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article imageNokia 6 unveiled: Nokia returns to phones with mid-range handset

By James Walker     Jan 11, 2017 in Technology
Nokia has officially unveiled its debut Android smartphone built by Chinese brand HMD. The Nokia 6 will begin Nokia's return to the global smartphone ranks after selling its mobile business to Microsoft in 2014. Initially, sales will be limited to China.
Technically, it's not actually Nokia that's responsible for the new phones. The company has granted exclusive brand licensing rights to HMD, allowing it to manufacture phones with the Nokia name.
Nokia gets the opportunity to return to phones without the outlay of setting up new manufacturing plants. For its part, HMD can catalyse its new smartphone launches through careful use of one of the oldest and most respected names in the business. Nokia will provide some input on the design of the new handsets but they're really HMD phones.
The Nokia 6 is the first smartphone to come out of this arrangement. Contrary to some media reports, it's neither the first Nokia Android phone or the first Nokia-branded HMD device. Instead, it's the phone many people have been waiting for, the device that combines HMD and Android with the Nokia name as the bridge between the two.
Nokia 6
Nokia 6
The Nokia 6 has a 5.5-inch Full HD display on top of a chassis built from 6000-series aluminium. According to HMD, each phone is polished five times to ensure visual and structural quality. The design takes in styling cues from traditional Nokia handsets, combining the company's noted quality and craftsmanship with a fresh, modern look.
The 6 is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 430 processor. It's far from a flagship chip, concentrating more on efficiency than outright performance. The 6's 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage is on par with flagships though, affirming the device's mid-range ambitions.
Keen to retain Nokia's long-standing reputation for high-quality photography, HMD has included a 16MP primary camera featuring a phase detection auto focus system. There's also an 8MP front camera for crisper selfies. A unique camera UI featuring automatic scene detection helps novice users to take better looking photos by intelligently determining the best settings to use.
Nokia 6
Nokia 6
Additional hardware features include dual amplifier speakers with 6dB of output and Dolby Atmos sound processing technology. HMD has attempted to make a competent all-round device to define its first entry into the smartphone market, aiming to ensure every major component is of reasonably high quality.
"Our ambition is to deliver a premium product, which meets consumer needs at every price point, in every market," said Arto Nummela, CEO of HMD Global. "We start today, with our premium, high quality Nokia 6; built to deliver a fantastic core user experience for Chinese consumers. We look forward to unveiling further products in the first half of this year."
HMD is talking of global ambitions but the Nokia 6 isn't actually destined to leave its home country. The company is making it no secret that the 6 will be a device exclusive to China, setting the stage for future phones intended for the international stage.
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