Nokia 6.1 Review – A budget Android One offering with solid performance

Nokia 6.1

Nokia continues its legacy of being the most durable and promising smartphones brand being made in the name of HMD Global. NetMag as always keeping its tradition of providing fare smartphone reviews is again at your service with the review of the HMD’s Nokia 6.1 (sounds weird by its name) released earlier this year. Like most mid-range phones it has a price of around PKR 24,000 and offers a handful of features, which we will explore in detail in our review.


The device comes in a very elegant packing. Upon unboxing the box we got a USB Cable, Power Adopter, Handsfree, Quick-Start Guide, Warranty Card and the device itself in an astonishing Blue/Gold color. The elegant blue color of the device with golden strands around the edges and metallic back looks pretty cool. Before discussing more of the phone’s design and other stuff, let’s first go through its main specs and features.

Specifications and Features:

Build Front glass, aluminum body (6000 series)
Display Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 5.5 inches, 82.6 cm2 (~73.2% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels, 16:9 ratio (~403 ppi density)
Platform OS Android 8.1 (Oreo), planned upgrade to Android 9.0 (Pie)
Chipset Qualcomm SDM630 Snapdragon 630
CPU Octa-core 2.2 GHz Cortex-A53
Internal Storage 32/64 GB, 3/4 GB RAM
Rear Camera Single 16 MP, f/2.0, 27mm (wide)
Camera Features Zeiss optics, dual-LED dual-tone flash, panorama, HDR
Front Camera Single 8 MP, f/2.0
Headset Jack 3.5 mm
Features Sensor Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Battery Non-removable Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery

Fast battery charging 18W: 50% in 30 min

Available Colors Black/Copper, White/Iron, Blue/Gold
Price PKR 24,000/-

Design & Display:

With leading smartphone makers putting a high accentuation on design, budget phone-producers are observing. This year, it’s about glass — spending phones from Motorola and OnePlus currently sport glass for no other explanation than style. HMD Global — the organization that licenses the Nokia mark name — is evading the pattern by staying with metal.

The phone doesn’t give a very stylish look like other companies’ flagships and even the good-looking golden tinge around the back cannot change your mind in thinking that you cannot get everything you want in mid-range handsets especially in terms of design. This phone comes with minimal glass protection with Gorilla Glass 3 which is resistant but not beyond one or two cracks which are a big letdown at times. The metal back is cool to the touch. At the best focus is a solitary camera using glass from Zeiss. It sits in a stretched oval module, with a blaze at the base.


There’s a USB Type-C charging port on the base, by a solitary, base terminating speaker. There’s a headphone jack at the top of the phone, on the off chance that you haven’t gone remotely yet. Volume rockers and power button are on the right side of the device.

The 5.5-inch LCD display of the phone is sufficiently splendid to for the most part observe outside, yet hues don’t pop or feel energetic. We didn’t have any real apprehensions about it, and we figure a great many people will be happy with the screen — particularly thinking about its price.

Optimal performance:

Looks are just an illusion of attraction. You need a budget phone that must run all your most loved applications and programs at a smooth pace. We had bunches of performance issues with last year’s Nokia 6, however, fortunately, Nokia observed and increased the processor from the Snapdragon 430 to the Snapdragon 630 this year.

HMD said to expect a 60 percent performance knock over a year ago’s model, and it appears. Moving all through the Android working framework is generally speedy, however not by any stretch of the imagination liquid. Applications don’t open as fast as they do on flagship phones, yet we didn’t keep running into any real issues with performance on this phone.

Android One Operating System and Features:

The phone comes with Android 8.1 Oreo loaded and is expected to get Android 9.0 Pie’s stable build anytime soon. The device has a 2.2 GHz Octa-Core processor. It also has a pure Android experience free from OEM interferences and works very swiftly all of that credit goes mainly to Nokia for selling its phones with the Android One initiative which tells that the hardware might not be the best but it still packs a punch with its operating system and functionality. It’s a piece of the Android One program, which implies that smartphone makers get the chance to dispatch the phones with stock Android. It’s the most perfect form of Android with no bloatware, and no lazy skin overlaid to finish everything. Google Assistant is itching to help and the Nokia Camera app updates itself automatically as well (by my experience).

Benchmark scores:

Here’s a glance at a couple of benchmark scores. In Geekbench 4, the device scored 4162 in multi-core and 873 in single-core computing results. The scores are quite competitive with other mid-rangers in this price tag.

Rear Camera features of Nokia 6.1:

It has a formidable camera for a mid-range phone and also has OZO Audio enabled for making videos and also comes with Zeiss optics, dual-LED dual-tone flash, panorama, and HDR. Its performance is top notch and it lives up to the 16 MP notations. The Nokia 6.1 has a f/2.0 aperture with Zeiss optics lens. We’re glad to state the Nokia 6.1 has an altogether enhanced camera that is really usable.

Like all budget phones, it falls in low-light situations, and the absence of any sort of optical picture adjustment implies you ought to dependably attempt to be as still as conceivable in lighting that isn’t open air. Though we are not satisfied with the camera results some samples are shown below.

Front Camera:

As for the selfie camera, it is great too with good resolution and the video quality for the selfie camera is 1080p while the main camera’s video quality is top notch with 2160p at your disposal. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of HDR as it doesn’t live up to the tag and gives little change in quality. With an ovalish camera cutout, the specifications here highlight how this phone will give you a better camera performance at a very cheap cost. With Dual-Sight, you can at the same time utilize the front and back cameras to catch “bothies”. While it might appear somewhat gimmicky, it really works extremely well.


It has an SD card slot which can support up to 256GB and the internal storage comes with options of 32 and 64GB while RAM comes with 3 or 4GB options. Overall it is a surprisingly spacious phone if you aren’t keeping professional databases on your handset. The variant with the 3GB/32GB arrangement is priced at PKR 24,000/- while 4GB/64GB model costs PKR 29,000/- only.


The battery life is impressive with a 3000 mAh battery but the charging is rather slow and it takes 3 hours for the Nokia 6.1 to get fully charged for use which is practically a gamble as you get something but don’t get something too.

Our Verdict:

I think this phone is targeted for the middle-class sect and rightly so and although it gives you many things it still misses on essentials such as design, camera and such other fancy features which are appealing for youth. You don’t need a protector or casing for the Nokia 6.1. Why? Because the phone is said to be truly built like a tank. However, it doesn’t have any strong water-resistance, so you need to be careful while playing around with water. With the continuous support of super-fast Android updates, we don’t think you’ll need to replace the device for two to three years. The Nokia 6.1 is not a perfect choice, but it’s the best budget phone under PKR 25,000/- we’ve seen until now.


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