Nokia is taking at the titans of the funds smartphone marketplace with the Nokia 5.4, a competitively priced smartphone providing a top rate glance and respectable digicam efficiency. Alternatively, it’s no longer as excellent a deal as it will appear, with the Nokia 5.4 providing a downgrade in numerous departments in comparison to its predecessor, and it’s relatively costlier this time too.

With this type of aggressive marketplace, does the Nokia 5.4 be offering sufficient to tempt customers clear of widespread funds choices just like the Realme 7? Whilst there are indubitably extra tough funds choices to be had, Nokia has one thing maximum can’t be offering: a inventory model of Android, with an OS improve or two in long run.

Design and construct

Relating to common feel and look, you may well be hard-pressed to search out variations between the Nokia 5.4 and its predecessor, the Nokia 5.3. It sports activities the similar understated glance with a curved plastic rear that shimmers effectively when it catches the sunshine or even the round digicam housing at the rear, despite the fact that it is available in two new flavours this time round – Polar Night time and Nightfall.

You’ll discover a fingerprint scanner sat slightly under the centrally-placed digicam housing at the rear, a USB-C port at the backside for charging and connectivity and, for people that are clinging onto stressed out headphones for expensive existence, there’s a three.5mm headphone jack to be had too – identical to the Nokia 5.3.

Via all intents and functions, it’s a stylish-looking telephone, particularly for the funds marketplace, with the curved rear serving to the telephone take a seat with ease within the hand, however the fully-plastic frame way it feels a bit of at the reasonable facet – it even creaks a bit of for those who squeeze it.

However whilst there are indubitably similarities in design, the 2 smartphones aren’t same within the show division. In reality, the Nokia 5.4 sports activities a smaller show than its predecessor, with the nineteen.5:9 IPS LCD show measuring in at 6.39in, down from 6.55in, and the waterdrop notch has been changed with a hole-punch digicam this time round too.

Given our court cases in regards to the Nokia 5.3’s mixture of a big show and HD (720 x 1600) answer leading to a noticeably soft-looking show, it’s a good move for Nokia to take a look at and cut back display screen dimension in a bid to extend pixel density, however I’d have appreciated to have observed an building up in answer – particularly with a lot of the contest wearing one thing with regards to FHD.

However in spite of this, a relatively decreased answer (720 x 1560) way the pixel density is near-identical to that of its predecessor, which means the similar court cases are provide this time round too. Textual content isn’t somewhat as sharp because it may well be, pictures glance a bit of mushy and it’s the similar tale when looking at video too.

It will not be right away noticeable for those who’re no longer used to excessive res shows, but it surely generally is a dealbreaker for those who intend on looking at numerous YouTube movies or enjoying video games.

The show may be capped at 60Hz, while the likes of the Realme 7 recreation an greater 90Hz refresh charge for a smoother cell enjoy. The saving grace is brightness; with a most brightness of 461cd/m2, it’s no longer the worst smartphone to make use of in direct daylight.

Options and function

Apparently, it sort of feels the Nokia 5.4 may just in fact be a downgrade within the efficiency division in comparison to final yr’s Nokia 5.3 – on paper, anyway.

Whilst the 5.3 presented Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 665, the up to date Nokia 5.4 options the Snapdragon 662, in conjunction with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of garage relying at the variant you go for. There’s a variant with extra garage and RAM on be offering, providing a 6GB/128GB combo, but it surely doesn’t glance love it’s coming to the United Kingdom.

In real-world use, daily efficiency is okay, with apps opening briefly sufficient and no noticeable lag, and the Adreno 610 GPU is strong sufficient for mild gaming, however don’t be expecting to run AAA video games at 60fps with high-res textures. That’s mirrored in our benchmarks too, with the Nokia 5.4’s efficiency in-line with different funds choices just like the Xiaomi Redmi 9.

In fact, with the Snapdragon 662, it’s no longer somewhat as performant within the CPU division as final yr’s Nokia 5.3 – despite the fact that, admittedly, it’s no longer that a long way at the back of. Whether or not that’s a dealbreaker will in large part be all the way down to what you’ll need to be doing at the smartphone, however this is a little disappointing to look when the funds marketplace is so aggressive in 2021.

It’s a equivalent tale within the connectivity division: whilst you’ll get Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, 4G, USB-C port and three.5mm headphone jack, you’ll in finding slower Wi-Fi, providing reinforce for Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, in comparison to the speedier 802.11 b/g/n/ac from the Nokia 5.3. That implies it will possibly’t reinforce dual-band Wi-Fi connections, leading to slower Wi-Fi efficiency when downloading apps and streaming in comparison to in a similar way priced competitors.

Cameras

Whilst there was a notable downgrade in lots of spaces of the Nokia 5.4, one house that has observed an improve is the digicam division. At the rear of the smartphone you’ll discover a primary 64Mp snapper, a notable improve from the 13Mp primary sensor of final yr’s fashion, and that’s flanked via a 5Mp ultrawide, a 2Mp macro and a 2Mp intensity sensor, all similar to its predecessor.

As you could be expecting, pictures captured at the primary 64Mp snapper are well-lit and detailed with relatively correct color replica, thank you partly to the pixel-binning tech utilised, and the low-light efficiency is respectable due to the f/1.8 aperture and a devoted night time mode. It’ll, after all, no longer have the ability to compete with flagship snappers, however you’ll most probably be pleasantly shocked via the photographs produced via the principle digicam.

The problem is that final yr’s primary snapper used to be additionally nice – it used to be the secondary lenses that permit the enjoy down general, and it’s a equivalent tale with the Nokia 5.4.

The 5Mp ultra-wide digicam, even in the most productive lights stipulations, can’t somewhat fit as much as the colors produced via the principle snapper. In reality, in checks, the colors in some photographs had been wildly other to these taken via the principle sensor, both searching too colourful or too washed out a lot of the time. Digicam tuning apart, there may be respectable element to be present in well-lit stipulations, despite the fact that pictures do grow to be softer and noisier as the sunshine ranges are decreased.

Nokia 5.4 camera test

The 2Mp macro lens is most probably an afterthought incorporated best to bump up the digicam depend and make the Nokia 5.4 a extra attractive choice on paper – it’s a tactic utilized by maximum funds telephone producers – and the hit-and-miss efficiency displays this. With the exception of being a distinct segment lens you’ll most probably best use a couple of times, it struggles to search out and handle focal point.

Turn the telephone over and also you’ll in finding an upgraded 16Mp selfie snapper, up from the 8Mp digicam of final yr’s fashion. It’s best for selfie-taking and video chats, with pictures additional advanced via the integrated portrait mode, intelligently blurring the background with respectable edge detection.

With regards to video, you’ll rise up to [email protected] from the rear cameras, but it surely’s restricted to [email protected] at the entrance.

Battery existence

One house the place the Nokia 5.4 shines is within the battery division, wearing a big 4,000mAh battery that, when mixed with the fairly low-res show, has the prospective to last as long as two days on a unmarried fee. I by no means somewhat made it to the two-day mark all through checking out, with a mix of texting, tweeting, taking footage and enjoying the occasional recreation, however I did organize to stay untethered for greater than an afternoon prior to the telephone wanted a top-up.

That’s sponsored up via the benchmark effects too, which noticed the Nokia 5.4 final an admirable 11 hours and 50 mins operating PCMark 10’s battery benchmark at 200cd/m2, with ease beating flagships like Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Plus (10:57) and Oppo’s To find X3 Professional (10:20).

The disadvantage to the huge battery is that there isn’t any fast-charge generation to be had right here, which means it’ll take somewhat a while to fee the Nokia 5.4 the use of the equipped 10W charger. In checks, the Nokia 5.4 best controlled to regain 31% fee in half-hour, so be ready to attend effectively over 90 mins for it to totally recharge.

Tool

Whilst it’s not easy to forget about that there are funds smartphones that beat the Nokia 5.4 when it comes to spec, Nokia separates itself from the contest via providing inventory Android 10 out of the field. That’s a refreshing trade in comparison to the likes of Realme and Xiaomi providing their very own spin on Android, and there’s typically a host of bloatware that comes pre-installed too.

In addition to providing a cleaner out-of-box enjoy, the Nokia 5.4 is part of the Android One vary, providing per thirty days safety updates for 3 years, and there will have to be an improve to Android 11 – or even Android 12 – someday one day.

That’s spectacular for any Android smartphone, let on my own one at this type of reasonable worth level.

Worth

The Nokia 5.4 prices £159.99 in the United Kingdom, and whilst this is effectively inside the funds class, it’s value noting that it’s £10 greater than the Nokia 5.3 final yr in spite of the smaller show, added thickness and relatively much less tough processor, making it a difficult promote – particularly while you evaluate it to the likes of the 90Hz-enabled Realme 7, which you’ll be able to select up for as low as £149.99 at this time.

It’s costlier in the USA at $249.99, however with much less festival within the funds marketplace, it generally is a extra tempting choice.

You do get some great benefits of Android One, and the inventory Android 10 is surely a plus unequalled via the likes of Realme and Xiaomi, so if that’s a sticking level, you’ll be able to select up the Nokia 5.4 from Amazon in the United Kingdom and Nokia in the USA.

Verdict

The Nokia 5.4, general, is a little of a swing and a pass over in comparison to its predecessor, let on my own the funds marketplace, with the likes of the Realme 7 and Xiaomi Redmi 9 providing a equivalent degree efficiency with significantly better shows and, arguably, a greater general feel and look too.

The Nokia 5.4’s mixture of a smaller show, the HD (720 x 1560) answer and Snapdragon 662 processor – down from the 665 final yr – make it a difficult promote, even at simply £159.99/$249.99.

The one saving grace in comparison to the contest is within the instrument division: whilst different funds telephones generally tend to send with customized variations of Android, or even some bloatware, the similar can’t be mentioned of the Nokia 5.4. It runs a blank model of Android 10, with a promised improve to Android 11 or even Android 12 someday in long run.

Specifications

Nokia 5.4: Specifications

  • 161 x 76 x 8.7mm
  • 181g
  • 6.39in 19.5:9 IPS LCD show
  • 60Hz refresh charge
  • HD answer (720 x 1560)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 662
  • Adreno 610 GPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB garage, expandable by way of microSD card
  • Rear-facing 48Mp f/1.8 broad, 5Mp ultrawide, 2Mp macro and 2Mp intensity sensor
  • Entrance-facing 16Mp f/2.0 selfie digicam
  • [email protected]
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • 4G
  • GPS
  • USB-C port
  • 4,000mAh battery
  • 10W Speedy Charging
  • Android 10 with Android One reinforce