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Hello Moto: Forget about the Moto G6 and G6 Play, where’s the G6 Plus?

Sahil Bhalla | Updated on: 4 June 2018, 18:32 IST
(Arya Sharma/Catch News)

On 4 June, Motorola India brought their latest budget smartphone offerings - Moto G6 and Moto G6 Play - to the second most populous country. The Moto G6 starts at Rs 13,999 and the Moto G6 Play at Rs 11,999. The Moto G6 is an Amazon exclusive and the Moto G6 Play is a Flipkart exclusive.

The Moto G6 is the successor to last year’s Moto G5 and comes with a major decision change and not-so-important internal upgrades. The one thing that’ll pop out at first glance is Motorola’s decision to switch to an 18:9 aspect ratio and glass design. The Moto G6 and Moto G6 Play will be directly competing with Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 5 Pro and Asus’ Zenfone Max Pro M1.

The Moto G6 features a 5.7-inch full HD+ Max Vision display and is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 450 processor. The G6 Play features the same design and display but a less powerful Snapdragon 430 processor. Moto G6 has a dual-camera setup and the Moto G6 Play comes with a single rear-camera. The Moto G6 has the smaller 3,000 mAh battery and the Moto G6 Play has a long-lasting 4,000 mAh battery.

Enough about the specifications though. At the launch earlier in Brazil, Motorola came out with not one, not two, but three smartphones. The most important out of the three was the one Motorola India conveniently left out of its portfolio for India. That smartphone is the Moto G6 Play.

Here’s a sampling of the reviews from international publications:

  1. Android Central: Moto G6 Plus review: Motorola still masters the art of the mid-range phone
  2. Expert Reviews: Moto G6 Plus review: Another cracking phone from Motorola
  3. Trusted Reviews: “It successfully takes much of what we already loved about the G6 and improves on those foundations, resulting in a smartphone that often feels more premium than its price.”
  4. Techradar: “Motorola has made a fairly significant step forward with its Moto G family this year, and the Moto G6 Plus is without doubt the finest of the three.”

Dear Motorola, where’s my Moto G6 Plus?

Motorola and its X series of smartphones. Once the harbinger of innovation, the X series, with its latest smartphone, the Moto X4 has quickly lost its relevance in today’s market. Launched back in November of 2017 in India, the Moto X4 was overpriced and has nothing going for it apart from its design. Flash forward to today, when Motorola officials are saying that the reason they haven’t launched the Moto G6 Plus yet, is because the Moto X4 exists.

The reality is that the Moto X4 is not selling at all. There are more Oppo’s and Vivo’s and Nokia’s out there in the market and are eating up all of Motorola’s market shares. According to Counterpoint Research, Lenovo’s (includes the Motorola brand) market share has dipped to below 6% in Q4 2017.

Motorola’s best selling smartphone is the Moto G5S Plus. Curiously, they haven’t announced any price cut to last year’s ‘flagship’ budget smartphone from the Chinese company.

The Moto G6 Plus may be very similar in specs to the Moto X4 but launching the former would have made great business sense. Great business sense because no matter what you launch, a new smartphone will always garner initial sales. The Moto G6 Plus, being launched under Rs 20k, and discounting the Moto G5S Plus, would have made perfect sense for the brand. There is a distinct lack of ‘good’ smartphones available between Rs 15k and Rs 20k.

Company officials aren’t denying the Moto G6 Plus launch at some point in the future, but there is a clear similarity between the G6 Plus and the X4. The company also wasn’t willing to part with information about a possible Moto X5. It’s long been rumoured that the company is in favour with the killing of the ‘X’ series of smartphones. With this in mind, launching the Moto G6 Plus would have made even more sense.

What the company has is saying though is that there is a clear-cut choice to be made between the ‘X’ series of smartphones and the ‘Plus’ variant of the Moto G series. Only one can exist in the Indian smartphone market.

Nonetheless, even if a Moto X5 comes along and launches in India, the company should still be launching the Moto G6 Plus.

The Moto G6 Plus comes with a much more powerful Snapdragon 630 processor and a much better display. People don’t want compromises if a better variant is available. Consumers want the real deal.

Motorola has done themselves and their ‘loyal’ fans a disservice by not launching the Moto G6 Plus. Personally, I’ve seen a couple of people buy the Moto G5S Plus recently without even considering the Moto G5S. That, in itself, says a lot.

Motorola, on its part, did the same thing in the United States. They haven’t launched the G6 Plus there due to the presence of an Android One Moto X4.

Motorola should take a leaf out of Xiaomi’s playbook. Xiaomi launches a unending number of smartphones, year-after-year, and doesn’t care about one cannibalising the other’s market share. As long as they all do respectably well, the brand gets a larger market share. Motorola should follow suit.

So to conclude, I’d just like to say this. Dear Motorola, please bring the Moto G6 Plus to India as soon as possible or else your market share might be reduced to mere dust.

First published: 4 June 2018, 18:32 IST
 
Sahil Bhalla @IMSahilBhalla

Sahil is a correspondent at Catch. A gadget freak, he loves offering free tech support to family and friends. He studied at Sarah Lawrence College, New York and worked previously for Scroll. He selectively boycotts fast food chains, worries about Arsenal, and travels whenever and wherever he can. Sahil is an unapologetic foodie and a film aficionado.

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