Nokia 6.1 Plus Review

Nokia 6.1 Plus Review

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Nokia 6.1 Plus is priced in India at Rs. 15,999
  • It is a part of Google’s Android One programme
  • Battery life is solid but the cameras are a bit of a mixed bag

2018 will be remembered as the year when screen notches became ubiquitous. The notch is undoubtedly a contentious issue in smartphone design, but it is a necessary evil in order to make today’s narrow-bordered smartphones a reality. HMD Global, the company that brought Nokia back into the smartphone game last year, has now embraced this design trend with the Nokia 6.1 Plus and Nokia 5.1 Plus.

The Nokia 6.1 Plus, which was launched in China back in May as the Nokia X6, is a part of the Android One initiative and runs a stock build of Android 8.1 Oreo. It features a 19:9 display, a dual camera setup at the rear, and a glass and metal design. Priced at Rs. 15,999, it competes head-on with the likes of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (Review), Xiaomi Mi A2 (Review), and Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Review). Is Nokia’s latest budget smartphone worth a buy? Let’s find out.

 

Nokia 6.1 Plus design

The Nokia 6.1 Plus features glass on the front and back, with an aluminium frame for rigidity. There is a notched display up front with sizeable borders, and the Nokia logo on the chin. Thanks to the tall aspect ratio and curved edges, the smartphone is compact and pocketable. However, one-handed use is quite difficult.

When it goes on sale on August 30, the Nokia 6.1 Plus will be available in three colour options – Gloss White, Gloss Midnight Blue, and the one our review unit came in, Gloss Black. The smooth glass back looks attractive and classy but picks up a lot of smudges and fingerprints. It is also incredibly slippery – a case is recommended to give you a decent grip.

Nokia6Plus Inline1 Nokia 6.1 Plus review

 

The accents around the rear camera module, fingerprint sensor, power button, and volume buttons add some much-needed flair to what is otherwise an understated design. We had some reservations about the build quality of this phone in our first impressions, on account of its low weight. However, the Nokia 6.1 Plus has stood up to ordinary daily usage quite well over the course of our review period.

The left of the Nokia 6.1 Plus is blank save for the SIM tray, which makes you choose between a second Nano-SIM and a microSD card. The right side has the volume rocker and power button which are chunky, tactile, and well within reach.

The dual-camera setup is placed in a pill-shaped housing, underneath which is a circular fingerprint sensor and a vertically oriented Nokia logo. There’s a single loudspeaker next to the USB Type-C port at the bottom, which delivers loud and clear audio, but is a step down from the stereo speakers of the original Nokia 6 (Review).

Nokia 6.1 Plus specifications and display

HMD Global has equipped the Nokia 6.1 Plus with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor, which is also found in the similarly priced Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro, as well as the Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1, which is priced starting at Rs. 10,999. Additional specifications include a 3,060mAh battery, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage that can be expanded using a microSD card (up to 400 GB).

Nokia6Plus Inline2 Nokia 6.1 Plus review

 

The Nokia 6.1 Plus is a part of the Android One initiative and runs a stock build of Android 8.1 Oreo with a guarantee of regular updates. Connectivity options include dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5, FM radio, GPS/ A-GPS, GLONASS, USB Type-C (USB 2.0), and a 3.5mm headphone jack. This phone supports dual SIMs (Nano) and both can simultaneously latch onto 4G networks.

The Nokia 6.1 Plus has a 5.8-inch full-HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 19:9 and Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection against scratches. There is a notch up front which is thankfully quite small and does not get in the way of games and videos. Despite the notch, the screen is not borderless, and the chin in particular is pretty thick. The display is bright and punchy, and has good viewing angles. Colours are vivid and outdoor legibility is decent.

Nokia 6.1 Plus performance, software, and battery life

The Nokia 6.1 Plus delivered a smooth and consistent user experience, tackling everything we threw at it — from basic day-to-day tasks such as browsing the Web and using social media applications, to intensive workloads — without any issues. App load times were quick and UI animations were butter smooth. Games like Asphalt 9 also ran quite smoothly, with no stutters or dropped frames.

Benchmark scores were in line with those of other Snapdragon 636-powered smartphones. The Nokia 6.1 Plus managed scores of 116,134 in AnTuTu, 34fps in GFXBench T-Rex, 10fps in GFXBench Manhattan 3.1, and 1328 and 4,936 respectively in Geekbench’s single- and multi-core tests. In our experience, calls were clear and 4G connectivity was consistently solid.

HMD Global has so far focused on clean, fluid software, and timely updates. The Finnish company embraced Android One at the beginning of this year, which means an optimised software experience with stock Android 8.1, two years of Android version updates, and three years of monthly security updates, all guaranteed. HMD Global has promised updates to Android Pie as well as Android Q, as and when they are released.

Nokia6Plus Inline3 Nokia 6.1 Plus review

System update screen, app drawer, and gestures

 

The software is fluid and very responsive. While there is no third-party bloat, there are a few nifty value additions such as the ‘Ambient Display’ feature that shows notifications for missed calls, alarms, and notifications without waking the phone from sleep. You can also perform a few gestures such as turning the phone over to reject a call, or picking it up to mute the ringtone.

The Nokia 6.1 Plus supports face recognition, using its 16-megapixel front camera. The process is quite slow, even when lighting is favourable. Recognition is quite erratic in low light and also under very bright sunlight. Thankfully, the rear-mounted fingerprint sensor is snappy. It can also be used to show the notification shade with a downward swipe.

In our HD video loop battery test, the Nokia 6.1 Plus lasted 12 hours and 10 minutes. Real-world performance was quite solid, but not spectacular. The smartphone easily got through a 12-hour day with medium to heavy use, with around 20 percent left in the tank. Our usage involved around an hour or two of navigation using Google Maps, frequent use of social media applications, games such as the recently launched Asphalt 9, and taking a couple of photos and selfies.

The phone supports Quick Charge 4.0, but only a standard 10W charger is included in the box, which means that you’ll need more than two and a half hours for a full recharge.

Nokia 6.1 Plus cameras

On the imaging front, the Nokia 6.1 Plus has a 16-megapixel primary camera with an aperture of f/2.0, alongside a 5-megapixel monochrome secondary camera with an aperture of f/2.4. On the front, the Nokia 6.1 Plus has a 16-megapixel fixed-focus camera with an aperture of f/2.0. There is a dual-LED flash at the back.

There are a number of features in the camera app, such as as a live bokeh mode, AR stickers, dual-sight mode to superimpose shots taken with the front and rear cameras simultaneously, and AI-assisted portrait lighting. Portrait shots were quite impressive with good edge detection and smooth gradients between the subject and the background.

AR stickers are implemented well and can be used with both the front and the rear camera. The AI-assisted portrait lighting feature needs a lot of work at the moment. Edge detection was poor, and most of the options just overexposed the background.

Tap to see full-sized Nokia 6.1 Plus camera samples

 

During the day, the rear camera performed quite well. Images had a good amount of detail and the the sensor’s dynamic range was above average. Even shots taken in favourable lighting indoors were crisp and detailed. Colours however appeared slightly washed out regardless of lighting conditions.

Low-light performance was a bit of a mixed bag. The level of detail was adequate and is a step up from the Nokia 6.1, but the camera struggled with autofocus at times.

The front camera produces decent shots in favourable lighting but has trouble with exposure metering. In low light, it struggles to pull in enough light. The front camera can also shoot bokeh shots via software algorithms, which came out looking decent. There’s no proper front LED flash, but just a screen flash that lights up the entire display.

Dual-sight, a feature first seen in the Nokia 8 (Review), is present in the Nokia 6.1 Plus as well. You can take photos/ videos with the front and rear cameras at the same time. While this feature is pretty nifty, the quality of both the front and rear cameras takes a dive in this mode.

Video recording maxes out at 1080p for the front camera, while the rear module is capable of 4K video recording. You can livestream video to YouTube and Facebook directly from the camera app, and this feature also works in dual-sight mode. The quality of videos is decent at best.


Nokia 6.1 Plus in pictures

 

Verdict
The Nokia 6.1 Plus offers great performance, clean and fluid software, a punchy and vibrant display, and the promise of timely updates. With a sleek glass-backed design, compact dimensions, and a 19:9 display, the Nokia 6.1 Plus addresses most of the shortcomings of the Nokia 6.1, which was launched earlier on in the year. It is also priced much more aggressively.

All is not smooth sailing though. The rear camera setup, while much improved from the Nokia 6.1, still cannot match up to the competition. It performs admirably in favourable light but struggles in low light. The front camera is also underwhelming. That said, the Nokia 6.1 Plus is a capable, well-rounded smartphone that will appeal to fans of stock Android.

Potential buyers should also take a look at the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 Pro (Review) and Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 (Review), which cost less and offer better cameras, but miss out on the benefits offered by Android One. The Xiaomi Mi A2 (Review) does have a better rear camera as compared to the Nokia 6.1 Plus but has average battery life and lacks a headphone jack and a microSD card slot.


Are Nokia 6.1 Plus and Nokia 5.1 Plus the best Android phones from HMD Global? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

2COMMENTS

For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Nokia 6.1 Plus

Nokia 6.1 Plus

  • REVIEW
  • KEY SPECS
  • NEWS
  • Design
  • Display
  • Software
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Camera
  • Value for Money
  • Good
  • Android One and no software bloat
  • Sleek and compact
  • Vibrant display
  • Great performance
  • Bad
  • Low-light camera performance could be better
  • Fast charger not bundled
Also See
  • Nokia 6 (2018) (Blue Gold, 64GB, 4GB RAM) –
    Rs.16,030
  • Nokia 6 (2018) (Black, 32GB, 3GB RAM)
    *Includes Rs. 750 cashback
    Rs.14,243*

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Nokia X5 aka Nokia 5.1 Plus Launch Teased for July 11 in China

Nokia X5 aka Nokia 5.1 Plus Launch Teased for July 11 in China

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The poster for the launch event was teased on Weibo
  • Nokia X5 is expected to be dubbed the Nokia 5.1 Plus in global markets
  • It will sport a display notch, dual rear camera setup

Earlier this week, we saw reports suggesting July 11 to be the launch date of the upcoming Nokia X5 aka the Nokia 5.1 Plus. As part of the latest developments, HMD Global licensed brand Nokia has now officially teased the smartphone’s launch that is set for 8pm China time (5:30pm IST) on July 11. The teaser reveals that a new handset in the Nokia X series will be unveiled at the product event, which tips the launch of the rumoured Nokia X5 in China. A live stream will be available for the event. This smartphone will reportedly be called the Nokia 5.1 Plus in international markets.

As per a post on Nokia’s official Weibo account on Monday, a new Nokia X-Series phone is all set to become a reality in China come July 11. Last week, a poster had been spotted on Chinese search engine Baidu that showed off alleged posters of the Nokia X5 in China; the smartphone is expected to get a price tag of CNY 799 (roughly Rs. 8,300) for the 32GB variant and CNY 999 (roughly Rs. 10,400) for the 64GB model. As for design elements, much like the recently launched Nokia X6, even the Nokia X5 will sport a display notch and a bezel-less display. The phone will also get a dual camera setup and a fingerprint sensor at the back.

As for specifications, previous leaks suggest the Nokia X5 will sport a 5.86-inch HD+ (720×1520 pixels) TFT display with a 19:9 aspect ratio. It might be powered by an octa-core SoC, possibly from the MediaTek P series or the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 series. This will be coupled with 3GB/ 4GB/ 6GB of RAM and 32GB/ 64GB of inbuilt storage.

In terms of optics, we can expect the Nokia X5 to sport a vertical dual rear camera setup with a 13-megapixel primary sensor. A 8-megapixel selfie sensor might adorn the front of the smartphone. Connectivity might include 4G LTE, Bluetooth, USB, while battery capacity is set at 3000mAh.

An official post by Nokia had also suggested the company’s two smartphones are in the works for launch later this year, one powered by a Snapdragon 710 SoC and the other by the flagship Snapdragon 845.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Nokia 6 (2018) 4GB model India launch set for May 13

Image result for Nokia 6 (2018) 4GB model India launch set for May 13

The 4GB RAM variant of the Nokia 6 (2018)/Nokia 6.1 is all set for launch in India later this week. Sales will open May 13, with Amazon India being the exclusive retail partner.

While there’s no confirmation on pricing yet, rumors say the model will set you back around INR 18,999 ($280). For comparison, this is INR 2,000 ($30) more than what the 3GB RAM model costs.

[“Source-gsmarena”]

Nokia to Have a Major Showing at MWC 2018, HMD Global Teases

Nokia to Have a Major Showing at MWC 2018, HMD Global Teases

HIGHLIGHTS

  • HMD Global’s Juho Sarvikas teases MWC 2018 developments
  • The company is expected to launch new models
  • Nokia 1, Nokia 9, Nokia 3310 4G likely to get some attraction

After grabbing eyeballs at its last outing in Barcelona, HMD Global is now all set to make another splash this year at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018, a senior executive teased. The company launched the nostalgic Nokia 3310 and showcased the first troopers from its army of Android smartphones at MWC 2017. And for the forthcoming convention, it is already rumoured to have a bunch of developments, including the Nokia 9 flagship as well as the Android Oreo (Go edition) based Nokia 1.

HMD Global Chief Product Officer Juho Sarvikas on Thursday used his Twitter account to tease the launches planned for the MWC 2018. “Sorry for radio silence. Been super busy planning #MWC2018. Please expect it to be awesome [sic],” Sarvikas tweeted. The executive didn’t define the developments that will be showcased at the forthcoming MWC. However, some recent reports have enough material to help us understand what all will be available from the ever-green Nokia portfolio.

The Nokia family in 2018 is expected to get a list of new members, including the Nokia 1, Nokia 4, Nokia 7, Nokia 8 (2018), and Nokia 9. Alongside these new Nokia smartphone models, the Finnish company is rumoured to be developing a Nokia 3310 4G variant that recently emerged on TENAA certification sitewith Android-based YunOS. The 2018 lineup notably received the Nokia 6 (2018) as the first member.

Amongst all the new Nokia models, the Nokia 9 is expected to be the show-stopper. The smartphone is already rumoured to have top-notch specifications and features such as a dual selfie camera setup and a thin-bezel display. If we believe the ongoing rumours, the Nokia 9 will come in multiple variants and sport a 5.5-inch OLED display as well as a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. It is also reported to have 12-megapixel and 13-megapixel camera sensors on the back and a 3250mAh battery with fast charging support. Besides, the smartphone is likely to come with up to 128GB onboard storage and run Android 8.0 Oreo out of the box.

In addition to the Nokia 9, we can safely speculate the Nokia 1 as the new sales-driver for HMD Global. The smartphone, which is rumoured to be one of the first Android Go smartphones, will purportedly feature an HD IPS display, 1GB RAM, and 8GB onboard storage. Despite usual, entry-level specifications, the Android Go presence on the Nokia 1 would make it a distinct option in the market. It is like to have lightweight apps such as Google Maps Go, Files Go, and Google Go among others. Further, the smartphone is rumoured to go on sale in Russia at RUB 5,990 (approximately Rs. 6,750).

We need to wait for some more time to understand what all would be from the side of HMD Global. In the meantime, the company has already registered itself as an MWC exhibitor to hint some big announcements.

[“Source-ndtv”]