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Nokia 6 (2018) Review: Hands-on

Nokia 6 (2018) review: Hands-on
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2017 was a banner first year for HMD’s revived Nokia brand, with 70 million phones reportedly shipped - though plenty of those are low budget feature phones. The company hopes 2018 will be even bigger, and the New Nokia 6 is one of five devices announced by Nokia at MWC 2018, including the new flagship Nokia 8 Sirocco and 'Matrix phone' Nokia 8110.

We’ve seen the Nokia 6 before of course - the original model was announced at MWC 2017 and released that summer, but the updated 2018 version contains a number of serious improvements. We tested the device out ourselves to find out just how much better it is.


NOKIA 6 (2018): PRICE AND RELEASE DATE

Nokia hasn’t announced a firm release date for the New Nokia 6, but claims that the phone should be released some time from early April.

As for price, it’s set for €279, which is currently around £245/$345, so expect pricing somewhere around there for the UK and US. That’s a bit of a jump up from last year’s Nokia 6, which cost just £199/$229/€229 when it launched.


Nokia also announced the slight more expensive 7 Plus and the much more premium 8 Sirocco.

NOKIA 6 (2018): DESIGN AND BUILD


Just like last year’s edition, the 2018 Nokia 6 is built out of a single block of aluminium, but this year there’s an extra touch: all of the edges have been anodised in a different colour tone, meaning they catch the light as you move the phone around.



It’s a pretty striking effect, most of all in the Black/Copper and Blue/Gold colour options, though we suspect others may love the more subtle reflections from the White/Iron setup.

Beyond the anodised edges, the rest of the New Nokia 6 looks pretty familiar. It’s got the same slightly blocky design, with thick bezels at the top and bottom of the 5.5in, 16:9 display.

That display is slightly curved at the edges, as is the back of the body, which softens the straight-lined design and helps keep the phone comfortable to hold.


There’s a fingerprint scanner underneath the single rear camera lens, a headphone jack, a MicroSD slot, and a USB-C port for charging - an upgrade on last year’s Micro-USB.



Sadly there’s no waterproofing - hardly a surprise at this price - but the Gorilla Glass display and solid aluminium body mean that this thing should be very durable at least.

The New Nokia 6 looks fantastic in person, especially for the price - photos really don’t do it justice. Sure, it’s not bezelless or 18:9, but if that doesn’t bother you there aren’t many better looking phones at this budget.

NOKIA 6 (2018): SPECS AND FEATURES

So the New Nokia 6 looks pretty great - but what do you get under the surface?

The processor this time around is the Snapdragon 630, a big improvement on the 430 in the 2017 model. The 630 is the same processor found in the Moto X4, the HTC U11 Life, and Sony’s Xperia XA2 phones, which retail for similar prices, so nothing too surprising there.

At launch, you’ll be able to get it with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, though later on there will be a version with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage - though we’re not sure exactly when that version will be released, or in which markets.Sadly there’s no waterproofing - hardly a surprise at this price - but the Gorilla Glass display and solid aluminium body mean that this thing should be very durable at least.

The New Nokia 6 looks fantastic in person, especially for the price - photos really don’t do it justice. Sure, it’s not bezelless or 18:9, but if that doesn’t bother you there aren’t many better looking phones at this budget.



The 5.5in display is a full HD IPS screen in the traditional, wider 16:9 aspect ratio. It’s never going to be the phone’s main selling point in a market where 18:9 displays are now available at even lower price points than this, but in person it seems bright, crisp, and attractive.

There’s no dual lens camera here either. On the back you get a 16MP, f/2.0 shooter with dual-tone flash - though the lens is from Zeiss, so we’re hoping it should deliver some very decent photos. The front camera is an 8MP wide-angle lens - and Nokia is once again offering the ‘Bothie’ option to take a photo with both cameras simultaneously.

The 3,000mAh battery is once again fairly typical for the price point, but this year Nokia has upgraded to USB-C with fast charging - great news, as the insistence on Micro-USB was one of the big downsides of the company’s 2017 lineup.

NOKIA 6 (2018): SOFTWARE

Ever since it was relaunched Nokia has made a point of sticking closely to stock Android on its phones, and that philosophy continues here - and has in fact been doubled down on, as Nokia announced that it is a leading member of Google’s Android One program.



That means that Nokia users can expect both a consistent Android UI and a commitment to regular security updates, along with potentially getting earlier access to major Android OS updates.

Speaking of, the New Nokia 6 has Android 8 Oreo out of the box, the latest version of the operating system.

SPECS
  • Android 8.0 Oreo
  • 5.5in Full HD display, IPS
  • Dual curved edge display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor
  • 3/4GB RAM
  • 32/64GB internal storage
  • 16MP rear-facing camera with f/2.0
  • 8MP wide-angle front camera with f/2.0
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • 11ac dual-band Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • GPS
  • NFC
  • 4G LTE Cat 4
  • USB-C
  • 3000mAh non-removable battery
  • 76x149x8.15mm

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