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Nokia 6.1 Plus Pros & Cons: Is The First Notched Nokia Any Better?

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After doing an extensive comparison video against the Lenovo Z5, and a solo review, we are back again with the Nokia 6.1 Plus listing its good and bad points. A review is one thing, but at times, looking at the positives and negatives help in clearing out certain confusions that might be surrounding a particular gadget.

There are so many smartphones today, especially in the lower mid-range segment, that it’s easy to get lost with choices unless you have a specific phone in mind. Nokia enjoys a great deal of fan following in India and now under the parenthood of HMD Global, the Finnish brand is churning out some interesting smartphones.

The Nokia 6.1 Plus is the first Nokia with a Notch display making it part of that elite group of handsets who have had no qualms in losing their own identity just to look like “the one”!

So below are Nokia 6.1 Plus’s Pros and Cons.

PROS

Premium Fit-n-Finish:

Nokia 6.1 Plus design

Nokia 6.1 Plus is built on an aluminium frame while the backside is finished in glass. The overall build quality and fit-n-finish are quite impressive and it looks good enough to be a high-end phone. The glass back gives it a mirror-type reflection, of course, giving it a glossy and shiny appearance.

Good In-Hand Feel:

Nokia 6.1 Plus size

We could have included this point above as well but given that so many phones out there don’t really inspire confidence when held, we thought it to highlight separately because the Nokia 6.1 Plus does feel pretty in-hand. With the 5.84-inch display and the aspect ratio of 19:9, the phone is compact to hold and it is not too slippery either. It is one of the few big-screen phones that can be handled with one hand without much trouble.

Android One:

Nokia 6.1 Plus Android One

Few months back when HMD Global announced its 2018 handsets, it also announced that all phones from Nokia 3 and above will be Android One phones, and that makes the 6.1 Plus as well. Being an Android One handset entitles it to received regular and fastest OS updates for at least next 2 years along with security updates for next 3 years. Furthermore, people who prefer to have a stock OS experience will be glad to have Nokia 6.1 Plus as an option in the lower mid-range segment. A stock OS is usually lighter on the processor because there’s no additional custom UI constantly being run, and so, it helps in achieving better performance. But better performance may not be a guarantee in all cases.

Well-balanced Color Reproduction:

Nokia 6.1 Plus display

The display produces colors with realism. Please understand that we are using the term realism relatively here, by no means we are comparing it to high-end phones like the iPhone 8/X or Samsung Galaxy  S9/Note 8 devices. At the same time, the white balance isn’t as realistic, it is a bit cooler than we would have liked it to be.

Decent Daylight Camera Performance:

Nokia 6.1 Plus camera sample

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Nokia 6.1 Plus daylight sample

Nokia 6.1 Plus portrait mode
Portrait mode

Nokia 6.1 Plus selfie

The camera produces good images with nice color saturation and vibrancy that are close to reality. By default, the colors look realistic enough. The HDR samples are also nice and they are able to reveal some hidden details from the shadowy areas.

 

CONS

Performance:

Nokia 6.1 Plus performance

With the Snapdragon 636 onboard along with 4 GB of RAM, we expect the Nokia 6.1 Plus to be on par with its competitors that are similarly equipped. Unfortunately, the performance is inconsistent, that’s what we would like to call it. It is generally on par with other known handsets in its segment like the Redmi Note 5 Pro, Zenfone Max Pro M1 and the Lenovo Z5, but it tends to randomly produce momentary lags and stutters even in regular operations like in general navigation, switching between apps, minimizing/maximizing an app and scrolling a page in an app, for instance. Especially when the battery goes below 10%, the response time can slow down considerably which is not the case with every other handset in its competition.

Battery Performance:

Nokia 6.1 Plus battery

With its 3,060 mAh battery, the Nokia 6.1 Plus delivers 24 hours to 36 hours of runtime. While this is acceptable yet not impressive, the phone tends to lose the charge quite rapidly when used heavily. Even if the camera is not used or no video-watching is done, it is difficult to go through the day even when indulging in using social media apps for prolonged time. With similar kind of use, phones like the Redmi Note 5 Pro fair noticeably better.

Camera Performance In Night Time:

Nokia 6.1 Plus night sample

Nokia 6.1 Plus night time sample

While the camera is generally good in daylight and even in lowlight conditions, the proper night-time performance leaves a lot to desire. Images can appear washed out with loss of sharpness, detail and color saturation. And even though the HDR tends to make things a little better, the negative points remain.

 

CONCLUSION

Nokia 6.1 Plus

The Nokia 6.1 Plus should have been a fine handset, one of the best and perhaps the most sought after in its segment. Sadly, it is not that one. It’s marred by inconsistencies in its performance, in general as well as in terms of the camera. Moreover, the battery performance isn’t impressive either. But the phone looks good and has a decent display, and if you’re someone who doesn’t care about taking pictures in night time, then the camera can also be considered good.

The phone is now finally launched in India at a price of Rs 15,999. At this price, the phone appears overpriced by about Rs 2,000. For example, there’s the aforementioned Asus Zenfone Max Pro M1 which is available at Rs 12,999 (with similar specifications of Snapdragon 636 and 4 GB RAM) while its 6 GB RAM version is available Rs 14,999, then there’s the Redmi Note 5 Pro at Rs 14,999 too. Both handsets are solid performers and deliver with consistency.

Yet, we understand that the brand value of Nokia is very much an advantage for the 6.1 Plus. And we won’t be surprised if it would do well in the market.

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