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Nokia 6 hands on

Nokia is back in a big way with the Nokia 6, an Amazon exclusive that may not pack high-end specs, but delivers in a lot of other ways.

Published onJuly 21, 2017

I’ll be honest, it still feels a little strange checking out a Nokia smartphone and seeing it running Android, but it’s certainly better than the old days of Windows Phone. We recently got the chance to inspect the new Nokia 6 up close and personal, a premium looking smartphone without the premium price attached to it. How’s that possible you say? Well, it’s one of the many recently announced Amazon Exclusive smartphones that the retail giant is offering at a considerable discount – in exchange for ads and offers being thrown on your lock screen.

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With a sticker price of $179.99 as an Amazon Exclusive, the Nokia 6 is an amazingly solid phone with its anodized 6000 series aluminum chassis. Compared to the rest of the litter of sub-$200 smartphones out there, the Nokia 6 is a testament to the new kind of quality you can expect from a phone in this price category. Not only is it sturdily put together, the weight of the phone helps to establish a sense of solid build quality that’s rarely seen – or more to the point, felt – in a phone priced like this.

The Nokia 6 features a 3.5mm headphone jack (to our delight), expandable storage via microSD card, GSM unlocked compatibility with AT&T and T-Mobile, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 chipset, 3 GB of RAM, and a generous 32 GB of internal storage.

There’s even a finger print sensor below the screen, which doubles as the home button and is flanked by capacitive buttons. The only thing we’re not too keen to see here, especially nowadays, is the decision to stick with a microUSB port. But hey, it’s not a deal breaker either.

From our quick look, the handset runs pretty smoothly, but with that said, we don’t anticipate it being an ideal candidate for gamers. Still, for all of the basic stuff, it’s more than capable – much like any other handset leveraging the same chipset.

On the surface, it appears to be a mostly stock Android 7.1.1 Nougat software experience, but Amazon’s slew of apps and services are also preloaded. The lock screen, in particular, stands out for displaying all the ads and discount offers Amazon has in store for you.

To be honest, the biggest thing influencing your decision to buy this phone or not is whether or not you can live with the presence of those ads on your lock screen. Yes, they secure you a nice discount up front, but over time, they will likely become an annoyance. For the $50 discount you’d get over the standard version (without ads), which is priced at $229.99 through Amazon, some people may be willing to allow those ads to be directly in their faces – but I’m not one of them.

Otherwise, the rest of the phone seems appealing – including its 5.5-inch Full HD IPS display, 16 MP rear camera, and 8 MP front-facing camera. There’s nothing devastating in it specs sheet or software experience, but this does look to be a very capable phone for not much money with great build quality and an edgy, instantly recognizable look.

How about yourself? Is a $50 savings worth it for you to pick up the ad-filled version over the standard, non-ads option? Considering all of the goodies in tow, and factoring in its very inexpensive price point, the Nokia 6 seems like it’ll benefit from being an Amazon Exclusive. After all, how many of us have journeyed to Amazon with a specific price limit in mind only to add an extra $50 or so at the last minute?

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