C 2018
Notebookcheck

Nokia 6 (2018) Smartphone Review

Florian Schaar, 👁 Daniel Schmidt, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Katherine Bodner), 05/16/2018

A cool Finn. Nokia has brought its mid-range smartphone Nokia 6 up to date. While the name remains the same, ideally, its configuration and quality have improved. Let us find out whether this is the case in our review.

The fact that the Nokia 6 still has the same name as its predecessor does not mean that everything has remained the same. Today we are looking at a new device with better components.

The Nokia 6 2018 has a 5.5-inch IPS display in the 16:9 format and a mid-range SoC, which we are already familiar with from the Sony Xperia XA2. The main camera on the back has a lens from Zeiss; the battery capacity is average at 3000 mAh, but similar to that of the competition. The 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage are sufficient and can also be expanded further via a microSD card. So far, there are no visible changes from last year’s model. But on the inside, the manufacturer has made some changes and equipped the Nokia 6 with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 processor and an Adreno 508 GPU. These components offer a significant boost in performance compared to last year's model. You might be pleased to hear that the Nokia 6 is again equipped with Stock Android - this time in the current version 8.1 Oreo. No unnecessary software is installed.

The same processor with a similar configuration can be found in the Sony Xperia XA2, the HTC U11 Life and the Google Pixel 2 XL. We have therefore chosen these devices as our comparison devices for the review of the Nokia 6.

Nokia 6 2018 (6 Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
3072 MB 
Display
5.5 inch 16:9, 1920 x 1080 pixel 401 PPI, capacitive, IPS, Corning Gorilla Glass 3, glossy: yes
Storage
32 GB eMMC Flash, 32 GB 
, 20 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5-mm combined audio jack, Card Reader: microSD, up to 256 GB (SIM 2 slot), 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, fingerprint, USB-C
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0, GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900, UMTS: 850, 900, 1900, 2100 LTE: 700, 800, 900, 1800, 2100, 2600, Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.2 x 148.8 x 75.8 ( = 0.32 x 5.86 x 2.98 in)
Battery
3000 mAh Lithium-Ion, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 16 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 500 h
Operating System
Android 8.1 Oreo
Camera
Primary Camera: 16 MPix f/2.0, 1.0 µm
Secondary Camera: 8 MPix f/2.0, 1.12 µm
Additional features
Speakers: 1, Keyboard: virtual, Keyboard Light: yes, power supply, headset, none, 24 Months Warranty, SAR-value head (EU): 0.49 W/Kg; SAR-value body (EU): 0.71 W/Kg, fanless
Weight
175 g ( = 6.17 oz / 0.39 pounds), Power Supply: 76 g ( = 2.68 oz / 0.17 pounds)
Price
299 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case - larger than the Nokia 8

The case of the Nokia 6 is defined by the 5.5-inch display and narrow bezels on two sides. Nokia seems to have decided not to follow the trend towards bezel-free screens; on the contrary, while the predecessor still had a fingerprint reader placed along the bottom edge, we are now presented with a black stripe that is basically useless. The Nokia is 8.2 mm (~0.3 in) high. The camera stands out of the aluminum case, which is why the smartphone does not lie flat on a hard surface.

The 6 has very good workmanship: The gap dimensions are narrow and even and the card slot is flush with the rest of the case. The hardware buttons for volume and turning the device on and off have a clear pressure point and sit tight. Our attempts at warping the device do not cause any noises and the device is as stable as its predecessor was. Like its predecessor, the device appears to be a high-quality smartphone.

The battery of the Nokia 6 cannot be removed by the user. The card slot is a hybrid version, which means that you can either insert two Nano-SIM cards or one SIM and one microSD card. The front of the device is protected by Gorilla glass; the back does not show too many fingerprints. The Nokia 6 is the heaviest device of our comparison field and weighs 175 g (~6.2 oz).

Size Comparison

Connectivity - upper mid-range

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The Nokia 6 is equipped with a USB Type-C port, although this only supports USB 2.0 speeds.

According to the manufacturer, the microSD card slot supports SD cards of up to 128 GB, which corresponds to the SDXC standard. Therefore, the smartphone should have no difficulties working with large cards. However, it is not possible to configure the microSD card as internal storage, which means that you cannot move apps onto the card.

The device also supports Wi-Fi 802.11 ac and Bluetooth 5.0.

With 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage, the Nokia 6 has a similar configuration to its comparison devices. The Nokia 6 is also available with 4 GB of RAM. The distribution of ports is pretty standard: The audio jack is positioned on top, the USB port and volume rocker on the right above the power button. The fingerprint reader has been moved to the back.

speakers, USB-C, microphone
speakers, USB-C, microphone
audio jack
audio jack
power button + volume rocker
power button + volume rocker
SIM slot
SIM slot

Software - Pure Android without bloatware

HMD Global, the company that currently has the rights to the Nokia name, has equipped the Nokia 6 with the current Android version 8.1 Oreo. Our test unit was distributed with Android 8.0, but the update to 8.1 was installed automatically during testing.

The user interface will be familiar to users of Nokia smartphones, as this is an Android One smartphone. This means that pure Android is installed, and the device is furnished with updates directly from Google. HMD has no more influence on it. Google has promised updates for two years. 

There is no additional software, which is great news.

home screen
home screen
app drawer
app drawer

Communication and GPS - Well communicated!

The Wi-Fi reception is as expected with 300 MBit/s when sending and receiving. This result is similar to the device's competition - only the HTC U11 has slightly lower results. The cell phone reception is good. The smartphone offers LTE Cat 4 and can work with almost every network, although 4G availability depends on the region. The reception is decent and voice quality is very good. We were particularly impressed with the speakers when talking on speakerphone. Volume and sound quality are good enough to be used in loud surroundings.

According to HMD Global, the phone also supports VoLTE and Wi-Fi Calling. There seemed to be some issues with these features under Android 8.0, but the update to 8.1 should have dealt with these.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Motorola Moto X4
Adreno 508, 630, 32 GB eMMC Flash
337 MBit/s ∼100% +17%
Sony Xperia XA2
Adreno 508, 630, 32 GB eMMC Flash
309 MBit/s ∼92% +7%
Nokia 6 2018
Adreno 508, 630, 32 GB eMMC Flash
289 MBit/s ∼86%
HTC U11 Life
Adreno 508, 630, 32 GB eMMC Flash
224 MBit/s ∼66% -22%
Average of class Smartphone
  (5.9 - 939, n=279)
199 MBit/s ∼59% -31%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Nokia 6 2018
Adreno 508, 630, 32 GB eMMC Flash
345 MBit/s ∼100%
Motorola Moto X4
Adreno 508, 630, 32 GB eMMC Flash
336 MBit/s ∼97% -3%
Sony Xperia XA2
Adreno 508, 630, 32 GB eMMC Flash
289 MBit/s ∼84% -16%
HTC U11 Life
Adreno 508, 630, 32 GB eMMC Flash
274 MBit/s ∼79% -21%
Average of class Smartphone
  (9.4 - 703, n=279)
195 MBit/s ∼57% -43%
GPS outdoors
GPS outdoors
GPS outdoors
GPS outdoors

The GPS was not able to locate us indoors, but positioned us within three meters (~10 ft) quite quickly outside. 

We took our test unit on a bike ride together with the Garmin Edge 500 (professional navigation system). The route the Nokia 6 measured was 60 meters (~200 ft) shorter than the Garmin Edge 500 result, because it occasionally located us beside the path. You can easily recognize the points of measurement from the uneven line. The Nokia GPS set these points a lot less often than the Garmin Edge 500 did, but when they were set, they were usually correct. The inaccuracies are mainly due to the lower amount of points. 

GPS Nokia 6
GPS Nokia 6
GPS Nokia 6
GPS Nokia 6
GPS Nokia 6
GPS Nokia 6
GPS Garmin Edge 500
GPS Garmin Edge 500
GPS Garmin Edge 500
GPS Garmin Edge 500
GPS Garmin Edge 500
GPS Garmin Edge 500

Telephone and Call Quality - loud and clear

The Nokia uses Google's standard telephone app.

The call quality is decent: Our call partner was easy to understand and the included headset is not great, but it works. The microphone caught our voice well and suppressed most ambient noise. Speakerphone mode works well and we could hear our call partner clearly.

Cameras - no dual camera

The main camera on the back takes photos with 16 MP, which is the same resolution as its predecessor had. The lenses come from Zeiss. Again, Nokia has chosen to use Android's standard photo app. This is not necessarily a bad choice as the app is very tidy while still offering all necessary functions. The camera can be accessed directly by clicking the power button twice. Upward or downward swiping gestures can turn on pro settings. At the time of the Lumia, cameras were always an important aspect of Nokia phones and the expectations of fans of the brand are considerably high. We noticed that Nokia has decided to go against the current trend and give its phone a single lens instead of a dual, or even triple camera. This is not necessarily a disadvantage if the quality of the single camera is good enough - and the test photos confirm that the manufacturer has made the right choice. The camera can boast a high-detail image quality that produces good pictures. The light intensity is not as good as it is on comparison devices. The camera can also not avoid significant image noise and the competition is better at brightening the image (the Google Pixel for example). Colors are not as brilliant as they could be. Still, the Nokia 6's camera does a decent job and can keep up with its competition regarding overall image quality. The main camera also records sharp videos with many details, particularly in 4K resolution. The Nokia 6 can also record videos in time lapse or slow motion. The latter can only be recorded in very low resolution, however. The front camera has a resolution of 8.3 MP and takes respectable photos that could be a little sharper. This lens can "only" record videos in Full-HD resolution.

main camera
main camera
front camera
front camera
main camera
main camera

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

We took a look at the image quality under controlled lighting. A photo of the ColorChecker passport shows that colors are quite bright and strong. The grayscales are a little warmer and white appears over-exposed.

We also noticed that blue tones are not quite accurate. We cannot complain about image sharpness: The photo of our test chart is very sharp. There is only a vague hint of image noise in the background. The usual drop in sharpness towards the edges is basically nonexistent. However, we did notice a sharp drop in contrast in the bottom corners.

Color Checker
Color Checker
test chart
test chart
test chart details
test chart details

Accessories and Warranty - buy separately

The scope of delivery includes a charging cable and power supply, as well as the usual obligatory information and user's manual in several languages. You can purchase suitable cases and screen protectors from various sellers. We were not impressed by the included headset, as the shape of the earbuds appears to be made for elephants rather than for humans and just will not sit nicely in our ears. Nokia has included a 24-month warranty for this device.

Input Devices & Handling - precise and reliable

The Nokia 6 is operated via its capacitive touchscreen, which recognizes up to 10 inputs at the same time. The screen is very reliable and precise during our test. Fingers glide over it easily and the response time is great. Our test with Gismart's Real Piano did not show any time lag when hitting the keys.

The keyboard app is Google's GBoard. If you prefer another keyboard app, you can download and install this from the Google Play store.

The physical buttons on the side appear to be of high quality and sit tight in the case. The pressure point is good too. Clicking the power button twice starts the camera app.

The fingerprint reader on the back of the phone is placed below the camera and is reliable and fast, if you place your finger on it properly.

When you lift up the smartphone, it shows the time on the lock screen. Tapping the screen twice also activates the time display. Additionally, you then need to swipe the screen to unlock the phone.

keyboard
keyboard
keyboard
keyboard
keyboard
keyboard
keyboard
keyboard
keyboard
keyboard
keyboard
keyboard

Display - not the brightest

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

The IPS FullView display of the Nokia 6 has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a format of 16:9. Content is displayed sharply on the 5.5-inch panel and our measurements are good. However, the Nokia 6 is not the brightest smartphone of its price range. It is sufficiently bright with an average of 421 cd/m², but the contrast ratio is rather weak (684:1) due to the average black value of 0.61 cd/m². The brightness distribution is very uniform. Due to low reflectiveness, the screen is usually easy to read.

439
cd/m²
433
cd/m²
399
cd/m²
446
cd/m²
417
cd/m²
391
cd/m²
438
cd/m²
427
cd/m²
400
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 446 cd/m² Average: 421.1 cd/m² Minimum: 1.98 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 88 %
Center on Battery: 417 cd/m²
Contrast: 684:1 (Black: 0.61 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.1 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 7.1 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
99.4% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 2.16
Nokia 6 2018
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.5
Sony Xperia XA2
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.2
Motorola Moto X4
LTPS IPS, 1920x1080, 5.2
HTC U11 Life
SLCD, 1920x1080, 5.2
Screen
21%
21%
31%
Brightness middle
417
513
23%
469
12%
545
31%
Brightness
421
506
20%
479
14%
526
25%
Brightness Distribution
88
93
6%
86
-2%
87
-1%
Black Level *
0.61
0.42
31%
0.37
39%
0.42
31%
Contrast
684
1221
79%
1268
85%
1298
90%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.1
5
18%
5.5
10%
4.9
20%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
11.2
11.4
-2%
10.7
4%
8.5
24%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
7.1
7.8
-10%
6.7
6%
5.4
24%
Gamma
2.16 102%
2.2 100%
2.1 105%
2.31 95%
CCT
8362 78%
7964 82%
8064 81%
7610 85%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM detected 2381 Hz ≤ 17 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 2381 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 17 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 2381 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8677 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

According to the spectrophotometer results, the display is of average quality. The average DeltaE values are 6.1, which is not bad but could be better. Particularly the gray scales have a visible blue cast.

ColorChecker
ColorChecker
color space
color space
grayscales
grayscales
saturation
saturation

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
28 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 10.8 ms rise
↘ 17.2 ms fall
The screen shows relatively slow response rates in our tests and may be too slow for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 60 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
59.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 29.2 ms rise
↘ 30.4 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 95 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (41.1 ms).

The Nokia 6 is surprisingly easy to use outdoors despite its average luminosity. Content can be read well in normal lighting conditions and there are very few reflections.

direct sunlight
direct sunlight
shade
shade

The Nokia 6 offers great viewing angle stability. As you can see from the image, almost all colors can be seen well even from a wide angle. The black around the edges, which often turns gray at these angles, is displayed very well and blends into the dark background.

viewing angles
viewing angles

Performance - sufficient reserves for now

The Nokia 6 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, which is also used in our comparison devices. The octa-core SoC consists of Cortex A53 cores that are separated into two clusters. The slightly stronger cluster clocks at up to 2.2 GHz while the weaker one clocks at 1.84 GHz. Then there is the 3-GB LPDDR3 RAM and an Adreno 508 GPU.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 is a rather powerful processor for this price range. The test unit is on the same level as our comparison devices, which makes it difficult to see significant differences. The prices are all around $300 as well.

The Nokia 6 can display almost all games smoothly at 30 fps with the help of its Adreno 508, two cores and a clock rate of up to 900 MHz.  

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
72580 Points ∼99%
Sony Xperia XA2
71552 Points ∼97% -1%
Motorola Moto X4
70445 Points ∼96% -3%
HTC U11 Life
73617 Points ∼100% +1%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (44128 - 73617, n=11)
68333 Points ∼93% -6%
Average of class Smartphone (23275 - 250848, n=366)
72912 Points ∼99% 0%
AnTuTu v7 - Total Score (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
90435 Points ∼81%
Sony Xperia XA2
89228 Points ∼80% -1%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (87300 - 90674, n=9)
89441 Points ∼80% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (17073 - 348178, n=147)
111274 Points ∼100% +23%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
4719 Points ∼94%
Sony Xperia XA2
5006 Points ∼100% +6%
Motorola Moto X4
4887 Points ∼98% +4%
HTC U11 Life
4835 Points ∼97% +2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (4636 - 5085, n=11)
4876 Points ∼97% +3%
Average of class Smartphone (6998 - 9868, n=233)
4440 Points ∼89% -6%
Work performance score (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
5484 Points ∼93%
Sony Xperia XA2
5844 Points ∼99% +7%
Motorola Moto X4
5919 Points ∼100% +8%
HTC U11 Life
5818 Points ∼98% +6%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (5083 - 6264, n=11)
5679 Points ∼96% +4%
Average of class Smartphone (4101 - 13211, n=398)
4801 Points ∼81% -12%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
895 Points ∼97%
Sony Xperia XA2
921 Points ∼100% +3%
Motorola Moto X4
795 Points ∼86% -11%
HTC U11 Life
858 Points ∼93% -4%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (666 - 936, n=11)
857 Points ∼93% -4%
Average of class Smartphone (7 - 1731, n=473)
680 Points ∼74% -24%
Graphics (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
1520 Points ∼94%
Sony Xperia XA2
1500 Points ∼93% -1%
Motorola Moto X4
1519 Points ∼94% 0%
HTC U11 Life
1515 Points ∼94% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (1470 - 1523, n=11)
1501 Points ∼93% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (18 - 15875, n=473)
1619 Points ∼100% +7%
Memory (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
1161 Points ∼83%
Sony Xperia XA2
1328 Points ∼95% +14%
Motorola Moto X4
1405 Points ∼100% +21%
HTC U11 Life
838 Points ∼60% -28%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (838 - 1405, n=11)
1215 Points ∼86% +5%
Average of class Smartphone (21 - 4798, n=473)
1170 Points ∼83% +1%
System (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
3237 Points ∼99%
Sony Xperia XA2
3256 Points ∼99% +1%
Motorola Moto X4
3279 Points ∼100% +1%
HTC U11 Life
3215 Points ∼98% -1%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (1763 - 3319, n=11)
3133 Points ∼96% -3%
Average of class Smartphone (369 - 12202, n=473)
2367 Points ∼72% -27%
Overall (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
1504 Points ∼96%
Sony Xperia XA2
1563 Points ∼100% +4%
Motorola Moto X4
1536 Points ∼98% +2%
HTC U11 Life
1368 Points ∼88% -9%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (1152 - 1570, n=11)
1483 Points ∼95% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (150 - 6097, n=477)
1185 Points ∼76% -21%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
3690 Points ∼89%
Motorola Moto X4
3894 Points ∼93% +6%
HTC U11 Life
3956 Points ∼95% +7%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (2910 - 3956, n=10)
3713 Points ∼89% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (836 - 14417, n=172)
4169 Points ∼100% +13%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
883 Points ∼21%
Sony Xperia XA2
4170 Points ∼99% +372%
Motorola Moto X4
4115 Points ∼98% +366%
HTC U11 Life
4193 Points ∼100% +375%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (883 - 4234, n=11)
3691 Points ∼88% +318%
Average of class Smartphone (1099 - 11598, n=222)
4159 Points ∼99% +371%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
4210 Points ∼100%
Sony Xperia XA2
865 Points ∼21% -79%
Motorola Moto X4
870 Points ∼21% -79%
HTC U11 Life
877 Points ∼21% -79%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (710 - 4210, n=11)
1155 Points ∼27% -73%
Average of class Smartphone (394 - 4824, n=223)
1229 Points ∼29% -71%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
1738 Points ∼96%
Sony Xperia XA2
1631 Points ∼90% -6%
Motorola Moto X4
1811 Points ∼100% +4%
HTC U11 Life
1779 Points ∼98% +2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (1631 - 1822, n=11)
1740 Points ∼96% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (549 - 4183, n=327)
1587 Points ∼88% -9%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
707 Points ∼63%
Sony Xperia XA2
709 Points ∼63% 0%
Motorola Moto X4
724 Points ∼65% +2%
HTC U11 Life
729 Points ∼65% +3%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (707 - 729, n=11)
718 Points ∼64% +2%
Average of class Smartphone (69 - 5220, n=327)
1120 Points ∼100% +58%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
814 Points ∼76%
Sony Xperia XA2
811 Points ∼76% 0%
Motorola Moto X4
835 Points ∼78% +3%
HTC U11 Life
839 Points ∼78% +3%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (811 - 839, n=11)
826 Points ∼77% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (86 - 4734, n=335)
1071 Points ∼100% +32%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
1733 Points ∼95%
Sony Xperia XA2
1737 Points ∼96% 0%
Motorola Moto X4
1816 Points ∼100% +5%
HTC U11 Life
1711 Points ∼94% -1%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (1698 - 1816, n=11)
1751 Points ∼96% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (532 - 4150, n=358)
1483 Points ∼82% -14%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
1249 Points ∼82%
Sony Xperia XA2
1251 Points ∼82% 0%
Motorola Moto X4
1259 Points ∼83% +1%
HTC U11 Life
1257 Points ∼83% +1%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (1234 - 1289, n=11)
1259 Points ∼83% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (98 - 8312, n=358)
1522 Points ∼100% +22%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
1332 Points ∼99%
Sony Xperia XA2
1334 Points ∼99% 0%
Motorola Moto X4
1351 Points ∼100% +1%
HTC U11 Life
1336 Points ∼99% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (1318 - 1374, n=11)
1342 Points ∼99% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (123 - 6378, n=366)
1300 Points ∼96% -2%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
13196 Points ∼100%
Sony Xperia XA2
13112 Points ∼99% -1%
Motorola Moto X4
12870 Points ∼98% -2%
HTC U11 Life
12919 Points ∼98% -2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (12667 - 13217, n=11)
12999 Points ∼99% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (7095 - 36762, n=513)
12507 Points ∼95% -5%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
18572 Points ∼100%
Sony Xperia XA2
18534 Points ∼100% 0%
Motorola Moto X4
18355 Points ∼99% -1%
HTC U11 Life
18469 Points ∼99% -1%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (16508 - 18572, n=11)
18284 Points ∼98% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (2465 - 160199, n=513)
16909 Points ∼91% -9%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
17030 Points ∼100%
Sony Xperia XA2
16974 Points ∼100% 0%
Motorola Moto X4
16767 Points ∼98% -2%
HTC U11 Life
16859 Points ∼99% -1%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (15466 - 17030, n=11)
16767 Points ∼98% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (2915 - 77599, n=514)
14340 Points ∼84% -16%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
30 fps ∼100%
Sony Xperia XA2
30 fps ∼100% 0%
Motorola Moto X4
30 fps ∼100% 0%
HTC U11 Life
30 fps ∼100% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (29 - 30, n=11)
29.7 fps ∼99% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (4.1 - 251, n=539)
29.5 fps ∼98% -2%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
31 fps ∼100%
Sony Xperia XA2
31 fps ∼100% 0%
Motorola Moto X4
31 fps ∼100% 0%
HTC U11 Life
29 fps ∼94% -6%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (28 - 31, n=11)
29.5 fps ∼95% -5%
Average of class Smartphone (6.9 - 120, n=542)
24.2 fps ∼78% -22%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
14 fps ∼89%
Sony Xperia XA2
14 fps ∼89% 0%
Motorola Moto X4
14 fps ∼89% 0%
HTC U11 Life
14 fps ∼89% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (14 - 14, n=11)
14 fps ∼89% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (2.2 - 115, n=461)
15.8 fps ∼100% +13%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
15 fps ∼98%
Sony Xperia XA2
15 fps ∼98% 0%
Motorola Moto X4
15 fps ∼98% 0%
HTC U11 Life
14 fps ∼92% -7%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (13 - 15, n=11)
14 fps ∼92% -7%
Average of class Smartphone (4.1 - 115, n=464)
15.3 fps ∼100% +2%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
9.8 fps ∼73%
Sony Xperia XA2
9.7 fps ∼72% -1%
Motorola Moto X4
9.6 fps ∼72% -2%
HTC U11 Life
9.7 fps ∼72% -1%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (5.2 - 10, n=11)
9.34 fps ∼70% -5%
Average of class Smartphone (1.3 - 69.3, n=326)
13.4 fps ∼100% +37%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
10 fps ∼75%
Sony Xperia XA2
10 fps ∼75% 0%
Motorola Moto X4
11 fps ∼83% +10%
HTC U11 Life
9.8 fps ∼74% -2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (5.3 - 11, n=11)
9.48 fps ∼71% -5%
Average of class Smartphone (2.6 - 110, n=328)
13.3 fps ∼100% +33%
GFXBench
off screen Car Chase Offscreen (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
5.6 fps ∼60%
Sony Xperia XA2
5.5 fps ∼59% -2%
Motorola Moto X4
5.3 fps ∼57% -5%
HTC U11 Life
5.5 fps ∼59% -2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (5.3 - 5.6, n=11)
5.5 fps ∼59% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (0.72 - 40, n=256)
9.27 fps ∼100% +66%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen (sort by value)
Nokia 6 2018
5.9 fps ∼70%
Sony Xperia XA2
6 fps ∼71% +2%
Motorola Moto X4
5.7 fps ∼68% -3%
HTC U11 Life
5.4 fps ∼64% -8%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (5.2 - 6, n=11)
5.59 fps ∼67% -5%
Average of class Smartphone (1.1 - 50, n=259)
8.4 fps ∼100% +42%

Legend

 
Nokia 6 2018 Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, Qualcomm Adreno 508, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Sony Xperia XA2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, Qualcomm Adreno 508, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Motorola Moto X4 Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, Qualcomm Adreno 508, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
HTC U11 Life Qualcomm Snapdragon 630, Qualcomm Adreno 508, 32 GB eMMC Flash

The browser performance feels very fast and its benchmarks are good too. However, the Nokia 6 still has difficulties standing out from the masses. The browser benchmarks, which we used the preinstalled Google Chrome 65 browser for, are normal for this price range. Only in the WebXPRT 2015 did the Nokia 6 fall behind slightly. Subjectively, surfing is very smooth and fast and even complex websites load quickly.

JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Average of class Smartphone (10.8 - 273, n=396)
35.3 Points ∼100% +25%
Motorola Moto X4 (Chrome 63)
30.81 Points ∼87% +9%
HTC U11 Life (Chrome 63)
28.993 Points ∼82% +3%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (27.4 - 30.8, n=11)
28.3 Points ∼80% 0%
Nokia 6 2018 (Browser: Chrome 65)
28.167 Points ∼80%
Sony Xperia XA2 (Chrome 65.0.3325.109)
27.368 Points ∼78% -3%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Average of class Smartphone (1506 - 43280, n=532)
5303 Points ∼100% +6%
Motorola Moto X4 (Chrome 63)
5050 Points ∼95% +1%
Nokia 6 2018 (Browser: Chrome 65)
4993 Points ∼94%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (4398 - 5202, n=11)
4968 Points ∼94% -1%
HTC U11 Life (Chrome 63)
4893 Points ∼92% -2%
Sony Xperia XA2 (Chrome 65.0.3325.109)
4771 Points ∼90% -4%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Average of class Smartphone (603 - 59466, n=551)
11703 ms * ∼100% -18%
Sony Xperia XA2 (Chrome 65.0.3325.109)
10235.7 ms * ∼87% -3%
Nokia 6 2018 (Browser: Chrome 65)
9922.7 ms * ∼85%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (8396 - 10236, n=11)
9642 ms * ∼82% +3%
HTC U11 Life (Chrome 63)
9493 ms * ∼81% +4%
Motorola Moto X4 (Chrome 63)
8396 ms * ∼72% +15%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Nokia 6 2018
117 Points ∼100%
Sony Xperia XA2 (Chrome 65.0.3325.109)
106 Points ∼91% -9%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 (86 - 117, n=10)
106 Points ∼91% -9%
Average of class Smartphone (27 - 362, n=265)
106 Points ∼91% -9%
HTC U11 Life (Chrome 63)
100 Points ∼85% -15%
Motorola Moto X4 (Chrome 63)
86 Points ∼74% -26%

* ... smaller is better

The Nokia 6 has a 32-GB eMMC flash storage of which about 20 GB are available for use after the initial setup. The benchmark results are above-average, but still marks the tail end of the field.

The card reader has fast read and write rates with our reference microSD card - a Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 - but does not reach the card's maximum transfer rates. Compared to the other devices in this segment, the Nokia has achieved above-average results. Among our comparison devices, only the Sony Xperia XA2 manages slightly better results.

Nokia 6 2018Sony Xperia XA2Motorola Moto X4HTC U11 LifeAverage 32 GB eMMC FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
3%
47%
38%
-12%
-19%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
61.29 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
64.75 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
6%
60.05 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-2%
59.83 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-2%
46.3 (3.4 - 87.1, n=106)
-24%
44.7 (3.4 - 87.1, n=301)
-27%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
83.42 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
86.01 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
3%
83.91 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
1%
82.75 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-1%
65.5 (8.2 - 96.5, n=106)
-21%
63 (8.2 - 96.5, n=301)
-24%
Random Write 4KB
15.3
13.82
-10%
55.3
261%
50.2
228%
18.1 (0.75 - 77.3, n=146)
18%
14.8 (0.14 - 164, n=582)
-3%
Random Read 4KB
38.78
43.07
11%
45.4
17%
39.3
1%
35.9 (3.59 - 117, n=146)
-7%
36.4 (1.59 - 173, n=582)
-6%
Sequential Write 256KB
118.32
127.38
8%
120.5
2%
120
1%
93.9 (14.8 - 189, n=146)
-21%
76.1 (2.99 - 242, n=582)
-36%
Sequential Read 256KB
272.59
271.46
0%
281.6
3%
268
-2%
229 (25.8 - 440, n=146)
-16%
222 (12.1 - 895, n=582)
-19%

Games - perfect controls and frame management

The Adreno 508 GPU displays all games from the store smoothly. Many games can also easily be played at 60 fps. During "Shadow Fight 3", the device automatically switched to 30 fps at low settings while "Arena of Valor" always ran at 30 fps and we could not get it to increase to 60 fps. The car racing game "Beach Buggy Racing" showed that the accelerometer is very responsive as well.

Beach Buggy Racing
Beach Buggy Racing
Shadow Fight 3
Shadow Fight 3
Arena of Valor
Arena of Valor
Shadow Fight 3
 SettingsValue
 high59 fps
 minimal29 fps
  Your browser does not support the canvas element!
Arena of Valor
 SettingsValue
 min30 fps
 high HD30 fps
  Your browser does not support the canvas element!

Emissions

Temperature - the Nokia 6 with Scandinavian coolness

GFXBench battery test
GFXBench battery test
GFXBench battery test
GFXBench battery test

The surface temperature of the Nokia 6 is very low. While idling, the device hardly heats up at all and even under load, it does not even feel warm in our hand. The maximum temperature under load is 35.4 °C (95.72 °F) towards the lower end of the device. While idling, temperatures remain at around 25 °C (77 °F). If Nokia continues improving its temperature management at this rate, the next version can be used as a cool pack. 

However, it seems that this does not have a big influence on performance: In the GFXBench Manhattan battery test, we noticed a drop of the frame rate, but only within 1%, which can be considered normal fluctuations. 

Max. Load
 33.3 °C
92 F
33.5 °C
92 F
32.9 °C
91 F
 
 32.9 °C
91 F
33.4 °C
92 F
35.4 °C
96 F
 
 31.9 °C
89 F
32.9 °C
91 F
34 °C
93 F
 
Maximum: 35.4 °C = 96 F
Average: 33.4 °C = 92 F
31.2 °C
88 F
31 °C
88 F
32 °C
90 F
31.2 °C
88 F
31.6 °C
89 F
31.9 °C
89 F
31.4 °C
89 F
31.7 °C
89 F
31.9 °C
89 F
Maximum: 32 °C = 90 F
Average: 31.5 °C = 89 F
Power Supply (max.)  28.9 °C = 84 F | Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Voltcraft IR-260
heat management front
heat management front
heat management back
heat management back

Speaker - good and without bass

Pink Noise
Pink Noise

The single speaker of the Nokia 6 does a decent job. At medium volume, the medium and high frequencies are quite well balanced. The smartphone can become very loud at over 86 dB(A). The bass frequencies are not very present, as was to be expected. Compared with other devices in this segment, our test unit is positioned in the upper mid-range.

The Nokia 6 supports aptX for high-resolution audio transmission via Bluetooth. The audio jack also transmits sound clearly.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2035.245.82532.946.53137.232.24031.738.45039.639.76328.332.28027.330.910026.929.712526.732.51602433.620020.939.125020.947.331519.551.140018.559.250017.568.563017.566.780015.768.5100015.872.9125016.673.6160015.875200015.476.8250015.578.531501676.7400015.876.450001676.1630016.375.5800016.375.51000016.268.61250016.463.61600016.452.1SPL28.687.2N1.167.9median 16.4median 68.5Delta2.112.528.627.224.929.624.624.826.428.830.828.623.62020.222.219.920.717.625.119.142.319.142.917.449.716.95316.857.215.159.216.560.615.664.41567.615.568.715.373.215.775.715.575.315.575.515.47715.875.61674.415.873.516.17116.16717.357.427.985.6159.9median 16median 670.612.2hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseNokia 6 2018Sony Xperia XA2
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Nokia 6 2018 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (87.2 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 29.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.4% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.9% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (3.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (23.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 36% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 52% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 63% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 29% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Sony Xperia XA2 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (85.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 28% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 5.5% lower than median
(+) | mids are linear (5.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 7.6% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (2.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (23.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 34% of all tested devices in this class were better, 13% similar, 53% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 62% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 30% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Battery Runtime - long, but not perfect

Power Consumption

The power consumption of the Nokia 6 is average compared to its competitors. The Sony Xperia XA2 is better by 8%. The Motorola X4 is 6%, the HTC U11 Life 12% below our test unit in this area. The smartphone has good consumption rates that are above average compared to all devices in this segment. The Nokia 6 is supposed to support QuickCharge. In our test, it was still not recharged fully after two hours.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.13 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.67 / 1.76 / 1.78 Watt
Load midlight 2.82 / 4.56 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Nokia 6 2018
3000 mAh
Sony Xperia XA2
3300 mAh
Motorola Moto X4
3000 mAh
HTC U11 Life
2600 mAh
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 630
 
Average of class Smartphone
 
Power Consumption
8%
-6%
-12%
-21%
-22%
Idle Minimum *
0.67
0.39
42%
0.65
3%
0.63
6%
0.736 (0.35 - 1.4, n=11)
-10%
0.884 (0.2 - 3.4, n=613)
-32%
Idle Average *
1.76
1.61
9%
1.51
14%
2.1
-19%
1.882 (1.51 - 2.31, n=11)
-7%
1.725 (0.6 - 6.2, n=612)
2%
Idle Maximum *
1.78
1.62
9%
1.57
12%
2.15
-21%
2.22 (1.57 - 3.8, n=11)
-25%
1.997 (0.74 - 6.6, n=613)
-12%
Load Average *
2.82
3.12
-11%
3.88
-38%
3.34
-18%
3.87 (2.82 - 6.2, n=11)
-37%
4.03 (0.8 - 10.8, n=607)
-43%
Load Maximum *
4.56
4.92
-8%
5.47
-20%
4.83
-6%
5.68 (4.56 - 8, n=11)
-25%
5.7 (1.2 - 14.2, n=607)
-25%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

The battery runtimes confirm the good power consumption, but not in all areas. The Nokia does a good job during the load and Wi-Fi tests and manages to take first place among its comparison devices. During the read and video tests, things look rather different. Although it has very similar results to the HTC U11 Life in the idle test, that device's battery capacity is 14% lower. The Sony Xperia XA2 wins the comparison by 37%, due in part to its larger battery capacity (+10%). The competition also does better at our video test. Eleven hours of movie watching should be sufficient nonetheless.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
30h 33min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
15h 42min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
11h 15min
Load (maximum brightness)
6h 02min
Nokia 6 2018
3000 mAh
Sony Xperia XA2
3300 mAh
Motorola Moto X4
3000 mAh
HTC U11 Life
2600 mAh
Battery Runtime
7%
-15%
-6%
Reader / Idle
1833
2503
37%
1652
-10%
1820
-1%
H.264
675
766
13%
688
2%
798
18%
WiFi v1.3
942
886
-6%
659
-30%
725
-23%
Load
362
298
-18%
289
-20%
303
-16%

Pros

+ Stock Android
+ fast security updates
+ average power consumption
+ very low temperatures
+ certified for aptX
+ NFC and Bluetooth 5.0
+ a lot of LTE bands
+ no bloatware
+ non-reflective screen
+ good image quality of the camera
+ stable case
+ nice design
+ decent battery runtimes
+ games are displayed at up to 60 fps
+ fast touchscreen

Cons

- included headset could have been designed better
- display has visible blue cast
- unused black edge at the bottom of the screen

Verdict - a great smartphone

Review: Nokia 6 (2018). Test unit provided by HMD Global DE.
Review: Nokia 6 (2018). Test unit provided by HMD Global DE.

The newest offspring of the Nokia 6 series offers an interesting package, but the strong competition in this price range give it a hard time. The 5.5-inch model with the 16:9 panel does not really have a unique selling point. At least one of the comparison devices also features a hybrid SIM slot, 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage. Nokia has also decided to go against the current trend to dual cameras, which could be a disadvantage for buyers for whom technical specifications are important, although a closer look at the photos taken with the camera shows that the quality of the camera is just as good as that of dual cameras. Purists might appreciate the completely untouched Android operating system and the fact that there is no unnecessary software installed on the phone. The security updates are installed directly by Google thanks to Android One and we can expect further system updates.  

Elegance, high performance, an all-round success ... in other words: A real Nokia.

The Nokia 6 offers an excellent package: It has a fast SoC that can keep up with all our current requirements for a smartphone, a good-looking exterior, low temperatures and a good configuration at an attractive price. We experienced no weaknesses during our test and can definitely recommend it considering its price of $290.

Nokia 6 2018 - 05/15/2018 v6
Florian Schaar

Chassis
90%
Keyboard
65 / 75 → 87%
Pointing Device
93%
Connectivity
46 / 60 → 76%
Weight
90%
Battery
96%
Display
83%
Games Performance
41 / 63 → 66%
Application Performance
52 / 70 → 74%
Temperature
94%
Noise
100%
Audio
69 / 91 → 76%
Camera
73%
Average
76%
86%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Nokia 6 (2018) Smartphone Review
Florian Schaar, 2018-05-16 (Update: 2018-05-21)