Review: Nokia Makes A Humble Comeback With The Nokia 6

I was on the Nokia bandwagon a few years ago when Microsoft purchased the Finnish company. At the time, Windows Phone looked intriguing and appeared to be a solid alternative to iOS and Android. A third player in the smart phone game, combined with Nokia hardware seemed like a great prospect.

My first Nokia purchase was a Lumia 830. It was a solid phone. It had a great camera and the light weight OS known as Windows Phone made it fast and very responsive. But when it came to mobile app selection, the Windows Phone Store was lacking. It didn’t take long before Microsoft threw in the towel with Windows Phone and Nokia was left in the cold.

Nokia Lumia. RIP

Fast forward and Nokia is back in the smart phone market with new hardware and Android as their operating system. But can Nokia reclaim the shine it once had? Or is it too late?

This is the review of the Nokia 6.

Hardware and Specifications

From afar, the Nokia 6 doesn’t really stand out with its slab design. But in the hand, it feels solid with its aluminum build and Gorilla Glass screen. It feels very sturdy and can probably take a drop or two.

On the face, the Nokia 6 has a 5.5 inch screen. It’s not as gorgeous as the Samsung Galaxy 8 phone we reviewed but it’s still good enough. It has a fingerprint sensor on the front which doubles as a home button. There is also the standard back and multi-task window software buttons.

The Nokia 6 has an 8MP front facing camera for all you selfie lovers and a 12 MP back camera with flash.

There’s a standard Micro-USB port at the bottom with a small speaker grill and a headphone jack at the top. The SIM tray can take dual SIM cards or you could use one SIM card for one tray and an SD card in the next.

The Nokia 6 comes with a storage of 32GB but there is a 64 GB version as well.

Other specifications include Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, 3GB of RAM, 3000 mAh battery and LTE capability.

But a note of warning: I tried to get both MTN and Surfline Data SIMs on this device and haven’t had much luck getting 4G to work. If you intend to make use of 4G LTE on this device, I would advise you look for another device.

Android Feels Right At Home

When Windows Phone was on the Lumia devices, a lot of people wondered if Nokia would ever consider using Android OS. Well, say no more.

The Nokia 6 runs Android 7.1.1, which is the latest Android version(dubbed Android Nougat). Whether or not Nokia 6 will get the newest versions of Android when they’re released remains to be seen. Nokia did promise to update their new devices as quickly as possible and with Android O just around the corner, we’ll have to wait and see if they keep their word. But for now, you can be rest assured that you will have the latest Android OS.

Will the Nokia 6 be capable of getting Android O? | Image Credit: 9to5Google

The software runs really smooth. There was absolutely no lag when switching from one application to the other. Everything was responsive and fast.

One might wonder if Nokia should have gone with Android all along instead of having Windows Phone. But hindsight is 20/20. For now, Android works great on this device.

Good Camera But Not Great At Night

The Lumia hardware had one of the best cameras on the market. They were great camera shooters, had nice manual controls and worked great at night in low light conditions.

With the Nokia 6, you do get good camera shots but you don’t get the cool camera UI which was featured in the Lumia devices. Shots look great in the daytime but at night, you don’t get that Lumia-esque low light quality.

The front facing camera works well and is good for taking selfies. Nothing home to write about.

The Ghost Of Lumia

I really like the Nokia 6 but I can’t help but miss some Lumia features. For instance, Lumia devices had the Glance screen which made it possible to see the Clock and notifications when the phone was at sleep. The Nokia 6 doesn’t have that feature.

No glance screen - Nokia 6 review
No glance screen here on the Nokia 6

Another great feature missing is the “Tap To Wake” where you could double tap on the screen to wake the phone, saving you from pressing the power button. It was a really convenient feature which is missing from the Nokia 6 unfortunately.

Bummer.

Good Budget Phone For Getting Through The Day

As far as battery life, the Nokia 6 can pretty much last you through the day with its 3000 mAh battery. I never really got anxious about battery life running out when I was out and about. I could pretty much charge it up and go about my day and get home with a good percentage of battery left.

Price wise, it’s not too heavy on your wallet. It costs about 1,490 GHC which is significantly less than the other big names like Apple and Samsung which could end up costing you around 2,300GHC and upwards.

Verdict: Buy Or Wait?

So, should you buy the phone?

Well, if you’re looking for a nice budget phone which can run your favorite apps and take good camera shots, then yes. I would recommend you purchase this phone. But issues like 4G incompatibility with the networks in Ghana could be a pain point.

If you’re looking for the latest premium phone, then I would recommend you look at other phones like the Huawei P10 or Samsung’s latest offering. There are new phones coming on the market like the rumored iPhone 8 or even the iPhone 7s. If you’re team Samsung, you might want to keep your eye on the upcoming Galaxy Note 8 which is coming out at the end of the month. All those phones will cost you so you better start saving up now.

But the Nokia 6 is a good phone. I do miss some of the features that Lumia offered. But I can’t really complain that much. The Nokia 6 gets the job done and pretty much handles anything I threw at it.

This is a great comeback for Nokia. With the rumored Nokia 8 device on the way which many have said might be able to compete with the likes of the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy, it looks like Nokia is ready to be a big name in the smartphone game.

Buy the Nokia 6 now or wait for the higher end Nokia 8? | Image Credit: GSM Arena

If the Nokia 8 is the main course, then the Nokia 6 is just the appetizer. But it will fill you up and keep you satisfied in the mean time.

Joseph-Albert Kuuire is the creator and editor of TechNovaGh.com, an online digital platform focusing on technology in Ghana.

I’m also a UX Designer, book reader, and tech enthusiast (duh!)

Email: [email protected]

Thoughts? Opinions? Leave a comment