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Nokia 6.1 Plus Review - Fresh look of a mid-ranger

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Nokia 6.1 Plus has just been made available nationwide following its pre-order period. After putting it in a series of tests for two weeks, here's our full review!
Nokia 6.1 Plus Review - Fresh look of a mid-ranger
Nokia 6.1 Plus

In case you missed the first part of our review, Nokia 6.1 Plus is made of a sandwiched metal and glass construction. Its on the USB Type-C with a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. 


But why do we dub it as a "fresh look of a mid-ranger"? Here's our full review!

Display Quality

5.8-inch display
5.8-inch display

Nokia 6.1 Plus sports a 5.8-inch display with 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass protected IPS screen with FHD+ 2280 x 1080 resolution at 435 ppi. It has a not-so-big notch complementing the phone's nearly bezel-less screen. 

It has crisp display, nice colors and screen with fine sunlight legibility. Our only gripe is that because of its small build, we couldn't fully appreciate its full view display. It could've been better if Nokia has increased the size of the device itself.

Crisp display, nice colors!

The notch of the 6.1 Plus is enough to house the phone call speaker and single selfie camera. However, there is no option to hide the notch. But let's accept that the trend of the smartphones now are the notch.

It has 10 points of multitouch.

Audio Quality 

This device is equipped with two grille speakers located at the bottom. It has one of the best speakers at this price point. Even though we put the level of volume into the highest possible, distortion can barely be noticed. The loudness is just fine for a casual listening, don't expect that it can't go as far of a Hi-Fi level.

Nokia retained the 3.5mm headphone jack for the 6.1 Plus. The in-earphone listening is also fine, mostly clear with bright sound. 

The microphone is placed at the bottom of the phone. It can write nice casual recordings and we didn't have any issues with the voice call quality. 

Battery Life

Nokia 6.1 Plus is packed with 3,060mAh battery coupled with Quick Charge 3.0. We tried doing our battery benchmark test on it but it keeps on failing for five times.

In real life, we're surprised that it can manage to stay up to more than a day under light to moderate usage. This includes texting, calling, social media browsing, Spotify, and one gaming session. For heavy usage, it can last roughly more than 8 hours.

Fast charging!

The Nokia Quick Charge 3.0 can charge the 6.1 Plus in just an hour from 0 to 100 percent! This super fast charging reminds us of the OPPO's VOOC charge. 

Camera

Dual rear camera setup
Dual rear camera setup

The Nokia 6.1 Plus sports a dual rear camera setup of 16MP f/2.0 RGB sensor + 5MP f/2.2 monochrome sensor w/ PDAF, EIS, and LED flash. It features HDR, 10-level beautification, live bokeh, panorama, and manual settings. 

Overall, the 6.1 Plus can take photos with well-balanced exposure and contrast, sharp details, and punchy colors. The rear camera is on an auto HDR default and we like it that way but you can always have the option to turn it off. 

Related: Nokia 6.1 Plus: First Camera Samples

However, Nokia 6.1 Plus takes time to shift its focus from one subject to another. We have to tap on the subject we want to focus most of the time. 

For lowlight, Nokia 6.1 Plus can take photos with nice details and decent exposure. The LED flash can help but sometimes, results look yellowish.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight
Daylight
Indoor
Indoor
Close-up with live bokeh
Close-up with live bokeh
Indoor portrait
Indoor portrait
Indoor dim
Indoor dim
Lowlight close up with flash
Lowlight close-up with flash

For selfies, Nokia 6.1 Plus is equipped with 16MP f/2.0 camera with screen flash. The results are better than what we expected. Even in lowlight, its screen flash falls under one of my favorites since it aids in a well-balanced exposure selfie. 

The camera is snappy and it supports portrait mode. We also would like to ask Nokia to add more fun stickers to their existing three. It's also nice to note that it takes wide selfies making it a smartphone recommended for groufies!

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie
Indoor, well-lit selfie
Indoor, well-lit selfie
Indoor lowlight selfie with Ciara Alarcon of TeknoGadyet
Indoor lowlight selfie with Ciara Alarcon of TeknoGadyet
Sunflower-daisy with bee sticker!
Sunflower-daisy with bee sticker!
Panda sticker!
Panda sticker!
Lowlight selfie with flash
Lowlight selfie with flash

For videos, we liked that the Nokia 6.1 Plus can shoot up to 4K videos at the back. It is crisp and comes with good color reproduction. It does not have OIS and EIS but the gyroscope work for the smartphone's stabilization.

For selfies, it comes with up to 1080p quality. Color reproduction is good and the crop is not that big. Decent!

Video Samples


Performance

Benchmark scores!
Benchmark scores!

Nokia 6.1 Plus is running on 1.8GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 636 octa-core processor and Adreno 509 GPU. It is coupled with 4GB LPDDR4X RAM and 64GB internal memory expandable via microSD card slot up to 400GB.

This handset can handle most of the apps with ease. It can also multitask nicely due to its pretty big 4GB RAM. The 64GB storage is also good enough to store a lot of files, music, movies, and games. It is even expandable to 400GB with microSD card.

Overall great experience!

The result? Overall experience is great! It did not give us any lags but only a smooth experience. We were able to play some 3D games on high settings. PUBG mobile works well.

It gets hot after spending some time of playing but it doesn't get into an alarming heat.

The UI

Nokia 6.1 Plus UI
Nokia 6.1 Plus UI

It runs on the Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box and is under the Android One program. HMD Global has also announced that the Nokia 6.1 Plus will soon receive an Android 9.0 Pie update. 

The icons are up to date, and the UI experience is familiar, we didn't have any hard time browsing and using it. There's no much of a bloatware, most of the pre-installed apps are those that we really use.

Other features

We're happy that Nokia 6.1 Plus has still the fingerprint sensor. It's snappy and a nice option of to unlock our phone. However, it could have been nicer if it has the face unlock just like the other smartphones at its price point. 

The rest of the telephony experience is great as well. The GSM signal is strong and the rest of the connectivity is good. 

Pros - Nearly bezel-less display, dedicated microSD slot, 3.5mm headphone jack, USB Type-C, dual rear cameras, fingerprint sensor, good performance for the price, 4K video recording
Cons - No face unlock, no LED notification, slippery on hands

Verdict

The Nokia 6.1 Plus is the face of a fresh look of a mid-ranger. It is packed with the features someone would look for a smartphone. There is room for improvement but HMD Global is definitely doing a nice job when it comes to nearly bezel-less mid-ranger smartphone.

This smartphone makes us excited of what's next for Nokia. You can get this for only PHP 15,990 in the Philippines. 

Build/Design - 4.25
Display - 4.25
Audio - 4
Battery - 3.75
Camera - 4.5
Performance - 4.5 
Average - 4.21/5 
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