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Nokia 6 Android smartphone review – impressive phone at an affordable price

There aren’t many brands which people remember fondly. Nokia is one of them because it was many people’s first mobile phone. Now Nokia is making a comeback of sorts with the new Nokia 6 that is finally running Android.

One wonders what Nokia’s fate would have been had they have adopted Android when it was first available a number of years ago.

Nokia chose a different path and the brand has been on quite a journey ever since.

But the company has now returned home – they are now in the hands of Finnish HMD Global – and making a bold return to the smartphone market.

The Nokia 6 is the leading product in the company’s portfolio of Android devices.

There is also the Nokia 3 ($249) and the Nokia 5 ($329). There never has been and never will be a Nokia model starting with the number 4 because the company believes it’s bad luck – a common superstition in East Asian countries.

For our review, we had a look at the Nokia 6 which is priced at an affordable $399.

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DESIGN

First thing you’ll noticed with the Nokia 6 is the impressive design. The company has always had a heritage of producing excellent products and that has continued.

It has been milled from a solid block of aluminium and sculpted with a gently curved rear panel and chamfered edges that catch the light.

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On the front, the Corning Gorilla Glass covering the screen also seamlessly merges with the edge.

The result is a device that looks like it should cost a lot more than it does.

One thing the Nokia 6 does not have is a USB-C charge/data port. It connects via microUSB.

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FEATURES

The Nokia 6 has a 5.5-inch full high-definition display that is sharp and bright with wide colour reproduction to make your content really stand out.

There is a physical home button just below the screen which also doubles up as a fingerprint reader.

The device is powered by the Qualcomm snapdragon 430 mobile processor with 3GB RAM and is really responsive.

On the memory side, there is 32GB of internal storage and a microSD card slot to expand that even further.

The Nokia 6 is running the latest Android 7.1.1 operating system which Nokia insists it will keep up-to-date regularly.

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What we liked about the device was the fact that Nokia has kept the Android experience pure and hasn’t added a thick extra layer of user interface.

Instead you’re getting an Android device that would pass for a product made by Google itself.

AUDIO

One feature we really wanted to single out was the audio capabilities of the Nokia 6.

On board is an amplifier that can provide immersive Dolby Atmos sound.

Whether you’re listening with or without headphones, it offers a remarkable listening experience with sounds appearing to come from around you, behind you and from above.

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The dual speakers would have to rate as some of the best we’ve heard on a smartphone.

They also sounded great when we were listening to music as well so that would eliminate the need to pair a Bluetooth speaker.

This makes the Nokia 6 an ideal entertainment companion when you’re on the move.

CAMERA

The Nokia 6 has a 16-megapixel phase detection autofocus main camera and a front 8-megapixel camera.

The rear camera is backed up by dual tone flash so your images look natural.

Picture taken with the Nokia 6

Quality of the images is really impressive with plenty of detail and great colour.

One thing we noted with the camera shutter was its slight lag.

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Picture taken with the Nokia 6

When we took a photo, it would take a couple of seconds to appear in the bottom right corner.

Upon closer inspection, it turns out it’s not the shutter that takes a couple of seconds to react but rather the preview showing you your last shot.

Selfie taken with the Nokia 6
Selfie taken with the Nokia 6

This may confuse users who may think the shot hasn’t been taken. It has, it just hasn’t shown up on your screen yet.
That was the only issue with the camera. Apart from that it was excellent

Picture taken with the Nokia 6
Picture taken with the Nokia 6

BATTERY

Another area where Nokia has not disappointed is with the battery.

The 3000 mAh battery helped us cruise through an entire day and well into the evening.

It helps having a larger device because you can fit in a larger battery.

The Nokia 6 is about the same size as the iPhone 7 Plus.

PRICING

The Nokia 6 is priced at just $399 and will appeal to entry and mid-level users and anyone who wants a higher quality device that’s not going to break the bank.

VERDICT

Nokia has made a triumphant return with this device. The Nokia 6 is one of the purer Android devices you’ll find and at a price that will put it into even more people’s hands.

There aren’t many brands which people remember fondly. Nokia is one of them because it was many people’s first mobile phone. Now Nokia is making a comeback of sorts with the new Nokia 6 that is finally running Android. One wonders what Nokia's fate would have been had they have adopted Android when it was first available a number of years ago. Nokia chose a different path and the brand has been on quite a journey ever since. But the company has now returned home - they are now in the hands of Finnish HMD Global - and making a…

Nokia 6

Rating - 80%

80%

PROS: Nice design, pure Android operating system, impressive camera, Dolby Atmos audio, affordable.

CONS: No USB-C connectivity, slow to show preview of image in the camera. VERDICT: Nokia has made a triumphant return with this device. The Nokia 6 is one of the purer Android devices you'll find and at a price that will put it into even more people’s hands.

User Rating: 2.24 ( 275 votes)

About Stephen Fenech

Stephen is the Tech Guide editor and one of Australia's most respected tech journalists. He is a regular on radio and TV talking about the latest tech news, products and trends.

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  • David Pickford

    I have owned a Nokia 6 for about 6 months now and whilst it is well priced l am overall very disappointed with the phone, it is often very laggy especially when scrolling through items, the power button is very very firm and as such often difficult to use, the phone itself requires restarting at least once a fay as it freezes up and it runs extremely hot, especially when video calling and on recharging; in fact just recently it got so hot when being recharged and l picked it up l dropped the phone because it burnt my fingers, now l dont know if the glass cracked from the drop or the excess heat, as some Samsung phones have done, but nonetheless l cant get it fixed under warranty because the warranty is voided by a broken screen….catch 22. Personally l am extremely disappointed as l expected a far better phone from Nokia, l actually think this is the worst smart phone l have owned and rate it at only 2 out of 5.

    • McBob

      Thank you very much for your review. I was wondering about it for mobile games – if it lags when scrolling, freezes and overheats, I’m sure it won’t work for me, so I can forget about it 🙂

      • irvinsky

        Review? he made a comment,not a review.

        • Yes, and a bad comment disguised as a review, but we all know – paid.

          • David Pickford

            Let me know who is paying me so l can get the dollars mate, l certainly haven’t seen any so far.
            As for my “review” l stand by every word typed. I wanted this to be a great phone as l started with nokia when mobiles first came out and loved them, sadly l’m disappointed to date, hopefully newer generations will improve things.

          • Ruark Lewis

            Aden your language is deplorable. Why can’t you express yourself in a civil manner. Just because you disagree doesn’t mean you need to be abusive.

    • Of course, it uses Android crappola.

  • Simon Wallace

    Not adopting USB-C is a stupid mistake.

  • What’s that? A dig at Windows Mobile as it was on Nokia phones. Nokia screwed itself well before Microsoft came along you bozo. Windows as an OS is far, far superior to Android rubbish. You’re not a journalist. You’re a hack.

  • Jon Skinner

    It is just another Android phone. I got the samsung J5 for less and does the same things reasonably well, I won’t say it lags, but it can take time to load apps, but once in they are fine. I should have stuck with Apple but wanted to see what it was like on the other side of the fence so as to make an informed decision.

  • LesM

    I always find myself forced to stop reading when the poor use of English becomes distracts from the subject.

    In this case it was the sentence “One feature we really wanted to single out was the audio capabilities of the Nokia 6.”

    You use “one feature”, follow it with “single out”, but then you lose the plot and use a plural noun!

    Why not say “One feature we really wanted to single out was the audio capability of the Nokia 6.”?