HMD International has given us some memorable Nokia smartphones prior to now. The Nokia 5.1 Plus, Nokia 7.2, and Nokia 8.1, are simply a number of the standout choices that come to thoughts. Of late, the corporate has been increasing its inexpensive vary with the Nokia 2.4, Nokia C3, and Nokia 5.3, however none of those have managed to really impress us as a lot because the fashions that got here earlier than them.

The corporate’s newest launch is the Nokia 5.4, which succeeds the Nokia 5.3. HMD International is pitching this to content material creators who need “cinema-grade” digicam instruments with out having to spend an entire lot. The Nokia 5.4 begins at Rs. 13,999 in India, which is a extremely aggressive worth level. Does it have sufficient options to face out? Let’s first check out the completely different choices which are out there in India.

Nokia 5.4 worth and variants

The bottom variant of the Nokia 5.4 has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, and is priced at Rs. 13,999. There is a second variant with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage priced at Rs. 15,499. It is out there in two colors — Nightfall and Polar Evening — of which I’ve the latter with 4GB of RAM.

I’ve already gone over the design and construct high quality features of this telephone in my first impressions, so we’ll bounce straight into the efficiency of the Nokia 5.4.

Nokia 5.4 efficiency and battery life

Up till not too long ago, entry-level Nokia smartphones have not supplied the very best person expertise due to underpowered processors, for my part. The Nokia 5.4 nevertheless sits in the next worth section and options the extra highly effective Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 SoC, much like the Poco M3 (Evaluation). Whereas the utilization expertise is best in comparison with, say, a Nokia 2.3, it is nonetheless not as easy appropriately for a telephone at this worth. Simply waking up the telephone utilizing the fingerprint sensor or face recognition feels torpid.

Swiping by means of homescreens and switching between apps doesn’t really feel snappy both, which is puzzling contemplating that Android doesn’t get leaner than the fully inventory UI that HMD International makes use of. Possibly it is the truth that there’s solely 4GB of RAM or only a lack of correct optimisation, however both manner, it might have been higher.

Then there’s the show. The 6.39-inch panel has respectable viewing angles, and color copy is satisfactory. Watching movies is mostly a pleasing expertise too, however the show decision is simply HD+, which is disappointing for a telephone costing almost Rs. 14,000. Granted, this should not have an effect on day-to-day use an excessive amount of. I did not face any points studying textual content on Internet pages, and icons and different UI parts do not have very noticeable jagged edges. Nonetheless, the utmost brightness stage is on the decrease facet, which makes this show a bit arduous to make use of below direct daylight.

nokia 54 first impressions back ss

The 4GB model of the Nokia 5.4 does not provide the smoothest Android expertise, even with none heavy pores and skin or bloatware

 

The Snapdragon 662 carried out effectively in benchmarks. The truth is, I managed to document barely increased benchmark scores in comparison with the Poco M3, which additionally has the identical SoC. Easy video games equivalent to Ninja Arashi 2 ran effectively with none heating, however heavier titles equivalent to Name of Obligation: Cell triggered the again of the telephone to get sizzling, although the sport was playable. The one speaker on the backside will get loud sufficient for media playback. The bundled wired headset is of poor high quality so I would not suggest utilizing it.

The Nokia 5.4 has a devoted slot for a microSD card (as much as 512GB). It additionally helps twin 4G VoLTE, single-band Wi-Fi n, Bluetooth 4.2, and fundamental sensors. As soon as once more, at this worth level I’d have favored to see dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 on the very least. The telephone can also be lacking a built-in compass, which suggests apps equivalent to Google Maps will not present you the path you are going through. FM radio is current, and makes use of a wired headset because the antenna.

Software program is one space that’s arduous to seek out fault with on Nokia smartphones. It is inventory Android 10 with simply Google’s suite of apps, a help app from HMD International, and a Cinema editor extension within the Google Photographs app for color grading H-Log movies . An Android 11 replace is predicted to roll out quickly. Whereas I am all for a lean-mean Android machine, I do miss a number of the creature comforts that third-party skins present, equivalent to scrollable screenshots and even a recreation mode. I realised the necessity for the latter function when the brightness saved altering when gaming on the Nokia 5.4, as a result of my thumb saved blocking the ambient mild sensor. It is little issues like these that we take with no consideration now and I believe it is excessive time HMD International begins including them.

One large factor going within the Nokia 5.4’s favour is the promise of assured updates for Android (as much as two years) and safety patches (as much as three years). The remainder of the software program expertise is enterprise as normal. The Google Assistant button allows you to concern instructions, take notes, and so on, with a single press, and the dialler app options built-in name recording too.

nokia 54 review display qq

The battery lifetime of the Nokia 5.4 isn’t unhealthy, offered your utilization isn’t too heavy

 

The Nokia 5.4 has a 4,000mAh battery, which I discovered to be sufficient to get me by means of one full day of heavy use, and even the subsequent day if my utilization was frugal. Gaming and watching movies undoubtedly drains the battery so much faster, in my expertise. This telephone did fare fairly poorly in our HD video battery loop check working for simply 9 hours and 21 minutes, which is effectively beneath common. Charging the battery isn’t the quickest both. With the bundled 10W adapter and even with any commonplace high-wattage Sort-C adapter, I used to be in a position to get solely a couple of 55 % cost after an hour.

Nokia 5.4 cameras

HMD International is making an enormous deal concerning the Nokia 5.4’s potential to shoot H-Log video, which to be honest, no competitor on this section is providing. This video format basically offers you a flat color profile, so you may colour-grade footage later in skilled post-production software program as per your liking. This function is not generally seen in inventory telephone digicam apps, however some paid video recording apps equivalent to Filmic Professional do provide it.

As a way to reap the benefits of the H-Log format, you may have to modify to ‘Cinema’ taking pictures mode. Sadly, you may solely shoot within the cinema facet ratio of 21:9 (1920×822) at 24fps. Inside this mode, you may want to enter the settings and allow H-Log format. Within the viewfinder, you may have the choice to manually regulate white steadiness, publicity, focus, and ISO, both earlier than or when you are recording. H-Log recording is obtainable for the ultra-wide angle digicam too.

nokia 54 review hlog as

H-Log video recording is a singular providing within the Nokia 5.4

 

As soon as you’ve got shot your video, you may open it with ‘Cinema editor’ which helps you to select from a bunch of preset color profiles equivalent to Rec.709, and so on, however you may’t do any guide adjustment right here. You may additionally open these information in your pc in suitable video modifying software program to color grade it.

All of this works fairly effectively, as marketed. Movies shot in Cinema mode aren’t the sharpest because of the stabilisation being utilized however in case you’re going for a cinematic look, it should not be a difficulty. Picture high quality is respectable contemplating we’re restricted to 1080p however the movies look higher on a pc than the telephone’s low-resolution show. OZO spatial audio labored fairly effectively in capturing directional sound too. All mentioned and achieved, H-Log video recording is a fairly area of interest function which most likely solely a handful of content material creators will care about.

It could have been good to see HMD International go all out and provide different skilled options too, equivalent to a zebra sample for checking publicity and focus peaking, or perhaps even face and eye autofocus. I additionally wished that H-Log had been usable with extra generally used facet ratios too.

In commonplace video mode, you may shoot as much as 1080p 60fps, which presents the very best video high quality, however there is not any stabilisation. At 30fps, movies are stabilised effectively however the picture high quality is softer. In low mild, particulars are weak and there’s noise in darkish areas.

 

Nokia 5.4 fundamental digicam pattern (faucet to see bigger picture)

Nokia 5.4 ultra-wide angle digicam pattern (faucet to see bigger picture)

Nokia 5.4 close-up digicam pattern (faucet to see bigger picture)

 

For stills, the primary 48-megapixel digicam captures pixel-binned 12-megapixel pictures by default, which look good in case you handle to shoot them on a vivid sunny day. The telephone struggles a bit getting the main focus proper with close-ups, and it might probably get colors very incorrect at occasions too, however total, the standard is respectable.

Photographs prove grainy in low mild, and sadly, Evening mode will increase noise significantly, whereas brightening up the picture solely a bit of bit. The ultra-wide angle digicam has only a 5-megapixel decision, and as you would possibly anticipate, picture high quality is poor even through the day. I did not discover a lot use for the macro digicam, as picture high quality was lower than passable. The 16-megapixel selfie digicam does alright within the daytime and delivers satisfactory leads to low mild.

Nokia 5.4 Evening mode digicam pattern (faucet to see bigger picture)

Nokia 5.4 selfie digicam pattern (faucet to see bigger picture)

 

Considered one of our gripes with the Nokia 5.Three was that it lacked video stabilisation, which HMD International has addressed with the Nokia 5.4. The principle digicam additionally shoots respectable pictures through the day. However total, the cameras aren’t that spectacular for a telephone priced at across the Rs. 15,000 mark.

Nokia 5.4 design and dealing with

Design and ergonomics are sturdy factors for the Nokia 5.4. The curvy physique makes it comfy to carry, it is pretty slim and lightweight, and the Polar Evening trim seems to be incredible. Nonetheless, the again attracts smudges and fingerprints very simply, and it is a ache to maintain wiping these away. Using plastic does not hassle me an excessive amount of since this telephone nonetheless feels sturdy, and I did not discover any scuff marks through the week-long evaluation interval, however it will have been good to see some premium supplies like glass.

nokia 54 review camers ww

The Nokia 5.4 seems to be good however does not provide a lot else to face up in opposition to the competitors

 

Verdict

The Nokia 5.4 might have been a strong alternative within the sub-Rs. 15,000 section, however the options and efficiency on provide simply aren’t aggressive sufficient. The addition of H-Log video seize is exclusive, however the decision and framerate restrictions would possibly put lots of people off. Take this function away, and the cameras do not actually have a lot else to face on. Add to this the low-resolution show and the marginally sluggish efficiency of the 4GB variant, and you find yourself with a telephone that is a bit of arduous to suggest to anybody with a price range restrict of Rs. 15,000.

The design and the truth that you get inventory Android with assured updates are the primary redeeming elements right here, however I am undecided how effectively these will maintain up in opposition to the present competitors which is already fierce, in addition to upcoming launches on this section.


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