Birches NEWS No. 40. Comparing the incomparable

A modern mid-range smartphone and a two-year flagship. What do they have in common other than price?

Birches NEWS No. 40.  Comparing the incomparable

When the old faithful smartphone can no longer cope with its communication duties, cannot please the owner with fast work and is discharged in an hour, then the question arises – what to choose for replacement? This is a question that comes up periodically for slender women architects, stooped economists, and even government officials, both internal and external. That is, in front of all of us. Most often, the selection criteria are the conflicting concepts of “inexpensive and reliable”, and not at all “stylish, fashionable and modern.” There are modern budget phones and flagships of the past years on the market for one price, and we will try to compare them. And in order not to grind with our tongue just like that, let's approach the question specifically and assign a conditional amount of 15,000 rubles, which we can spend on a purchase. Why exactly this amount? Because it's unrealistic to buy a new old flagship cheaper nowadays, most likely it will be a device repaired under warranty, and very old flagships are history.

Birches NEWS No. 40.  Comparing the incomparable

What should be considered a flagship? In my understanding (express your opinion, if you don't agree) this is the most technologically advanced smartphone in the line of one company within one generation. Of the old (but new) smartphones on sale, the Motorola Moto Z 32GB (SM4389AE7U1) 2016 falls under this category most fully, which costs less than 15,000 rubles for the 'serovoz', and in the official store Lenovo still costs 28,990 rubles.

Birches NEWS No. 40.  Comparing the incomparable

As a modern competitor from the middle or budget segment, the Samsung Galaxy A6 32GB smartphone of 2018 is excellent, which can be found for 14,000+ rubles (but not in the Samsung brand store). The model has a lot of positive reviews and is equipped with communication modules, including NFC, like the flagship. Also, it was released in 2018 and runs on Android 8.0.

Smartphones are separated by two years, during which the most significant changes can be considered the release of new versions Android of the OS and stretching the screen to an aspect ratio of 18: 9. Let's go over all the points and at the end we will issue the final bill.


  1. Contents of delivery
  2. Appearance, materials, controls, assembly
  3. Screen
  4. Battery
  5. Memory, chipset, performance
  6. Communication capabilities
  7. Cameras
  8. Software
  9. Summarizing

Contents of delivery

When purchasing Motorola Moto Z, the user will receive a power supply (non-detachable cable) with a fast charging function, one removable back cover in the body color and a USB Type-C to 3.5 mm adapter.

The Samsung Galaxy A6 package will delight the buyer with a composite charger, a clip-key for the nano-SIM card tray and an ordinary headset (droplets), cheap in appearance.

Alas, the smart bundles for flagships have sunk into oblivion after a couple of covers in the kit and the word 'cradle'.

The score is 1: 1, a draw.

Appearance, materials, controls, assembly

Each manufacturer tries to give its flagship a unique look, features of which are often passed on from generation to generation. As for the Motorola Moto Z, a very thin case (only 5.19 mm thick) and a family round 'eye' on the back, in which the rear camera and flash are inscribed, immediately catch the eye. The smartphone is absolutely different from Apple iPhone, and it can only be confused with siblings, for example, with Moto Z Force gen.2:

Birches NEWS No. 40.  Comparing the incomparable

A contact pad hidden under a removable cover and Moto mods allow you to radically change the functionality of a smartphone, in fact, make it a highly specialized device.

Birches NEWS No. 40.  Comparing the incomparable

This particular feature is unique to smartphones Motorola, but a huge amount of accessories and spare parts are produced for all flagships without exception. Even years later, you can buy a brand new battery cover or docking station for the flagship.

Birches NEWS No. 40.  Comparing the incomparable

Only one thing can be said about the Samsung Galaxy A6 – it is very similar to any other Samsung, i.e. on a plastic block, which the designers have given a rounded shape (possibly with the help of a file at the design stage) and placed a screen on one side. The antenna stripes on the back cover refer to Apple iPhone 7, but it is possible that they appeared earlier in some other model.

Birches NEWS No. 40.  Comparing the incomparable

The controls for smartphones are not fundamentally different, and the location of the fingerprint sensor is a matter of individual preference. Oddly, the Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) had dust and moisture protection, while the A6 (2018) didn't. As for the build quality, there are no complaints about any of the devices (in both cases, metal + glass), but Motorola Moto Z has an undeniable plus – over the past years, a large number of user reviews have been collected, from which it follows that the smartphone is very robust despite its slim body. While the Galaxy A6 is still a dark horse at the moment.

Score 2: 1 in favor of Motorola Moto Z


Both smartphones use AMOLED – screens. Here is how Evgeny Vildyaev spoke about the Moto Z screen:

Birches NEWS No. 40.  Comparing the incomparable

'Firstly, due to the high resolution (5.5 inches, 2560 × 1440 pixels, 16: 9) I have not seen Pentile at all, and secondly, it can be seen that the screen is calibrated (although not as good as in Huawei P9 Plus, by the way). There are two screen presets in the settings: 'normal' and 'bright'. And here we are faced with the same problem as in the Nexus 6P: the 'bright' color rendition is too oversaturated, while the 'normal', on the contrary, is faded. Still, the Moto Z's colors aren't as toxic as the 6P's.

The Moto Z screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 4.

And here's how Samsung itself describes the Galaxy A6's screen:

Birches NEWS No. 40.  Comparing the incomparable

Photo Trusted Reviews

'The 18.5: 9 borderless screen is impossible to tear yourself away from. The Galaxy A6 features a large and virtually borderless s AMOLED high-definition display with surprisingly high contrast. Now you can immerse yourself in your favorite movie like watching it in a cinema. '

How strikingly these statements differ from the harsh reality. With a 5.6-inch screen diagonal and a resolution of 720×1480 pixels, you will have to forget about cinemas in your smartphone. As well as high-quality 3D or VR content, and much, much more. And only a very morally flexible person could call the rather wide frames around the screen 'frameless'.

It was not possible to find reliable information about the protective glass of the Galaxy A6.

Score 3: 1 in favor of Motorola Moto Z


Motorola Moto Z has a 2600 mAh battery, which is enough for 3-4 hours of screen operation (according to Evgeny). You can read about fast charging Motorola TurboPower in Ilya Subbotin's article. Miracles do not happen, and the reckoning for a thin smartphone inevitably comes in the form of a completely non-record battery life.

The Samsung Galaxy A6 is equipped with a more capacious 3000 mAh battery, which, with a low-resolution screen and a modest chipset, a priori allows the smartphone to last much longer than a competitor.

Score 3: 2 in favor of Motorola Moto Z

Memory, chipset, performance

Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 (Moto Z) has only 4 cores versus 8 in Exynos 7870 (Galaxy A6). Let's take a look at the Geekbench 4 benchmark results in single-core and multi-core modes:

Birches NEWS No. 40.  Comparing the incomparable

Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 still has impressive performance per core. Here it is necessary to clarify that both chipsets were released with a break of only 4 months, conditionally belong to the same generation, but are intended for different market segments. The 8-core Exynos 7870 based on Cortex A-53 would be more correct to compare with the Snapdragon 625, but we are comparing the two final products based on the price and the very idea of ​​comparing mediocrity to the flagship.

Birches NEWS No. 40.  Comparing the incomparable

The good old Adreno 530 video accelerator has a performance that allows you to play all modern games with the settings twisted to the maximum, and with the ARM Mali-T830 MP1 (according to the manufacturer's data) in the Exynos 7870, a fan of playing something colorful will have to carefully understand the settings. We are talking, of course, about modern games like PUBG Mobile (about 13 fps at average), which are very demanding on the hardware.

An additional flagship bonus is the 4GB LPDDR4 RAM used in the Snapdragon 820, which in theory transfers data at speeds up to 17GB / s versus 12-13GB / s in the LPDDR3 (3GB) Exynos 7870.

Internal storage of 32 GB (for both smartphones) is complemented by slots for microSD cards with capacities up to 256 GB for the Galaxy A6 and up to 2 TB for the Moto Z.

Score 4: 2 in favor of Motorola Moto Z

Communication capabilities

As befits a flagship, the Motorola Moto Z is well ahead of the 'average' Galaxy A6 in data transfer.

Birches NEWS No. 40.  Comparing the incomparable

Other means of communication and sensors:

Birches NEWS No. 40.  Comparing the incomparable

It is worth recalling that ANT + is a wireless data transmission technology widely used among sports gadgets (all sorts of pedometers, bicycle thermometers, etc.). Its support in the Galaxy A6 smartphone gives some advantage, but due to the Wi-Fi module, which supports only 802.11n communication protocol (sample of 2009), it should be declared a draw. And give each smartphone a score.

Score 5: 3 in favor of Motorola Moto Z


It is almost impossible to compare the quality of pictures taken with the cameras of two such different smartphones. Samsung boasts a 16 MP front camera (no autofocus) in addition to the rear camera at the same 16 MP. Motorola Moto Z is equipped with rear camera optical stabilization system (13 MP), but only 5 MP front camera was not flagship even in 2016. Due to the fact that there was no review of the Samsung Galaxy A6 smartphone on Mobile-Review yet, we had to look for a photograph as close as possible to the reference Moto Z using the 'human mind' internet option. And this is what happened – two green alleys under the sun.

Birches NEWS No. 40.  Comparing the incomparable

Samsung Galaxy A6 (photo by

Birches NEWS No. 40.  Comparing the incomparable

Motorola Moto Z (Photo by Mobile-Review)

The pictures are similar in quality. But there are two factors in which Samsung is losing out. Firstly, the Galaxy A6 lacks optical stabilization (for shooting on the go), and secondly, looking at (and showing) photos on HD and 2K screens are two big differences.

Score 6: 3 in favor of Motorola Moto Z


For a handy user, changing the interface shell has never been a problem, only the version Android of OS is worth paying attention to. But even then there is nothing to compare, released in 2016 Motorola Moto Z received an update from Android ™ 6 to 8.0 simply because it is a flagship.

In this regard, both smartphones receive a point, and the score becomes 7: 4 in favor of Motorola Moto Z.


While technically Motorola the Moto Z is head and shoulders above Samsung's rather mediocre product, there is another factor. This is the feeling of owning an expensive thing, from touching high-quality materials, from a long period of service and confidence in the smart phone's nimbleness for several years to come. This sensation is called the satisfaction that we can see on the face of a cat that has just spun some milk.

Birches NEWS No. 40.  Comparing the incomparable

But maybe there are other modern sparring partners for the two-year-old flagship? With NFC and other stuffing? Or have you seen another old (but new) flagship on sale for 15,000 rubles? I invite everyone to express their opinion on this matter.

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