Review of Nokia 6.1 (2018): stylish and inexpensive

By: Alex Chub | 03.05.2018, 00:38
Review of Nokia 6.1 (2018): stylish and inexpensive

Since last year, HMD Global has been gradually reviving the seemingly completely retired Nokia brand. And, it's worth saying that it's quite successful: yes, sales are not commensurate with the world's giants, but they are growing. Last year, the company managed to release smartphones in all segments, from push-button dialers, the budget-paid Nokia 3 and ending with the flagship of Nokia 8. An interesting feature of Nokia smartphones is the use of pure Android without its own shells. Now Nokia is participating in the Android One program. This year the assortment has been replenished with an even more affordable Nokia 1, a reborn "banana" and several more models. A completely new model of Nokia 7 Plus, the updated Nokia 8 Sirocco and Nokia 6 (2018), or, as the company calls it, Nokia 6.1. The latter just visited the editorial office of gg .

What is it?

Nokia 6.1 is an Android smartphone with 5.5-inch IPS display with FullHD resolution and standard aspect ratio, a 64-bit 8-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor, 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal memory, a 16 MB main camera with Zeiss optics and pure Android 8.1 Oreo.

How is it interesting?

Nokia 6.1 is the representative of the lower part of the middle price segment and in this category it looks interesting: the body is made of a piece of aluminum, a 5.5-inch screen with standard proportions and FullHD resolution is installed. Inside - a good, as for its price category, the eight-core processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, 3 GB and 32 GB of internal memory (plus a hybrid tray for 2xSIM and microSD cards). Nokia 6.1 participates in the Android One program, which means that it works on the current version of the OS, it lacks any third-party shell or an abundance of additional third-party applications (in this case, only a couple, about this later) and will receive operational updates. The main camera has a resolution of 16 megapixels with phase autofocus and Zeiss optics with a f / 2.0 aperture and a video recording of 4K. Of course, the smartphone works with LTE (already relevant for Ukraine) and is equipped with a full NFC-module, which allows you to use G Pay (in addition to banal interfacing with devices via Bluetooth).

What is in the box?


The smartphone is packed in a small, flat box with a smartphone and handshake, in memory of the old picture of Nokia Connecting People. In the pull-out box - a smartphone, under which a clip is attached to remove the tray. To the left is a small box with everything else: a charger, a USB Type-C cable and a simple wired headset.


How it looks and is assembled?


Nokia 6.1 looks and feels very presentable, more expensive than worth it. It looks strictly and has much in common with its predecessor (Nokia 6 last year). The same rectangular shape with minimally rounded corners and the Nokia logo in the upper right corner. The case is metal, with a matte finish and polished bevels of copper color. The manufacturer specifies that this is the 6000th alloy of aluminum (with magnesium and silicon). The height of the smartphone decreased due to the fact that the navigation buttons moved to the screen, and the scanner - to the back surface. Although the chin in this case could be done and smaller. Above the screen is a front camera, a speaker, a set of sensors and a logo. Unfortunately, the LED indicator was not delivered:


The smartphone's frame is flat, with clear angles and a copper facet around the perimeter. So, as the case is carved from a piece of aluminum, on all faces there are small plastic inserts for the normal operation of wireless interfaces. The location of all the functional elements is familiar. From the bottom - two slits of the external speaker, one of the microphones and Type-C (instead of MicroUSB in the previous generation). 3.5-mm headphone jack is, it's on the top side of the case. Right - paired volume buttons and power button. They fit perfectly in size, do not hang out and are also made of metal, with the same bevels. Tray - on the left side:

This is a customary tray, in which you can insert either two SIM cards, or instead of one of them, add a smartphone memory using MicroSD:


The smartphone is available in black and white colors, both with copper accents. In addition to chamfers, the same color is used for edging the fingerprint scanner, the main camera module and the Nokia logo on the rear panel. The coating is dull, pleasant, and looks cool, but there are notable marks of use on it. Bottom and top - not too noticeable plastic inserts, at the bottom of the backdrop - technical information and the logo of Android One. Above is Nokia's vertical logo and round fingerprint scanner, above which is the main camera and the second microphone:


All elements on the rear panel are located symmetrically. The chamber module has an oblong shape and a common glass. From the bottom - a double flash, from above - the lens, and between them - proud inscription Zeiss:


Externally, Nokia 6.1 looks great and expensive: a monolithic case, strict outlines. With convenience, unfortunately, everything is not so good: first, the smartphone turned out to be wide, maybe I'm weaned from smartphones with standard 16: 9 screens. The side faces and the back are not rounded: this adds to the reliability of the grip, but using one hand is not very convenient. Moreover, there is no reduced window mode. And another moment with the scanner: for unlocking it is good, the situation is good. But it can also be used for curtains, which would be convenient in theory. In fact, during the use of the smartphone you constantly accidentally catch the scanner and the shutter appears when it is not needed.

How good is the screen?


The smartphone has a 5.5-inch IPS-screen with a standard ratio of 18: 9 and resolution, which is not so common in recent times. It is covered by Gorilla Glass 3 (apparently in order to save) with a quality oleophobic coating and rounded edges. Pixel density is 403 ppi. Visually, the screen can be called good. The wah-effect does not cause, but there are no obvious problems either with viewing angles or with colors:

There are no separate modes for displaying colors, only standard settings for brightness, night mode, element scale, font size and automatic brightness adjustment (only from the settings menu, in the curtain it is not). The maximum brightness is 392.454 cd / m 2 , the brightness of the black field is 0.473 cd / m 2 , and the contrast is 830: 1. Very good indicators, especially given that we do not have a top model. The picture a little goes into cold shades:

Comparison with other models:

Device name Brightness of white field,
cd / m 2
Brightness of a black field,
cd / m 2
Nokia 6.1 392.454 0.473 830: 1
Neffos C7 473.028 0.64 739: 1
Xiaomi Redmi 5 425.687 0.496 858: 1
Honor 7X 372.878 0.293 1273: 1
Moto X4 352.576 0.341 1034: 1

What about performance and autonomy?

Instead of the 430th dragon (in the previous Nokia 6), a modern mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor is installed. The processor is manufactured in compliance with 14-nm process standards and includes eight cores ARM Cortex A53 with a clock speed of 2.2 GHz and an Adreno 508 graphics processor. RAM - 3 GB of LPDDR4, built-in - 32 GB. Used eMMC 5.1, fast UFS is still found mainly in more expensive models. In general, there are no problems with performance, the applications work stably. But a couple of times there were minimal braking of the interface itself. It is difficult to say what it is connected with, but the problem is not systemic, and it was not possible to reconstruct it episodically and artificially. There is a suspicion that with the next firmware will be corrected. Games are very good, given the class of smartphone. And obviously better than competitors with Mali:

Results in synthetic performance tests:

Built-in memory in a 32 GB smartphone, forgivable considering the price tag. Instead of a second SIM card, you can install MicroSD. There is a dual-band Wi-Fi 2.4 / 5 GHz Wi-Fi a / b / g / n (ac is not supported) and full-featured NFC. But lovers of buying everything from China should know that NFC is only in the global version, the Chinese it is deprived. There is Bluetooth 5.0 LE and FM radio. There are GPS (A-GPS), GLONASS, BDS, it works stably and quickly. The sound of the external speaker is very good both in volume and quality, in headphones - nothing special. Typical for smartphones is quality.


The capacity of the built-in battery is 3000 mAh, fast charging is supported (although not the last version, apparently): for half an hour it charges about 40% and about 2 hours for full charging. In terms of battery life, the smartphone does not grab the rear, although it can not be called outstanding. With very active use, he lives a day. With a more moderate use of 1.5 days - a very real indicator.

Is the interface convenient?


Nokia 6.1 runs on pure Android 8.1 Oreo (the first update was flown from 8.0 to 8.1) without any shells and with a minimum of third-party applications. In fact, third-party applications 2: the camera (about it below) and Nokia Care monitoring the status of the smartphone and useful information: instructions, the nearest service center, link to the forum, feedback, etc.:

In the rest - a clean green robot. Work tables with a separate application menu:

Quick actions when touching the label for a long time:


Standard curtain:


Split Screen Mode:


File manager:


Imprint lock:


And the radio:


In this approach, there are pluses and minuses. On the one hand, there is nothing superfluous and annoying additional applications. On the other hand, there are compromise shell options that are not overloaded, but all sorts of useful trivia, like color display settings, auto brightness in the curtain and reduced-window mode for one-handed operation are present.

How good is the camera?

One more application is a camera. It's simple and easy to use: all basic settings are displayed on the main screen, including flash and HDR. There is a mode of shooting of double frames on a front and back camera and a professional mode with manual settings. It is activated by dragging the shutter button toward the center of the screen and turned off by reverse motion (or from the settings menu):

The main camera is 16 megapixels, single, f / 2.0, 1.0μm, with phase autofocus, dual flash and 4K shooting capability. On the camera adorns the inscription Zeiss, although in real life no miracles it brings. The camera shoots appropriately to its class, no more. In the afternoon photos are good, with saturated colors, in the evening and at night the camera becomes more difficult:

No stabilization system is provided:

In the dry residue

Nokia 6.1 (2018) is also interesting as a successful update of last year's Nokia 6 model (tangible performance gain, reduction in size and USB Type-C), and as a standalone smartphone. Yes, there are some questions, but if you take into account the price tag of 8000 UAH, then the advantages of the smartphone become more pronounced. At the moment this is the most affordable smartphone on Qualcomm Snapdragon 630. Including many Chinese (yes, we all know that Nokia is also manufactured in China, at the Foxconn factory, but in this case the brand itself is meant). At the same time, the smartphone has got a very stylish and strong-feeling monolithic metal case, a very good quality display, the presence of all modern interfaces and almost pure Android of the most current version without unnecessary additional applications and with guaranteed updates in the future. Some claims arose in terms of ease of use of the smartphone. Both physically (wide and not the most convenient case), and programmatically (there are some simple but convenient trivia). The camera can not be called bad considering the price, but if this factor is very important, then in this price segment there are models a little more interesting, both for A-brands and thoroughbred Chinese.

5 Reasons to Buy Nokia 6.1:

  • productive "iron" (for its price);
  • stylish appearance and excellent assembly;
  • availability of all necessary modern interfaces and fast charging;
  • Android 8.1 Oreo without unnecessary and with operational updates;
  • comfort display.

2 reasons not to buy Nokia 6.1:

  • I would like to be more comfortable body;
  • in this price segment there are smart phones that shoot better.
Specifications Nokia 6.1
Display IPS, 5.5 inches, 1920x1080, 403 ppi, 2.5D Gorilla Glass 3
Housing dimensions 148.8x75.8x8.2 mm, weight: 172 g
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, 64 bit, 14 nm, 8xARM Cortex-A53, 2.2 GHz, graphics accelerator Adreno 508
Flash memory 32 GB + MicroSD (Hybrid tray)
Camera Main: 16 megapixels (f / 2.0, 1.0μm), phase autofocus, LED flash, Zeiss optics, frontal: 8 MP (f / 2.0, 1.12μm)
Wireless technologies Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n 2.4 + 5 GHz, Bluetooth 5 LE, NFC
GPS GPS, Glonass, BDS
Battery 3000 mAh, non-removable
operating system Android 8.1 Oreo
Sim card 2x nanoSIM

For those who want to know more:

  • Review Huawei P20 Lite: middle class with everything you need
  • Review of Moto X4: mid-range smartphone with bonuses
  • Review of Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact: indomitable power in a compact format
  • Simple and tasteful: review of the smartphone TP-Link Neffos C7
  • Review of Honor 7x: cute frameless with display 18: 9