The Nokia 6. This smartphone started it all – the emergence of HMD Global, the comeback of the Nokia branding, and the start of the Android journey for us after our long support for Windows Phone-powered Lumia handsets. Released in China a year ago and in the Philippines last June, the Nokia 6 had really gone a long way, with recent recognitions received from popular tech websites, as well as continuous positive comments and reviews from smartphone consumers.

What’s so great about the Nokia 6 and how did it manage to break through the Android market and be recognized so strongly? Find out from our review.

PHONE DESIGN

One of the most striking features of the Nokia 6 is its outstanding classy design. Made from a single block of 6000-series aluminum, the phone design looks very sophisticated, yet super durable at the same time. Not compromising quality over aesthetics, the Nokia 6 feels good in the hands and it does stand out well when place alongside its competitors. Just like the Nokia 5, the Nokia 6 did not fail to deliver our grand expectations when it comes to phone design.

When it comes to size, the Nokia 6 is way bigger than the Nokia 5, with dimensions of 154 x 75.8 x 7.85 mm (8.4 with camera bump) – perfect for those who are avid fans of phablets or bigger smartphones. Unlike the Nokia 5 though, the Nokia 6 has sharper, blockier edges which can be a bit uncomfortable at first. But once you get used to handling the handset, it won’t be bothering you at all!

The color options of the Nokia 6 may not be as vibrant as the ones offered by Lumia smartphones, but with the goal of promoting the Finnish brand’s design heritage, the minimalist variants of Matte Black, Silver, and Tempered Blue are perfect choices for promoting premium quality handsets.

So we can all agree that the Nokia 6 is indeed a beautiful tool for communication, but what about its durability? Well, it won’t be hailed as the “Most Durable Smartphone of 2017” for no reason. The use of aluminum as its main body and Corning Gorilla Glass for its display had greatly reinforced the strength of the Nokia 6. Combine beauty and durability and you’ll get the Nokia 6, a true product of the Nokia legacy.

PERFORMANCE

When it was launched last year, many were skeptical about HMD Global’s use of Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 430 1.4 GHz octa-core processor (same with Nokia 5) for the Nokia 6, as they believe that this will slow the phone down. But I’ve been using the phone for more than a month now, and I can confidently tell that there were no significant issues when it comes to overall performance. The Nokia 6 can handle having multiple apps opened at the same time while still maintaining a smooth, lag-free experience. While there is a noticeable delay in the app’s launch time (around 1-2 seconds) as you open more apps, it’s not too troublesome.

As for gaming, I played Mobile Legend, Royal Revolt 2, and Subway Surfers with the Nokia 6 to test out the limit of the handset’s performance. Unlike with Nokia 5 where I experienced minimal lags, the gameplay run smoothly with the Nokia 6. We can owe this with the higher RAM inside – a 3GB RAM is surely useful at this point.

BATTERY AND STORAGE

The Nokia 6 is packed with a 3,000 mAh non-removable Li-Ion battery, which ensures enough power is supplied to the smartphone throughout the day. Compared to the Nokia 5, I was able to use the Nokia 6 longer before having the need to charge it. On a regular day with my usual heavy usage (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, web-browsing, watching videos, and listening to Spotify), the phone lasted for an average of 12 hours.

If you’re fan of downloading media contents, apps, or games, as well as taking photos, storage won’t be an issue with the Nokia 6. The handset comes with a 32GB internal memory, as well as support for microSD card up to 128GB. Since it runs on Android OS, additional 15GB storage is also offered via Google Drive, making sure that you utilize your Nokia 6 to its maximum potential without worrying about where to put your important files. Just don’t forget to back up your files once in a while and you’re doing just great.

OPERATING SYSTEM

With more than a month of using the Nokia 6, I was finally able to embrace the potentials of Android as a smartphone OS. Starting your Android experience with a Nokia smartphone is a good move, as HMD Global’s tie-up with Google ensured that avid consumers will only use the OS in its purest form – Android in vanilla Nougat form.

The Nokia 6 runs on Android™ 7.1.1 Nougat, with Android Oreo coming soon as the beta testing had already started last month. Nokia boasts of the purest form of Android under the hood with a promise of pure, secure and up to date

  • Pure it has no OEM customization and bloatware that can slow down the usage performance that kills battery life. This gives users all freedom to customize and install apps that they’ve always wanted
  • It is secure because of the monthly security updates so no need for an anti-virus software that also consumes battery life.
  • Up to date, this device is packed with always the latest Android. It is running on nougat out of the box and upgradable to Oreo in few weeks’ time. HMD also announced that the full range of Nokia smartphones will also get the Android P update when it’s available.

CAMERA

Despite the absence of Carl Zeiss lens and PureView imaging technology from Lumia smartphones, Nokia 6’s camera performed well when I tried the phone during photowalk sessions. Sporting a 16MP phase detection automatic focus rear camera with dual tone flash, the Nokia 6 was able to produce amazingly sharp pictures with vibrant hues. I’m a fan of vivid photos so I don’t mind the extra pop in the colors, although this might be issue for those who prefer natural colors on their shots. Lighting also plays a key role in taking photos with the Nokia 6, as relying on flash can make the images appear as washed out. We also noticed a 1-second delay with image capture after clicking the button, although this might be more of a device-related issue (we are using a prototype handset during the review).

Video recording also works well with the Nokia 6, as it can capture good quality videos in brighter environments. However, performance decrease greatly in low-light conditions, so we have the same advice as what we had in the Nokia 5 review – use a tripod if possible and try to get more light in the area where you are going to shoot photos and videos.

What I really enjoyed with the Nokia 6 is 8MP automatic focus front camera. The selfies I took with the smartphone were stunning and has more realistic colors – which was further enhanced with the use of Beautify mode.

Here are some sample shots from the Nokia 6:

OVERALL PERFORMANCE

Currently selling with a price tag of PHP 11,990, the Nokia 6 is best-selling smartphone within HMD Global’s line of handsets. And why won’t it be a crowd favorite, when you can get the best features inherited from the Finnish mobile brand at such an affordable price point?

Made to be life-proof, the Nokia 6 boasts all the great characteristics that a smartphone should readily have – innovative design, durable form, widely-supported OS, multiple options for storage, excellent battery life, and very decent camera. Compared to its local competitors who focused more on driving the price down while compromising quality, the Nokia 6 is a better choice for a midrange mobile device.

HMD Global is just getting started with their Nokia-branded smartphones. Recently celebrating their one year as a company, we are looking forward to a great 2018 packed with better handsets. The Nokia 6 is indeed an outstanding forerunner in the smartphone competition, and with Android Oreo coming soon, who knows what amazing surprise are still being installed for their avid consumers!

Special thanks to Jeremiah Gonzales and Rodney Fuentes for their awesome Nokia 6 shots!

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News Editor, Nokia Fanboy, Aspiring Photographer, Harry Potter Know-it-All, Anime and Tokusatsu addict. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram Ciao!

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