Sunday , September 24 2017

Nokia 6 — Australian review

So remember back in the days of candybar phones and Nokia ruled the roost with their range of phones? There were a number of factors involved but over time Nokia slipped from their (at the time) rightful place at the top of the totem pole to barely rating a mention as an also ran. With their recent release of devices, the Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 they’re hoping to make amends for this and from my experience they’re doing a great job. I was quite excited to see what Nokia has to offer with their line of Android…

Nokia 6

Value For Money - 9
Build Quality - 7.5
Camera Quality - 7
Software - 9.5
Audio - 8.5
Battery Life - 9
Connectivity - 8.5

8.4

Ausdroid Score

The Nokia 6 is a ripping device. It’s not going to empty your wallet, you’ll get reliable performance from it, the battery life is outstanding and if that’s not enough it’s running stock Android. If you’re a really heavy user who needs the grunt, then perhaps this isn’t for you. But if you’re looking for a cheap phone that’s going to be a really good device for you for about 12 months then yes.

User Rating: 3.73 ( 2 votes)
So remember back in the days of candybar phones and Nokia ruled the roost with their range of phones? There were a number of factors involved but over time Nokia slipped from their (at the time) rightful place at the top of the totem pole to barely rating a mention as an also ran. With their recent release of devices, the Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 they’re hoping to make amends for this and from my experience they’re doing a great job.

I was quite excited to see what Nokia has to offer with their line of Android phones, particularly with the promise of a “Clean Android Experience”. Its labelled as a mid-range phone but in my time with the device it’s worthy of more than just a “mid range” tag.

What’s inside?

Being a mid-range device you don’t get a lot of pomp and ceremony the same way you do in the retail packaging of the top flight devices. There’s the phone, charger, earphones and… well that’s it. It’s a really simple packaging but well presented and will look quite good on retail shelves.

Design

The feel in hand really struck me, I suspect people will either love it as I did – or hate it. The shape is somewhat akin to a few of the other clone phones around. But the transition from the edge of the phone to the front has quite a “sharp” edge to it. I like this feeling particularly on some of the newer devices with really smooth finishes because it means you have a point of friction to hold onto the phone with and also means you’re less likely to knock the screen around on your desk.

 

I’m pleased to say for those that use them regularly that the fingerprint reader is reasonably quick in response and although it does misread occasionally, it’s quick to read a second time. The placement isn’t quite natural for me being the home button on the front of the device. Coming from the Pixel XL which has it on the rear of the device, the Nokia 6 took a little bit of adjustment.

 

The Nokia 6 has a lot to like about it, the specs aren’t top end but the performance is more than enough for the vast majority of users. The software doesn’t have any invasive manufacturer skins on it, the sound quality is excellent and the battery life is outstanding.

The Specs

When you start looking at the innards of the Nokia 6, the specs aren’t really anything to scream from the rooftop about as you can see. There’s the expected suite of connectivity, a solid screen, decent battery and bands to support the carriers in Australia

 Nokia 6
Release date
Screen size5.5-inch
Screen technologyIPS LCD
Resolution1,920 x 1,080
PPI400
Rear camera16MP
Rear aperturef/2.0
Front camera8MP
Front aperturef/2.0
ChipsetSnapdragon 430
Core config
Ram3GB
Storage64GB
MicroSDYes, up to 128GB
Battery3,000 mAh
Battery removable
ConnectorMicroUSB
Headphone PortYes
Headphone Location
Speaker Configuration
WIFI standards802.11 a/b/g/n
Bluetooth standards4.1
NFCYes
Location
  • GPS/AGPS+GLONASS+BDS
Android OSAndroid 7.0
Vendor skin
Dimensions154 x 75.8 x 7.85 mm (camera protruding part 8.4 mm)
Weight
Colours
  • Silver White
  • Matte Black
  • Tempered Blue
  • Copper

Despite the specs that could (should?) be better, the user experience is superior to phones that cost twice as much in some instances.

The Screen

I’d like to focus on the screen briefly because at 5.5 inches, running 1080 x 1920 and 403 ppi it’s hardly the most impressive screen on the market. What I liked about it is the colour reproduction and the touch response. Both were in my thoughts, rivalling some of the last generation of flagships which is quite an impressive feat of a phone that costs less than half what most of them did at the time of release.

Performance

Performance of mobile phones can often be dependent on your use case. A basic user who has one email running, probably Facebook, maybe Twitter and a few other apps intermittently throughout the day isn’t going to have any issues with this device.

The inclusion of 3GB of RAM has made quite a difference to the day to day performance of the phone. Switching between apps was reliably fast when they were loaded into cache. The only real issue I found with the performance of this phone is that the CPU is lacking a bit of grunt which affected load times when opening apps for the first time on a given day.

Stock Android

Let’s start with the basics and focussing on the fact it is actually an Android phone. This actually had me really excited: Nokia are using stock Android 7.1.1 and side by side with my Pixel XL (running stock ROM) it was, in terms of software at least – impossible to spot any differences. For buyers who hate bloat, there just wasn’t any. No extra “cleaners”, manufacturer web clients… Nothing!

Sound and call quality

I listen to a lot of music and podcasts and consequently use a combination (depending on my location and if I remembered to bring my headphones) of speakers, headphones and the speaker on my device. I was impressed with the clarity of sound on the Nokia 6. It would be easy for them to just have a really cheap, shrill speaker in a mid-range device but the delivery of sound is excellent for quite a variety of music and voice reproduction.

Taking this a touch further, the call quality was excellent and I had a number of HD voice calls from other Telstra customers which had really crisp and clear sound throughout the calls.

Battery life

Despite my heavy use on mobiles I’m actually quite astounded to say I consistently got 2 days out of the battery. I was running pretty low by the time I got home on day 2, but consistently 38 + hours out of the battery is quite brilliant out of a 3000mAh battery in real world use. Undoubtedly the screen specs mentioned earlier will be assisting this greatly, the lower resolution and ppi means the gpu doesn’t have to work as hard to keep the display running.

The camera

The main point where the Nokia 6 falls down is the camera. It’s not a brilliant camera but being honest, that’s ok when you take a serious look at the target market for a sub $400 phone. The points of frustration, borderline aggravation for me weren’t the photo quality but more the speed of operation.

I counted out several times the launch speed of the camera app at over 5 seconds which can be the difference between capturing a moment or not, particularly with young kids running around like mad things. The other issue that is somewhat less of a frustration is the inconsistent time it takes from pressing the button to a photo capturing, on several occasions more than 2 seconds to capture a photo where others it’s near instant.

Pros and Cons

There’s a bit to like and a bit to be dubious about with any mid-range phone. As has been outlined already, the Nokia 6 is a really sound device with good specs for a mid-range device with reliable and predictable performance.

What impressed:

  • The battery life is excellent
  • The design is really slick with a good in hand feel
  • Stock Android!!!
  • The price is excellent for what you’re getting

What could be improved:

  • The camera is slow to load and at times take photos
  • The CPU lacks a bit if you’re a heavy user
  • The screen resolution may be a bit low for budget conscious, heavy users

Conclusion

Because we’re often lucky enough to review high end phones at Ausdroid, it can be difficult to review a low to mid-range device “fairly” while focussing on what would be the target market. But when you’ve got a device like the Nokia 6 in your pocket that often makes you forget that you’re not dealing with a top flight device, in fact a sub $400 phone it’s far easier to do.

Out of everything that the 6 has to offer there were really only the two negative points that reared up at me during testing. The camera which has already been mentioned and at times, the lack of CPU made load times on apps noticeably longer than on other devices I’ve recently used.

Putting those aside and focussing on the intended market, this is a ripping device. It’s not going to empty your wallet, you’ll get reliable performance from it, the battery life is outstanding and if that’s not enough it’s running stock Android.

Should you buy one?

The short answer is: If you’re a really heavy user who needs the grunt, then perhaps this isn’t for you. But if you’re looking for a cheap phone that’s going to be a really good device for you for about 12 months then yes. If you’re looking for a spare or secondary phone, yes. When you look at the price, performance and reliability – the Nokia 6 is a winner in my books.

The Nokia 6 is available outright through multiple retail channels at prices ranging from about $360 through to the RRP of $399 at the major chains like Harvey Norman and JB Hifi. So if you’re in the market for a new phone, it’s absolutely worth the time for you to head to your local store and check it out.

If you’re hunting for a mid-range device: What are your must have features?

 

Phil Tann   Journalist

Phil is an Android enthusiast who spends most of his time reading up on U.S. Android news so he can get the low down on what could possibly hit Australian shores. Coming from a background in IT & T sales, he’s in the perfect position to give an educated view on hardware and software.

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8 Comments on "Nokia 6 — Australian review"

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Kerri Addy
Valued Guest
Kerri Addy

where can I find the GPS on the Nokia 6

Member

Any word yet on the Nokia 5 review?

Member

I’m looking at the Nokia 5 because I want a phone with a similar size to my Nexus 5 (which I still find smooth running!).

My only reservations are a lack of 802.11ac support and the headphone jack being at the top of the phone (hate that!)

Member

I’m intending to buy the Nokia 5 because it’s essentially a Nokia 6-lite for $70 less. That and I prefer its pill-shaped design (as does the newly announced Nokia 8) over the Nokia 6’s flat sides and chamfered edges.

The lack of 11ac isn’t too big of a deal for me but its omission is a little disappointing, yes.

Cameron
Valued Guest
Cameron

Harvey Norman list the black 32GB for $399
http://www.harveynorman.com.au/phones-accessories-gps/phones-phablets/unlocked-mobile-phones/nokia-6-32gb-matte-black.html

Nokia’s own 6 website lists “Internal memory Arte Black, 64 GB2; all other colors, 32 GB2”
https://www.nokia.com/en_au/phones/nokia-6

I noticed it listed as having 64GB in the specs above. Can you please clarify what colours will have what storage and for what price here in AUS?

Member

JB and HN stock the Nokia 6 in 32GB and black and silver only. The 64GB Arte Black variant is China-only at this stage.

Yianni
Valued Guest
Yianni

If only they used the 625/626 in this it’d arguably be the best phone in its price range in Australia. The Moto G5 Plus would pip it for me due to the extra horsepower under the hood. It also comes with a pretty stock/clean ROM and the cameras might be a bit better than the Nokia also.

On the downside, Motorola/Lenovo have been a bit slack on updates lately, while Nokia seems to be on the ball with releasing Google’s security patches promptly.

Great first attempt from Nokia on these Android devices, but I’d be waiting for gen 2 personally.

Cheers

Member

2017 is seemingly the year where no package is well rounded even for its price point 🙂
this would be amazing for its price with just a switch to the 626 or 630 snapdragon chip to make the UI fluid, app launches quick and camera response and save times fast as well.

its great to have some version of Nokia back in the game to see what they come up with

wpDiscuz

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