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Nokia 6 Review

Nokia 6

Posted: , by Corey G. Corey G.

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Camera


Unlike the bevy of image controls we used to see in the camera app on Windows Phones, Nokia’s Android adaptation is rather bare. No controls exist for adjusting white balance, ISO, etc.. Nokias were known for their full-featured and capable cameras like the legendary Lumia 1020, as well as all the other Windows phones that carried their intuitive and feature-rich camera app. Fortunately, the 6 is a solid point-and-shoot performer, so the loss isn’t too significant. The only options that exist though, are a timer and toggles for HDR and flash. Other than that, you can switch to the front facing camera or select the camcorder button to record video. That’s it. For its lack of features, it sure is straightforward.

Indoor shooting in well-lit scenes will produce some of the best images we’ve seen in its class, offering solid details and excellent color reproduction. The sensor does seem to be a bit sensitive to movement, though, often creating blur in images that the 16 MP sensor is more than capable of capturing properly. Otherwise, we’re quite pleased; printing pictures taken on the 6 will surely produce satisfactory results.

Nokia 6 Review

Outdoor shooting performs similarly well, but dynamic range is lacking. While colors still appear rich and accurate, brighter areas, like skies or shiny objects, tend to get overexposed to the point of complete washout. The sensor still does a good job with detail capture, but its troubles with dynamic range make it look like it’s losing details which it’s actually capable of capturing. Improvement in dynamic range is needed, as the software behind the camera lets down this capable sensor with its deficiencies in this area. We hope such fixes will come in the form of software updates, but we’re not particularly hopeful. We guess we’ll have to see if “regular updates” means just security updates and Android versions, or improvements on their own software as well.

While auto-HDR is an option, we found it to be too passive, often having to manually turn on HDR ourselves for scenes we knew would need it. Because of the sensor's tendency to overexpose in outdoor settings, we ended up just leaving HDR enabled, as we knew it would always afford us a better shot. The only problem here is the length of time it takes to capture an HDR photo, an extra 3 seconds to be exact. Thankfully, it doesn’t let in movement while processing like other sensors we’ve tested, so you can move away from the scene while HDR is still processing, but the fact that you can move away while it’s processing isn’t ideal. Processing times aside, HDR produced photos that were well balanced and detailed, though not perfect – some troubles with bright skies and shiny objects still exist – the images were quite pleasing to look at, as the 6 showed a particular strength in bringing colors out from the shadows.

Low-light pictures also pull in a surprisingly good amount of light, though the camera’s eager flash is more than happy to step in (when auto-flash is enabled) with scenes that we could actually do without it – especially since the addition of flash tends to light the subject and darken the background, as opposed to lighting the entire scene. Once you’ve seen what we mean, you’ll find yourself disabling flash more often than you might’ve thought you would be able to.


Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Nokia 6 2.31
5.13
651
639
Nokia 5 2.3
4.6
594
575
Nokia 3 1.6
3.7
713
613
Motorola Moto G5 Plus 1.8
2.6
1118
669
View all

Video


Like the images, 1080p video has similarly high quality in color reproduction and detail, even when zoomed. HDR doesn’t exist here though, so you will notice the device struggling a bit to properly expose skies. Image stabilization is also absent, electric or otherwise, so shakiness is an issue, though the overall quality does help to prevent the viewing experience from being too jarring. Autofocus works decently well here, though it seems to second guess itself a bit, sometimes focusing on an object, then losing focus, then gaining it back. Another seemingly slight software fix we’d love to see addressed in an update, but alas, we may be anticipating too much from Nokia’s commitment to updates. The app also affords you the ability to shoot videos at varied speeds, including 3 times, 2 times, half, and one-third speeds. Slow-mo will require that you change the video resolution to 720p, though.



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Nokia 6

Nokia 6

OS: Android 7.1
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
8Good
Display5.5 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (401 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera16 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 430, Octa-core, 1400 MHz, ARM Cortex-A53 processor
3 GB RAM
Size6.06 x 2.98 x 0.33 inches
(154 x 75.8 x 8.4 mm)
5.96 oz  (169 g)

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