The Nokia 6 doesn't have a 6-inch display as the name might suggest, but we're sure you already know that if you've read this far. It's 5.5 inches instead, in 1080p FullHD variety. It's an IPS LCD panel with Gorilla Glass 3 on top, ending in 2.5D curves. The microscope shot revealed a conventional RGB subpixel arrangement, no surprises there.
Nokia claims 450nits of brightness, but we actually measured more - 522 is the number in our test. Few of its competitors in this price bracket are any brighter - only the Moto G4 Plus in auto mode and the Honor 6X. Minimum brightness on the Nokia is a respectable 1.9nits, too.
Contrast is also good - the Nokia 6's 1385:1 is practically the same as the HTC 10 evo - a decidedly more premium offering. The Honor 6X tops that, but the Redmi Notes by Xiaomi can't really match it.
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The Nokia 6 also fares quite well in our sunlight legibility test as well. A value of 3.244 puts it among the better performing LCDs.
As for color accuracy, the Neutral mode isn't all that neutral, with whites being shifted towards blue, but it has a decent average DeltaE of 5.3. Cool mode, you guessed it, makes whites even bluer and the average DeltaE jumps to 7.5. If you want the most faithful colors, warm mode's the way to go, with an average DeltaE of 3.3 and actually truly white whites for a change.
The Nokia 6 is a dual-SIM device of the hybrid variety - you can have two nanoSIMs inside, but if you want to use the microSD slot, you'd have to give up the second SIM. Courtesy of the Snapdragon 430 chip, the phone supports Cat.4 LTE for theoretical maximums of 150Mbps down and 50Mbps up. That's just the one SIM though, the second card only gets 2G connectivity.
Local connectivity is well covered as well - Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth v.4.1 are present, there's GPS and GLONASS for positioning, and to top it all off - the crowd-favorite, FM radio.
The Chinese spec sheet lists NFC as well, but we didn't find it in settings, nor did it miraculously work when we attempted to put the Nokia 6 next to other phones. The phone's metal back also makes it seem like someone made a mistake in the specs. That's something we'll surely look into once we got a review unit of the global version.
The USB port on the bottom is the old one, though - the trusty but headed for obsolescence microUSB 2.0. Oldies, but goldies - the 3.5mm jack is here too.
The Nokia 6 is powered by a 3,000mAh battery. In this age where 5.5-inch Redmi Notes come with 4,100mAh power packs, the 6 appears under-prepared. The Galaxy J7 (2016) and the J7 Prime each have 3,300mAh worth of juice, while the Honor 6X' specsheet says 3,340mAh. That said, the likes of the vivo V5, Moto G4 Plus, and Oppo F1s are around the 3,000mAh mark, just like the Nokia.
On to the actual tests, and the Nokia 6 does an admirable job with what it has. Twenty-two and a half hours on a 3G phone call should be plenty for all but the most talkative. Those should look in the vivo V5's direction - that one's capable of 5 more hours of voice calls, or the Oppo F1s (26h).
Video playback longevity on the Nokia 6 is 10 full hours. The Galaxy J7 (2017) does 18h, but that's an exception rather than the rule. The Honor 6X outlasts the Nokia by 3h, but those two outliers aside, the 6 is about average.
In Wi-Fi web browsing the Nokia 6 keeps reloading them sites for nine and a half hours - again, not an exceptional performance, and somewhat trailing the competition, but not too shabby on its own either. The Oppo is good for another hour, the Moto G4 Plus adds half an hour on top of that, and the Galaxy J7 (2016) posts 12:21h. The Honor 6X calls it quits after 13:41h, but it's also good to keep in mind that the vivo V5 barely made it through the 5-hour mark.
While those tests aren't really influenced by the fact that they were carried out on the Chinese version of the phone, and are very likely to be the same on the global variant, standby is inevitably affected by the lack of Google services and Google apps. That means no constant syncing of emails and background app updates. On the other hand, the Chinese app store could have taken a bigger toll on the battery - we can't know for certain. And since standby battery drain is part of the formula for overall endurance, the Endurance rating of the global Nokia 6 may be different. We'll see; this one got 75 hours.
Update (August 16): While reviewing the global version of the Nokia 6 we also retested the Chinese one - a firmware update in the months since the original review brought support for Google services and we figured using them could have an impact on battery life. Well, it did, in a way.
While the active usage tests remained uninfluenced and produced virtually the same results, standby took a substantial hit (we attribute it to the constant syncing of stuff), so the overall endurance rating dropped by 8 hours to 67h. It's still a little better than the global version's result, more on which you can read in its own review.
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.