HMD Global has a compelling phone in the Nokia 6, but Motorola has been doing this for a lot longer.
Ten years ago, Nokia was on a high — the N95 launched to critical acclaim, and the company could do no wrong. Nokia had a commanding lead in the mobile space with a market share of 40%, selling over 130 million phones in just the last quarter of 2007 alone.
The exact opposite scenario was playing out at Motorola. The company was in second place behind Nokia in 2006 on the back of the first-generation RAZR, which turned out to be massive hit. The momentum didn’t last long, however, as the RAZR was overtaken by newer and more innovative devices from the likes of Nokia and Research In Motion. The downturn led to Motorola losing nearly half of its market share in just under the course of a year, leading to the company splitting into two halves and an eventual sale to Google.
Nokia also suffered a similar fate a few years after that, with the Finnish company uncharacteristically late in recognizing the potential of the smartphone. Exclusivity with Windows Phone didn’t help matters much, and Nokia ultimately had to sell off its devices unit to Microsoft in 2013. The company is back, albeit in a new avatar. Nokia is licensing its brand name to HMD Global, the Finnish company made up of ex-Nokia staffers. Thankfully, Nokia is siding with Android this time around.
Following its acquisition by Google and subsequent sale to Lenovo, Motorola managed to carved out a niche for itself in the handset segment by focusing on a clean software experience coupled with fast updates.
Nokia is taking a similar approach — the company is focusing on the budget segment, combining its expertise in industrial design with an uncluttered software experience to differentiate its phones from the rest of the pack. With the Moto G5 Plus leading that pack, it’s time to see if the Nokia 6 has what it takes to hold its own in this segment.
The Nokia 6 is one of the best-looking budget phones you can buy today. The design aesthetic is classic Nokia — solid aluminum unibody construction, chamfered sides, and a matte finish at the back. The antenna lines are tucked away at the top and bottom, and if you’re using the matte black edition, you’ll barely notice them. The phone certainly looks premium, and the build quality is right up there with the best phones in the market.
Motorola finally switched to a metal back for its budget phones with the G5 Plus, but the phone has plastic inserts at the top and bottom for the antenna bands, and the sides are also made out of plastic albeit with a metallic feel. The design is a significant improvement over the G4 Plus, but when seen next to the Nokia 6, the Moto G5 Plus fails to impress.
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