Lacking a Punch
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