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Nokia 6 Review: Affordable Mid-ranger Is On Fighting Form
- May 10, 2018 -

There's a new 2018 Nokia 6 from HMD Global, candidly being called the Nokia 6.1. It's a nod to release versions that will put a smile on the face of the technically minded, as HMD looks to do right by this plucky mid-ranger. 

The 2017 Nokia 6 had a strength in design, clearly punching above its weight to deliver on Nokia's heritage of endurance. Those viral 3310 videos and the playground jokes about those old Nokia phones lasting forever is something that Nokia's new guardians are keen to exploit.

But perhaps most impressively, HMD Global seems to have digested the feedback on the Nokia 6 and made the Nokia 6.1 into something special for a phone of this price.

Instead the story remains familiar: Nokia 6.1 starts life as a solid block of aluminium and it's carved out, giving strength throughout the body. You can feel that too; there's substance and solidity to this phone. It's a phone that feels like it will take a drop... but we wouldn't want to scar its anodised exterior.

Where Nokia is applying detailing is in the "diamond cut" edges, exposing a contrasting colour to highlight elements of the design. Our black sample reveals copper detailing, but it's well measured and not kitsch like some previous attempts at this method have been.

The industrial finish does leave slightly sharp edges - it's squared rather than rounded - and if we had to bet on an area where this phone would attract wear, it's likely to be on those angled, hard edges. There's also no IP rating for water-resistance, if we had to find another criticism.

Overall, however, the Nokia 6.1 shows-off exceptional quality for a phone that's priced £229. This was once the realm of plastic devices, but now, thanks to the likes of the Nokia 6 or Moto G6, you're getting pretty much the same build quality as flagship devices. 

Nokia 6 hardware specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, 3GB RAM

  • 32GB storage + microSD card slot

  • 3,000mAh battery with fast-charging 

  • It's in the hardware that you're getting a lot for your money and where the Nokia 6.1 really raises itself beyond some of its rivals. The Snapdragon 630 hardware under the hood moves this device from entry-level hardware and into the mid-range.

  • It means there's sufficient power to deal a little better with more demanding tasks. While basic daily functions run well enough on low-power hardware, Snapdragon 630 gives this phone a little more bite - especially at this price. Compare it to the Moto G6 and the Nokia is a step ahead, only the yet pricier Moto G6 Plus is on the same level.

  • We've been using the Nokia to play PUBG Mobile, the game du jour, and while it won't play at such high settings as you'd get on a flagship Snapdragon 845 device, it's still perfectly playable. 

The inclusion of microSD makes for easy expansion of the 32GB internal storage too. 

The 3000mAh battery isn't the most capacious, but it does now come with fast-charging (a significant failing of the 2017 Nokia 6), so you'll be able to top it up quickly. It will still last you through an average day pretty well, but this is where you will find that some of those more intensive tasks will really put demands on the battery. Still, for the average user, it will serve perfectly well.