Nokia 6 review: Back in black

Back in black

GSMArena team, 03 April 2017.

Synthetic benchmarks

The Nokia 6 is powered by the Snapdragon 430 chipset - a midrange Qualcomm SoC built on a relatively outdated 28nm process. Much like the bulk of processors priced in this segment, the 430 packs 8 Cortex-A53 cores, which tick at a frequency of up to 1.4GHz. The GPU is an Adreno 505.

Nokia 6 review

Again, we have the Chinese version of the smartphone, which comes with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage as standard. The global version will be available in both 3GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB configurations.

We subjected the Nokia 6 to the usual set of benchmarks, starting off with GeekBench. A single Cortex-A53 core clocked at 1.4GHz can only do so much, and the Nokia posts one of the lower single-core results. It's nothing to do with Nokia's implementation though - the Zenfone 3 Max and the Lenovo K6 Note we've tested before score virtually identical numbers.

The Snapdragon 617 in the Moto G4 Plus is marginally faster (same Cortex-A53, but at 1.5GHz), while the Helio P10-powered Moto M is even better (A53@1.8GHz). Both the Honor 6X and Snapdragon version of the Redmi Note 4 should also whiz through single-core tasks more quickly than the Nokia 6. Then again, it's hard to beat the Helio X20's vastly superior Cortex-A72 cores.

GeekBench 4 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    1551
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Helio X20)
    1546
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    832
  • Huawei Honor 6X
    801
  • Lenovo Moto M
    771
  • Meizu M5 Note
    683
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    669
  • Asus ZenFone 3 Max ZC553KL
    641
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    638
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    635

In multi-core, however, the S430 in the Nokia 6 performs above its pay grade. It leaves the K6 Note and Zenfone 3 Max way behind and matches the Meizu M5 Note's Helio P10. This isn't the highest scoring of P10s though, and the Moto M still outperforms the Nokia 6. The Honor 6X and its Kirin 655 can't compete with the Helio X20s, but those aside, it remains undefeated in this test.

GeekBench 4 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Helio X20)
    4456
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    3885
  • Huawei Honor 6X
    3351
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    3011
  • Lenovo Moto M
    2921
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    2719
  • Meizu M5 Note
    2690
  • Asus ZenFone 3 Max ZC553KL
    2040
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    2027
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    1822

The Nokia 6's less than impressive benchmark run continues into crowd favorite Antutu. Again that's not due to poor optimization on Nokia's part - that's just what the hardware is capable of, as evidenced by the similar numbers from the Zenfone 3 Max and the Lenovo K6 Note. Here we observe larger gaps between the various chips, though the Helio X20 is again undisturbed at the top.

AnTuTu 6

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Helio X20)
    85162
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    77442
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    76186
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    61616
  • Huawei Honor 6X
    57012
  • Lenovo Moto M
    51831
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    49094
  • Meizu M5 Note
    47806
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (Helio X10)
    45474
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    45190
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    44972
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    44062
  • Asus ZenFone 3 Max ZC553KL
    43957
  • Oppo F1s
    30657

Basemark X shows the Chinese 6 in better light. Here, the Nokia beats the Exynos 7870-powered Galaxy J7 (2016), the K6 Note (S430), Moto G4 Plus (S617), and the lowly Helios too - Redmi Note 3 and Meizu M5 Note. The Moto M makes better use of its P10 though, and pulls ahead of the 6. The Honor 6X is again on top of the Nokia.

Basemark OS II

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    1914
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    1648
  • Huawei Honor 6X
    1307
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    1290
  • Lenovo Moto M
    1127
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    1041
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    999
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    967
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (Helio X10)
    956
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    951
  • Meizu M5 Note
    944
  • Oppo F1s
    888

Moving on to graphics-only benchmarks, and since we're already into the Basemark suite, it's Basemark X first. Very little to split the different Snapdragon 430s here, and they are all ahead of the Helio P10s, so there's that. The Helio X10, on the other hand (Redmi Note 3), matches the Honor 6X (Kirin 655), and both are somewhat ahead of the Nokia 6. The S650 is the clear winner here, inside the (other) Redmi Note 3.

Basemark X

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    14717
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Helio X20)
    13666
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    12190
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    10446
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (Helio X10)
    8540
  • Huawei Honor 6X
    8458
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    7522
  • Asus ZenFone 3 Max ZC553KL
    7510
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    7480
  • Lenovo Moto M
    6732
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    6380
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    5383
  • Meizu M5 Note
    5276
  • Oppo F1s
    419

GFXBench comes next with some framerates to judge gaming performance. None of these devices is a true 3D powerhouse really, but some are obviously better than others. The Helio X20 and Snapdragon 650 lead the way, clearly. The Nokia 6 with its Snapdragon 413 is in the middle of the pack, inching ahead of P10s and the S617 (with the previous-gen Adreno 405).

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    15
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Helio X20)
    15
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    14
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    9.9
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (Helio X10)
    8.5
  • Huawei Honor 6X
    8.4
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    7.2
  • Lenovo Moto M
    7.1
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    7
  • Asus ZenFone 3 Max ZC553KL
    6.9
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    6.4
  • Meizu M5 Note
    5.5
  • Oppo F1s
    5.1
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    4.9

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    15
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Helio X20)
    15
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    14
  • Oppo F1s
    10
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    9.7
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    9.5
  • Huawei Honor 6X
    7.9
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (Helio X10)
    7.9
  • Lenovo Moto M
    7.6
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    7
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    7
  • Asus ZenFone 3 Max ZC553KL
    6.9
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    6.6
  • Meizu M5 Note
    5.5

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    9.5
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Helio X20)
    9.5
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    9
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    7.2
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    6.2
  • Huawei Honor 6X
    4.8
  • Lenovo Moto M
    4.7
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    4.6
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    4.4
  • Asus ZenFone 3 Max ZC553KL
    4.4
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    4.1
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (Helio X10)
    4
  • Meizu M5 Note
    3.6
  • Oppo F1s
    2.4

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    9.5
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Helio X20)
    9.4
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    9
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    6.2
  • Oppo F1s
    6
  • Lenovo Moto M
    5.2
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    4.6
  • Huawei Honor 6X
    4.6
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    4.4
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    4.4
  • Asus ZenFone 3 Max ZC553KL
    4.4
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (Helio X10)
    3.9
  • Meizu M5 Note
    3.6
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.2

GFX 3.1 Car scene (offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    5.4
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Helio X20)
    5.4
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    5.3
  • Huawei Honor 6X
    4.6
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    3.4
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    2.6
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    2.5
  • Lenovo Moto M
    2.5
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    2.5
  • Asus ZenFone 3 Max ZC553KL
    2.4
  • Meizu M5 Note
    1.9

GFX 3.1 Car scene (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (S650)
    5.5
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    5.4
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (Helio X20)
    5.4
  • Huawei Honor 6X
    4.8
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    3.4
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    2.8
  • Lenovo Moto M
    2.7
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    2.5
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    2.4
  • Asus ZenFone 3 Max ZC553KL
    2.4
  • Meizu M5 Note
    1.9

As far as current chipsets go, the Snapdragon 430 at the heart of the Nokia 6 is a modest performer, and there's no going around its inherent limitations. Still, the Nokia engineers have managed to squeeze the most of it (or not mess things up, depending on the perspective), and the phone scores on par or better than other similarly equipped devices. That being said, more capable smartphones are available for the 6's asking price.

Reader comments

  • Sampotbelly

Can someone help as when I try to play videos from social media they won't play

  • AnonD-729383

nokia 6 or moto g5 plus ? why???

  • AnonD-729383

nokia 6 or moto g5 plus ? why???