Nokia 6.1 (2018) review

The budget beauty is back with better hardware

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Battery life

  • 3,000mAh
  • Usually lasts the day
  • Fast charging

Considering how inexpensive it is, battery stamina on the Nokia 6 (2018) is better than you might expect.

Using it as our daily driver for everything from phone calls to music streaming, messaging and social media, we found a full charge was usually just about right for one day’s use.

That means it’ll be falling asleep by the time you are, but as long as you don’t push it too hard, it usually (just) lasts the day.

One of our complaints about the previous version of the Nokia 6 was the slow charging through the old-style micro USB port, and thankfully Nokia has sorted it out with fast charging and USB C.

An hour’s charge bumped up the power by 40%, meaning charging is effectively twice as fast as on the 2017 edition, which took three hours to gain 60%. It’s still not as zippy as some devices on the market, but it’s plenty fast enough for most.

Running our usual battery test of streaming a 90-minute full HD video in full screen with brightness on max and accounts syncing in the background, from a full charge our Nokia 6.1 lost 23%.

Considering the previous version lost 22% in the same test, it seems fair to say that stamina hasn’t improved on the new edition in line with the speed of charging. Still, at least it won’t take as long to get back to full.

The Honor 7X and Moto G5 showed the same result as the previous Nokia 6, so only slightly better than the 6.1 at 22%. The LG Q6, however, lost significantly less power at 16%, so that might be a better phone choice if you’re all about the stamina.


  • 16MP solo rear camera, f/2.0 and dual-tone LED flash
  • 8MP fixed-focus selfie camera, f/2.0
  • 4K video recording at 30fps

The camera is often the downside of a suspiciously cheap, good-looking smartphone, but that’s begun to change recently, and thankfully the Nokia 6 (2018) is part of the vanguard.

It may not have the spangly AI or dual-camera chops of competing handsets, but the Carl Zeiss lens and native Android camera app team up to take reliably great photos.

The camera does struggle with trickier lighting situations: in sunlight we sometimes got overexposure and blown-out highlights, and in low light some areas seemed to disappear. And generally speaking, a lot of our photos came out a little darker and duller than we’d expect, but a quick tweak in Google Photos was enough to put it right.

Nonetheless, give it good lighting, a little patience (it can be slow to focus at times) and the Nokia 6.1 will give you a bright, shareable shot that’ll do your Instagram feed proud.

The 8MP front-facing camera takes perfectly good selfies, with an optional beauty mode (on a slider from first thing in the morning to uncanny valley). However, it’s fixed focus, so you lose a little control there, especially when taking pictures of something other than a face.

Again, it’s not the best in low light environments, but at least if you do take your Nokia 6 (2018) to the club, you know it’s probably not going to smash on the dance floor.

Camera samples