Every smartphone company is trying to make a device that not only looks different, but appeals to the masses. HMD Global which is making Nokia phones is trying to do just that with the Nokia 6.1 Plus.
HMD Global’s Nokia 6.1 Plus, also known as Nokia X6 in China, appears to be a phone that strikes to create a balance between looks and performance. It’s a hard combination: sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
If you want a phone with a premium feel and balanced performance, this means you no longer have to pay Rs 30,000 or Rs 35,000 to get the same level of experience. Nokia 6.1 Plus gets a lot of things right, which is hard for a mid-end phone. I used the Nokia 6.1 Plus for a week, and this is what I think about the phone.
Nokia 6.1 Plus specifications: 5.8-inches FHD+ display | Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor | 4GB RAM+64GB storage | 16MP+ 5MP rear cameras | 16MP front camera | 3,060 mAh battery | Android 8.1 Oreo
Nokia 6.1 Plus price in India: Rs 15,999
Nokia 6.1 Plus review: Design, display
There is so much to love about the Nokia 6.1 Plus design. Nokia 6.1 Plus beautifully blends the classic and modern design together. The phone is tough, and it uses glass both on front and the back. The bottom has a USB Type-C port and yes, there is a headphone jack as well. Xiaomi Mi A2, a similarly priced phone, does not have a headphone jack.
The big addition, of course, is the front design. HMD Global has crammed a 5.8-inch display into a compact body. The bigger display in a compact form factor makes the Nokia 6.1 Plus feel like a major upgrade over the Nokia 6.
Weighing 151 grams, Nokia 6.1 Plus is quite light, given its 5.8-inch display. We tested the Nokia 6.1 Plus in Gloss Black, but it’s also available in Gloss White and Gloss Midnight Blue.
The display is a 5.8-inch, 2280x1080p (FHD+) LCD panel with an aspect ratio of 19:9. It is not exactly an edge-to-edge display, and there’s a small bezel beneath the screen. There is no physical home button; instead, you can use on-screen buttons to navigate, and a fingerprint sensor can be seen beneath the camera for unlocking the device.
The screen is bright, but colours don’t pop or feel vibrant. We didn’t have any major issues about it, and we think most people will be satisfied with the screen.
Nokia 6.1 Plus also gets a notch, a small cut-out above the screen. This is the first Nokia-branded phone to have a notch. Like it or not, the notch is here to stay. Unfortunately, there is no way to turn off the notch which is annoying.
Nokia 6.1 Plus review: Performance, battery
In my time spent with the Nokia 6.1 Plus, its Snapdragon 636 processor and 4GB RAM delivered decent performance. I played a couple of games including Tekken, streamed YouTube videos, browsed the web and so on. Let’s be clear, this is not a phone with the top-of-the-line specifications.
For PUBG lovers, Nokia 6.1 Plus may not be your first choice. My review unit had 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. MicroSD card support is also promised, which is always nice.
The battery life on the Nokia 6.1 Plus was great. Using it as my primary device, listening to three hours of music, browsing the web, playing games, watching YouTube videos while commuting in the metro, Nokia 6.1 Plus’ 3,060mAh battery would last a day on a single charge. In case you are wondering, Nokia 6.1 Plus does support the latest USB Type-C connector for charging.
Nokia 6.1 Plus review: Software
Nokia 6.1 Plus is a part of the Android One program, which means that the phone ships with stock Android. It’s the purest version of Android with no preloaded apps from third-party developers or sluggish skin overlaid on top.
There are some advantages of having an Android One-branded phone, though. Android One is a sure shot guarantee that the device will receive the latest updates from Google for two years. That means you can expect the Nokia 6.1 Plus to get Android 9 Pie in the coming months.
So the interface is simple to use. There are only Google apps installed and a Nokia Mobile Support app, which lets you contact HMD customer service via chat. Nokia 6.1 Plus is currently running on Android 8.1 Oreo.
Nokia 6.1 Plus review: Camera
Nokia 6.1 Plus has a dual-camera setup on the back, comprising a 16MP primary lens and a 5MP secondary shooter. In bright light, I was able to capture good shots with excellent colours and details. In low light settings, however, photos tend to look grainy and washed out. I believe there are phones available on the market with better cameras like the Xiaomi Mi A2.
The 16MP front-facing camera performs as expected. Selfies look good in good lighting, but the quality tends to fall in low-light conditions.
Nokia 6.1 Plus review: Bottom line
Nokia 6.1 Plus is a fairly good device and I have no second thoughts about it. The design has a classic appeal, the stock Android approach is better than the heavily skinned OS you would get from Samsung or Huawei, the camera is okay, the phone has a 3.5mm headphone jack, and even the speaker is pretty good. While I do admit that there is no ‘wow’ factor in the Nokia 6.1 Plus, you will not be disappointed by its performance.