Nokia 6: Not too much, not too shabby


Nokia 6: Not too much, not too shabby

Mobile enthusiasts have been waiting months for the return of the Nokia once it was confirmed that the brand would be selling smartphones once again in 2017. As promised, earlier today the wraps were taken off the first official new Nokia device developed under HMD Global Oy, the Nokia 6.

The Nokia 6, at first glance, falls perfectly in line with current smartphone design trends. The device is made with an aluminum unibody design and is on the larger side of things with a 5.5-inch full HD display. There is a physical home button on the bottom bezel that doubles as a fingerprint sensor, with capacitive back and menu buttons on either side of the home button.

The design is premium, yet common and somewhat uninspiring coming from the famously quirky Nokia.

The internals of the Nokia 6 gives it a mid-range categorization: a 5.5-inch full HD display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, 16-megapixel f/2.0 rear-facing camera, 8-megapixel f/2.0 front-facing camera, a 3,000 mAh battery, Dolby Atmos dual amplifiers, and will run on Android 7.1 Nougat. It is priced at 1699 CNY ($245 USD).

The Nokia 6 is a China exclusive device, but HMD plans to release other Nokia-branded devices to the rest of the world over the course of the year.

It’s possible that HMD plans to join the growing number of companies who aim to produce decent mid-range smartphone at an affordable price. Really, the only thing holding the Nokia 6 back is its processor. 4GB of RAM, 64GB of internal storage, 16-megapixel camera, the inclusion of Dolby Atmos, and its aluminum unibody design are all features that easily compare to Android flagships from 2016. In order to appeal to Western markets, all it really needs is a marginally better SoC while keeping a sub-$300 price point.

It might not be such a bad idea for HMD to settle in the affordable mid-range market. Considering Google nipped Nexus in the bud last year in favor of Pixel, there’s a hole there that could use filling. If Nokia’s Android UI limits customizations and has a close “vanilla” experience, uses premium designs and stays affordable, I could see the resurgence of Nokia doing well. Not that a Nokia flagship wouldn’t be a welcome addition as well.

With that in mind – and I may be in the minority here – I would love to see Nokia devices come back with a more Lumia-like design. I’m a big fan of the aluminum unibody design and have been since I got my hands on the HTC One M7 a few years ago, but I also really liked the old Nokia Lumia design as well. Its bold color choices and tanky polycarbonate casing were worth admiring. The Lumia 928 was one of the only smartphones I ever felt comfortable using without a case; I wouldn’t be caught dead without a case on my glass-encased Galaxy S7. On that note, I suppose aluminum unibody is at least a better choice than all glass. I’d take dents over broken glass any day.

Readers, what are your thoughts on the Nokia 6? Do you hope that Nokia will continue releasing affordable mid-range devices, or are you hoping for some flagships down the line?

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