Nokia 6 Vs. The Competition

Nokia's comeback with Android Powered smartphones is great, but can the company survive the fierce competition

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Nokia is poised to make a grand come back with a trio of Android powered smartphones. The Nokia 6, Nokia 5 and the Nokia 3 all seem to be gathering a lot of hype, but one must wonder, is the hype around the brand or the phone? If OnePlus or Xiaomi or Vivo were to launch a phone in this price bracket with corresponding specifications, would we be going crazy with excitement then? Let’s take a look at the Nokia 6 and where it stands with respect to the competition. The Nokia 6 is priced at €229 which is a little over Rs. 16,000 in india. Its effective competition therefore ends up being the Lenovo Z2 Plus (32GB/3GB variant) and the Redmi Note 4 (4GB/64GB variant) available for Rs. 14,999 and Rs. 12,999 respectively. There are plenty of more phones in this price bracket, but we feel that the Redmi Note 4 and the Lenovo Z2 Plus come the closest in terms of competition from phones that are already in the market.

Nokia 6 vs. The Competition – The Core
At its core, the Nokia 6 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor paired with 3GB of RAM. The processor is an octa-core setup clocked at 1.1 GHz. We see this processor and RAM combination in phones like the Lenovo K6 Power and the Redmi 3s Prime, both phones costing significantly less (sub-10K price range).  The Lenovo Z2 Plus and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and the Snapdragon 625 respectively. While the Lenovo has 3GB of RAM, the Redmi Note 4 we’re comparing comes with 4GB of RAM.

In terms of pure specifications, the Nokia 6 seems to be underpowered for the price. It might work well today, however there is a possibility that a year in the future, your hardware might not be able to keep up. The Lenovo Z2 Plus is the most lucrative of the three devices, with its flagship SoC and adequate 3GB of RAM.

qualcomm

Nokia 6 vs. The Competition – The Display
The Nokia 6 comes with a 5.5 inch IPS Full HD display, giving it a pixel density of 403 ppi. The Redmi Note 4 ships with a 5.5 inch full-HD IPS display as well, but with a slightly reduced pixel density of 401 ppi. The Lenovo Z2 Plus, however, has a slightly smaller 5-inch full HD IPS LCD screen, which allows it to have a slightly higher pixel density of 441ppi.

We have used both the Lenovo Z2 Plus and the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 and can tell you with full faith that the difference in ppi is not noticeable. Since all three phones use IPS-LCD panels, the quality of the display will come down to how well Nokia tunes their screens for colour accuracy and white balance. The second factor that will determine how the Nokia 6 display ranks against rhe competition will be its ability to retain its colours and contrast under direct sunlight, while still being legible. During the Nokia Livestream, we noticed a really ugly purple colour shift from the phone’s display every time it reflected a bright source of light.

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Nokia 6

Nokia 6 vs. The Competition – Storage options
The Nokia 6 comes with 32GB of on-board storage which can be expanded to 128GB with the use of a microSD card.  The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 too, offers that convenience. Unfortunately, this is one area where the Lenovo Z2 Plus really disappoints as it does not come with an expansion slot. In fact, the Lenovo Z2 Plus ships with just 32GB of storage which, in our experience is going to run out fairly quickly. Here, the Nokia 6 does have an upper hand, especially if you’re the type who’s into taking lots of photos or videos, if you prefer to carry your music with you instead of streaming poor quality audio or even if you’re just someone who likes to have every popular app on the phone.

Nokia 6 vs. The Competition – Build & Design
Build quality and design are two very critical components of a purchase decision. Think about it, when you’re at an electronics store, the first thing you do is pick up a phone and the first thought running through your head is whether the phone “feels good” in the hands or not. This is where build materials come into play. Nokia’s upped the game significantly by offering a phone made of CNC aluminium unibody design and from what we’ve seen of Nokia’s portfolio in the past, their builds are absolutely solid. The Lenovo Z2 Plus is made up of plastic and fiber glass, very reminiscent of the iPhone 4. The phone has survived a few falls during our review, but regardless, it doesn’t feel premium. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 also is also made of an aluminium block with a CNC finish, however, it too doesn’t feel very premium, mostly because there is a distinct separation between the body and the screen assembly, which juts out a little. This is an area where we strongly feel that Nokia would best the competition without a doubt.

Nokia 6 vs. The Competition – The Camera
For the uninitiated, Nokia has been at the helm of developing new technologies for the smartphone camera. They were the ones to invent an optical image stabilization system that could fit into a camera without taking damage from movement. They also gave Xenon flash and the obscene 42 megapixel sensor. The Nokia event at MWC didn’t shed much light on the camera of the Nokia phones, but that could be because its just a given how good they are at this. In comparison, we’ve had mixed feelings about the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4, with our review unit getting an average score while the Lenovo Z2 Plus was somewhat of a disappointment in this department. Nokia has little competition in this regard and we hope the Nokia 6 will leverage this opportunity to boost its sales.

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Image courtesy: Xiaomi

In Conclusion
The Nokia 6 looks like it may be underpowered when compared to its peers in the price bracket, but it does not lose out in every regard. Pricing of the Nokia 6 will be critical in tipping the scales on whether people buy this phone or not. The Nokia 6 is set to release in India in later this year and we, for one, cannot wait to get our hands on a unit to see just how it racks up against the competition.