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Nomu M6 Smartphone Review

Florian Schaar, 👁 Daniel Schmidt, Tanja Hinum (translated by Sabrina Hartmann), 04/18/2018

Outdoor color play. At first glance, the Nomu M6 was convincing with its fresh design and its decent build quality. The low-end hardware can be justified with the low purchase price, even if only barely. However, the case is not the only thing with rough edges here.

The Nomu M6 is a dual-SIM smartphone with a 5-inch IPS display in the 16:9 format and with a midrange SoC, namely the MT6737T by Mediatek. A camera can be found on the front as well as the back. At 3000 mAh, the battery is sufficient, but leagues away from the Blackview BV9000 Pro's capacity of 4000 mAh. 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of internal storage are rather meager and the storage can be expanded to a maximum of only 32 GB via a microSD card.

The manufacturer specifications state that the company's smartphones are certified in accordance with the industrial standard IP68 and the military standard MIL-STD-810G. This certainly does not render these devices indestructible, though, as was proven by our 2015 review of the CAT S40.

Nomu is far from unrivaled in the market of rugged outdoor smartphones and the M6 is one of the most low-priced phones of its class at a price of around 120 Euros. In addition to the Blackview BV9000 Pro, the Nomu M6 has to compete with the Nomu S30 and the CAT S31, which has been licensed by the construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar. The price range for the competing devices starts relatively low at 150 Euros (Nomu S30) and reaches up to 340 Euros (the Blackview in its maximum configuration).

Nomu M6
Graphics adapter
Memory
2048 MB 
Display
5 inch 16:9, 1280 x 720 pixel 294 PPI, 5-point touchscreen, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 11.7 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: accelerometer, proximity sensor, magnetometer
Networking
802.11a/b/g/n (a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0, 2G: GSM: B5/B8/B3/B2, 3G: WCDMA: B8/B1, 4G: FDD-LTE: B1/B3/B7/B8/B20, TDD-LTE: B40, Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 10 x 144 x 74 ( = 0.39 x 5.67 x 2.91 in)
Battery
3000 mAh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Android 7.0 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 8 MPix main camera
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix selfie camera
Additional features
Speakers: 1, Keyboard: on-screen, Keyboard Light: yes, 12 Months Warranty, fanless, ruggedized
Weight
182 g ( = 6.42 oz / 0.4 pounds), Power Supply: 58 g ( = 2.05 oz / 0.13 pounds)
Price
139 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case - Robust and Waterproof Smartphone

The Nomu M6 with its 5-inch display is the smallest phone in the comparison group, and also the lightest at 182 grams. Due to its robust case, it has a rather bulky appearance, but this is typical for high-durability devices and should not affect the overall score too negatively because the comparison devices are no different in this regard. With its IP68 certificate and according to the military standard MIL-STD-810G, the M6 is suitable for almost any environment. It is dustproof, waterproof down to a depth of 1.2 meters for a duration of up to 35 minutes, and drop-proof for heights of up to 1.8 meters. Furthermore, it is nearly impossible for the smartphone to slip from the user's grasp thanks to its rubber frame. The smartphone gave a solid impression while holding it and it did not show any production defects. Each port has a rubber flap and the physical buttons are fixed tightly to the case.

Size Comparison

163 mm / 6.42 inch 82 mm / 3.23 inch 12 mm / 0.4724 inch 253 g0.558 lbs162 mm / 6.38 inch 83 mm / 3.27 inch 13 mm / 0.512 inch 260 g0.573 lbs146 mm / 5.75 inch 74.4 mm / 2.93 inch 12.6 mm / 0.4961 inch 200 g0.4409 lbs144 mm / 5.67 inch 74 mm / 2.91 inch 10 mm / 0.3937 inch 182 g0.4012 lbs

Connectivity - Ascetic and Secure Smartphone

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The Nomu M6 is equipped with a Micro-USB port supporting the transfer standard 2.0. The port is unable to output video signals, but it does support OTG, meaning external storage media and peripherals can be connected to the smartphone. An audio jack is installed at the phone's top edge. All ports are sealed with a rubber flap.

Like many other Chinese smartphones of the low-price segment, the Nomu M6 utilizes a Mediatek MT6737T with an ARM Mali-T720 MP2 as its graphics unit. This entry-level SoC suffices to run the Android 7.0 system fluently, but the chip was not suitable for more demanding applications even in the year of its release, so users should focus on simple apps. At 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of flash storage, the smartphone offers enough capacity for most apps, but users should refrain from trying to run graphically demanding games. If so desired, the device can handle two SIM cards simultaneously, but the second SIM will occupy the microSD slot, forcing the user to choose between these two. MicroSD cards of up to 32 GB are supported and can be formated as internal or external storage. Apps can be installed on the memory card.

The slots for the memory- and SIM cards are accessible from the outside and are protected by flaps, keeping the device water- and dustproof. The buttons on the left and right sides of the device can be felt easily and have a clear feedback. The power button and the volume control can also be used for the photo feature, which we will get back to later. Of course, we submerged the smartphone into water and dropped it to the ground. Afterwards, the back button started working on its own accord. The screws seem to be fastened too tightly here.

Software - Pure Android without Clutter

The Nomu M6 still uses Google Android 7.0 as its operating system. The Google security patch is from January 5, 2018. The smartphone runs stock Android without any additional software. However, the Google services are pre-installed.

Home Screen
Home Screen
App Drawer
App Drawer
App Drawer
App Drawer

Communication and GPS - Fast Localization

The Nomu M6 accesses the mobile data network via LTE Cat. 6. The frequency coverage is not exactly broad, but it does cover the necessary bands within Europe. We did not encounter any reception problems within a bigger city.

Our test device is equipped with a slow b/g/n Wi-Fi adapter, leading to subpar transfer rates. The M6 and the CAT S31 bring up the rear of our comparison field in this area.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Average of class Smartphone
  (5.9 - 939, n=351)
219 MBit/s ∼100% +591%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
Mali-T880 MP2, Helio P25, 128 GB eMMC Flash
111 MBit/s ∼51% +250%
Nomu S30
Mali-T860 MP2, Helio P10 MT6755, 64 GB eMMC Flash
101 MBit/s ∼46% +219%
CAT S31
Adreno 304, 210 MSM8909, 16 GB eMMC Flash
41.6 MBit/s ∼19% +31%
Nomu M6
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737T, 16 GB eMMC Flash
31.7 MBit/s ∼14%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Average of class Smartphone
  (9.4 - 703, n=351)
210 MBit/s ∼100% +400%
Nomu S30
Mali-T860 MP2, Helio P10 MT6755, 64 GB eMMC Flash
102 MBit/s ∼49% +143%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
Mali-T880 MP2, Helio P25, 128 GB eMMC Flash
99.8 MBit/s ∼48% +138%
Nomu M6
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737T, 16 GB eMMC Flash
42 MBit/s ∼20%
CAT S31
Adreno 304, 210 MSM8909, 16 GB eMMC Flash
39.3 MBit/s ∼19% -6%
GPS reception outdoors
GPS reception outdoors
GPS reception outdoors
GPS reception outdoors
GPS reception indoors
GPS reception indoors
GPS reception indoors
GPS reception indoors

Outdoors, the M6 was able to fix our location relatively fast with an accuracy of up to 7 meters. Some of the competing devices were even more accurate in our test. The M6 supports not only GPS, but also GLONASS. The indoors results with the "GPS Test" tool were similar, with an accuracy of 8 meters.

In order to assess the phone's outdoor abilities further, we took the M6 on a bike ride. The comparison with the professional navigation device Garmin Edge 500 shows a total deviation of more than half a kilometer on a test track with an overall length of about 10 km. The M6 used significant shortcuts at two important points. The phone's localization abilities are sufficient for everyday use, but we had higher expectations for an outdoor device.

Nomu M6 bike ride
Nomu M6 bike ride
Nomu M6 bike ride
Nomu M6 bike ride
Nomu M6 bike ride
Nomu M6 bike ride
Garmin Edge 500 bike ride
Garmin Edge 500 bike ride
Garmin Edge 500 bike ride
Garmin Edge 500 bike ride
Garmin Edge 500 bike ride
Garmin Edge 500 bike ride

Call and Voice Quality

The Nomu M6 offers optional dual-SIM, as long as the user can do without a microSD card. The telephone app used by Nomu is Google's standard app delivered with Android. The voice quality is decent: The conversation partner can be heard clearly, but the earpiece's volume could be a bit higher. A slight buzzing noise can be heard. The microphone picks our voice up well. Voices are still audible clearly in hands-free mode. Basses are lacking, which diminishes the overall voice quality.

Cameras - Not Only Suitable for Snapshots

Front camera
Front camera
Main camera
Main camera
Main camera close-ups
Main camera close-ups
Main camera close-ups
Main camera close-ups
Main camera close-ups
Main camera close-ups
 

The front camera has a resolution of up to 8 MP. The test photo to the right was taken under optimum conditions. The color shades are easily discernible, but the front camera lacks detail overall and there is visible picture noise under bad lighting conditions. According to the manufacturer, the main camera is made by Sony and has a resolution of 13 MP. On the Nomu website, however, only 8 MP are listed. Photos taken in daylight are rather good, showing lots of detail at close range. The dynamic range is decent and even a blur effect is available, comparable to the effect usually offered in reflex cameras.

The camera seems to be almost on a par with those installed in the iPhone X and the OnePlus 5T, though the sharpness is slightly worse. As soon as the ambient light is darker, though, pictures taken with the camera are much too dark and completely out of focus.

The main camera is able to record videos in Full HD (1920x1080 pixels, 16:9), while the front camera manages only 640x480 pixels. Overall, the main camera leaves a much better impression, not only because of its autofocus feature, but also because of its richer color reproduction.

Quite handy: The camera can be activated with a double-tap on the on/off button and the volume buttons can be used to trigger a photograph.

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

The main camera also had to prove its worth under controlled lighting conditions in our test laboratory. The ColorChecker Passport shows that the colors are generally rather bright and rich. The grayscales are on the warmer side and especially the white seems overexposed. When assessing the color accuracy, we noticed that the colored areas looked rather grainy. The test chart was reproduced relatively well, but the contours had a somewhat frayed appearance. The level of detail is good, though, and the colors overall look natural. The strongest deviations were limited to the brightness.

Accessories and Warranty

The Nomu M6 comes with a charging cable and the corresponding power supply, and with safety instructions and a quick start guide. No other accessories are available from the manufacturer. As the smartphone has a CE marking and is officially available without a contract from various Central European online stores, Nomu offers a one-year warranty for it. Hence, it can also be used as a prepaid smartphone with a discounter SIM card.

Please see our Guarantees, Return Policies and Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices & Handling

The Nomu M6 is operated via the capacitive touchscreen which supports up to 5-point gestures. The reactions seemed slightly delayed in a test with Gismarts Real Piano.
The touchscreen can be used easily, even though it is covered by a protective foil out-of-the-box that is rather hard to remove. Sadly it does not cover the display entirely, but the touchscreen is still responsive near the edges of the foil and in the corners. Nomu uses the Android standard keyboard layout. Users preferring a different layout can download one from the Google Play Store. The physical buttons at the sides give a high-quality impression and sit snugly in their slots on the case. The pressure point is fine as well, but the haptic perception could have been facilitated by using different surfaces.

Keyboard
Keyboard
Keyboard
Keyboard
Keyboard
Keyboard
Keyboard
Keyboard

Display

Subpixels
Subpixels

The IPS display of the Nomu M6 has a resolution of 1280x720 pixels and an aspect ratio of 16:9. The 5-inch panel displays the screen content with an adequate sharpness and our measurements showed good results as well. At an average of 578 cd/m², the display has a high brightness and thanks to the low black value of only 0.31 cd/m², it offers a high contrast (1968:1). The results remain at a similar level when the ambient light sensor is activated and the dark and bright areas are distributed evenly (APL 50). The brightness distribution is not very homogenous, though. Furthermore, a lot of backlight bleeding is visible in the lower right corner, whereas the upper right corner has a dark spot. This basically annuls the display's quality.

White background: A small black spot is visible in the upper left corner.
White background: A small black spot is visible in the upper left corner.
Black background: Discolorations can be seen in the upper right corner.
Black background: Discolorations can be seen in the upper right corner.
590
cd/m²
616
cd/m²
558
cd/m²
576
cd/m²
610
cd/m²
552
cd/m²
566
cd/m²
570
cd/m²
563
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 616 cd/m² Average: 577.9 cd/m² Minimum: 22.56 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 90 %
Center on Battery: 610 cd/m²
Contrast: 1968:1 (Black: 0.31 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.8 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 6.8 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
Gamma: 2.08
Nomu M6
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Blackview BV9000 Pro
IPS, 1440x720, 5.7
CAT S31
IPS, 1280x720, 4.7
Nomu S30
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.5
Screen
-10%
11%
-15%
Brightness middle
610
621
2%
784
29%
423
-31%
Brightness
578
598
3%
750
30%
421
-27%
Brightness Distribution
90
91
1%
92
2%
93
3%
Black Level *
0.31
0.64
-106%
0.45
-45%
0.26
16%
Contrast
1968
970
-51%
1742
-11%
1627
-17%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.8
5.5
19%
4.28
37%
7.8
-15%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
13.4
10
25%
8.75
35%
14.5
-8%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
6.8
5.1
25%
6.1
10%
9.8
-44%
Gamma
2.08 106%
2.52 87%
2.49 88%
2.32 95%
CCT
8003 81%
7362 88%
7175 91%
9828 66%

* ... 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 588 Hz ≤ 30 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 588 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 30 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 588 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9813 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The color accuracy is not exactly the Nomu M6's strong point either. A DeltaE value of 13 is certainly nothing to be proud of. The panel also has a clearly visible blue tint in the grayscale chart.

ColorChecker
ColorChecker
Colorspace
Colorspace
Grayscales
Grayscales
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps

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
20 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 6.8 ms rise
↘ 13.2 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 20 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.5 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
38.4 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18 ms rise
↘ 20.4 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. » 39 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (40.7 ms).

Outdoors, the display does a good job on a cloudy day. Thanks to the high contrast, most of the screen content is legible even in brighter surroundings. The display is still usable even in sunlight, as long as the sun does not shine directly onto the display.

Direct sunlight
Direct sunlight
Shade
Shade

The viewing angles are really good. Only extremely flat viewing angles cause deviations in the brightness, and even then these are less pronounced than they are with other smartphones.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance - Only Just Sufficient

The Nomu M6 is powered by a Mediatek MT6737T, which makes it the second-weakest device in our comparison field, with only the CAT Phone performing even worse. The quad-core SoC consists of four Cortex-A53 cores, which run at a clock speed of up to 1.44 GHz. The system is supplemented by 2 GB of RAM as well as an ARM Mali-T720 MP2 GPU. CPUs at this speed level will probably be discontinued in the near future and are currently only used in very low-end configurations. Even the same company's other competitor, the Nomu S30, is faster and costs barely a few Euros more by now. Still, the most important applications should run on the Nomu M6 without any trouble as well.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Nomu M6
38372 Points ∼47%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
64441 Points ∼80% +68%
CAT S31
24865 Points ∼31% -35%
Nomu S30
50904 Points ∼63% +33%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (35747 - 40981, n=9)
38233 Points ∼47% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (23275 - 273655, n=431)
80811 Points ∼100% +111%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Nomu M6
3116 Points ∼66%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
3865 Points ∼81% +24%
CAT S31
2300 Points ∼48% -26%
Nomu S30
3405 Points ∼72% +9%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (2249 - 3487, n=8)
3163 Points ∼67% +2%
Average of class Smartphone (2828 - 9868, n=302)
4747 Points ∼100% +52%
Work performance score (sort by value)
Nomu M6
4263 Points ∼82%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
4465 Points ∼86% +5%
CAT S31
3080 Points ∼59% -28%
Nomu S30
3175 Points ∼61% -26%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (2759 - 4607, n=7)
4041 Points ∼78% -5%
Average of class Smartphone (3977 - 13531, n=470)
5179 Points ∼100% +21%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Nomu M6
742 Points ∼79%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
945 Points ∼100% +27%
CAT S31
10 Points ∼1% -99%
Nomu S30
618 Points ∼65% -17%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (10 - 787, n=8)
457 Points ∼48% -38%
Average of class Smartphone (7 - 1731, n=543)
714 Points ∼76% -4%
Graphics (sort by value)
Nomu M6
383 Points ∼21%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
1121 Points ∼62% +193%
CAT S31
256 Points ∼14% -33%
Nomu S30
670 Points ∼37% +75%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (383 - 386, n=8)
385 Points ∼21% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (18 - 15969, n=543)
1806 Points ∼100% +372%
Memory (sort by value)
Nomu M6
704 Points ∼53%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
1028 Points ∼77% +46%
CAT S31
328 Points ∼25% -53%
Nomu S30
942 Points ∼71% +34%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (402 - 1288, n=8)
773 Points ∼58% +10%
Average of class Smartphone (21 - 6283, n=543)
1329 Points ∼100% +89%
System (sort by value)
Nomu M6
1245 Points ∼38%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
3238 Points ∼100% +160%
CAT S31
899 Points ∼28% -28%
Nomu S30
2216 Points ∼68% +78%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (562 - 1498, n=8)
1230 Points ∼38% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (369 - 12202, n=543)
2664 Points ∼82% +114%
Overall (sort by value)
Nomu M6
707 Points ∼52%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
1370 Points ∼100% +94%
CAT S31
1 Points ∼0% -100%
Nomu S30
964 Points ∼70% +36%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (177 - 845, n=8)
548 Points ∼40% -22%
Average of class Smartphone (150 - 6097, n=547)
1320 Points ∼96% +87%
Geekbench 4.3
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
Nomu M6
1081 Points ∼24%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
2635 Points ∼57% +144%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (1077 - 1241, n=5)
1174 Points ∼26% +9%
Average of class Smartphone (1077 - 21070, n=239)
4593 Points ∼100% +325%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Nomu M6
1819 Points ∼41%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
3818 Points ∼87% +110%
CAT S31
1135 Points ∼26% -38%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (1807 - 1932, n=6)
1869 Points ∼42% +3%
Average of class Smartphone (1634 - 11598, n=291)
4410 Points ∼100% +142%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Nomu M6
656 Points ∼51%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
828 Points ∼64% +26%
CAT S31
437 Points ∼34% -33%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (648 - 682, n=6)
668 Points ∼52% +2%
Average of class Smartphone (590 - 4824, n=292)
1293 Points ∼100% +97%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Nomu M6
945 Points ∼56%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
1353 Points ∼80% +43%
CAT S31
560 Points ∼33% -41%
Nomu S30
1182 Points ∼70% +25%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (814 - 985, n=9)
927 Points ∼55% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (918 - 4216, n=393)
1696 Points ∼100% +79%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Nomu M6
149 Points ∼12%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
600 Points ∼49% +303%
CAT S31
0 Points ∼0% -100%
Nomu S30
351 Points ∼29% +136%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (138 - 151, n=9)
145 Points ∼12% -3%
Average of class Smartphone (150 - 5246, n=395)
1221 Points ∼100% +719%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Nomu M6
183 Points ∼16%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
685 Points ∼58% +274%
CAT S31
0 Points ∼0% -100%
Nomu S30
416 Points ∼36% +127%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (169 - 186, n=9)
178 Points ∼15% -3%
Average of class Smartphone (184 - 4734, n=403)
1171 Points ∼100% +540%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Nomu M6
960 Points ∼60%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
1505 Points ∼94% +57%
Nomu S30
1114 Points ∼70% +16%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (762 - 973, n=9)
918 Points ∼58% -4%
Average of class Smartphone (512 - 4215, n=427)
1595 Points ∼100% +66%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Nomu M6
262 Points ∼16%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
921 Points ∼56% +252%
Nomu S30
522 Points ∼31% +99%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (217 - 262, n=9)
232 Points ∼14% -11%
Average of class Smartphone (43 - 8312, n=427)
1659 Points ∼100% +533%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Nomu M6
279 Points ∼20%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
1008 Points ∼71% +261%
Nomu S30
592 Points ∼42% +112%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (258 - 285, n=9)
277 Points ∼19% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (55 - 6454, n=435)
1424 Points ∼100% +410%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Nomu M6
10647 Points ∼81%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
11176 Points ∼85% +5%
CAT S31
6396 Points ∼48% -40%
Nomu S30
12394 Points ∼94% +16%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (7424 - 11393, n=9)
10350 Points ∼78% -3%
Average of class Smartphone (3958 - 37475, n=586)
13218 Points ∼100% +24%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Nomu M6
6036 Points ∼32%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
10023 Points ∼54% +66%
CAT S31
5042 Points ∼27% -16%
Nomu S30
10373 Points ∼55% +72%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (5380 - 6184, n=9)
5980 Points ∼32% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (1152 - 162695, n=586)
18733 Points ∼100% +210%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Nomu M6
6679 Points ∼42%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
10258 Points ∼65% +54%
CAT S31
5291 Points ∼34% -21%
Nomu S30
10763 Points ∼68% +61%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (5731 - 6858, n=9)
6593 Points ∼42% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (2915 - 77599, n=587)
15750 Points ∼100% +136%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Nomu M6
11 fps ∼34%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
21 fps ∼64% +91%
CAT S31
5.6 fps ∼17% -49%
Nomu S30
17 fps ∼52% +55%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (9.8 - 11, n=9)
10.9 fps ∼33% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (4.1 - 251, n=610)
32.6 fps ∼100% +196%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Nomu M6
20 fps ∼65%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
31 fps ∼100% +55%
CAT S31
9.8 fps ∼32% -51%
Nomu S30
17 fps ∼55% -15%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (9.7 - 20, n=9)
16.2 fps ∼52% -19%
Average of class Smartphone (6.9 - 120, n=613)
25.9 fps ∼84% +30%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Nomu M6
4.1 fps ∼23%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
10 fps ∼57% +144%
CAT S31
1.9 fps ∼11% -54%
Nomu S30
7.1 fps ∼40% +73%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (3.9 - 4.1, n=9)
4.04 fps ∼23% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (2.2 - 132, n=531)
17.6 fps ∼100% +329%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Nomu M6
8.9 fps ∼52%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
17 fps ∼100% +91%
CAT S31
4.3 fps ∼25% -52%
Nomu S30
7.1 fps ∼42% -20%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (4 - 8.9, n=9)
7.13 fps ∼42% -20%
Average of class Smartphone (4.1 - 115, n=535)
16.7 fps ∼98% +88%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Nomu M6
2.5 fps ∼17%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
6.9 fps ∼47% +176%
Nomu S30
2.5 fps ∼17% 0%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (2.5 - 2.6, n=9)
2.57 fps ∼17% +3%
Average of class Smartphone (2.6 - 88, n=392)
14.8 fps ∼100% +492%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Nomu M6
6 fps ∼40%
Blackview BV9000 Pro
15 fps ∼100% +150%
Nomu S30
4.7 fps ∼31% -22%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (2.6 - 6.3, n=9)
4.67 fps ∼31% -22%
Average of class Smartphone (3.5 - 110, n=395)
14.3 fps ∼95% +138%
GFXBench
off screen Car Chase Offscreen (sort by value)
Blackview BV9000 Pro
4.1 fps ∼41%
Nomu S30
2.5 fps ∼25%
Average Mediatek MT6737T
0 fps ∼0%
Average of class Smartphone (9 - 54, n=322)
10.1 fps ∼100%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen (sort by value)
Blackview BV9000 Pro
8.2 fps ∼90%
Nomu S30
2.5 fps ∼27%
Average Mediatek MT6737T
0 fps ∼0%
Average of class Smartphone (9.4 - 58, n=325)
9.11 fps ∼100%

Legend

 
Nomu M6 Mediatek MT6737T, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Blackview BV9000 Pro Mediatek Helio P25, ARM Mali-T880 MP2, 128 GB eMMC Flash
 
CAT S31 Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Nomu S30 Mediatek Helio P10 MT6755, ARM Mali-T860 MP2, 64 GB eMMC Flash

We conducted our browser benchmarks with the pre-installed Google Chrome 65. The results of the Nomu M6 met the expectations for a smartphone of its class. Subjectively speaking, browsing the web was fast enough and even complex websites were rendered quickly.

JetStream 1.1 - Total Score
Average of class Smartphone (10.8 - 273, n=468)
37.7 Points ∼100% +99%
Blackview BV9000 Pro (Chrome Mobile 53)
32.424 Points ∼86% +71%
Nomu S30 (Chrome 57)
24.234 Points ∼64% +28%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (17.4 - 22, n=9)
19.4 Points ∼51% +2%
Nomu M6 (Chrome 65)
18.974 Points ∼50%
CAT S31
12.442 Points ∼33% -34%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Average of class Smartphone (1506 - 43280, n=604)
5843 Points ∼100% +75%
Blackview BV9000 Pro (Chrome Mobile 53)
4155 Points ∼71% +25%
Nomu M6 (Chrome 65)
3333 Points ∼57%
Nomu S30 (Chrome 57)
3279 Points ∼56% -2%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (2684 - 3483, n=9)
3200 Points ∼55% -4%
CAT S31
2010 Points ∼34% -40%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Nomu S30 (Chrome 57)
23913.5 ms * ∼100% -85%
CAT S31
17827.9 ms * ∼75% -38%
Blackview BV9000 Pro (Chrome Mobile 53)
16298.4 ms * ∼68% -26%
Nomu M6
12915 ms * ∼54%
Average Mediatek MT6737T (10544 - 13300, n=9)
12142 ms * ∼51% +6%
Average of class Smartphone (603 - 59466, n=623)
11157 ms * ∼47% +14%

* ... smaller is better

The Nomu M6 offers 16 GB of flash storage, with 12 GB available to the user after the first boot. The storage performed decently in our benchmarks, but was still slightly below average in the comparison field. The only competitor that performed significantly better was the much more expensive Blackview BV9000 Pro.

We tested the speed of the micro SD card slot with our reference card Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 (max. read speed: 270 MB/s, max. write speed 150 MB/s). The slot remained far behind the card's full potential and came in last of our comparison group by a long way.

Nomu M6Blackview BV9000 ProCAT S31Nomu S30Average 16 GB eMMC FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
169%
58%
44%
24%
93%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
18.72 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
68.46 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
266%
59.5
218%
21.52 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
15%
37.7 (6.38 - 65.4, n=117)
101%
47.1 (19.2 - 87.1, n=357)
152%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
28.69 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
76.7 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
167%
81.8
185%
36.94 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
29%
56.8 (10.8 - 87.7, n=117)
98%
65.3 (29.8 - 96.5, n=357)
128%
Random Write 4KB
11.38
12.72
12%
14.81
30%
8.84
-22%
7.66 (0.49 - 43.2, n=232)
-33%
17.8 (0.14 - 250, n=652)
56%
Random Read 4KB
12.78
72.6
468%
14.28
12%
27.99
119%
20.5 (2.49 - 61.7, n=232)
60%
41.2 (1.59 - 173, n=652)
222%
Sequential Write 256KB
91
174.62
92%
62.13
-32%
194.95
114%
41.6 (8.74 - 97.6, n=232)
-54%
85.9 (2.99 - 253, n=652)
-6%
Sequential Read 256KB
223
244.73
10%
71.06
-68%
241.97
9%
160 (9.66 - 294, n=232)
-28%
241 (12.1 - 912, n=652)
8%

Games - Nomu M6 Suitable for Simple Games

The Nomu M6's integrated graphics unit quickly reaches its limits with more demanding games. It is unable to run Asphalt 8 or Beach Buggy Racing fluently on high details, forcing the user to reduce the level of detail. Real Racing 3 is a borderline case as well and could really use a few more frames. Nevertheless, all games in the Play Store remain playable, even though there might be some smaller stutters for some of the games. The touchscreen reacts to inputs with an average accuracy. During the Real Piano test, it seemed to ignore some of our inputs, but this should be less noticeable during everyday operation. The sensors, however, recognized any movements of the smartphone reliably.

Beach Buggy Racing
Beach Buggy Racing
Plants vs Zombies
Plants vs Zombies

Emissions

Temperature

The surface temperatures of the Nomu M6 are at a low level. The device barely heats up at all in idle mode and even under load, the smartphone exceeded a lukewarm temperature at only a few spots. The maximum temperature was slightly below 40 °C.

Front
Front
Back
Back
Max. Load
 38 °C
100 F
36.6 °C
98 F
36 °C
97 F
 
 38.2 °C
101 F
35.8 °C
96 F
35.8 °C
96 F
 
 37.4 °C
99 F
35.9 °C
97 F
34.2 °C
94 F
 
Maximum: 38.2 °C = 101 F
Average: 36.4 °C = 98 F
33 °C
91 F
39.8 °C
104 F
38.1 °C
101 F
33.6 °C
92 F
34.4 °C
94 F
35.9 °C
97 F
33 °C
91 F
34.9 °C
95 F
34.5 °C
94 F
Maximum: 39.8 °C = 104 F
Average: 35.2 °C = 95 F
Power Supply (max.)  30 °C = 86 F | Room Temperature 21 °C = 70 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 36.4 °C / 98 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 38.2 °C / 101 F, compared to the average of 35.6 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 39.8 °C / 104 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 28.9 °C / 84 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speakers

Pink Noise
Pink Noise

The Nomu M6's mono speakers offer a solid performance, as long as the volume is not turned up too high. At a medium volume level, the frequency response of mids and highs is quite balanced. However, at full volume, the highs rise too much and the mids drop slightly. Bass cannot be heard at any time. The smartphone has a rather high maximum volume at 89 dB(A).

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2028.631.92524.923.73124.627.54026.426.75030.832.86323.621.28020.220.510019.919.612517.627.916019.142.720019.143.625017.450.131516.956.940016.860.450015.163.163016.564.480015.666.110001569.6125015.571.2160015.372.7200015.773.5250015.577.5315015.581.1400015.482.6500015.87863001674.9800015.873.61000016.1761250016.168.71600017.350.1SPL27.988.8N170median 16median 68.7Delta0.611.935.244.132.937.637.239.131.739.539.639.728.33527.331.326.937.326.738.42435.120.936.220.94219.553.818.560.117.562.317.568.315.776.615.878.616.677.215.876.615.47915.580.21681.515.882.11679.216.375.716.367.216.27116.463.716.454.728.690.31.178.8median 16.4median 68.32.113.225.926.325.925272526.529.626.531.131.631.132.734.632.726.728.326.725.628.325.626.530.926.532.823.932.832.322.432.337.222.537.239.824.139.844.222.844.247.521.247.551.819.351.854.116.554.160.115.660.164.716.364.765.21565.266.214.866.267.214.567.266.614.366.667.51467.567.413.967.465.413.965.461.813.961.860.313.860.357.213.857.253.613.853.653.413.853.476.928.176.935.71.135.7median 57.2median 15median 57.211.24.111.231.635.625.438.325.335.932.928.133.628.831.631.928.432.32730.620.832.82231.821.33620.838.621.246.219.456.419.564.417.772.417.976.917.88017.378.717.479.816.779.617.281.518.283.417.981.217.670.517.763.917.859.117.961.818.160.118.2503090.81.375.9median 17.9median 63.91.316.7hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseNomu M6Blackview BV9000 ProCAT S31Nomu S30
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Nomu M6 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (88.8 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 28.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.1% away from median
(+) | mids are linear (3.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 9% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (5.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (23.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 39% of all tested devices in this class were better, 13% similar, 48% 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, 9% similar, 28% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Blackview BV9000 Pro audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (90.3 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 27.9% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 7.6% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 8.7% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (25.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 57% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 32% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 74% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 20% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

CAT S31 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (76.9 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 21.7% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 7% higher than median
(+) | mids are linear (6.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.5% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (24.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 49% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 39% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 69% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 24% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Nomu S30 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (90.76 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 27.9% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (6.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 11.5% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 9.7% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (9.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (32.6% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 90% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 6% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 93% of all tested devices were better, 3% similar, 4% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Battery Runtime - Surprisingly Good

Power Consumption

Even in comparison to the quite energy-efficient Caterpillar smartphone, the Nomu M6 has a result that is better still. This is surprising, as Chinese companies are known for not putting a strong focus on energy efficiency and usually try to compensate with a bigger battery. The M6 proves that the opposite is possible as well.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.01 / 0.07 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.74 / 1.49 / 1.51 Watt
Load midlight 2.89 / 4.33 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Nomu M6
3000 mAh
Blackview BV9000 Pro
4180 mAh
CAT S31
4000 mAh
Nomu S30
5000 mAh
Average Mediatek MT6737T
 
Average of class Smartphone
 
Power Consumption
-51%
-19%
-47%
-37%
-29%
Idle Minimum *
0.74
1.04
-41%
0.73
1%
0.93
-26%
0.811 (0.5 - 1.5, n=8)
-10%
0.881 (0.2 - 3.4, n=684)
-19%
Idle Average *
1.49
2.14
-44%
2.21
-48%
2.31
-55%
1.771 (1.12 - 2.6, n=8)
-19%
1.73 (0.6 - 6.2, n=683)
-16%
Idle Maximum *
1.51
2.17
-44%
2.25
-49%
2.35
-56%
2.09 (1.25 - 3.8, n=8)
-38%
2.01 (0.74 - 6.6, n=684)
-33%
Load Average *
2.89
5.11
-77%
2.99
-3%
4.57
-58%
5.12 (2.89 - 7.5, n=8)
-77%
4.06 (0.8 - 10.8, n=678)
-40%
Load Maximum *
4.33
6.37
-47%
4.12
5%
6.1
-41%
6.06 (4.33 - 8, n=8)
-40%
5.84 (1.2 - 14.2, n=678)
-35%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

Concomitant with the high energy efficiency, our test device also has a really good battery runtime. With the display turned on and the browser activated, it lasted almost 22 hours in idle mode, which is a very good performance. Not a single one of the comparison devices was able to reach a similarly long battery runtime, despite all of them having bigger batteries. Accordingly, the battery runtime in standby mode is longer as well. 

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
21h 25min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
10h 23min
Nomu M6
3000 mAh
Blackview BV9000 Pro
4180 mAh
CAT S31
4000 mAh
Nomu S30
5000 mAh
Battery Runtime
-9%
72%
34%
Reader / Idle
1285
1139
-11%
WiFi v1.3
623
579
-7%
1074
72%
832
34%
Load
277

Pros

+ dual-SIM
+ LTE
+ water- and dustproof
+ robust case
+ good GPS
+ storage expansion with microSD
+ Gorilla Glass 3
+ IP68-certified
+ fast charging times
+ good camera
+ CE marking
+ 12-month warranty
+ comparably lightweight
+ bright display
+ very good battery runtime

Cons

- low-end hardware
- low amount of storage space
- supports only a small storage expansion
- defective display
- triggers the back button on its own accord

Verdict

The Nomu M6 in review, courtesy of Nomu.
The Nomu M6 in review, courtesy of Nomu.

Imagine a 100-meter runner who usually places in the last third of the competition, but who is having the run of a lifetime today. He did everything right and can already see the finish line. Then he stumbles and sprawls and barely manages to slide through the finish line on the ground with his nose first, ranking the second to last place. The Nomu M6 is this runner.

The Nomu smartphone is small, lightweight, robust and stylish for its class. The hardware is still within reason for the low price and the cameras are above average. Fine, the transfer speed for SD cards and the Wi-Fi are not the fastest - but let us ignore that aspect for now.

The Nomu M6 leaves a balanced and solid impression. Almost all parameters meet the expectations, were it not for two things: First, one corner of the display is compressed too tightly, leaving behind an area of visible backlight bleeding. And second, the back button triggered on its own accord repeatedly.

Once we turned our attention to the display, we noticed areas of backlight bleeding big enough for the Death Star to land on. What were they thinking? Maybe we got a single defective device and the same is not true for all devices of this series, but this is a no-go. This seriously should not happen. This equals a scenario in which Nomu delivers smartphones with cracked displays out-of-the-box. By the way, towards the end of our testing, the M6 phone started operating itself on its own accord: The back button was activated repeatedly - it is most likely not a coincidence its location is in the corner with the backlight bleeding. Taken together, this hints at the smartphone being screwed too tightly in the affected area.

This is rather unfortunate, as the Nomu smartphone would otherwise be a clear budget recommendation for price-conscious outdoor enthusiasts.

Taking into account the problems with our current test device, though, we have to reduce the overall score. We contacted the manufacturer about this issue and might change the rating in the future.

Nomu M6 - 04/11/2018 v6
Florian Schaar

Chassis
89%
Keyboard
65 / 75 → 87%
Pointing Device
72%
Connectivity
30 / 60 → 51%
Weight
90%
Battery
93%
Display
79%
Games Performance
11 / 63 → 17%
Application Performance
37 / 70 → 53%
Temperature
90%
Noise
100%
Audio
61 / 91 → 67%
Camera
68%
Add Points
-5%
Average
63%
72%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Nomu M6 Smartphone Review
Florian Schaar, 2018-04-18 (Update: 2019-03-20)