Nokia returned to the smartphone market last year and is now releasing them on Android. It was she who made one of the most popular affordable smartphones in 2017, the Nokia 6. Now, the next Nokia 6.1 2018 is on sale.
In many ways, the new model feels the same as last year. The screen is 5.5 inches, the body is made of metal, it is very thin and the device runs on Android One. This means a clean system with no bloated software and fast software updates.
The processing power of Nokia 6.1 has increased, 4K video is supported. This all sounds great for the $ 270 price, but are there any hidden drawbacks here?
Package Contents: Nokia 6.1, 18W Fast Charging Adapter, USB Cable > USB-C, in-ear headphones, SIM eject tool, user manual.
Nokia 6.1 in many respects repeats the original model of Nokia 6. As there, it uses a metal construction with sharp edges, flat sides and a thin profile. Of course, there are also differences between these smartphones. The new device has become a little shorter, but overall they are very similar. The design feels robust, but the sharp edges give it an even more masculine look. Because of this, rivals like the Moto G6, with a sleek combination of glass and metal, have a more premium feel, while the Nokia 6.1 seems more conservative.
Available in black with gold accents. Some people like it, for others it is too pretentious. In this case, it's a matter of taste. Unfortunately for American shoppers, this was the only option on Amazon and Best Buy, and will be sold in most other countries. However, there will be other versions, like a white smartphone in Germany.
If you look at the back of the case, you will see a single cell. It protrudes slightly outside the body, which is why the device can vibrate when the screen is up. You will see a round fingerprint scanner under the camera. It's rather small, so sometimes you can miss and the device won't unlock. This is not a particularly serious problem, but it should be borne in mind. Using this smartphone with a case can make the scanner even more difficult to operate.
The buttons on the edges are made of metal and look solid. True, they are too deeply recessed inside and do not click as clearly as on many other smartphones.
There is a single speaker here, next to it is a USB-C port. The 3.5mm jack is located at the top, which is typical for smartphones.
There is no IP protection, so you need to handle the device with care.
Nokia 6.1 has a 5.5-inch IPS LCD with Full HD resolution. It doesn't look very good. The quality of the display has become the main disadvantage of the device, which will have to be tolerated for the sake of a low price.
The aspect ratio is 16: 9, the frames at the top and bottom are large enough. Worse, there is a noticeable blue cast and other colors also appear washed out. Unlike other smartphones, this one doesn't allow changing color profiles, so the default settings will be with you all the time. There is also noticeable blurring of moving objects, such as a menu when scrolling. Perhaps the low refresh rate of the display or some other reason is to blame, but the fact remains. This is not to say that the screen is terrible, but in this price range there are smartphones with better screens. The maximum brightness is also not impressive at just 449 nits versus 806 nits on the Moto G6 Plus.
Interface and functionality
This smartphone runs on Android One platform, which means a clean version of Google's system without bloated software. This also means the fastest possible Android updates.
The clean version of the system offers a coherent visual style of material design and works surprisingly smoothly, responding quickly to taps and gestures on the screen. It uses almost exclusively stock Android apps, with the FM Radio app as a bonus.
Processor, performance and memory
One of the most important upgrades of the new smartphone compared to last year is the processor. It has a more powerful Snapdragon 630 versus Snapdragon 430. This is a chip with eight 2.2 GHz Cortex-A53 cores. The memory capacity is 8 GB.
The processor ensures fast and smooth operation of the system and applications. The display speed of games is also adequate. Of course, this is not a flagship, so you shouldn't expect records in tests. On the other hand, the modest expectations of Nokia 6.1 are quite satisfying.
The storage volume is 32 GB, of which about 18 GB are actually available. This is quite small, but there is a place to install a memory card.
Internet and communications
You can put two SIM-cards or put a memory card instead of one. Communication standards include GPS, Glonass and BeiDou for positioning, as well as Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC.
The only rear camera is 16 MP f / 2.0, the front camera is a wide-angle 8 MP. You can easily start the camera by double-pressing the power button, which is familiar to Android. The application is quite simple, you can only select the shooting mode for two cameras at once. It splits the screen in two so that you can see the picture from two cameras at once. Nokia calls this bothie mode.
There are two other shooting modes. Panorama speaks for itself, and Professional mode lets you manually change focus, white balance, shutter speed, exposure compensation, and ISO.
The first few photos from Nokia 6.1 were disappointing. The camera focuses very slowly, the pictures themselves on the smartphone screen were not impressive. Then the photos were downloaded to a computer and viewed on a large monitor, where a pleasant surprise awaits the audience. Daylight images were excellent. Their colors are especially impressive. JPEG processing is one of the top secrets of camera companies and Nokia has been able to deliver well-balanced, Nikon-style slightly warm colors and wide dynamics.
The Auto HDR shooting mode was used. It remains to be regretted once again that the screen quality is below average does not allow immediately assessing the level of photos from this smartphone.
As for the front camera, the quality is also good for this price. If the lighting is bright, these areas can fade, so the dynamic range is not that high, but the detail is pretty sharp and the colors are pleasing.
The processor allows the camera to support 4K 30fps shooting. Last year, the Nokia 6 shot at a maximum resolution of 1080p.
4K video has one big drawback: there is no optical stabilization, there is also no normal software stabilization. As a result, the image shakes violently. If you can stand still, the video quality seems pretty good. The detail is high, the colors are as pleasant as in the photographs. True, continuous autofocus is very slow and whites often fade, so it's best not to shoot in bright places.
You can shoot at 1080p, there is software stabilization and the file size will be smaller. Of course, there will be less detail.
You can also shoot bothie videos. It's a fun quirk that's fun to play with at first, but not likely to come in handy on a regular basis.
The only speaker is at the bottom of the case and it is quite good. Of course, flagships with dual speakers sound better, but in this case the volume is high, the sound is clear and distinct.
For even higher quality sound, you can use headphones or external speakers. For this, there is a 3.5 mm jack to do without unnecessary adapters.
The included in-ear headphones are not recommended for long-term use, the sound is mediocre. If there is no choice, they will do it for a while.
This year, some of the more expensive smartphones have surprised by problems in such a basic component of work as phone calls. Nokia 6.1 has no such problems. All interlocutors hear you well, you will hear them well.
The battery capacity is 3000mAh , just like last year's Nokia 6. It’s interesting to see how much a change in processor and screen will make the difference in battery life.
Tests were carried out in which the device lasted 8 hours 14 minutes with the screen on. This is worse than last year's result, then it was 8 hours 52 minutes.
What does this mean in real life? Autonomy is slightly below average for this price category, but this did not stop working throughout the day. If you load your smartphone from morning to evening, you may need an outlet, the device will definitely not work for two days.
Last year's Nokia 6 had one distinct drawback in the form of slow recharging. It took almost 30 hours to charge from zero to 100%, so this time I wanted to get a better result. Nokia has included a fast charging adapter in the box that charges in 1 hour 51 minutes.
Since the case is metal, there is no wireless charging.
Price and alternatives
In the US, Amazon and Best Buy sells the device for $ 270. On Yandex.Market, the cost of the 32 GB version is 16,990 rubles .
It is believed that the price range between $ 250 and $ 300 is the lowest where you can get an acceptable quality of smartphones without big compromises. There are interesting alternatives for Nokia 6.1 if you know where to look.
First of all, this is Moto G6. The 2018 Moto G line was announced at the end of April and sales began at the end of May. The devices are very stylish, with thin glass and metal, they have higher autonomy, they have a dual camera. This provides support for blurred portrait photography.
Among other competitors, we can recommend the Honor 7X. It's an attractive 6-inch device with minimal bezels and dual cameras.
It can be said that the Nokia 6.1 brings important upgrades over its predecessor. The processor has become faster, 4K is supported, faster charging. This makes it a worthwhile update.
Unfortunately, everything spoils the screen. It has a blue tint and faded colors. You cannot expect miracles from the screen of a budget smartphone, although you cannot call it terrible. On the other hand, the competitors have significantly raised the quality bar and the screen of Nokia 6.1 falls short of them. Problems with this screen cannot be fixed in the settings.
If that doesn't scare you, a smartphone is an attractive purchase.
Pros: Fast and smooth performance, pure Android One system, high quality daylight photos, 4K video recording.
Cons: blue tint of the screen, faded colors, too conservative design, battery life below average, fingerprint scanner too small.
The Topic of Article: Nokia 6.1 2018 smartphone review.