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Nokia 6 hands-on: it's not here just to tickle your nostalgia

Earlier this year, HMD Global announced its first Nokia-branded phone — the Nokia 6. Available only in China, the handset had fans of the Finnish phone-maker drooling from afar, never able to get to it. Well, at MWC 2017, it was announced that the new 6 is now going global. And we got some hands-on time with it!


The Nokia 6 may be a midranger, but that doesn't mean it can't look nice. The metal-made handset sports a new, shiny black dress of clothes — a finish called Arte Black —, just in time for its global release. It feels very nice in the hand, though we would say that it's a smidgen larger than ideal, and its edges are something that one would have to get used to, and it's an adept at collecting fingerprints. In case that's an issue, HDM is launching quite a lot of cases to go with the new Nokia 6, including a transparent one.

The hardware controls we have here are a power button and volume rocker set along the right frame of the device. They feel stable, with a nice click to them. The home button on the front is a capacitive slab with a fingerprint scanner embedded underneath it. Its surrounded by two backlit capacitive navigation keys for back and recent apps.

Hardware and software

The Nokia 6 is a humble midranger at heart — with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 beating in its chest. It still has a nice, large, 5.5-inch display with a 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution stretched across, though. We weren't able to test it under the open skies, but HMD claims that the phone features a special Sunlight Readability feature, to make the display visible under bright light.

As previously mentioned, the Nokia 6 gets a new, special finish for its global release. It's called Arte Black and is considered a limited edition. These shiny phones will also have slightly updated internals — 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage. Any of the other versions get 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of space. Whichever one you get, you will still have a microSD card slot for storage expansion up to 128 GB.

The phone runs Android 7 Nougat, pretty close to stock. We'd say that performance was pleasingly snappy, no doubt thanks to the fact that HMD Global didn't go crazy with re-skinning and features. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that all three of the newly-announced Nokia phones will have the Google Assistant on board.

As for cameras, we have a 16 MP snapper with phase detection autofocus, a lens aperture of F2.0, and a dual-tone flash on the back, and a generous 8 MP snapper for selfies on the front.

Price and expectations

The Nokia 6 will have a starting price of €229 (around $241) for the regular models, and €299 ($315) for the Arte Black special edition. We have to say that it is a really pretty midranger, but for that price, it will feel extremely pressured by Lenovo's excellent Moto G5 Plus, priced at $229.

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Story timeline

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Nokia at MWC 2017 (11 updates)
  • New Nokia 3310 camera turns out better than Galaxy S7 camera: an unbiased comparison
    28 February New Nokia 3310 camera turns out better than Galaxy S7 camera: an unbiased comparison The original Nokia 3310 from 2000 didn't have a camera, but if it did, we're sure it'd have been rad. Fast-forward to 2017, though, and there's hardly a phone out there tha doesn't come with some sort of a snapper built into it. Good thing, then, that the brand spanking new 3310 from 2017 has one, and of the fancy-schmancy 2 megapixels at that! So we thought... maybe you guys would be interested in feasting your eyes on some real-life camera samples straight from this glorious shooter? You got it!
  • Moto G5 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) vs Nokia 6: specs comparison
    28 February Moto G5 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) vs Nokia 6: specs comparison The Moto G5 Plus, Samsung Galaxy A5 and Nokia 6 offer relatively similar specs, and yet they're very different devices...
  • Nokia 3310 (2017) hands-on preview: Is it worthy of the legendary name?
    27 February Nokia 3310 (2017) hands-on preview: Is it worthy of the legendary name? HMD Global has brought the Nokia 3310 back from the dead. The new 3310 shares a lot of similarities with its predecessor, but it's coming out 17 years later. What is it and who is it for? Check out our hands-on preview of the new Nokia 3310 (2017)...
  • Nokia 3 hands-on first look: can it compete with Moto G and Xiaomi?
    27 February Nokia 3 hands-on first look: can it compete with Moto G and Xiaomi? The Nokia 3 is a dirt cheap 5-inch Android phone with clean software and the added spice of a sturdy build quality...
  • Nokia 5 hands-on preview: bouncing back on stock Android
    27 February Nokia 5 hands-on preview: bouncing back on stock Android The Nokia 5 is crafted out of a single sheet of anodized aluminum that can be painted in Silver White, Matte Black, Tempered Blue and Copper White colors, so it joins the ranks of premium chassis phones in its class like the Moto G5 Plus or most every Xiaomi handset. The smooth metal body is a looker, especially in the blue or red hues, but it feels a bit slippery in the hand, so we'd advise a case on that puppy. Other than that, the phone is well-made, with no gaps or creaks all around, and with solid, easy to press buttons that give good tactile feedback. The phone carries a 5.2-inch HD display, which is nothing to write home about in terms of resolution, but has good viewing angles, and no visible slant to the overly cold or warm side of the color spectrum. The Nokia 5 also comes with the contemporary USB-C port at the bottom, and a physical home button (no finger scanner, though), making it a nice mix of the modern and the nostalgic trends...

Related phones

Nokia 6 specs
  • Display 5.5 inches 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP (Single camera) 8 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 3GB RAM
  • Storage 32GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh
  • OS Android 9.0 Pie

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