Nokia 6 Unboxing, Initial Review: Does It Live Up To The Hype?

by John Nieves  January 27, 2017

It’s pretty safe to say that many, many people have been waiting for a proper, Android-powered phone to arrive. And while the Nokia 6 isn’t the first ever Android-powered Nokia device to land in our hands (that honor goes to the Nokia X), this is the first Android-powered Nokia phone that doesn’t have Microsoft’s DNA in it. Or should we say, first Android-powered Nokia branded phone, since the Finnish company has sworn off making phones for good, leaving that capital intensive task to someone else and is content on letting HMD Oy utilize their name for sweet, sweet profit.

And while the Nokia 6 isn’t supposed to leave the borders of China officially yet, Hellotronics have managed to snag a few from Chinese retailer JD to sell in the Philippines at a slightly higher price than it was intended to be sold. Anyway, big thanks to Hellotronics in allowing us to take a look at the phone in action. So without further ado, let’s go:

Nokia 6 specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor
  • Adreno 505 GPU
  • 5.5-inch full HD display, 2.5D glass, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB internal storage expandable storage up to 128GB via microSD
  • 16-megapixel rear camera, f/2.0 aperture, PDAF, Laser AF, flash
  • 8-megapixel front camera, f/2.0 aperture
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint scanner
  • 3000mAh battery with fast charging
  • Android 7.0 Nougat

Packaging and contents

HMD Oy has gone to great lengths in trying to recreate the look and feel of the Nokia of old in the packaging of the Nokia 6. The front of box really gives you that old school Nokia feel while trying to give you a glimpse of the new phone within.

Once you open the box, you’ll see the phone inside as well as some of the manuals that are sadly, in Chinese. The box contains all the usual accouterments that you’ll see with a new phone, which includes the USB cable, charger plus headphones.

Initial review: A phone that deserves the Nokia name

When we first held the phone in our hands, it reminded us quite a bit of the Lumia devices of old. It’s obvious that the designers wanted to invoke some of that old-school Nokia magic in the design of the phone, and the device resembles some of the more premium devices of the Lumia lineup. There are some changes, obviously – the phone’s chassis is a metal unibody, with slight chamfers on the edges. The corners are rounded as well, with antenna bands located on the top and bottom for connectivity.

The phone feels very angular, and while it does have a very slight taper at the sides, it feels a little uncomfortable to hold in our hands, at least initially. At the rear sits the 16-megapixel rear camera with an f/2.0 aperture lens, laser AF, PDAF and flash.

Moving to the front you’ll see the 5.5-inch full HD panel with 2.5D glass. The power and volume rockers are on the right side, with the 3.5mm jack on the top. The hybrid microSD/SIM slot is located on the left side, while the single speaker grille and USB port is located on the bottom of the phone.

Right below the display sits the physical home key that houses the fingerprint scanner, flanked by capacitive Android navigation keys. The fingerprint scanner is a little narrow for our taste, but it works well enough when you finish the setup of the phone.

Moving to the internals, the Nokia 6 runs Android Nougat 7.0 out of the box, with a kind of UI overlay that we’re not familiar with. That UI overlay removes the app drawer, and changes the look of the icons to something that we’re not exactly a fan of. Since the phone is meant for the Chinese market as of now, it does not ship with Google Play Services. You can sideload some of your apps inside (like the AnTuTu Benchmark) but many that require Google integration will have problems with the phone. Installing the Google Play APK is not going to work, unfortunately – until people start tinkering with the device, it’d be hard to integrate Google Play Services in it yourself, especially when you’re not technically inclined.

The phone is equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor, paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of expandable storage. That’s a solid hardware combo as phones go, and we’ve seen several phones with the combination pass through our review labs already. Snapdragon 430 is a workhorse, capable of running through most apps without any problems.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about the pricing of the Nokia 6 here in the Philippines. Hellotronics initially priced it at Php 18,490, in Lazada, much to the chagrin of many people. Well, we have good news: the next shipment that’s scheduled to arrive after Chinese New Year would be priced considerably lower, so if you want to buy it you’ll have to wait. It’s not like you can buy one now anyway – Hellotronics said that all of their stock for the Nokia 6 is now gone, despite the higher pricing.

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    Finally, someone who knows about the Nokia X… Thanks, Unbox.ph for mentioning the real first Android-powered Nokia…

    it’s Hellotronics fault why its priced so high. You can get it on a lower price from China centric websites and just pay about 112 pesos for the post office fee , haha