When last year Nokia sprang back to life in the smartphone space, it was HMD Global, a team of ex-Nokian’s who had been pawned off to Microsoft and then let loose that had engineered the revival. The first phone was the Nokia 6, well, smartphone to be precise. It was a good effort, it has good core values as per product building, but it wasn’t something that could take on the likes of the Xiaomi’s Honor’s and Oppo’s of this world who basically have taken over the Indian market.
Now, a little over a year later comes back HMD Global with some fangs. It has a deep partnership in place with Google. Basically, all its smartphones are Android One now running stock Google Pixel like software with timely updates and security patches. HMD Global has also engineered a renaissance for the Nokia name in the phone market as it has leaped into the top 10 players in the world. And most importantly, this new Nokia 6 is way better in terms of core hardware.
The new Nokia 6, or Nokia 6.1 as the box of the phone points towards comes with some interesting things and one core advantage over every Android smartphone in this space — Android One. It has a neat 5.5-inch full HD display which is pin sharp and bright enough for most people. It is built like a tank, perhaps the best-built phone in the segment with generous use of series 6000 aluminum and a modern Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor. It also comes with new technologies like the USB Type C port which is a first for a phone in its class.
Cool stuff. Coupled with Android One which is on Android Oreo at the time of writing this piece, this phone is as performant and responsive as they get for a sub Rs 20,000 phone. It’s user-friendly and snappy.
That being said, it comes with some weaknesses. The battery is still just about 3,000mAh and while PCMag India hasn’t tested the battery life for long enough that “figure” isn’t very reassuring. Its geometric design language may make it tank like in construct, but ergonomically unfriendly with the straight metal frame digging into your palm.
And last but not the least is the underwhelming camera system. Yes, it has a 16-megapixel f/2.0 aperture shooter with Zeiss optics and an 8-megapixel snapper on the front that even supports Nokia 8 like dual sight technology, but that’s more gimmick than function. We tried the camera for a bit in low light and it wasn’t much to write home about. It was slow to lock focus and generally produced grainy shots, which isn’t inspiring at all.
Now, we will be testing the phone in greater detail, but this is what we’ve got out of 12-hours of use. We will be doing an in-depth deep dive for the review of the phone.
But the first impression is that the new Nokia 6 has potential, but it needs a better camera. That being said, it could very well be the next best thing in case you can’t hop on them flash sales for the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro.
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