Nokia 6: The credible but uninspiring new mid-ranger from HMD
By Edwin Yapp September 13, 2017
- Targets mid-market with Nokia 6; a credible comeback amid competition
- Pure Android, battery experience best selling point; nothing stands out though
THE brand Nokia has been synonymous with mobile telephony for as long as all of us can remember. Personally, my first phone in 1995 was a Nokia 2110 and though it was a brick-of-a-phone by today’s standards, it represented a milestone in digital mobile telephony in its heyday, when the company was a worldwide leader in the industry.
Twenty years on, many of you readers would no doubt already know how the one-time Finnish giant rested on its laurels and not only lost its edge in the business but was also consigned to the land of the forgotten. Just to be clear: The company I’m speaking of is the mobile arm of Nokia and not the wireless equipment vendor Nokia Networks, which has merged with French telco gear maker Alcatel-Lucent.
The journey Nokia went from zenith to nadir is well documented but if you’re unclear about this, try reading my colleague Chong Jinn Xiung’s commentary to get a refresher.
Today, the handset Nokia exists courtesy of a company called HMD Global Oy. Headquartered in Espoo, Finland, the Finnish company comprises former Nokia employees, who in May 2016 negotiated a deal to buy the Nokia mobile brand from Microsoft Corp.
Under the terms of the deal the HMD will be granted sole rights to use the ‘Nokia’ brand and own key patents on mobile phones and tablets worldwide for the next decade. It also involves Foxconn Technology Group, which owns the rights to manufacture, distribute and sell Nokia phones in alliance with HMD.
The first announcement of Nokia’s lineup came at the 2017 Mobile World Congress, while the actual devices landed here in Malaysia some three months later. Since then, HMD has announced the Nokia 8, its flagship smartphone designed to compete with Apple Inc’s upcoming iPhone 8 and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s Mate 10, as well as Samsung’s recently launched S8+ and Note 8.
Design and build
The Nokia 6 is sturdily built and while the lines and curves of the phone aren’t a head-turner by today’s standards, it nonetheless exudes a quality feel to it. A close look at the campher edges on the side of the Nokia 6 does show that HMD hasn’t ignored good design in view of its knocked-down prices.
That said, some consumers may feel that its overall look is boring and I suspect this may appeal more to the slightly older, no-nonsense working crowd rather than the hipped teen or college-going young adult.
The Nokia 6 is equipped with a 5.5-inch full HD (1,920 x 1,080 resolution) IPS display and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and laminated for easy viewing outdoors.
It sports 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, which is expandable to 256GB via an external SD-card. Under the hood, it’s equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 Octa-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53, mated with an Adreno 505 GPU.
Other features include a front-mounted fingerprint sensor; a 16-Megapixel autofocus camera (f/2.0 lens) with dual-tone flash and an 8-Megapixel (f/2.0) front-facing camera; a smart audio amplifier with dual speakers, which claims to deliver deeper bass and clarity while Dolby Atmos delivers a more engaging entertainment experience; and a non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery, that can be charged by a micro USB connector.
In the software department, Nokia promises a stock Android feel and right out of the box, the smartphone is equipped with Android 7.1.1. The company promises to make available monthly patches for security and also an advanced upgrade to Android Oreo (O) sometime later this year.
Overall, the package is acceptable for a RM999 (US$234) smartphone range although the competition such as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 or the Huawei Nova Lite has comparable specifications at a slightly lower price point (about RM800).
Next page: Peeking under the hood