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Nokia 6.1 (6 2018) review (Daily Driver For 45 Days): The true “Nokia Phone” Faster & Meaner now


After the early review of Nokia 6 2018, time for our detailed Nokia 6.1 (6 2018) review and as a bonus we have included the Nokia 6.1 4GB RAM variant too, while updating our review. HMD launched Nokia 6.1 as the successor to one of its most successful smartphones Nokia 6. Nokia 6 was widely regarded as the smartphone that is “built like a tank” and also as a capable mid-range smartphone with good performance, display and running pure android.

With Nokia 6 2018, HMD has sought to take the game one notch up with tweaked compact design, Snapdragon 630 processor, Zeiss optics in rear camera, new features like “Bothie” and Nokia OZO Audio spatial capture.

We have used Nokia 6.1 (6 2018) 3GB Indian variant as our daily driver for around 45 days as per NPU’s tradition. So, it may help you in deciding whether you should really go for Nokia 6.1 as your next if you really wanted to own one and are still undecided.

Nokia 6 2018 design:

Nokia 6 2017 earned the tagline “built like a tank” because of its great build quality and robustness. Nokia 6 2018 while comes with the same great “Nokia” build quality it also takes the robustness game one notch up. Yup, it does feel more robust in your hand than the Nokia 6 2017 and it is no “blasphemy”. Nokia 6 2018 is a worthy successor.

Nokia 6 2018 looks every bit like a premium Flagship smartphone design wise. It carries the same design language as of its predecessor it does have some noticeable changes like less bezels, color accentuation of phones, camera module and fingerprint sensor edges. The only grudge is that battery is non-removable and inserting SIM and SD cards may need you to focus a bit.

And here is the unboxing of the Nokia 6.1 4GB RAM Blue-Gold variant.

Nokia 6 2018 display review:

We have tested Nokia 6 2018 display indoors under artificial light and also outdoors under the direct sunlight. We have also streamed video and zoomed in to see the quality of the display. You can watch the video for more but here are our observations.

  • Nokia 6 2018 display is bright and ideal brightness level is around 60-70% in most of the cases. Adaptive brightness, however, is calibrated properly and does its work in most of cases well.
  • Outdoor readability is quite good for a mid-ranger and perhaps top-notch when compared to other mid-range competitive smartphones
  • It has appropriate color interpretation and contrast. Colors come out vibrant, even though it is an LCD display.
  • Viewing angles are excellent. The best that you will see on any of the displays out there
  • Video streaming is enjoyable on Nokia 6 2018 display with excellent color reproduction
  • Fingerprint resistance is a very nice feature of Nokia 6 2018 display and you don’t need to wipe it time and again

Check the video below for more,

Nokia 6.1 Audio Quality:

Nokia 6 2018 audio output is both appropriately loud and rich. The audio quality while streaming videos or playing high-quality games is impressive, though it doesn’t come with a stereo speaker. The Single speaker with smart amplification works really well.

Nokia 6.1 Camera review and comparison to Nokia 6 camera:

Nokia 6 already had a good camera and Nokia 6 2018 camera just makes it a worthy upgrade with slightly better imaging quality, Pro Camera mode, much better video stabilization and OZO Audio capture. If you want you can now capture videos in 4K too.

Nokia 6 2018 camera captures good amount of resolved details and keeps colors natural just like its predecessor and keeping with the trend seen in other Nokia smartphone cameras. So, we certainly recommend Nokia 6 2018 as a worthy upgrade over Nokia 6 when it comes to the rear camera too.

Nokia 6.1 interesting new Camera features:

  • Pro Camera mode empowers you to control the Camera and do more than just point and shoot.
  • 4K Video recording & OZO Audio capture. 4K video recording and OZO Audio capture were unavailable on Nokia 6 2017
  • Live streaming on YouTube/Facebook. This is yet another neat feature of Nokia 6.1 Camera that you would love to use if you are in covering events or want to share a nice looking scene in high quality with your friends and family quickly.

Check our detailed Nokia 6.1 camera review and comparison to Nokia 6 camera with Full-size images and video samples by clicking here.

Nokia 6.1 Performance review (3GB & 4GB RAM):

Nokia 6 2018 comes running Android Oreo 8.0 out of the box and has already received the Android Oreo 8.1 update. It is powered by Snapdragon 630, a big upgrade over the Nokia 6 2017 processor.

The Nokia 6 2018 now comes in 3GB RAM and 4GB RAM variants (India & China). We have not only compared Nokia 6.1 3GB RAM version to the 2017 Nokia 6 3GB RAM version, but we have also compared Nokia 6 3GB RAM and 4GB RAM variants in terms of performance.

Nokia 6 2018 is fast, fluid and dependable. It handles daily tasks with utter ease but also handles advanced tasks without breaking sweat. Gaming is enjoyable on Nokia 6 2018 and multitasking remains efficient. The 4GB RAM variant seriously takes the performance to another level.

Performance 3GB RAM variant:

With 2 super-heavy games (Clash of Clans and Injustice: Gods among us), 11 browser tabs, Camera, and many other apps open in the background it hardly shows any signs of stress. Though the games itself reload from background and don’t resume technically.

But if you play one super-heavy game along with a moderately heavy game like Subway Surfer, the game resumes just fine from background. As you will notice in the video, apps/games resume fast from background during multitasking and there are no crashes/lags/freezes even with so much load.

Performance 4GB RAM variant:

In our hands-on video we have compared the performance of the 3GB and 4GB RAM variants side-by-side. The comparison is on “heavy usage scenario” with 2 super-heavy, one moderate heavy and other apps and games open in the background.

In “heavy usage scenario” with 2 super-heavy, one moderate heavy and other apps and games open in the background Nokia 6 4GB RAM just handles everything with utter ease. Apps and games resume well from the background unlike the issue seen in case of 3GB RAM variant.

As you can notice in the video, the extra 1GB RAM makes a big difference when it comes to heavy usage and multitasking with heavy games open in the background. Nokia 6.1 4GB RAM handles everything that you throw at it.  All the games resume well from the background and there is no lag anywhere. We are mighty impressed.

Nokia 6.1 vs Nokia 6 Performance comparison:

So, you would hardly notice a difference in performance while navigating, app list scrolling and doing normal daily tasks. But as soon as you will browse, play heavy games or do something where more processing power is required the difference is certainly felt. Page scrolling is much easier on Nokia 6 2018 while browsing. Heavy games open much faster on Nokia 6 2018.

Nokia 6.1 4GB RAM vs Nokia 7 Plus performance comparison:

Nokia 6.1 with 4GB RAM is a surprise package here when it comes to performance. It gives Nokia 7 Plus a neck and neck fight. Though in terms of camera and display Nokia 7 Plus has a big advantage over Nokia 6.1 4GB RAM. Check the hands-on video for more.

Nokia 6.1 Battery Life, Fast Charging & Call quality:

Nokia 6 2018 has an excellent battery life and I have been getting around 36-40 hrs of battery life with heavy “blogger” usage of the device, which involves lots of browsing, apps testing and daily chores. It may be around 42-48 hrs for a moderately heavy usage scenario and that is really very impressive considering it is a mid-range Android smartphone.

The other really important features that Nokia 6 2018 brings over the original is Fast Charging. Nokia 6 2018 supports charging via USB-C port and the fast charging is really feels like a must-have feature nowadays.

Nokia 6 comes with an Aluminum unibody design but still offers stellar call quality because of its innovative Antenna design. Call reception is usually very good. I didn’t face any issue like call drops etc and it holds well even during long conversations.

Nokia 6.1 Plus Positives & Negatives:


  • Non-removable battery and inserting SIM and SD cards can be bit tedious
  • Dolby ATMOS feature gone missing


  • Premium and refreshed design and tank like build quality
  • Display is very good for a mid-ranger with best-in-class color interpretation, high brightness, and outdoor readability.
  • Performance wise very capable, especially the 4GB RAM variant is mind-blowing
  • Pro Camera UI and new imaging features

Nokia 6.1 (6 2018) Conclusion:

Nokia 6 2018 looks better than Nokia 6 2017, runs faster and feels smoother. It even feels more robust than Nokia 6 and carries the “Build like a tank” moniker with elan. All the elements that ever defined the “Nokia” quality is there in Nokia 6 2018 and more.

The 4GB RAM variant deserves separate mention for its performance. It gives Nokia 7 Plus a run for its money when it comes to heavy multitasking and can handle games like GTA SA, Injustice: Gods among us and Mortal  Kombat simultaneously very well.

Being an Android One smartphone, Nokia 6 2018 has guaranteed two years of Android OS update and 3 years of monthly security updates. While it is priced a bit higher as compared to Nokia 6 2017 the upgraded processor, better design, Zeiss camera, Fast Charging and the new unique features like Bothie and OZO Audio more than make up for the price increase.

Where to Buy:

Visit our dedicated post to check Best Price Deals & Buy links for Nokia 6.1 from all markets including US, UK, India, Europe.

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