The Nokia 6.1 Plus is a competent midrange choice for photography enthusiasts on a budget looking for a smartphone [Review]

The Nokia 6.1 Plus is a competent midrange choice for photography enthusiasts on a budget looking for a smartphone [Review]

The midrange Android phone delivers IG-worthy pics and solid performance for HK$2,288

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The Nokia 6.1 Plus is a nice midrange handset with above average cameras.
Photo: HMD Global

The Nokia 6.1 Plus has arrived in Hong Kong, after finding great success as the Nokia X6 in China. Does this HK$2,288 offering from a revitalised Nokia brand have what it takes to stand out in the crowded midrange segment?

In this era of ubiquitous smartphone use, our handsets have become part of our fashion statements to the world. In the style department, the 6.1 Plus is certainly on par with similarly-priced handsets. With 93 per cent of its body encased in Gorilla Glass, the finish is smooth and comfortable to hold. It also has a reflective sheen so you use the back of the phone as a makeshift mirror in a pinch.

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The display is a bright, well-performing Full HD+ 5.8-inch screen, with a small notch at the top for the selfie camera, a design trend that has trickled down to even lower-priced handsets. The 6.1 Plus is powered by a mid-tier Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 chip, and performs well for its price, though it can’t compete with flagship level processing power. It also runs on the latest version of Android 8.1 Oreo, and Nokia has committed to Google’s Android One programme, which promises regular security updates and no bloatware.

The Nokia 6.1 Plus's shots have more vibrant colours.
Photo: Vienna Tsang

For those of you who love to share your lives online via great pictures, the 6.1 Plus has a dual-camera setup that does the job well for its relatively modest price. Vibrant colours, good detail, and a competent bokeh mode make the 6.1 a good choice for photography enthusiasts on a budget. Compared with photos taken on an iPhone 6s (Apple’s flapship from 3 years ago, which still retails for HK$3,788), the 6.1 takes sharper and more colour-accurate shots.

The iPhone 6S's shots are more washed out.
Photo: Vienna Tsang

The 16MP selfie camera also performs well, making shots look natural and Instagram-ready without the need for a filter. However, the phone does tend to get physically hot if you leave the camera app on for too long. Hopefully this will be fixed in a software update soon.

Overall, the Nokia 6.1 Plus is a chic, competent phone, with cameras that perform better than the price would suggest. For students who don’t want to drop HK$8,000 or more on the latest monster flagships, this phone deserves a look.

Edited by Jamie Lam

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