After making us wait for months, New Nokia 6 finally arrived in India yesterday, and it’s the cheapest of the three smartphones to be launched. HMD Global has greatly improved on the budget offering (some are calling it the Nokia 6.1) and it’s got some neat upgraded hardware as well compared to its predecessor.

With a price tag of ₹16,999, it’s natural for the users to draw a comparison with other popular phones in this segment. So we also decided to pit the Nokia 6 against similarly priced devices, i.e Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 5 Pro and Honor 9 Lite, to see what makes it stand out. And whether the Indian masses should be interested in buying it or not.

Design & Build Quality

Nokia phones have always been touted to feature the best of builds and HMD Global is only carrying the tradition forward. The Nokia 6 (2018) is not far from this claim as it features a metallic body, carved from a single block of 6000 Series aluminium. The device is stunning and feels quite premium in the hand, in our brief time with it at the launch event.

The colored-accents only add to the neat aesthetics, helping HMD Global set itself apart from Xiaomi and Honor. The Nokia 6 sports a 5.5-inch Full-HD screen, which is pretty bright and offer a crisp viewing experience, but since it’s not a modern 18:9 aspect ratio screen, we were a little disappointed. Only the Nokia 7 plus features the new taller panel.

Camera

Here too, the New Nokia 6 bucks the trends. It sports a single 16MP sensor on the rear and an 8MP selfie snapper on the front, both with a f/2.0 aperture. The device is not pulling any punches with this setup but being powered by Zeiss Optics are enough to add some weight to its capabilities.

The feature that gives the camera on this device an edge over similarly priced rivals is the inclusion of the acclaimed Pro Camera Mode into the software. This gives you full control of the camera features, meaning you can adjust characteristics like ISO, shutter speed, exposure and more.

The rear camera on the Nokia 6 is also capable of capturing 4K videos at 30 fps, which is not an option in the two competitors we’ve picked in this price segment.

nokia 6 new camera

The Redmi Note 5 Pro and Honor 9 Lite feature dual rear cameras which let them take those much-hyped bokeh or portrait shots. The Nokia 6 lacks this trendy feature which could be added through software processing in the near future.

Honor is also one step ahead as the 9 Lite is a quad-camera phone, which means even the front snapper has dual-lenses for those bokeh shots.

Software

This could be the trump card that brings Nokia the victory. HMD Global has gone all in with the Android One program and all its future Nokia-branded devices will now feature a pure, stock Android experience, with promised updates.

It’s the snappy Android experience that many crave and it could become the driving force for Nokia in this price segment.

This device comes with the promise of 2 years of timely updates, followed by new security patch releases every month, and Nokia has been on track with these so far. It means your Nokia 6 will always run the latest of Android, without any compromise in terms of security patches. That may not be the case with Xiaomi’s MIUI or Honor’s EMUI custom Android skins. The latter is currently based on Android 8.1, but whether it will get the next version of the OS is not yet clear, whereas this is a guarantee with the Nokia phones.

Even if it does arrive, it may take months for you to get new Android features (Redmi Note 5 Pro is still running Android 7.1.2 Nougat officially) or the update may never arrive. This is the biggest problem in our opinion with mid-range phones and Nokia is looking to address this head-on.

If you are looking for a perfect Android experience, with new features arriving soon after release, then the Nokia 6 is the only choice, at least in this range.

Specs Sheet

DeviceNokia 6 (2018)Redmi Note 5 ProHonor 9 Lite
Display5.5-inch FullHD5.99-inch FullHD+5.65 inch FullHD+
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 630Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 HiSilicon Kirin 659
RAM3GB6GB3GB
Internal Storage32GB, expandable up to 128Gb via microSD card64GB, expandable up to 128Gb via microSD card64GB, expandable up to 256GB via microSD card
Primary Camera16MP Carl Zeiss optics, with f/2.0 aperture12MP + 5MP13MP + 2MP
Secondary Camera8MP20MP, selfie flash13MP + 2MP
SoftwareAndroid 8.0 OreoAndroid 7.1.2, with MIUI 9 on topAndroid 8.0 Oreo, with EMUI 8.1 on top
Battery3,000mAh4,000mAh3,000mAh

Price & Availability

The new Nokia 6 will retail at ₹16,999 via both e-commerce platforms, Nokia’s store and retail stores, which is in line with the strategy being adopted by most phone makers in India at the moment. This gives them the opportunity to attract both the millennial, as well as old-school buyers to its devices.

On the other hand, the Redmi Note 5 Pro and Honor 9 Lite retail at ₹16,999 and ₹14,999 on Flipkart respectively. These two devices may appear to be extremely feature-rich, but the Nokia 6 (2018) will be able to hold its ground against them. The new Nokia 6 will also be readily available for purchase on April 6, but Xiaomi’s weekly sales could delay your purchase of the Note 5 Pro.

What are your opinions on the new Nokia 6? Are you looking forward to buying it? Tell us in the comments below.