Nokia's return in 2017 was a bit of a light-hearted approach at first, but HMD Global is stepping up its game in 2018 with a spec-boosted Nokia 6.1, the follow-up to last year's entry-level offering. Now sporting a mid-range Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 SoC, the computing power of the Nokia 6.1 is effectively double that of what the Nokia 6 offered in 2017. That means apps are no longer slow to load, games run quite well in general, even the most intense titles, and multi-tasking is considerably better in every regard. While 3GB of RAM is beginning to look like a paltry amount in 2018, the processing speed and 1080p resolution of the screen still means the Nokia 6.1 can take what you throw at it with little hint of a struggle.
Android 8.1 Oreo powers the phone, backed by the Android One program, which guarantees timely system updates and regular security updates too, all handled by Google. This also means the Nokia 6.1 effectively feels closer to a Google Pixel than anything else, albeit not quite as fast, but stylistically many system-wide touches like animations and fonts are what can be found on the Google Pixel series. This makes the Nokia 6.1 feel more elegant and refined out of the box than many entry-level or mid-range phones, which often times either feature a very heavy skin on top of an older version of Android, or a very basic-looking and basic-featured newer version of Android.
HMD Global has kept the overall design language of the Nokia 6, but has trimmed down the bottom bezel by almost 6mm thanks to the removal of the physical home button. With smaller bezels than before and the same size 5.5-inch 1080p IPS LCD display on the front, the phone also measures in almost 6mm shorter than last year's device, making it that much more comfortable to hold. It's still a 16:9 aspect ratio display, so it feels a tad on the wide side at first, but the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner helps make the phone more ergonomic since you won't have to reach down with your thumb to tap in. Check out our video review below and don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for up-to-the-minute reviews and news!