Moto G6 vs Redmi Note 5 Pro: battle for the best camera phone under Rs 20,000

Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 5 Pro has been the unbeaten camera champion under Rs 20,000 in 2018. But if there is one phone that can take on the Xiaomi phone, it has to be the Moto G6. Why? Because up until now, Moto’s budget phones were known for its kickass cameras. And, why should that change with the G6?

Also read: Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 vs Realme 1 vs Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro camera comparison: the budget battle

So, which one of these two phones has the upper hand when it comes to camera performance? Well, the Mr. Phone camera comparison exists for this very reason. Let the battle begin. 

P.S. Click on the thumbnail images to view it in full size.

Specs comparison

Take a look at the camera specs comparison sheet below to figure out the differences between the Moto G6 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro. You will notice that the specs are near identical and there is not much separating the two phones. 

Wide 

Let’s start by comparing the wide angle shots as usual. At first glance, I found it difficult to identify differences in details. However, at 100 percent crop, the story is different. You will notice that the G6 manages to keep focus even around the edges and offers crispier details even at the center of the image.

Moto G6 1

Moto G6

Moreover, the colours are far punchier in the Moto G6 shot. That said, barrel distortion is almost the same at the edges of both the samples. I am going with the Moto G6 in this test. 

Redmi Note 5 Pro 1

Redmi Note 5 Pro

Close up

If you thought our Wide shot test was a closely fought battle, you are going to find a hard time telling the difference between the images in our close up test. That said, if you peer closely, you will notice that the Redmi Note 5 Pro’s shot offers so much more details.

Moto G6 2

Moto G6

I’d suggest you open the full resolution image and look at the petals at 100 percent crop. You will notice that the Redmi Note 5 Pro offers far better fidelity. It is – evidently – a much better image. The Redmi Note 5 Pro wins this round.

Redmi Note 5 Pro 2

Redmi Note 5 Pro

HDR

As we’ve learned in the past, Xiaomi’s HDR algorithm is pretty low on drama. The HDR mode on the Redmi Note 5 Pro makes subtle changes to the highlights and brings out some details in the shadows as well. On the contrary, the Moto G6’s HDR mode is more dramatic. The moment you switch on the HDR mode, it feels like somebody has switched on extra lights in the environment.

Moto G6 3

Moto G6 non-HDR

Moto G6 4

Moto G6 HDR

No doubt, it looks very good and is probably one of the better HDR algorithms I’ve used in recent times but, there is a catch. The Moto phone is slow at focussing on subjects. Therefore, using the HDR mode switched On constantly might not be a good idea. The Moto G6’s HDR mode is my pick of the two phones. 

Redmi Note 5 Pro 3

Redmi Note 5 Pro non-HDR

Redmi Note 5 Pro 4

Redmi Note 5 Pro HDR

Portrait mode

There’s a reason why Sreehari is smiling in the Redmi Note 5 Pro’s portrait shot and morose in Moto G6’s sample. The Redmi Note 5 Pro continues to be the reigning champion of the Portrait mode in the budget segment and the Moto G6 cannot beat it either. Just take a look at the cutout getting botched by the Moto G6’s sample around Sree’s right chin.

Moto G6 5

Moto G6

Additionally, if you look at the area between the Sree’s right arm and his t-shirt, you will notice that the Redmi Note 5 Pro has managed to blur it effectively. Looks like the Redmi Note 5 Pro will continue to be the best phone for taking portraits under Rs 20,000. 

Redmi Note 5 Pro 5

Redmi Note 5 Pro

Front camera

Interestingly, when Motorola launched the G6 in India it came out with a variant that has a higher resolution front camera. While the global variant comes with an 8MP shooter, the Indian version has a 16MP sensor. And, the front camera on the G6 can capture some extremely crisp selfies. However, these selfies are obviously over-sharpened, which is evident from my testing sample. While the Redmi Note 5 Pro’s image is slightly softer, you can see that there is no artificial over-sharpening. Furthermore, the Moto G6’s shot definitely has better colour accuracy too. I will go with the Moto G6 in this round. 

Moto G6  6

Moto G6

But, let me put it out there, while the G6 is my pick the Redmi Note 5 Pro has a slight advantage when it comes to the selfie camera. The Xiaomi budget phone also offers a dedicated Portrait mode for the front camera and it performs really well. The Moto G6 doesn’t come with a Portrait mode for the front camera.

Redmi Note 5 Pro 6

Redmi Note 5 Pro

1080p video

In my video testing, I noticed the Redmi Note 5 Pro has an immediate upper hand because it shoots video with electronic image stabilisation. That said, the Moto G6’s audio recording is superior because it does some aggressive noise reduction. I really hope Moto issues a software update to add EIS because even the image quality and colour fidelity is really good. The Redmi Note 5 Pro wins this test. 

Low light

This is where things start getting interesting. I have always believed the Redmi Note 5 Pro to be one of the better shooters in low light scenarios. But, surprise surprise, the Moto G6 does a way better job! I like the fact that the Moto G6 doesn’t do apply any sort of noise reduction.

Moto G6 7

Moto G6

Therefore, it doesn’t botch up the colour temperature as a result. Which actually happens on the Redmi Note 5 Pro. The Moto G6 wins this round. 

Redmi Note 5 Pro 7

Redmi Note 5 Pro

Low light with flash

Moto G6 8

Moto G6

Moving on, in extremely low light situations when you have to use a flash, the Redmi Note 5 Pro’s flash definitely trumps the Moto G6’s module. I pick the Redmi Note 5 Pro in this round. 

Redmi Note 5 Pro 8

Redmi Note 5 Pro

Low light selfie

Moto G6 9

Moto G6

In low light selfies, the Moto G6 has a better balance of exposure control and contrast compared to the Redmi Note 5 Pro’s selfie. Once again, the Moto G6 takes the crown from the Redmi Note 5 Pro in this round.

Redmi Note 5 Pro 9

Redmi Note 5 Pro

Low light selfie with flash

Moto G6 10

Moto G6

Both the phones come with a proper LED flash on the front. However, they work in different ways. While the G6’s LED flash has a smaller throw, it tends to brighten only the face and the background continues to be underexposed (dark). The Redmi Note 5 Pro has a more powerful front flash. And therefore, the selfie is also evenly lit. I’ll go with the Redmi Note 5 Pro in this test. 

Redmi Note 5 Pro 10

Redmi Note 5 Pro

Front camera video

I shot a 1080p 30fps video using the front camera on both the phones. You will notice that the Redmi Note 5 Pro offers a wider field of view. Moreover, the fidelity is better on the Redmi Note 5 Pro’s footage because it is shooting at a higher bitrate. And, the sound recording is also better. The Redmi Note 5 Pro wins this round. 

Verdict

I am glad that the Redmi Note 5 Pro has a legit competition in the form of the Moto G6. I really cannot declare one phone as the winner over the other. But I must say this, the Moto G6 has a problem with locking focus and that gives the Redmi Note 5 Pro a major edge over the Motorola phone. Therefore, I still think the Redmi Note 5 Pro continues to be seated in the top spot as far as smartphone camera performance under Rs 20,000 is concerned. 

Although, I am pretty sure that many folks would’ve liked the Moto G6’s HDR performance as well. So, take your pick and do let us know in the comments section below which is your favourite smartphone camera. 

Ershad Kaleebullah
ershad.kaleebullah@u2opiamobile.com

When Ershad isn't writing, he spends time killing virtual zombies on his PS4. Having worked with a slew of renowned publications like PCWorld, Channelworld, CIO, NDTV Gadgets (now Gadgets360), MySmartPrice, The Inquistr, and 91Mobiles, Ershad brings a whole world of experience to Mr. Phone. He is trying hard to convert all the team members into Apple fans but is facing a lot of resistance. Is anyone willing to help?