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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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|
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.
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.
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).
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.