The Nokia 6.1 from the Nokia Family Promises Speed & Affordability

Nokia 6.1 is a mid-range phone but do the upgrades justify the $90 jump in price from last year's model?

Product Review

A few days ago, HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, started to offer for purchase the Nokia 6.1 at Best Buy and Amazon for $269. The company headquartered in Finland who first made the phone available in China in January is now selling the Nokia 6.1 in the U.S. The 6.1 update offers small but noticeable improvements which may justify the $90 jump in price from the previous model.  The most critical updated feature is that this year’s version runs Android One, which means that it now has stock Android and guaranteed updates for the next two years.

16 MP rear camera with ZEISS optics -8MP front camera -4K video recording

Design and processor

The design and look of the phone haven’t changed much since its original .model. It still comes with a 5.5-inch 1080p display; the aspect ratio is still 16:9, bucking the trend to adopting the bezel-free look with slightly narrower bezels. The fingerprint sensor has been moved to the back but who cares. The phone also upgraded to a Snapdragon 630 processor, 4GB of RAM, and USB-C charging instead of the previous  430, 3GB, and Micro USB, and it has a headphone jack.

The company promises that the Nokia 6.1 delivers 60% better performance than its previous model.

HMD's New Nokia 6.1
HMD’s New Nokia 6.1

At this low price, it is powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 630 Mobile Platform to be more than 60 percent faster and boasts numerous new features into a more compact, durable body. A selected member of Google’s Android One family, the Nokia 6.1 features enhanced Dual-Sight, ZEISS optics, USB-C fast-charging, Nokia spatial audio and pure, secure and up-to-date Android Oreo™.


Cristian Capelli, Head of Sales, Americas at HMD Global, said in a press statement, “HMD believes in creating high-quality phones that meet the real-life needs of our users, and the Nokia 6.1 is a direct incarnation of these values. In all, we have taken a magnifying glass to the original Nokia 6, kept the features consumers knew and loved while enhancing that award-winning formula, ultimately improving performance. From making the Nokia 6.1 60 percent faster than the original Nokia 6 and adding highly sought-after features such as our unique Dual-Sight technology, enhanced by ZEISS optics, and fast-charging USB-C, no detail was overlooked.”


By shipping with Android Oreo™ out of the box, the phone comes equipped with the latest features including Picture-in-Picture for multitasking; Android Instant Apps runs apps with minimal friction. It also offers fun 60 new emojis and battery-maximizing features like limiting background app use.

Last year’s model was $180 and under the $200 price mark was a budget phone.  Now that it costs $269, I am not sure that the upgrades justify the $90 price jump. But it is still an affordable phone for those on a budget but now competes with other mid-range phones such as the Motorola’s Moto G6, a mobile with a substantial following and an established brand name and the Huawei Honor 7X, which arrived at our shores in January.

Nokia 6.1 specs

  • 5.5-inch IPS 1080p display
  • 16-megapixel rear camera
  • 8-megapixel front-facing camera
  • Google Android 8.0 Oreo (Android One software)
  • USB-C charger
  • Color: Black/copper

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Design and Price

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