The Nokia 6 is one of HMD’s first Nokia-branded Android smartphones, and the company has put a lot of work into making it a well-built device. It feels a lot more expensive than it is, thanks to the aluminium used in its construction.
The Nokia 6 is a bezel-free smartphone with a 16:9 screen – a pity as it arrives at the same time as phones like the Moto G6, Huawei P Smart, and Honor 9 Lite have moved to 18:9. It’s an issue of look and feels rather than performance though.
The Nokia 6 looks a lot like a classic Nokia smartphone. But it’s also a modern smartphone in a world full of bezel-less phones.
The phone chassis is crafted from a single block of 6000-series aluminum. The result is a sturdy device that feels much more premium than its budget price tag, and it’s also one of the most beautiful phones in this segment.
HMD Global, the Finnish company that licensed the name from Nokia, is making its first Android-powered devices since its partial divestment in 2016. It aims to bring regular updates and a pure Android experience to those who want a new phone with a classic design.
Nokia’s latest smartphone is a capable mid-ranger that delivers on its promise of pure, up-to-date Android. It’s the first device in the company’s history to run on Android One (based on Android 8.1 Oreo) straight out-of-the-box, which limits manufacturer customisation while guaranteeing timely security and software updates for two years.
It also offers fast charging, using a USB-C port instead of the micro-USB you’d expect in this segment, which is a welcome change.
Performance-wise, it’s a good mid-ranger for the money, offering a little more power than you’d typically get at this price point and even outperforming rivals like the Moto G6. It also has better battery life than you’d expect for the money.
Despite its relatively low resolution, the screen does a decent job of rendering vibrant mobile games and YouTube clips, while the full HD display produces clear, sharp photos in auto mode. However, low-light performance is still disappointing, and auto-focus takes a long time to work correctly.
The Nokia 6’s camera is one of the most underrated features in the budget segment. It doesn’t have high-end features like dual-camera tricks and AI-enabled image recognition, but it offers a solid 16-megapixel lens that is surprisingly good.
Despite this, the camera still struggles with low-light performance. It’s also prone to luminance noise, making a photo look blurry and soft.
Its autofocus is also slow and performs less than other smartphones. Even in the Pro mode, capturing crisp, clear photos is still a little slow.
The phone runs Google’s Android OS, which is excellent news for those looking for timely updates. HMD Global has consistently rolled out monthly patches to all its devices, a feat that many other manufacturers can’t do.
The Nokia 6 has a 3000 mAh battery that offers about a day’s usage. However, regular use and charging can significantly affect the smartphone’s battery life, so it is essential to charge your Nokia 6 regularly.
Fortunately, the Nokia 6 has a fast-charging feature that can help it last longer between charges. Its charger takes only 30 minutes to restore 10% of the battery, and three hours gets you to 60%.
In addition, the Nokia 6 supports an adaptive battery mode that can save power by dimming the screen or limiting the running time of apps. The smartphone also includes a proximity sensor that detects when you’re holding it close to your face or ear and turns off the display.
Its display is a 5.5-inch IPS panel with a 1920×1080 resolution. Its contrast ratio is good, and the colour tones are pleasant.