Nokia 6 first impressions: Nostalgia, new design language, Android and much more

Nokia 6 is here. (Photo by Burhaan Kinu/ Hindustan Times)

Nokia is back. Well, at least the brand, thanks to HMD Global. And unsurprisingly, there has been a lot of hype around it. HMD Global milked the hype very well by re-launching the iconic Nokia 3310 feature phone. But the real deal is the smartphone portfolio. This is where Nokia will be truly tested when it will compete with the likes of Xiaomi, Motorola and Samsung.

Nokia’s first wave of Android smartphones, which includes the Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6, are focused on the budget category. The company recently unveiled the Nokia 8 premium smartphone. While the Nokia 3, Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 were announced the same day, the Nokia 5 and Nokia 6 were released much later. Today, we’ll be talking about the Nokia 6.

The Nokia 6 is priced at Rs 14,999 and competes with the likes of Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, Moto G5S Plus and Lenovo K8 Note.

At the very first glance you’ll notice the different design language that Nokia 6 has — symmetrical and quite beautiful. It has an unibody design with metal back panel and edges. The corners are gently curved. The Nokia 6 comes as a pleasant change in the budget category where most of the smartphones have an uninspiring design language.

Nokia 6 has an impressive design. (Photo by Burhaan Kinu/ Hindustan Times) (Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)

The main highlight of the Nokia 6 is the stock Android 7.1.1 Nougat out-of-the-box. For many, a Nokia smartphone running Android is a dream come true. Android runs fluidly on the Nokia 6. The company very much fulfills the stock Android experience though it comes with a few pre-loaded apps such as Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Kindle. During the time I spent with the device, the experience was pretty satisfactory. The device handled basic tasks such as switching between apps and launching multiple apps simultaneously with ease.

The Nokia 6 has a 5.5-inch full HD display. During our brief usage, the display seemed pretty fine in terms of outdoor and indoor legibility. The auto brightness is quick enough to adapt to the ambient light.

Nokia may have very well set the trend for moving to stock Android. Just recently, Lenovo ditched its propriety Vibe UI in favour of stock Android for its newly launched Lenovo K8 Note. Perhaps, moving on to stock Android will help OEMs better manage the issue of rolling out timely software updates. As I have mentioned in my first impressions of the Lenovo K8 Note, the problem has been that not all of the OEMs have been successful in having an awesome custom UI.

Nokia 6 runs on Android Nougat out-of-the-box. (Photo by Burhaan Kinu/ Hindustan Times) (Burhaan Kinu/HT PHOTO)

The Nokia 6 doesn’t win the competition in terms of specifications. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor and 3GB of RAM. In comparison, the top-end variant of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 features Snapdragon 625 processor coupled with 4GB of RAM. It also has a 4,000mAh battery compared to Nokia 6’s 3,000mAh. If specifications don’t matter to you, the Nokia 6 seems like a decent budget smartphone. But we’d like to reserve our verdict until the device has gone through a barrage of tests. Stay tuned for our review wherein we dive deeper into the key aspects such as performance, camera quality and overall experience.