Many Industry observers will tell you that the Android platform is experiencing a unique phenomenon. Budget phones are getting better, looking more spiffy and many consumers are beginning to question the need to splurge big money on devices that cost upwards of Rs 40,000. While it’s giving consumers better choices in the budget segment, it’s also putting more pressure on the sales of pricey flagships that need to work hard to justify those huge premiums. The Nokia 6.1 Plus is the latest device that exemplifies this situation. It’s under Rs 20,000 but pushes way above its weight in almost every department. It’s why we think this might well be the Nokia device that helps HMD Global make a big impact.
It’s been a busy two years or so at HMD Global, that now owns the exclusive marketing rights for the Nokia brand in the smartphone space. Earlier this year, Man’s World put the Nokia 8 Sirocco under the scanner and we came away impressed with the design aesthetic. That was a much pricier device. But that’s the device that the 6.1 Plus has looked up for design inspiration. It might be a budget smartphone, but the 6.1 Plus is quite a looker. Call it Scandinavian design if you like, we like the clean lines and how the dual rear cam and fingerprint sensor are perfect placed (on the rear) with silver accents. It weighs just above 150 gms and feels really great in your hands.
The 6.1 Plus knocks off the bezels and yes, it sports a notch. It’s getting almost impossible to come by devices without this quintessential 2018 design element. Colours are quite vibrant on the 5.8-inch FHD+ display (2280 x 1080 pixels) that boasts of a more than acceptable 81.2% screen: body ratio. It’s this premium design language that is likely to make the 6.1 Plus standout in the Rs 15,000 – 20,000 price band.
It’s not just style. The 6.1 Plus is driven by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor that teams up with 4GB of RAM. That’s enough firepower for most average users whether you’re on work or play mode. The device features 64GB of internal memory plus support for up to 400GB of extendable memory. The 3060 mAh battery is par for the course; you’re good for a whole day unless you indulge in heavy gaming or camera use. The 6.1 Plus is ‘fast charging’ compatible but you’ll need to buy a fast charger; the Type-C charger bundled in the box won’t do the trick.
There’s no Carl Zeiss branding on the 6.1 Plus. That’s something we’ve got used to with some of Nokia’s better-looking phones. The rear cam (16MP + 5MP) doesn’t shoot exceptional images but does really well in optimal lighting. The bokeh option is a cool touch. It’s certainly not the best camera in this segment though; the Redmi Note 5 Pro definitely has an edge especially indoors or in low light. The 16MP selfie cam shoots sharp selfies and should work for most users.
The Nokia 6.1 Plus is easily one of the most compelling devices in the sub Rs 20,000 price band. We dig the design aesthetic while the hardware spec sheet is certainly future proof (well at least till 2019). And then there’s the Android One advantage. The 6.1 Plus benefits from Nokia’s presence on the Android One platform. This guarantees the latest Android iterations and security patches; faster than other device manufacturers. It’s also why this device is pureplay Android sans bloatware and a bunch of Apps that you probably don’t need. The clean Android experience complements the seamless design language of the phone. It’s one of the best blends of hardware and Android UI in the competitive budget segment and it’s why this device is certainly likely to give Nokia a much-needed boost in the India market.
The Nokia 6 Plus costs Rs 15,999 and comes in three colours – gloss midnight blue, gloss black and gloss white.