The Nokia 6.1 Plus has been made official, and at a price of Rs. 15,999 the phone brings in a nice glass and metal build, dual rear cameras, stock Android, and more. In India, the smartphone is competing against the likes of Xiaomi’s popular Redmi Note 5 Pro (Rs. 14,999), and the stock Android boasting Mi A2 (Rs. 16,999) launched earlier this month. So if you’re wondering as to which of these phones is the one you should go for, well we’ve compared the three phones to make your life easier.
Nokia 6.1 Plus vs Redmi Note 5 Pro vs Mi A2: Specifications
Before getting into the nitty gritty about each of these phones, let’s compare them as they stand on paper. Here are the specs of each of these phones:
|Nokia 6.1 Plus||Mi A2||Redmi Note 5 Pro|
|Display||5.8-inch FullHD+ LCD||5.99-inch FullHD+ LCD||5.99-inch FullHD+ LCD|
|Processor||Snapdragon 636||Snapdragon 660||Snapdragon 636|
|GPU||Adreno 509||Adreno 512||Adreno 509|
|Primary Camera||16MP f/2.0 + 5MP f/2.4||12MP f/1.75 + 20MP f/1.75||12MP f/2.2 + 5MP f/2.0|
|Secondary Camera||16MP f/2.0||20MP f/2.2||20MP f/2.2|
|Battery||3,060 mAh||3,010 mAh||4,000 mAh|
|OS||Android 8.1 Oreo (Android One)||Android 8.1 Oreo (Android One)||Android 8.1 Oreo (MIUI 9)|
|Connectivity||WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 5.0||WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 5.0||WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 5.0|
|Price||Rs. 15,999||Rs. 16,999||Starts at Rs. 14,999|
Design and Build
As far as the design and build are concerned, the Nokia 6.1 Plus comes with a glass and metal build that looks nice, whereas the Redmi Note 5 Pro and the Mi A2 come with a metal back, and look very similar to the iPhone X with their vertical dual cameras placed in a location similar to the iPhone X. Both the Redmi Note 5 Pro and the Mi A2 also come with an 18:9 bezel-less design with a forehead and a chin, while the Nokia 6.1 Plus comes in a 19:9 bezel-less design with a notch on top, and a chin with the ‘Nokia’ branding on it.
Personally, I like the design of the Nokia 6.1 Plus more. The phone is compact, feels comfortable to hold in the hand, and its rear camera, though vertical, is placed in the middle in typical HMD fashion. Plus, with the glass sandwich design, the phone does look more premium than the offerings from Xiaomi.
In terms of buttons and ports, the Nokia 6.1 Plus comes with the usual buttons, a USB-C port, and a headphone jack up top. The Mi A2 also has a USB-C port, but it skips on the headphone jack which could be a deal breaker to some; the Redmi Note 5 Pro, on the other hand, keeps the headphone jack but comes with a microUSB port for some reason and that’s something I can’t forgive the phone for.
That said, the quality of the buttons on both the Redmi Note 5 Pro and the Mi A2 is far better than the buttons on the Nokia 6.1 Plus which feel really mushy and are annoying to use. However, the Nokia 6.1 Plus is definitely the better phone here — it comes with USB-C, a headphone jack, a premium glass and metal build, and it can take a hit (I can confirm, having actually dropped the phone).
Winner: Nokia 6.1 Plus
Display wise, the phones are pretty close. All the phones come with a similarly sized LCD display. The Nokia 6.1 Plus has a 5.8-inch FullHD+ display, while the Mi A2 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro both come with a 5.99-inch FullHD+ display. However, even though the displays are similarly sized and are all LCD panels, there are certain differences between the three.
The Nokia 6.1 Plus’ display tends to lean towards a cooler color tone, albeit very slightly. The Mi A2 has a display that looks better calibrated than the one on the Nokia 6.1 Plus, but it doesn’t get quite as bright as the Nokia 6.1 Plus. The Redmi Note 5 Pro probably has the best looking display of the three, it gets brighter than either of these phones, and is calibrated much better.
Both the Nokia 6.1 Plus and the Redmi Note 5 Pro have pretty great displays. Colors look good, the viewing angles are pretty great, and I personally didn’t find any issues while using the phones. Choosing a winner out of these two phones is a difficult job, but personally I’d say that the Redmi Note 5 Pro has a better display, purely because it gets brighter and looks like it has been calibrated better.
Winner: Redmi Note 5 Pro
Coming to the cameras on these phones, I’ll break things down into three categories — performance in good light, low light, and portrait mode.
In good lighting conditions, the Nokia 6.1 Plus seems to handle everything really well. The photos are sharp, the colors are nice, and everything looks good. However, the Redmi Note 5 Pro and the Mi A2 both take better pictures than the Nokia 6.1 Plus, and while the differences between the pictures are usually not that damning, it’s still pretty clear that the Nokia 6.1 Plus can’t keep up.
Portrait mode shots from these phones take on a similar path as well. While the Nokia 6.1 Plus takes decent portrait shots, it lacks on details and the edge detection is usually not as good as it is on the Redmi Note 5 Pro and the Mi A2. That said, I did find that the Nokia 6.1 Plus has a more natural color tone over all.
In low light, the Nokia 6.1 Plus is just plain bad. The phone messes up almost everytime when taking a photo in less than optimal lighting. In my observation, the Nokia 6.1 Plus tries to capture more light, which is good, but it ends up missing the focus and introducing a lot of noise in the process. Photos from the Nokia 6.1 Plus turn out soft and noisy almost every time. The Redmi Note 5 Pro fares much better than the Nokia 6.1 Plus, however, I find the Mi A2’s low light performance to be the best of the lot whether it’s in the rear camera or the front.
Winner: Mi A2
The Nokia 6.1 Plus comes with a Snapdragon 636 paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage — that’s similar to the Redmi Note 5 Pro’s base variant which also comes with a Snapdragon 636, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage, and to be honest the performance of the two phones is quite similar, both in benchmarks and real world usage. Apps load fast on both phones, multi-tasking is quick and breezy, and games run well and smooth. There’s really not much in the way of performance difference between the two phones.
However, the Mi A2 steals the crown here with its Snapdragon 660 processor paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. That difference in processor alone makes the Mi A2 quite a bit faster at almost everything you might want to do on it. Plus, the Snapdragon 660 comes with Qualcomm’s AI engine that brings improvements across the board.
Personally, I think that for just Rs. 1,000 extra, the Mi A2 brings definitive upgrades in the way of performance and future-usability of the smartphone.
Winner: Mi A2
In terms of battery, the Nokia 6.1 Plus comes with a 3,060 mAh battery as compared to 3,010 mAh on the Mi A2, and a whopping 4,000 mAh on the Redmi Note 5 Pro.
Obviously, the Redmi Note 5 Pro has an amazing battery life, thanks solely to the huge battery it packs in. However, the Nokia 6.1 Plus’ 3,060 mAh battery is no slouch either, and in my usage of the phone it consistently lasted me well over a day with a little bit of gaming, along with a lot of Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, and the usual web browsing on the phone.
I’m pretty happy with the battery on the Nokia 6.1 Plus, but the Redmi Note 5 Pro is definitely better in the battery department if that’s something that matters to you a lot.
Winner: Redmi Note 5 Pro
The Nokia 6.1 Plus is an Android One phone, same as the Mi A2, and both these phones come with stock Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box whereas the Redmi Note 5 Pro comes with MIUI 9 running on Android Oreo.
Deciding which is one is better here may be a little subjective depending on whether you want all the additional features that MIUI packs in, and are willing to let go of stock Android’s simplicity and seamless user experience.
Personally, I’d take stock Android over any other Android skin anyday of the week, and I find the experience of using the Nokia 6.1 Plus (or the Mi A2, for that matter) a lot better than using the Redmi Note 5 Pro.
Winner: Tie between Mi A2 and Nokia 6.1 Plus
The Nokia 6.1 Plus, the Redmi Note 5 Pro, and the Mi A2 are all pretty capable in terms of connectivity. All of the phones come with Bluetooth 5.0, and support the WiFi 802.11ac standard which is pretty great to see.
Along with that, the phones support dual SIM cards, but while the Nokia 6.1 Plus and the Redmi Note 5 Pro come with a 3-choose-2 hybrid SIM tray that lets you either use dual SIM cards, or a SIM + microSD card in the phone, the Mi A2 doesn’t support microSD cards. So if you’re looking to expand your storage further down the line, the Mi A2 is not the phone for you.
Also, the Mi A2 doesn’t have a headphone jack — something that both the Nokia 6.1 Plus and the Redmi Note 5 Pro come with.
I would’ve said that both the Nokia 6.1 Plus and the Redmi Note 5 Pro are tied in terms of connectivity, but the Redmi Note 5 Pro comes with a micro-USB port, as compared to the USB-C port found in the Nokia 6.1 Plus. Overall, I think the Nokia 6.1 Plus is definitely the better of these phones.
Winner: Nokia 6.1 Plus
Nokia 6.1 Plus vs Redmi Note 5 Pro vs Mi A2: Who Wins?
So, which phone is actually the winner here? Well, honestly, it depends on what you absolutely want in your phone, and what you can let go of, because none of these phones come without a compromise or two.
If cameras are not that big a deal for you, the Nokia 6.1 Plus will get you a good design, nice display, pretty great performance, an amazing battery life, USB-C, headphone jack, and stock Android for Rs. 15,999.
However, if you’re willing to let go of the USB-C port and stock Android, the Redmi Note 5 Pro brings in a pretty great design, an impressive display, performance that is similar to the Nokia 6.1 Plus, an awesome 4,000 mAh battery, and a headphone jack for Rs. 14,999 — that’s actually Rs. 1,000 less than the Nokia 6.1 Plus.
Also, if you’re willing on foregoing the headphone jack, and the microSD card, the Mi A2 is a recommendation I have no doubts in making. For Rs. 16,999 (just Rs. 1,000 more than the Nokia 6.1 Plus), the Mi A2 brings in the Snapdragon 660 for much better performance, a pretty decent display, good battery, stock Android, and way better cameras.
By the way, as a special recommendation, if you can increase your budget to Rs. 21,000, the Poco F1 (Rs. 20,999) is the ultimate value for money smartphone you can get right now.