• Paul Fingleton

Nokia 7-plus and Nokia 6 (2018) hands-on impressions, pricing and availability in Ireland

Nokia's 2018 phones have more highlights than the two-tone colour scheme.


If last year was a solid, but cautious return to the smartphone market for the Nokia brand by HMD, this year brings back some of the confidence in design that was synonymous with Nokia in its heyday. 2017 had a line up of very good, practical but uninspiring handsets.


The new Nokia smartphones for 2018 are due to hit Irish stores later this month. Chief among them are the Nokia 6 and the Nokia 7 plus - the Nokia 8 Sirocco will be an online exclusive in Ireland, for now. The reimagined 'Banana' phone, the 4G Nokia 8110 - essentially the 'Matrix' phone, if Minions had coloured it - will be available also.


Running Android One, the Nokia 7 plus and Nokia 6 will always be up to date with the latest security and OS patches. Android One is the Google's edition of their smartphone OS without any bloatware or other non-standard nonsense.



Nokia 7 plus Let's take a quick look at the Nokia 7 plus, which will be available on pretty much all networks. Featuring a 6-inch, Full HD+ (1080p) screen, it is a sizeable phone. It looks stylish, with its copper coloured accents, and is comfortable to hold. You won't be able to use the phone with just one hand for some tasks - there's no way that you can stretch across the screen with a thumb to reach the top corners, but that is the same for any 6-inch phone.


A beautiful screen features deep colours, dark blacks and is bright and readable in most lighting conditions. A tiny curve at the corners rounds out the overall display, removing sharp square edges.


The Zeiss optics that we have come to expect from a Nokia phone are present along with a welcome return of the Pro camera mode. A 16MP front-facing camera complements a dual camera (12MP and 13MP) on the rear of the handset (yes, the 16 Megapixel front-facing camera is better than many primary cameras on smartphones).


Combining innovative optical hardware and imaging algorithms, the Nokia 7 plus captures moments into photos that are true to life. Dual rear sensors with ZEISS optics combine an ultra-sensitive 12MP wide-angle primary camera for impressive performance in both low-light and extra bright conditions and a secondary 13MP sensor that delivers 2x optical zoom for the moments when you wish you were closer. The Nokia 7 plus boasts Pro Camera mode which lets you take pictures like a pro by giving you quick and easy manual control over advanced camera settings like white balance, focus, ISO, shutter speed and exposure. You can see the impact of your adjustments in real time before you snap to achieve your perfect photo with just one take and no need for filters.


Using Ozo spatial audio, with three distinct microphones, the Nokia 7 allows you to record your video with either the mic that is pointing at the subject, the mic that is aiming at you or all three microphones to record binaural, 360-degree audio.


“Featuring unprecedented design and innovative imaging, the Nokia 7 plus is a true hero in our smartphone range. We know our fans are capturing, watching, exploring, working and gaming on their mobile phones more than ever before. From livestreaming both sides of their story to binging their favourite TV shows, they want to see more in the palm of their hand. That’s why we've designed the Nokia 7 plus to be your stylish companion that goes wherever you go, always ready to deliver a high-quality big screen experience. Tightly packed in an ultra-compact body, the Nokia 7 plus will give our fans the chance to see more, do more, capture more and share it as it happens. We are delighted to offer the Nokia 7 plus through Vodafone and Three.”


- Lisa Higgins, HMD Global Ireland Business Manager,


For example, if there is a guitar player in front of you and someone tapdancing behind you, you can use the mic on the front to concentrate the audio on the guitar player. Or if you prefer to hear the tap dancer, you can select the rear microphone to pick up that audio. Or if you prefer to record the entire cacophony in all its glory, then watching the video you will know where in 3D space the sounds were relative to the phone.


Nokia is marketing the Nokia 7 plus as the smartphone that will last you two days of regular usage, courtesy of a mammoth 3,800 mAh battery combined with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 Mobile Platform to target optimum performance and battery life.



Nokia 6 (2018)

Exclusive to the Three network in Ireland, the Nokia 6 is more pocket-friendly in terms of price and size.


A 5.5-inch, 1080p display is housed in a lovely aluminium unibody shell. A similar two-tone colour scheme is used with copper-coloured highlights.


A 16 MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera take a good picture, but would require more time to give a better opinion.


Comfortable to use and light to hold, the Nokia 6 has shed some features of it's bigger sibling: two Ozo microphones instead of three, fingerprint sensor instead of fingerprint and facial recognition. These are all features that perhaps you can do without if you are shopping around for the best price point.


Carved from a single piece of aluminium, the Nokia 6 feels like a premium device in the hand has a quality design and finish. Although it might be aimed at the mid-market segment, it certainly doesn't look it.


A 3,000 mAh battery would comfortably see you through a full day of normal usage, and perhaps with light usage could get you through two days without a charge.



Summary Both handsets are looking smart and will have a built-in following because of the Nokia brand. The two-tone styling and slightly curved corners of the screen will help these devices to stand out as different from the pack.


Slick and responsive performance because of the 4GB and 3GB of RAM on the Nokia 7 plus and Nokia six, respectively, combined with the Android One operating system make the handsets appear to be a pleasure to use, on first blush.


We are looking forward to some more time with the handsets to properly take them through their paces and give a better review of what these phones are like as a daily driver and if they do meet the claim of two-day battery.



Availability

  • Available in Black/Copper the Nokia 7 plus is available from Vodafone on the 1st May and through Three Ireland and Dixons Carphone, on the 3rd of May (price: €399)

  • The Nokia 6 will be available exclusively from Three in Ireland. (price: €249)

  • There are no plans yet to bring the Nokia 8 Sirocco to carriers in Ireland. It can be bought, as can a SIM-free Nokia 6, directly from HMD / Nokia.

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