It’s literally raining smartphones this monsoon season as manufacturers prepare for the upcoming festival season. In the affordable price segment, HMD global tossed its hat in the ring by announcing its first ‘Value-for-money’ Notch Display phone in India, the Nokia 6.1 Plus. (Nokia 6.1 Plus review हिंदी में पढ़े)
The aggressively priced Nokia undercuts its arch-rival Mi A2 (review) by Rs 1000 and has a lot to look forward to. Let’s talk about all that works and all that doesn’t in our Nokia 6.1 Plus Review.
- Nokia 6.1 Plus Review: Specification
- Nokia 6.1 Plus Review: Design and Build
- Nokia 6.1 Plus Review: Display
- Nokia 6.1 Plus Review: Performance and Software
- Nokia 6.1 Plus Camera Review
- Nokia 6.1 Plus Review: Battery and Audio
- Nokia 6.1 Plus Review: Verdict with Pros and Cons
Nokia 6.1 Plus specifications
|Model||Nokia 6.1 Plus|
|Display||5.8-inch full-HD+ (1080×2280 pixels) display, 2.5D Gorilla Glass 3 protection, 19:9 aspect ratio|
|Processor||Octa-core Snapdragon 636 SoC|
|Internal Storage||64GB, expandable via microSD (400GB)|
|Software||Android 8.1 Oreo|
|Primary Camera||16MP + 5MP, Dual-LED dual-tone flashlight|
|Secondary Camera||16MP, AI features, Bothie feature|
|Battery||3060mAh + 18W charger (Quick Charge 3.0)|
|Connectivity||4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, a 3.5mm headphone jack, USB Type-C port|
|Sensors||Accelerometer, ambient light sensor, digital compass, gyroscope, proximity sensor|
|Dimensions||147.2×70.98×7.99mm; weight 151 grams|
|India Price||Rs. 15,999/-|
Nokia 6.1 Plus Review: Design and Build
The Nokia 6.1 Plus is a refreshingly compact and well-built phone. Nokia sticks to the 5.8-inch screen size which is, as of today, qualifies as a compact phone screen. The phone is also extremely light and comfortable to handle. And in the signature Nokia it also feels pretty solid.
There is 2.5D Gorilla Glass on both front and rear and an Aluminum frame running along the edges. Thankfully, HMD global isn’t skimping on basics like USB Type-C port and audio jack, both of which are present at the bottom.
Use of glass makes the phone a tad slippery, but that’s totally acceptable. Besides, we’d recommend that you use a case as Glass body phones can only take so much beating.
The fingerprint sensor is located below vertically aligned dual cameras and if you have big hands, you might miss it and hit the LED flash every now and then. The SIM tray is hybrid, which is to say that you will need to choose between keeping two SIM cards or one SIM and one MicroSD card.
Overall, we are quite happy with the way Nokia 6.1 Plus looks and feels in hands. The white color model is the one we like more.
Also Read: Huawei Honor Play Quick Review
Nokia 6.1 Plus Review: Display
The 5.8-inch IPS LCD panel has a full HD+ resolution (2280 x 1120) which makes it quite sharp. There is a notch at the top and an option under Status bar settings to turn it off. You can pinch and zoom YouTube content to fit the screen.
Under direct sunlight, the display is barely legible. Indoors, display brightness won’t be a problem. The white point is on the colder side of the spectrum and there is no option to switch between color profiles. The default colors are pleasant if not accurate. Contrast and dynamic range are workable too.
Nokia 6.1 Plus Review: Performance and Software
The Nokia 6.1 Plus employs Snapdragon 636 octa-core chipset paired with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. This is a powerful chipset for moderate users, the same one that powers Redmi Note 5 Pro and Zenfone Max Pro M1.
The day-to-day experience on the Nokia 6.1 Plus is mostly smooth but it does stutter under heavy loads. High-end games like PUBG show lag on maximum settings but are quite playable and medium and low graphics settings. Casual games run fine.
Since this is an Android One phone, the software is light and pure Android 8.1 Oreo. HMD Global has taken the liberty of adding a few third-party apps (that can be uninstalled) and some settings options like gestures. Consumers these days have a very strong belief in stock Android, but we’d urge you to make an informed decision. While we do prefer stock Android simplicity, you might find it to be bland and barebones if you are used to a more feature-rich interface.
The interface seems well optimized and is also Google certified for enterprise usage. We didn’t face any stuttering. The software isn’t totally customized for the notch, but such flaws are forgivable considering the price.
The fingerprint sensor and face unlock work fine. We didn’t face any connectivity related issue in our area.
Editor’s note: Nokia has pushed the Android Pie 9.0 update with November Security patch on the phone. While apart from ‘Digital Wellbeing’ most Pie features including the gesture have been included. Having said that, the experience remains the same.
Nokia 6.1 Plus Camera Review
On the rear, the new Nokia has 16MP + 5MP dual cameras, where the secondary 5MP sensor is used for depth sensing. The primary 16MP sensor is also present on the front for selfies.
Let’s put it straight. The camera performance can’t match up to Mi A2 or Redmi Note 5 Pro, but it’s still just about acceptable for the price. The rear camera can click great images outdoors in proper lighting and shows surprisingly good metering more often than not. The dynamic range is just about average and there’s slight shutter lag, though.
Indoors, the camera quality deteriorates steeply. There is noise in the image and details are shoddy, especially in the shadow region. The HDR mode can, fortunately, salvage shots clicked outdoors.
The portrait mode on the phone can detect subject edges deftly but the resulting images aren’t very sharp.
The front selfie camera is a decent performer too. Video recording quality is good.
Note: These images are resized for web. You can access in fall size from here.
Nokia 6.1 Plus Review: Battery Backup and Audio
The 3060mAh battery doesn’t sound like much, but yes, the battery backup exceeded our expectations. On a heavy usage day, you will still need to resort to mid-day charging. The overall battery mileage isn’t great, but it’s workable. And it’s better than Mi A2.
Fast charging is supported. The bundled charger can charge the Nokia 6.1 Battery in around 2 hours.
The audio output via the mono speaker and via headphones is reasonably loud. The quality is average, though.
Nokia 6.1 Plus Review Verdict: Should you buy it?
We quite liked the Nokia 6.1 Plus. There isn’t much about the phone that particularly stands out, but it’s still one of the best available options at its price point (Rs. 15,999).
The handset looks elegant, is delightfully compact, and runs stock Android software (with promised updates). On the downside, the battery mileage is just ok, Camera performance takes second place to Mi A2, and the 6.1 Plus shouldn’t be the first choice for hardcore gamers.
For anyone who’d rather have a more manageable phone (something we personally prefer), the Nokia 6.1 Plus is a clear winner. But if you prefer bigger screens and must have the best available camera, the Mi A2 should strike as a better option.
Nokia 6.1 Plus Pros and Cons
- Compact and light
- Smooth performance
- Stock Android software with promised updates
- Has Audio jack and USB Type-C port
- Stutters with high-end games
- Lowlight camera performance