It’s been about twenty months and HMD Global (that owns exclusive marketing rights for the Nokia brand in the smartphone space) has kept the Nokia smartphones coming. The 6.1 Plus might well be the device that could give HMD the impetus it needs in the Indian market that not surprisingly is a big focus for the company. The 6.1 Plus is more than just a ‘do or die’ device for Nokia, it looks set to shake things up in the mid-range segment where hardware and design standards are seeing a new high.
Glass is the new gold standard
The 6.1 Plus breaks away from its predecessors like the 6.1 and the 6, opting instead to take a cue from the Sirocco’s all-glass form. It’s probably our favourite attribute of this smartphone. The 6.1 Plus’ svelte design language lends it a premium demeanour; it certainly looks more expensive than its sticker price. It’s Scandinavian design at its best — clean lines with the dual rear camera and fingerprint sensor placed perfectly at rear of the device. The trademark silver accents that encircle the camera and the fingerprint sensor are a nice touch. At 151 gms it feels light in your hands and is certainly less slippery than the Nokia 8 Sirocco. The bezels have all but vanished and then there’s the notch that is becoming ubiquitous across smartphones this year. The 81.2% screen: body ratio keeps the 5.8-inch FHD+ display (2280 x 1080 pixels) quite immersive.
Camera hits and misses
You won’t find the Carl Zeiss badge on the Nokia 6.1 Plus. The device’s rear cam combines a 16MP and 5MP lens and a 16MP selfie cam completes the overall camera package. The selfie cam won’t let you down; it compares quite favourably with devices in the same segment. We tested the primary cam in multiple shooting scenarios and the results were a mixed bag. It snapped good images in optimal light; the bokeh option worked well too. Results took a hit in indoor and lowlight scenarios though. This is an area where devices like the Redmi Note 5 Pro have a slight edge over the 6.1 Plus.
At the heart of the 6.1 Plus is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 636 processor that teams up with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of ROM. It’s enough to keep this device keep chugging along without any fuss. We experienced no stutters during multi-tasking or gaming mode. Nokia is sensitive to some of the key consumer needs in this segment. There’s an expandable storage option (via a hybrid SIM slot) that allows you to add up to 400GB of memory. Nokia also retains the 3.5 mm headphone jack at a time when it’s become fashionable to omit it. The 3060 mAh battery should work for most users. But you are likely to reach for your charger before 7 pm if you’ve been indulging in heavy gaming or multi-media usage. The 6.1 Plus is ‘fast charging’ compatible. Unfortunately, the Type-C charger bundled in the box won’t do the trick; you will need to buy a fast charger.
The android one advantage
The 6.1 Plus is one of many devices that benefits from Nokia’s much publicised presence on the Android One platform. This means you get the latest Android iterations and security patches faster than other device manufacturers. It’s certainly one reason we’d recommend this device. This is pureplay Android at its best and isn’t burdened by unnecessary pre-loaded apps and bloatware that take away from the clean Android user experience.
The Nokia 6.1 Plus is all set to spice things up in the Rs 15,000 – Rs 20,000 price band. This is an area where Xiaomi devices have held sway and the 6.1 Plus certainly adds an interesting dimension. It scores with its design aesthetic and a spec sheet that will satisfy most consumers in this segment. It’s likely to be a game changer for Nokia in India with an aggressive price (it’s priced even lower than its predecessor – the 6.1) and what’s more, you don’t have to wait for a flash sale to own one. This one’s also available in retail stores.
The Nokia 6 Plus comes in three colours – midnight blue, black and white.