Nokia 6.1 Plus Review: Gorgeous Midrange Phone with Great Performance

Updated on 2018-10-14 by Geetansh Arora


cover image of nokia 6.1 plus review

It’s been around a year or so since Nokia has been back into the smartphone game. Nokia strategy is simple and they are making phones with great build quality, good cameras, and no bloatware all. Nokia is rolling out software updates quickly which is also a plus point.

One thing that Nokia was getting wrong in India was pricing. Nokia 6.1 was priced at around 19000 and the Nokia 7 Plus was priced at over 25000. But Nokia has fixed the pricing issues with the Nokia 6.1 Plus and the price of 15999 is very attractive. There are plenty of options available in this range like the Redmi Note 5 Pro, Asus Zenfone Max Pro, Realme 2 Pro, and Moto One Power. Does Nokia 6.1 Plus stands out and should you buy it? Let’s find out in our detailed review below.

Here's What You Get Inside the box:

  1. Handset
  2. Charger (5V, 2Amps)
  3. USB Type C Charging Cable
  4. Earphones
  5. Sim ejector pin

Finding earphones inside the box was a pleasant surprise as Nokia doesn’t mention that there are earphones inside the box. It is a decent pair of earphones with mic. One thing that we found missing was a case/cover. Nokia 6.1 Plus is a very slippery device so adding a case in the box would have been a good move.

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Nokia 6.1 Plus: Display, Design & Build

Nokia 6.1 Plus comes with a 5.8” Full HD+ Notch display with thin bezels all around and a chin at the bottom with Nokia branding. The size of the phone is sleek and small, and it is easy to hold and use. It is one of the few phones that you can use with one hand. The display is an IPS LCD panel with great colors, good sharpness and viewing angles are good as well. It is covered by Gorilla Glass 3.

The aspect ratio of the display is 19:9 and the screen to body ratio is over 90% which provides an immersive experience while playing games and watching movies and videos.

Image of front design and display of Nokia 6.1 Plus

The display can get very bright and sunlight legibility is good. The back of the phone is also covered with glass which gives it a very premium look. The build quality of the phone is excellent, and it is the best-looking midrange smartphone available as of now. 

image of back design of nokia 6.1 plus

Design-wise, Nokia 6.1 Plus is a winner and you are going to fall in love with it.

Processor & Performance

The Nokia 6.1 Plus is powered by the Snapdragon 636 processor which is the one we have seen in plenty of other smartphones in this price range. The multitasking is supported by 4GB of RAM and there is 64GB of storage for your pictures, movies, and music. Snapdragon 636 is a powerful chipset and 4GB of RAM is plenty to support the multitasking smoothly. The performance of the device is excellent with no lags whatsoever. Switching between social media apps in normal usage is a breeze. Heavy games like Asphalt 9 and PUBG also run fine on the device.

If you are someone who likes to see benchmark scores then take a look at Antutu and Geekbench scores below. The scores are similar to other phones like Redmi Note 5 Pro and Asus Zenfone Max Pro which are also powered by the Snapdragon 636 chipset.

Nokia 6.1 Plus scores 114712 in Antutu benchmark. The CPU score was 55602 and GPU score was 21317.

image of antutu benchmark score of nokia 6.1 plus

The Nokia 6.1 Plus scores around 1300 in Geekbench single core test and 4863 in multi-core test. The renderscript score was around 4500.

image of geekbench score of nokia 6.1 plus

Software: Android One

Nokia 6.1 Plus is an Android One device and comes with Android Oreo 8.1 out of the box. Android One means quick software updates and Nokia has confirmed that the Android 9 Pie update will be rolled out shortly. Because it is an Android One device, you will see no bloatware at all which is a good thing.

If you are a Stock Android person, you will love the clutter free responsive experience on Nokia 6.1 Plus.

Even with heavy usages like switching between tens of apps and games, we faced no lag. The games ran smoothly without any frame drops. Overall experience was buttery smooth. The 4GB RAM keeps the app open and we experienced some reload only while switching between multiple heavy games. 

The software, however, does try to kill apps after some time and that is done to save battery. If you don't want to miss notifications from a specific app then go to Settings > Battery > Background Activity Manager and remove apps from blacklist so that they keep running in the background. We had to 10-15 apps which were blacklisted by default and we were not getting notifications.

screenshot of home screen of nokia 6.1 plus

The only modification that Nokia has done is the camera app where Nokia has added some of their own customizations. If you are a Stock Android person, you will love the clutter free responsive experience on Nokia 6.1 Plus.

Camera Performance

The Nokia 6.1 Plus comes with a dual rear camera setup of 16MP f/2.0 color sensor and 5MP depth sensor. The dual camera is placed in the center, just above the fingerprint sensor. There is a dual LED flash to assist the low light pictures.

image of dual rear camera of nokia 6.1 plus

The front camera is a 16MP f/2.4 single sensor and it is placed inside the notch on the front.

nokia 6.1 plus front camera inside the notch

The performance of the rear and front camera is good outdoors. The pictures taken have plenty of details with good dynamic range. The color accuracy is great. Take a look at some of the camera samples below.

Here's a picture of a flower. The color of the flower and leaves is accurate. There is a decent amount of background blur which makes the picture look great. 

nokia 6.1 plus camera sample of a flower

Here are a couple of shots taken outside in plenty of sunlight. The picture looks good overall with a good amount of detail and nice colors. 

nokia 6.1 plus outdoor camera sample 1

outdoor camera sample 2 of nokia 6.1 plus

The secondary camera on the rear is a depth sensor and helps in portrait shots to give a bokeh effect. The edge detection is good and the bokeh effects look nice. Pictures taken in portrait mode are stored with a depth map so you can use the editor to choose the amount of bokeh. If you don’t like bokeh you can remove it completely. If you take a lot of portrait shots, you will surely like this feature.

The edge detection in portrait mode images is good. It fails to recognize the edges in difficult situations when the background color is similar to the color of your clothes. Most of the phones fail in those situations so 6.1 Plus is not an exception.

Let's take a look at a couple of pictures taken in normal mode and portrait mode. The camera did a good job overall to detect the edges properly. It was a difficult situation for the camera as the color of the background was similar to the color of the t-shirt so you will see that the camera has missed some of the edges but the picture look nice overall.

nokia 6.1 plus camera sample in normal mode

nokia 6.1 plus camera sample in portrait mode

The pictures taken indoors are average. The pictures look decent but there is a good amount of noise in them. Similar is the story with front selfie camera. The selfies take outdoors in good lighting conditions are very sharp and detailed but the selfies taken indoors are just average.

These shots were taken in DLF Mall of India. 

nokia 6.1 plus camera sample taken in mall of india noida

camera sample 2 of nokia 6.1 plus taken indoors in mall of india

The front camera has a f/2.4 aperture so there’s not a lot which can be done by Nokia to improve low light images. Overall, the camera performance is not the best in this range but it is quite similar to phones like Asus Zenfone Max Pro.

nokia 6.1 plus front camera selfie samples indoors and outdoors

Battery, Charging and Music

The Nokia 6.1 Plus comes with a 3060 mAh battery. For charging there is a Type C port provided and the charging is handled by the 10W 5V 2A charger. The battery backup of the Nokia 6.1 Plus is average at best. If you are a heavy user, you are going to be disappointed as the phone might die in the evening. Users with low to medium usage can expect the phone to last for a day on a single charge.

bottom design of nokia 6.1 plus

In our tests, the phone lasted for a day mostly. Some days when games and camera were used a lot and 4G data was on for the whole time, the phone died in the evening. The screen on time was around 4 hours in most cases. The best the on time we got was 4.5 hours with medium usage.

nokia 6.1 plus charging and discharging data

The Nokia 6.1 Plus supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 but doesn’t come with fast charger inside the box. With the charger that Nokia provides, the phone charges from 0 to 100% in around 1 hour 45 minutes. With a fast charger that supports QC 3.0, you can charge the device in around 1 hour 20 minutes.

Bundling a fast charger inside the box would have increased the cost of the phone and considering the fact that most users don’t really care about charging time, it makes sense to go with a normal 5V 2A charger and keep the prices low. Those who need fast charging can always buy a new charger.

nokia 6.1 plus image of 3.5mm jack

Now coming to the music. The speakers on the Nokia 6.1 Plus are decent and not that loud. The sound clarity is good. The sound output via the 3.5mm headphone jack is average. The phone is running on stock android and there are no options in settings to use an equalizer. However, you can use the equalizers provided inside the apps like Gaana or Jio Music to tune sound according to your preferences.

Pricing and Availability

If you need a premium looking device with clutter-free software, decent camera and great performance, Nokia 6.1 Plus should be your choice.

The Nokia 6.1 Plus comes in just 1 variant: 4GB 64GB and is priced at Rs.15999 in India. We think the pricing is really good and the phone offers great value for money. If you need a premium looking device with clutter-free software, decent camera and great performance, Nokia 6.1 Plus should be your choice. The only thing you have to compromise with is the battery which is a bit disappointing.

The Nokia 6.1 Plus is exclusively available on Flipkart. The phone is available in 3 colors: Black, White, and Blue. All colors look great and black is our favorite.

Here’s the link if you are interested in buying it:

Buy Nokia 6.1 Plus from Flipkart

Pros Cons and Ratings:

Pros:

Cons:

Ratings:

Design: 10/10
Display: 9/10
Sound: 7.5/10
Battery: 6.5/10
Back Camera: 8/10
Front Camera: 7.5/10
Processor: 9/10
Call Quality: 9/10
Pricing: 10/10

Overall Rating: 8.5/10



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