Nokia 6 review: International flavor

International flavor

GSMArena Team, 15 August 2017.

Hardware overview

It took one paragraph to describe the differences between the two Nokia 6 versions, but that's just because we're a chatty bunch - lack of notification LED, spiced up camera bump, and some text on the back, there.

Nokia 6 review

We can't, however, fail to mention that the Nokia 6, China-specific or otherwise, is one solid smartphone. The aluminum unibody is super tough, as proven by online torture testing (check out Zack's excellent JerryRigEverything channel on YouTube). We prefer to refrain from such experiments for the sake of having phones to review afterwards. But bend tests or no bend tests, it's clear that the Nokia 6 was built to last.

Nokia 6 review

Durability could have been a consideration when fitting the global version with a beefier frame around the camera module. From a design standpoint, it draws more attention to the not particularly handsome bump, but the outline is raised above the glass by a fraction of a millimeter, potentially protecting the glass.

While the smooth matte aluminum isn't the grippiest material there is, the Nokia 6's flat sides help immensely with handling. The metal buttons have a positive click to them too, but the power button could have been a little larger and further from the volume rocker. Next time.

Nokia 6 review

Another thing that could have been larger is the home key/fingerprint reader, plus its position close to the edge takes some getting used to. Now, we were already used to it from the Chinese version, but how many people will be replacing one with the other?

Nokia 6 review

A prominent feature of the Nokia 6, the earpiece moonlights as second speaker - it's not all that hard, it seems... Samsung. The other one is on the bottom, along with the mic and the microUSB port - there is no USB-C on this one - for better or worse.

Display

The Nokia 6 has a 5.5-inch FullHD display, but you already knew that from the old review. We tested the new one anyway and found some differences, albeit subtle.

Nokia 6 review

For instance, the maximum brightness of the global version's display is thirty-something nits lower than the Chinese one's - still perfectly acceptable at 484nits. Contrast is marginally lower too, but quite good nonetheless - no complaints there either.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Nokia 5 0.69 632 916
Motorola Moto G4 Plus (max auto) 0.43 587 1365
Sony Xperia L1 (max auto) 0.571 531 930
Nokia 6 (Chinese version) 0.377 522 1385
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625) 0.322 484 1503
Nokia 6 (Global version) 0.364 484 1330
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) (max auto) 0 482
Motorola Moto G4 Plus 0.33 478 1448
Nokia 3 0.353 477 1351
Meizu M5 Note 0.614 463 754
Sony Xperia L1 0.47 450 957
Oppo F3 0.364 449 1234
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017) 0 348

In our sunlight legibility test the global Nokia 6 posted a virtually identical contrast ratio to the one we got from the Chinese version - that is, very good for an LCD panel. The Galaxy J7 (2017), having a Super AMOLED panel, is slightly better in this respect, but it's not one of the highest scoring AMOLEDs, so the difference isn't spectacular. The Redmi Note 4, in turn, doesn't fare as good in this test.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Samsung Galaxy S8
    4.768
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    4.658
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Oppo R11
    4.454
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Samsung Galaxy Note7
    4.247
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • OnePlus 3T
    4.232
  • Google Pixel XL
    4.164
  • ZTE Axon 7
    4.154
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 7
    3.964
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
    3.935
  • Lenovo Moto Z
    3.931
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • OnePlus 5
    3.914
  • Samsung Galaxy C5
    3.911
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Sony Xperia XZs
    3.818
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)
    3.812
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
    3.804
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • LG V20 Max auto
    3.798
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    3.798
  • Sony Xperia XZ
    3.795
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Xiaomi Mi 6
    3.767
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)
    3.688
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Huawei Mate 9
    3.68
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
    3.597
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    3.588
  • LG G6
    3.556
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Motorola Moto Z Play
    3.526
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.523
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
    3.523
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • nubia Z11
    3.466
  • Huawei P10 Plus
    3.456
  • HTC U Ultra
    3.453
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • LG V20
    3.402
  • Huawei P10
    3.379
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    3.378
  • Oppo R9s
    3.352
  • Honor 8 Pro
    3.341
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Lenovo P2
    3.316
  • Honor 9
    3.289
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s
    3.276
  • Nokia 5
    3.261
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    3.244
  • Xiaomi Mi 5
    3.24
  • Nokia 6 (Global version)
    3.238
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 2
    3.228
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Oppo F3 Plus
    3.218
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
    3.206
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • ZTE Nubia Z17
    3.159
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • HTC U11
    3.089
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Sony Xperia XA1
    3.012
  • Sony Xperia L1
    2.994
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • Huawei P10 Lite
    2.974
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4
    2.92
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    2.913
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.906
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime
    2.893
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    2.884
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium (sRGB)
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Nokia 3
    2.871
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Lenovo Moto M
    2.813
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • Meizu MX6
    2.751
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    2.714
  • Meizu M5
    2.71
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Huawei P9 Lite
    2.679
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    2.679
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix
    2.658
  • Doogee Mix
    2.642
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4a
    2.635
  • Sony Xperia XA
    2.609
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus (max auto)
    2.582
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    2.582
  • Meizu M5s
    2.58
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL
    2.563
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    2.544
  • Lenovo Moto G4
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Huawei Honor 7 Lite / Honor 5c
    2.506
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Oppo F1s
    2.481
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Huawei nova
    2.467
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Lenovo Vibe K5
    2.459
  • Meizu m3 max
    2.447
  • HTC 10 evo
    2.407
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • Sony Xperia E5
    2.386
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • Oppo F3
    2.376
  • vivo V5 Plus
    2.371
  • Meizu m1 note
    2.362
  • Huawei nova plus
    2.329
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Meizu M5 Note
    2.189
  • Huawei Honor 6
    2.169
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (X20)
    2.145
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Xiaomi Mi 4S
    2.095
  • Acer Liquid X2
    2.084
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • vivo V5
    2.059
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    1.996
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Meizu m3 note
    1.923
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215

Color accuracy is another area where the Chinese version performs slightly better. The global variant doesn't have any display modes or color temperature sliders, and in its single pre-defined setting manages an average DeltaE of 7.2 with a maximum of 11.7 for white - white is strongly shifted towards cyan. The Chinese version has three modes, and, when set to Warm, can reproduce the sRGB color space with a DeltaE of 3.3 and reasonably accurate whites, which is something we appreciate.

Nokia 6 battery life

The Nokia 6 draws power from a 3,000mAh battery - not exactly headline material. Couple that with a not particularly efficient 28nm chip and you shouldn't expect record breaking endurance. Furthermore, specifics in modem configuration and software optimization could lead to different battery life between the two Nokia 6 versions, we speculated.

Our tests confirmed these variables have affected video playback endurance the most, of all things. The global Nokia 6 can't make it to the 8-hour mark in continuous video playback, while the Chinese one could last 10 hours, though admittedly that's before the update, which added support for Google services. The two phones are pretty much tied at nine and a half hours of web browsing over Wi-Fi.

The global Nokia 6 outlasts the Chinese one in call time, lasting a full day and then some, but posts slightly lower standby endurance - a number we measure and include in the overall score, but omit in the scorecard.

In the end, the global Nokia 6's overall Endurance rating of 62 hours is rather modest by recent standards. It's still a reasonably balanced performer, but it can't compete with the likes of the Redmi Note 4 (119h) or the Galaxy J7 2017 (108h) or even the Galaxy J7 2016 (101h).

Nokia 6

Our endurance rating denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Nokia 6 for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We've established this usage pattern so our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Reader comments

  • Beenhacktalot

Great Stuff

  • Cyberintel

Hello... Nokia 6 not to my expectation. Recent app button not working. Battery saver not active. I had to download an app via playstore to support those features. Inserting an earpiece. Only one side of the earpiece is working. Fix it well.

  • Anonymous

My own phone doesn't provide calls sounds to my second party, unless I put it on speaker which is also not loud enough at my ens