HMD Global’s latest phone is the Nokia 6 (2018). With a price tag of Rs 16,999, the Nokia 6 (2018) is the latest to join the list of Nokia-branded phones from the Finnish start-up. While Nokia is starting to reclaim its lost glory, and market share, for most users in India, the brand continues to be synonymous with quality products, ones that will survive the test of daily use. This is what we will be looking for in the Nokia 6 (2018) too.
Nokia 6 (2018) Specifications: 5.5-inches IPS LCD 1920 x 1080 pixels | Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor | 3GB RAM+32GB storage (expandable to 128GB) | 16MP+ 8MP with Zeiss Optics | 3000 mAh battery | Android 8.0 Oreo upgraded to 8.1 |
Nokia 6 (2018) Price in India: Rs 16,999
Nokia 6 (2018) review
When the original Nokia 6 first launched in 2017, it looked like a premium smartphone. In terms of design, the Nokia 6 stood out against the run-of-the-mill Chinese smartphones that have flooded the market. But one of the criticisms for the Nokia 6 was the under-powered processor, especially for its price. This was more so in a market like India, where on-paper specifications tend to grab all the attention.
With Nokia 6 (2018), the company seeks to do better and offers an improved and more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor, along with new features for the camera. Plus the design looks even better than the previous phone. Nokia 6 comes in three colour combinations: Black and Copper, White and Ivory, and Blue and Gold. I would have liked to see the Blue and Gold variant, but the Black and Copper Unit is also a standout design. If I place this next to a Redmi Note 5 Pro or the Honor 9 Lite, Nokia 6 (2018) is more appealing thanks to the unique design.
The matte black finish, the single aluminium body and the copper trimmings around the phone’s sides, camera and fingerprint module, make it very eye-catching. The phone feels premium to hold and it is a solid device. I have not noticed any scratches or the copper fading away, which is good to see.
My only complaint is that the edges could have been a little more curved to make it a little easier to hold in the hand. Nokia 6 (2018) has a more flatter body with sharper edges, which does not always feel so comfortable. Still, this is a phone that looks like no other in the market and for a start-up to achieve this is no small feat. The Nokia 6 (2018) looks like a modern phone, though it is missing one aspect which its rivals are offering: an 18:9 aspect ratio display. But how does it perform? Here’s what we thought during our review.
Nokia 6 (2018) review: What’s good?
Starting with the Nokia 6 (2018) display, I would say the lack of an 18:9 aspect ratio does not take away anything from the phone. The phone comes with a 5.5-inch IPS LCD full HD resolution display with Corning Gorilla 3 on top for protection. Nokia 6’s display is impressive by all counts. Even with under 50 per cent brightness this is good enough to watch videos, and works well for all occasions.
Be it YouTube videos or gaming, the Nokia 6’s display is vibrant enough to keep most users happy. The colour reproduction is accurate, though the blacks could be a bit deeper. Viewing angles on this are excellent, and for its price this display should keep most users happy.
Moving on to the performance of the Nokia 6, the phone is now powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 630processor coupled with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. Regular usage is not a problem on this phone, be it multi-tasking, opening multiple tabs on Chrome or using the phone for games. Games like Asphalt 8, Modern Combat 5 ran without any major issues or lag that would impact gaming performance negatively. I did not notice any excessive heating either when using the phone for over an hour for watching videos or gaming or GPS navigation.
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With Nokia 6, the camera is still 16MP on the back, but now with Zeiss Optics and there’s an 8MP front camera. The camera specifications have not changed, though the camera app on Nokia 6 now comes with more features like a Pro mode, the ‘Bothie’ option, for which I do not really see any use.
Still the camera is most impressive for its price. Colour reproduction I would say is mostly accurate, and there’s no tendency to make everything appear either over-saturated or washed out, which is a problem on budget phones. The pictures taken in proper lighting do come out well, though there are some problems I faced with the camera which I will discuss in the next segment.
Nokia 6 (2018)’s battery was another impressive feature. It has a Type-C USB charging port and one can get it to 100 per cent in under 2 hours easily with the in-box charger. In one instance, I had put it for charge with under 10 per cent battery and in under an hour, the phone was up to 84 per cent, which was good to see.
The phone’s battery scored around six hours, 59 minutes on the PC Mark test for us, which might not be as impressive as some of the other phones in the market, especially those sporting bigger batteries. Yet, the Nokia 6 will easily last a day with moderate to heavy usage. I used the phone to navigate from South Delhi to Gurgaon and then from Gurgaon to Noida, and it did not die on me. Navigation is usually what drains phone batteries quite quickly.
The Nokia 6 (2018) has been upgraded to Android 8.1 Oreo, and this is one of the strengths of these phones. For Android users, who want to pick a phone where they are assured of constant updates, Nokia phones are one of the best options. The Nokia 6 is Android One phone, which also means it will be updates to the next two versions of Android, which are P and Q. The UI itself is stock Android, very clean, and there’s no bloatware on the phone as such.
Nokia 6 (2018): What’s not good?
One of the problems with the Nokia 6 that I faced was the position of the fingerprint scanner. Yes, it is right below the camera module, but I often found my finger was on the LED flash, rather than the subtly designed fingerprint sensor. Very often, the phone flashed the message, “Partial fingerprint detected”, which was annoying and hence I chose to stick with the Pin.
Coming to the camera, in low-light the details are not as sharp. The other issue would be that there’s a shutter lag when talking pictures, and you need that extra second or so to be still for the picture to be taken. Hopefully, HMD Global can improve this with future software updates. The selfie camera is also not so impressive, and details are blurry when taking photos indoors.
The other problem with the Nokia 6 would be the lack of more onboard storage. With last year’s Nokia 6, the company introduced the 4GB RAM/64GB variant later on. In a market, where most budget phones come in two or three storage SKUs, the lack of a higher storage variant is a big miss.
Nokia 6 (2018): Verdict
Nokia 6 (2018) has a lot of positives. There’s the standout design, the clutter-free UI with the promise of constant updates. Battery life and overall performance are also up to the mark. Camera works quite well for the price range. All of this makes Nokia 6 (2018) an easy one to recommend.
From a budget perspective, Nokia 6 (2018) is a well-designed package in the Rs 16,000 to Rs 20,000 price bracket. Of course, for those who have a lower budget or want more storage, RAM, etc, under the Rs 15,000 price range can still consider the other options in the market like the Redmi Note 5 Pro, Honor 9 Lite, etc.