The sub 20K smartphone bracket was dominated by Xiaomi until today. Nokia has launched its new Android One offering – Nokia 6.1 Plus in India which stacks up nicely against the Xiaomi Mi A2. Priced at Rs 15,999, Nokia 6.1 Plus will be available via Flipkart starting 30th August through a series of flash sales. You can also pre-order the device from the Nokia Online Store till 30th August.
Now both the Nokia 6.1 Plus and Xiaomi’s Mi A2 come with Stock Android, similar performing cameras and mirrored second names (Nokia 6.1 Plus is know as Nokia X6 outside India while the Mi A2 is Xiaomi’s 6X in China). But who takes the final slice? Let’s find out.
Detailed Specifications Comparison
|Specifications||Nokia 6.1 Plus||Xiaomi Mi A2|
|Price||Rs 15,999||Rs 16,999|
|Dimensions||147.2 x 71 x 8 mm||158.7 x 75.4 x 7.3 mm|
|Display||5.8-inch Full HD (1080 x 2280 pixels) IPS LCD (19:9)||5.99-inch Full HD (1080 x 2160 pixels) IPS LCD (18:9)|
|Processor||Octa-Core 1.8 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 | Adreno 509 GPU||Octa-Core 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 | Adreno 512 GPU|
|Storage||64GB (Expandable upto 400GB) - hybrid SIM Slot||64GB/128GB (Non-Expandable)|
|Battery||3060 mAh (Non-Removable) | Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0||3000 mAh (Non-Removable) | Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0|
|OS||Android 8.1 Oreo - Android One||Android 8.1 Oreo - Android One|
|Camera||Dual 16MP f/2.0 + 5 MP f/2.4|
Front - 16MP f/2.0
|Dual 12MP f/1.75 + 20 MP f/1.75
Front - 20MP f/2.2
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac|
|Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
USB Type-C 1.0
|3.5 mm Headphone Jack||Yes||No|
|Colours||Black, Blue, White||Black, Gold, Blue, Red, Rose Gold|
Design and Display
Let’s first talk about the design. Both the devices are quite contrasting when it comes to design. The Mi A2 comes with a very Redmi Note 5 Pro like design with an aluminium body and the vertical camera setup at the back. On the other hand, the Nokia 6.1 Plus comes with a glass body which definitely feels more premium to me. Both the devices have a camera bump at the back so none of them is winning at least in this department.
Flipping the device to the front, we have a different story here as well. The display on the Mi A2 looks a bit outdated with fairly big top and bottom chins. It is 5.99-inches Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) IPS LCD 18:9 display so it does make the phone relatively difficult for the single hand usage. On the other hand, the Nokia 6.1 Plus comes with a 5.8-inch 19:9 Full HD display with a notch. Now I know, there are mixed feelings about the notched displays but given what has been the most shocking trend of 2018, the display on the Nokia 6.1 Plus certainly looks more trendy and new to me.
A good display plus a relatively more premium looking design and add the headphone jack, the Nokia 6.1 Plus is easily winning this battle.
Hardware and Software
I will not run down the specifications again but clearly, the battle here is between the two processors. Nokia 6.1 Plus comes with a Snapdragon 636 processor while Mi A2 comes with a slightly more powerful Snapdragon 660 chipset. Both of them are octa-core processors but as you would expect, Snapdragon 660 is an overall better more powerful chipset with more clock-speed and slightly upgraded GPU (Adreno 512 vs Adreno 509)
Besides, we get 4GB RAM in both the devices and 64GB of internal storage. However, the one on the Nokia 6.1 Plus is expandable via microSD using a hybrid SIM Slot. Xiaomi has taken its chances in terms of hardware this time around.
When we come to the software, both the devices will give you kind of an identical performance if you are not a heavy user. Usual day-to-day tasks such a web surfing, social media etc. will be identical on both these devices. However, if you are more of a hardcore gamer or like to perform certain graphic-intensive tasks, the Mi A2 should be your choice. Both of these devices run on the Android One platform so timely updates shouldn’t be an issue.
Alright then, this is where most of the battles are won. How are the cameras on these smartphones? On paper, the Mi A2 comes with a 16MP + 20MP rear camera with an impressive f/1.8 aperture. The Nokia 6.1 Plus, on the other hand, comes with a 16MP + 5MP rear camera with f/2.0 aperture.
Although we are yet to test the cameras on the both these smartphones, initial impressions clearly suggest that Mi A2 has a better camera. Pictures taken from the Mi A2 look more natural as against the Nokia 6.1 Plus. However, Nokia 6.1 Plus produces more detailed pictures. In low-light situations, the f/1.8 aperture on the Mi A2 plays a huge role. Nokia 6.1 Plus will clearly struggle in low-lighting conditions.
Turning the device over, the Mi A2 comes with a 20-megapixel front camera while the Nokia 6.1 Plus comes with a 16-megapixel sensor. The story is here is quite similar to the rear cameras but Nokia 6.1 Plus does manage to take some really good selfie portrait shots. Overall, if the camera is your utmost priority, Xiaomi Mi A2 is a no-brainer choice.
This is another department which is yet to be tested. Given both the devices have a somewhat similar capacity, you shouldn’t notice a lot of difference in the battery performance. A lot will depend on the processors. We are not giving the battery department to either of the two devices.
Price: Which One Should You Choose?
The Mi A2 is priced at Rs 16,999 while the Nokia 6.1 Plus is priced at Rs 15,999. Now what does an extra Rs 1,000 get you? Better Cameras, Better Processor, however, you do lose on the headphone jack and expandable storage. Not to forget the outdated design.
In other words, if the camera is your priority – then go for the Xiaomi MI A2 while if you want a more premium looking device with the latest design and a headphone jack is absolutely necessary for you, the Nokia 6.1 Plus will serve you better.