Nokia 6.1 (2018) review

The budget beauty is back with better hardware

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It says a lot about the quality of the Nokia 6.1 that many of the downsides we could attribute to it wouldn’t realistically be expected on a phone of this price in 2018.

Admittedly, it doesn’t offer wireless charging, a dual-lens rear camera, waterproofing or an 18:9 display, but nor do many of the other phones in its price bracket, and some of those are lacking even more basic features (fingerprint scanners and NFC come to mind).

The new Nokia 6 offers a pleasing upgrade on the hardware and experience of its predecessor, and the result is a very attractive package for the price. It won’t suit everyone, but anyone who’s been rooting for Nokia should feel pretty damn vindicated.

Who’s this for?

Android fans who miss the days of tough-as-nails Nokia phones, and want something that will fulfill their needs day-to-day without sacrificing much in the way of looks or capability will be pleased with what the Nokia 6.1 has to offer.

Should you buy it?

If you want an affordable daily driver that can comfortably handle most smartphone tasks, offers stock Android with guaranteed updates, includes nice-to-haves like a fingerprint scanner and NFC, and stylishly stands out from the black rectangle brigade, the 2018 edition of the Nokia 6.1 might just be your new best friend.

After an alternative? Consider these three phones:


The (unofficial) LG G6 Mini is a good all-rounder with some annoying downsides. You won’t find a fingerprint sensor on this one and the plastic back scratches pretty easily, but you do get a glorious FullVision display, a great camera and the good looks of the full-size LG G6 in a cheaper package.

Read our full LG Q6 review

Moto G6

The newest version of Motorola’s super-popular budget range is, as ever, the phone to beat. With a 5.7-inch 18:9 full HD display, dual rear cameras, stock Android, a front-mounted fingerprint sensor and a splash-proof aluminum body, the G6 has a lot of high points. 

However, its chipset isn’t as good as the Nokia’s and it can’t shoot 4K video.

Read our Moto G6 review

Honor 7X

Another low-to-mid-range phone with an 18:9 screen, the Honor 7X offers a stylishly slim all-metal design, 3,340mAh battery, dual rear cameras and 5.93 inches of Gorilla Glass-covered display. 

However, it doesn’t have NFC, can’t shoot in 4K and has Huawei’s Android overlay software installed, so it won’t suit everyone.

Read our full Honor 7X review

First reviewed: April 2018