Nokia 6.1 hands-on review: a gorgeous mid-range smartphone with style

Nokia 6.1, aka Nokia 6 (2018), is a mid-range Android smartphone with a stunning body made of glass and 6000 series aluminum. The product images do not do it justice. You have to see it in real life to appreciate just how gorgeous it is, and we have a hands-on review just for you.

Being a 2018 smartphone, you won’t find a bezell-ess design or tall aspect ratio seen on newer smartphones, but you also won’t find a notch either. Yet, it is a smartphone with a distinct character. We got our hands on the Blue/Gold colour and find ourselves enamoured.

Nokia 6.1 in hand homescreen

Coming from devices with taller, narrower aspect ratios, the wide screen of the 6.1 is a delight to use. It makes for more comfortable typing for those with big fingers. It is also more suited to content creation.

The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor and has a 3000mAh battery with 18W fast charging. HMD Global includes a compatible charger in the box. The specs are decent and we have the full details below.

Nokia 6.1 Specs and Features

Wireless Network and Software

  • 2G mobile network bands: GSM, GPRS, EDGE 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
  • 3G mobile network bands: UMTS, WCDMA, HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
  • 4G mobile network bands: LTE EMEA/APAC – 1(2100) / 3(1800) / 5(850) / 7(2600) / 8(900) / 20(800) / 28(700) / 38(2600) / 40(2300) / 41(2500). LTE bands differ for other regions.
  • SIM Type: Nano-SIM, Dual SIM
  • Software / OS: Android one: Android 8.1 (Oreo), upgraded to Android 9 Pie; upgradable to Android 10.

Design, Form Factor and Appearance

  • Dimensions: 148.8 x 75.8 x 8.2 mm
  • Weight: 172 g
  • Display: 5.5 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels, 16:9 aspect ratio, IPS LCD, 2.5D curved glass screen, Gorilla Glass 3.
  • Build: Front glass + aluminum unibody (6000 series)
  • Colours: Black/Copper. White/Iron. Blue/Gold.
Nokia 6.1
Nokia 6.1 product images do its beautiful design no justice. Meh.

Internal Hardware Specs

  • Processor Type: 64-bit Octa-core 2.2 Cortex-A53
  • Processor Name: Qualcomm Snapdragon 630
  • Graphics Processor:  ‎Adreno 508
  • RAM: 3 GB
  • Internal Storage: 32 GB
  • External Storage: microSD, up to 256 GB (shared slot)

Photography and Video Recording

  • Rear Camera: 16 MP camera, f/2.0 aperture, auto focus, Zeiss optics, LED flash, 4k, 2160@30fps, 1080p@30fps video recording.
  • Front-facing Camera: 8 MP, f/2.0 aperture, 1080p@30fps video capture.
Nokia 6.1 rear camera and fingerprint scanner
Nokia 6.1 in Blue/Gold.

Sensors

  • Digital Compass: Yes.
  • Accelerometer: Yes.
  • Proximity Sensor: Yes.
  • Ambient Light Sensor: Yes.
  • Barometer: No.
  • Pedometer: No.
  • Heart Rate Monitor: No.
  • Gyroscope (G-Sensor): Yes.
  • Fingerprint Scanner: Yes; rear-mounted.
  • Face Unlock: Yes.
  • Iris Scanner: No.
  • Motion Sensing / Gesture Control: No.
  • Voice Control: No.
  • Intelligent Digital Assistant: Yes; Google Assistant.
  • Infra-red Sensor: No.

Connectivity Options

  • Bluetooth: v5.0, A2DP
  • WiFi: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, hotspot
  • GPS: Yes, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
  • USB: microUSB v2.0; Type-C 1.0.
  • NFC: Yes.

Miscellaneous Specs and Features

  • Battery Type and Capacity: Non-Removable Lithium-Ion 3000 mAh
  • Battery Charging: 18W Fast Charging – 50% in 30 minutes.
  • Wireless Charging: No.
  • Reverse Charging: No.

Nokia 6.1 in hand rear

Nokia 6.1 Hands-on Review

This is perhaps the most premium-looking smartphone you can buy for its price today. With the price having dropped, Nokia 6.1 is now even better value for money than it was at launch in April 2018. 

It looks and feels more expensive than it really costs and has decent specifications that deliver good performance a year down the road. Because of Nokia’s commitment to software updates, it is already running Android 9 Pie and is scheduled to get Android 10 by the end of 2019.

In terms of performance, the Snapdragon 630 is a decent power house and the Nokia 6.1 is no slouch. App launches and switching is fairly smooth, thanks to the 3GB RAM. There is 32GB of internal storage. To use a memory card with the phone though, you have to give up the second SIM card.

Whether in front or at the back, there is no dual camera here. The selfie camera is a single 8MP snapper, while the main camera is a 16MP lens with Zeiss optics. In addition to taking decent photos, it records 4k video too. There is Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and 18W quick charging as well.

The Nokia 6.1 is highly recommended for anyone looking for a mid-range Android phone that gets the job done and that exudes a lot of taste. You will find it in the market today for around ₦55,000.

If you want a more modern alternative for the same price, Nokia has deliberately kept similar-priced models out of the market, so as not to cannibalise the sales of the Nokia 6.1. The Nokia 4.2 costs less but doesn’t have the tasteful design of the 6.1. The Nokia 5.1 Plus costs a little more. You may have to take a look at Samsung Galaxy A20 and A20s, Huawei Y7 Prime 2019 3GB/64GB., or Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 3GB/64GB.

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Nokia 6.1 hands-on review: a gorgeous mid-range smartphone with style
Nokia 6.1 hands-on review: a gorgeous mid-range smartphone with style 5

Nokia 6.1 is a mid-range Android smartphone with a stunning body made of glass and 6000 series aluminum. The product images do not do it justice. You have to see it in real life to appreciate just how gorgeous it is. Here is our hands-on.

Editor's Rating:
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