Notes on Nokia 6: Solid Device for Price-Conscious Android Photographers

While Google Pixel 2 and Samsung Galaxy $NUMBER are equipped with the best cameras, their sky-high prices can be hard to stomach. Fortunately, there are alternatives for those of us who don’t want to upset their wallets. Nokia 6 (TA-1021) is a case in point. Despite its ~€200 price sticker, Nokia 6 is a capable Android device with a decent camera to boot.


Unlike other devices in the same price bracket, Nokia 6 supports the Camera2 API. This means that it can save unprocessed captured image data in the raw DNG format. Install the Open Camera app, enable the Camera2 API, and you can shoot in raw, JPEG, or a combination of both. Needless to say, this is a real boon for Android-toting photographers. The primary camera features a 16MP 1.0µm sensor and an f/2.0 lens. While 16MP is plenty for a mid-range phone, the camera produces 12MP 16:9 JPEG files. Raw files, however, give you all 16MP with the 4:3 aspect ratio. The only fly in the ointment is a noticeable shutter lag when shooting with in raw.

Another pleasant surprise is the built-in electronic compass that not only helps you to get your bearings but also makes it possible to use photo apps like Sun Surveyor. The fact that the device comes with the stock Android system means that Nokia 6 gets timely system upgrades and security fixes.

Although Nokia 6’s metal body gives the device a premium look, the chamfered edges make it somewhat uncomfortable to hold. Also, the smooth back surface means it’s difficult to have a secure grip. And in cold weather, holding Nokia 6 with bare hands can be rather unpleasant. All these issues are easy to fix by dressing up the device with a silicon sleeve. The battery life is decent, but not spectacular, and there is no fast charging. That said, the charging time is not as slow as some reviews may indicate.

Update: It looks like the new version of Nokia 6 fixes several shortcomings of the current model. There is now fast charging, battery life is supposedly better, and the device features a Zeiss-branded lens. The improvements come with a slight price increase, though.

Tech writer covering Linux and open source software

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Posted in Hardware, Photography, Scribbles

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