Motorola Moto G7 Plus vs Moto G6 Plus: What's the difference?

Plenty of upgrades in store for the new budget Moto hero

As of this writing, the Motorola Moto G6 Plus still sits right in the middle of our list of the best smartphones in the world, hanging tough amidst some might fine (and significantly more expensive) flagship phones. It's a brilliant budget option.

And now it's about to be replaced. Motorola just announced the Moto G7 family, which comprises four different handsets with varying perks and price points, and the Moto G7 Plus is again the most compelling of the bunch. It's not larger than the standard G7 this time around, but some modest tweaks should make it the one to get.

Compared to the Moto G6 Plus, it's packing some sizable enhancements, too. What sets the Moto G7 Plus apart from last year's model? Here's a full look based on the specs.

Design: Near-flagship

Motorola has done a pretty good job of catching up with flagship trends with recent Moto G models, and that's immediately apparent with the Moto G7 Plus. It has the same kind of small, teardrop-style notch as the OnePlus 6T and other top phones, looking like a much pricier handset at a glance.

And with the fingerprint sensor moved to the back now, there's less chunky bezel to contend with on the front. The backing glass looks pretty close to what was on the Moto G6 Plus, but that's fine: it looked good last year, and overall this design punches above its price point.

Screen: Taller... and better?

Obviously, the notch is the big difference here. Notches are divisive, but this one's pretty tiny, all things considered. The screen is a bit taller as a result, with a 6.2in display at 19:9 aspect ratio (2270x1080) as opposed to the 5.9in 18:9 (2160x1080) panel on the Moto G6 Plus.

Otherwise, it's another 1080p LCD panel. It won't compete with the OLED displays found on pricier flagship phones, but the Moto G6 Plus screen was "an incredibly sharp screen with very little to grumble about," as noted in our review. Given that, this year's screen ought to be at least as good.

Camera: The biggest upgrade?

Last year, we called the Moto G6 Plus' camera setup "the best for the money," as the dual-camera array produced shots well beyond the typical budget phone and nearly on par with some pricier devices. And the Moto G7 Plus looks even better.

The Moto G7 Plus bumps up from last year's 12-megapixel and 5MP setup to a 16MP/5MP array, but the biggest upgrade doesn't come with a few more megapixels – it's the optical image stabilisation added this time around. That should help steady your snaps and avoid a lot of the blur that comes with cheaper smartphone cameras. That's could be a huge perk.

The front-facing camera, meanwhile, goes from 8MP on the Moto G6 Plus to 12MP this time around, so you might get slicker selfies as well.

Performance: A strong boost

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chip in the Moto G7 Plus is the next-generation successor to last year's Snapdragon 630 – and while the naming difference might be slight, Qualcomm suggests a pretty serious 40% boost in performance from the latest version.

It's a mid-range chip still, so don't go expecting top-end flagship performance. However, the Moto G6 Plus already delivered a smooth Android experience and seemed to dodge some of the hitches seen in the lower-powered standard Moto G6 model, so a significantly faster version sounds super promising indeed. And it's rocking Android 9 Pie out of the box, too.

Battery and perks: More and less

There's one apparently downgrade on the specs sheet this time around: the Moto G7 Plus has a 3,000mAh battery pack, down from 3,200mAh on the Moto G6 Plus. It's entirely possible that software efficiencies will keep the overall uptime about the same, as both are called all-day batteries, but we'd always prefer to have more time away from the charger.

The new 27W TurboPower charger seems a fair bit faster than last year's, as well, promising 12 hours of uptime on a 15-minute charge. Last year's fast charging hit about 50% in 30 minutes.

As for storage, you'll still get 64GB inside, but now you can add up to a 512GB microSD card, while last year's microSD capacity topped out at 128GB.

Initial verdict: Serious benefits

All told, the Motorola Moto G7 Plus looks like a pretty sizable upgrade over the Moto G6 Plus. It's still a mid-ranger, but with the enhanced camera, boosted processor, and sleeker design, it definitely seems like a more premium option. The gap is closing with £500+ handsets.

If you already have a Moto G6 Plus, however, we're not sure that you need to rush out and upgrade this time around. They're nice enhancements, but the G6 Plus is still an excellent handset for the price – and if you're buying cheaper phones, then you're probably not the kind of smartphone owner who craves annual upgrades, anyway.

However, if you're looking for an excellent phone that won't break the bank, we have a feeling that the Moto G7 Plus will follow in the footsteps of its predecessor and be one of the best sub-£300 phones on the market. Stay tuned for our full review as the 1 March release approaches.