HMD Global, the Finnish company that purchased the rights to use the Nokia brand from Microsoft in 2016, has been working hard to capitalize on its investment. HMD Global’s latest release, the Nokia 6, hits the shelves this July. At $229, the smartphone is going to compete directly with the beloved Motorola Moto G5 Plus, which also retails for $229.
Nokia 6 vs Moto G5 Plus
|Motorola||Motorola Moto G5 Plus||215.64|
|Nokia||Nokia 6 - 32 GB - Unlocked||151.21|
For the new Nokia to beat—or at least meet—the quality and performance of the Moto G5 Plus, the budget smartphone must offer a lot of value for not so much money. In the long run, the Nokia 6 must also differentiate itself from other budget smartphones on the market with regular updates.
Looking at the Nokia 6 right next to the Moto G5 Plus, it almost seems as if HMD Global is purposefully trying to appeal to those consumers who don’t like the smooth, curved aesthetic of the Motorola. The Nokia 6 features sharp edges à la the iPhone 5 and a protruding, oval camera housing with LED flash on the back, compared to the circular camera housing found on the Moto G5. Both smartphones are made from aluminum and feel solid in hand.
Measuring 154 x 75.8 x 7.9 mm, the Nokia 6 is only a few millimeters taller and two millimeters wider than the Moto G5 Plus, yet it has a 5.5-inch display, surpassing the Moto G5 Plus by 0.3 inches. Above the display is one of the two speakers the Nokia 6 uses to produce loud stereo sound, and below the display is an oval home button with an integrated fingerprint reader. A similar front-mounted fingerprint reader can also be found on the Moto G5 Plus. Both smartphones allow you to use two SIM cards at once and expand the storage space using a microSD card up to 256 GB.
Winner: The difference between the curves of the Moto G5 Plus and the sharp edges of the Nokia 6 is purely subjective, but Nokia deserves some credit for the larger display, making it the winner.
The Nokia 6 comes with a 5.5-inch IPS display with the Full HD resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The Moto G5 Plus comes with a very similar display, expect that it measures just 5.2 inches. The high resolution puts both displays comfortably above 400 ppi (403 ppi for the Nokia and 424 ppi for the Motorola), so it’s unlikely that you would notice any difference in sharpness.
Color reproduction is great on both displays, but the Moto G5 Plus is held back by its wonky Adaptive Brightness feature. When activated, it tends to increase the brightness way too much indoors. Disabling it circumvents the issue but makes the display hard to read outside even at the maximum brightness setting.
Winner: If wasn’t for the Adaptive Brightness feature, this would be a tie. As it is, the Nokia 6 takes the prize with large, crisp display.
As a budget smartphone, the Nokia 6 comes with a distinctive budget chipset, the Qualcomm MSM8937 Snapdragon 430. This low-end chipset features an Adreno 505 GPU, supports download speeds of 150 Mbps and upload speeds of 75 Mbps, can play Full HD video at 60 frames per second, and supports Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 for up to four times faster charging compared to conventional charging.
We wouldn’t have really expected to see anything better in a smartphone that costs just a little over $200 if Motorola hadn’t released the Moto G5 Plus. The problem is that for the same money, you can have the Qualcomm MSM8953 Snapdragon 625 with Adreno 506 GPU, a midrange chipset that uses leading-edge 14 nm technology and features the X9 LTE modem with download speeds of 300 Mbps and upload speeds of 150 Mbps.
The difference between the two chipsets astronomical, but it’s noticeable. You can feel it the most when processing video footage directly in the phone or when working with large Excel or Word documents. Web browsing is mostly fluid even with the Snapdragon 430, apart from the occasional hiccup from which the Nokia 6 never fails to recover quickly.
Both smartphones come with a non-removable 3000 mAh battery and fast battery charging.
Winner: The Moto G5 Plus is a budget smartphone with the performance of a mid-range device.
Even though the Moto G5 Plus has a 12 MP primary camera, compared to the 16 MP camera of the Nokia 6, it shoots 2160p video at 30 frames per second, whereas the Nokia only records Full HD video. Moto G5 Plus also fares better in low light situations thanks to its f/1.7 aperture.
The situation is different when it comes to the front-facing camera, though. The Nokia 6 has an 8 MP secondary camera with f/2.0, while the Moto G5 Plus has a 5 MP front-facing camera with f/2.2. The higher resolution makes the performance of the primary and secondary camera more even.
Winner: Tie. The Moto G5 Plus has a better primary camera, but the Nokia 6 has a better secondary camera.
Software and Compatibility
The Moto G5 Plus ships with an older version of Android, Nougat. As a newcomer to the smartphone market, the Nokia 6 comes with Android 7.1.1. Both manufacturers have kept the Android operating system near stock, sparing you of bloatware.
Google Assistant has found its way to both the Moto G5 Plus and the Nokia 6, allowing you to engage in two-way conversations with your smartphone.
To get the most out of the Nokia 6, you must be a T-Mobile customer. AT&T’s 4G network is only partially supported, and Sprint’s and Verizon’s CDMA-based networks won’t work at all. This is in stark contrast to the Moto G5 Plus, which supports virtually every network in existence, making the smartphone fantastic for travel.
Winner: The Moto G5 Plus is an international smartphone with support for virtually every cellular network in existence.
With three wins for the Nokia 6 and three wins for the Moto G5 Plus, it’s a tie. However, if you’re someone who often travels around the country or abroad, the Nokia 6 isn’t a good choice for you. The Nokia 6 is a good choice for T-Mobile customers who want a well-rounded device with the latest version of the Android operating system at an affordable price.