus

The G5 Plus also comes with Android Nougat out-of-the-box, although with a slightly older 7.0 version. Contrary to LG Q6, Moto G5 Plus offers an Android experience that’s 99% stock-like. There’s no custom UI layer here, and all the useful features of Nougat such as split-screen multitasking, UI scaling and enhanced battery saver are included. But what’s worth mentioning is that the 1% improvement(s) that Motorola (or Lenovo) have made to the G5 Plus’ stock Android experience, make it even better.

Moto G5 Plus comes with a plethora of handy gestures, which can be used to do anything from quickly launching the camera (by twisting the phone quickly twice while holding it in the hand) to turning on the flashlight (by making a chopping motion). Then there’s the insanely useful ‘One button nav,’ feature, which lets you use the fingerprint sensor as an all-in-one replacement of the on-screen Android navigation buttons, freeing up valuable visual real estate. Speaking of, the fingerprint sensor is quite fast and supports 360-degree recognition. The G5 Plus can also battery-friendly notifications that fade in/out on the screen as they arrive. As for bloatware, there’s none of that on the G5 Plus, except for one or two useful apps.

Winner: Tie (both smartphones offer a great overall user experience, which is primarily made possible due to their own take on Android customization).

Camera | LG Q6 vs Moto G5 Plus Camera Comparison

LG Q6

For imaging duties, LG Q6 sports a fairly standard 13MP autofocus rear camera with f/2.2 aperture and LED flash. In well-lit conditions, the shooter takes some really nice pictures with decent amount of detail. There’s not too much oversharpening either. However, compression artefacts are easily visible at 100% zoom in. Pictures clicked in dimly-lit conditions sometimes don’t really have clearly defined dark and light elements, but turning on HDR mode certainly helps things a bit. As for the recorded videos, they come out to be pretty nice.

Selfies from the Q6’s 5MP front-facing camera turn out to be fairly okay. Although they seem to be a bit oversoftened, the selfies are perfectly fine for sharing on social networks. Wide-angle selfies can also be captured.

The camera app on the Q6 includes multiple modes such as Auto, Panorama and Food, as well as the unique Square mode.

Moto G5 Plus

Handling photographic duties for Moto G5 Plus is a 12MP autofocus primary camera with f/1.7 aperture and two-tone dual-LED flash. With adequate lighting, the snapper captures extremely nice pictures with substantial resolved detail. The camera software doesn’t overdo sharpening and compression artefacts aren’t that much either. But it’s low-light photography in which the G5 Plus trumps the Q6, thanks to its larger aperture and two-tone dual-LED flash, which make for very good pictures, even at night. HDR mode helps things further, bringing out finer details of dark and bright parts of the images in equal measure. Recorded videos also turn out to quite good and as mentioned before, there’s 4K video recording support as well.

The 5MP front snapper of the G5 Plus clicks really good selfies. They are quite detailed and software-based softening is kept to a minimum. Perfect for sharing on social networks.

Moto G5 Plus’s camera app is pretty clean, but includes essential modes like Panorama and Slow motion. There’s even a full-blown Professional mode, which lets you tweak everything from ISO values to White Balance.

Winner: Moto G5 Plus

Battery life | Moto G5 Plus vs LG q6 battery Comparison

LG Q6

 

Powering the Q6 is a 3,000mAh non-removable cell. While that’s a fairly respectable battery capacity, there’s no fast charging support included. Consequently, it takes quite some time for the battery to get fully juiced up. During my testing, it took the supplied 1.2A charger took about 2 hours and 45 minutes to take the battery level from 3% to 100% (with Wi-Fi turned on).

Once fully topped up, I was able to get around 6 hours and 48 minutes of Screen-on Time from the Q6, with moderately-heavy usage. The battery drain witnessed during intensive tasks was as follows:

Full HD video recording (30 minutes) : 12%
Full HD video playback (30 minutes, auto-brightness) : 6%
Gaming with Mortal Kombat X (15 minutes) : 3%

Moto G5 Plus

Just like LG Q6, Moto G5 Plus also has a 3,000mAh non-removable battery. But the good thing is that the G5 Plus supports fast charging technology. Over the course of my testing, the included 1.6A ‘Turbo Power’ adapter charged the battery from 3% to 100% in 2 hours (with Wi-Fi turned on).

As for Screen-on Time, it came to be about 7 hours and 40 minutes during my test run, again with moderately-heavy usage. This is almost an hour more than the SOT of LG Q6. The battery drain witnessed over the course of intensive tasks was as follows:

Full HD video recording (30 minutes) : 13%
Full HD video playback (30 minutes, auto-brightness) : 6%
Gaming with Mortal Kombat X (15 minutes) : 4%

Winner: Moto G5 Plus

Verdict

Priced at Rs 14,990 and Rs 15,999 respectively, LG Q6 and Moto G5 Plus have their own set of advantages and shortcomings. While the Q6 has a stunning design complemented by a gorgeous 18:9 display, it falls behind (slightly) in the performance department due to underpowered hardware.

On the other hand, the G5 Plus has a generic design and average build quality, but it more than makes up for it in the performance division with better hardware specifications.

Having said that, both smartphones are extremely competent overall packages. So it all comes down to your preference(s). If you want to have a smartphone that looks much more expensive than it is and gets all the basics right, go for the LG Q6. But if you don’t care about design and just want a well-rounded smartphone that has solid performance, get the Moto G5 Plus.

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