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This year’s Nokia 6, alternatively referred to as Nokia 6.1, brought with it a few changes especially internally. On the outside, the changes were very minimal, presumably to differentiate the old one from the new one. The biggest change being in terms of performance, a major complain that Nokia 6 users had. This time around we get a Snapdragon 630 Processor, which is significantly better than last year’s engine.

The other specifications of the Nokia 6.1 include:

  • Aluminium unibody
  • 5.5-Inch Full HD display
  • 3/4GB RAM
  • 32/64GB internal storage
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • USB Type-C
  • 3000mAh battery

Second to the huge processing power upgrade, the Nokia 6.1 also received new lenses. The Megapixel count remains the same at 16MP but now we get ZEISS optics. In last year’s model, the camera was among the let downs of the device with a majority, if not all, of the phone’s competitors performing better camera-wise.

The new ZEISS optics have a significant effect and have pushed the device a few steps forward in earning the ‘Made for Instagram’ badge that we so much love. We took the Nokia 6.1 for a spin to The Forest in Kiambu County, Nairobi CBD and even overseas to Dubai. During this period, we took a number of photos, seen below. Admittedly, they are not the sharpest images we have taken using a smartphone but they are improved over what last year’s phone was capable of.

In good lighting, the camera captures colours accurately and it won’t be a task to take good photos worthy of a few Instagram likes. However, it is evident that the camera struggles with processing as the images appear soft, leading to loss of detail:

In low light, for instance, indoor shoots at night with just artificial lighting, the loss of detail is even more evident but if you don’t pay much attention to it, you can easily get a “wow” or two but the noise can easily get in the way of a good shot. In pure darkness, yeah, issa struggle:

For selfies, the story is pretty much the same. We have an 8MP shooter but unlike the front, this isn’t a ZEISS lens. The images produced are okay, the processing has been overdone in some way, the images look soft and overexposed:

So, should you buy the Nokia 6.1 for its camera? Honestly, no. The Nokia 6.1 isn’t a camera phone but it has other strengths that competitors are yet to catch on, the muscle being Android One. This comes with the promise of at least two-year software support which HMD Global has for far been good at keeping, seeing that the Nokia 6.1 already has July security update as of the time of publishing.

The Nokia 6.1 is an enthusiasts phone, someone who wants to enjoy Android software and occasionally take photos. If you’re looking for better camera performance, the Nokia 7 Plus is a worthy look or even a better deal, last year’s Nokia 8 still holds its own.

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