Lack­ing a Punch

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - TEST BENCH -

Nokia is back and this time with the An­droid op­er­at­ing sys­tem – some­thing Nokia fans had been ex­pect­ing be­fore the com­pany went the Win­dows Mo­bile OS way and even­tu­ally the hard­ware di­vi­sion got sold to Mi­crosoft. HMD Global is now breath­ing new life into Nokia smart­phones. Ear­lier this year, HMD Global in­tro­duced three new An­droid smart­phones – Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6. We have re­viewed the Nokia 6.

De­sign: Nokia has al­ways had a solid build qual­ity, and HMD has suc­cess­fully man­aged to re­tain that. Nokia 6 has been crafted from a sin­gle piece of metal and is sturdy to hold. My re­view unit had a matte black fin­ish with sleek metal­lic lines run­ning on the sides and around the power key and vol­ume but­ton. The 5.5-inch full HD dis­play pro­tected by Corn­ing Go­rilla Glass looks bright and of­fers de­cent sun­light leg­i­bil­ity. There is a home but­ton below the dis­play which has the fin­ger­print sen­sor and two ca­pac­i­tive keys for back and mul­ti­task­ing. The cam­era mo­d­ule and the Nokia brand­ing are in a straight line at the rear. Nokia has con­tin­ued with the mi­croUSB port for charg­ing and there is a 3.5-mm port for plug­ging in the head­phones (the qual­ity of the head­phones was not good).

OS and Per­for­mance: Un­like most smart­phone man­u­fac­tur­ers that add cus­tom UI to their An­droid smart­phones, bring­ing too much bloat­ware in the bar­gain, HMD has ex­tended a pure An­droid ex­pe­ri­ence to the Nokia phones. There is an app tray that can be ac­cessed by slid­ing up from the bot­tom of the home screen. It gives ac­cess to a search bar, fol­lowed by a row of the most used apps on the top; all apps are placed below in an al­pha­bet­i­cal man­ner. App short­cuts can be added across home screens. Run­ning on An­droid Nougat, it comes with ba­sic apps along with Google ser­vices and Ama­zon apps (Kin­dle, Shop­ping and Prime Video). There is also an op­tion to set up the ‘Tap and Pay’ pay­ments app, which al­lows the phone to be used for pay­ing at POS ter­mi­nals. We could not try this fea­ture.

There is also an op­tion to quickly launch the cam­era by press­ing the power key twice, which can be ac­ti­vated from the set­tings. HMD claims to of­fer reg­u­lar An­droid up­dates, as and when re­leased by Google. I was able to browse the web, stream videos, ac­cess emails and do so­cial net­work­ing with ease. There wasn’t any lag. But the de­vice slowed down when I was play­ing heavy graphic games and switch­ing be­tween two heavy apps. The sound out­put is also im­pres­sive and makes it a great con­tent con­sump­tion de­vice. It is pow­ered by Qual­comm Snap­dragon 430 pro­ces­sor and paired with 3 GB of RAM. It also comes with 32 GB of in­ter­nal stor­age of which only 22 GB is user ac­ces­si­ble, as 9.80 GB is used by sys­tem set­tings. Nokia does sup­port 128 GB of ex­pand­able mem­ory card.

Cam­era: The 16 MP cam­era with dual tone flash isn’t the high­light of this phone. The cam­era app is ba­sic with HDR, panorama and beau­tify mode. It is quick to lock fo­cus, and cap­tures fair amount of de­tails in well-lit sur­round­ings. It does a pretty de­cent job in low light, too. The 8 MP front­fac­ing cam­era cap­tures good images Over­all, the cam­era is just above av­er­age. The cam­eras on the Moto G5 Plus and the Redmi Note 4 give bet­ter re­sults.

Bat­tery: Nokia 6 comes with a non-re­mov­able 3,000 mAh bat­tery. It lasted me a day while I browsed the web, op­er­ated two email ac­counts, used What­sApp, Twit­ter, mu­sic and cam­era. It does not sup­port quick charg­ing.

Bag it or junk it: Sturdy hard­ware with pure An­droid OS, but per­for­mance is a let- down

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