Nokia 5.4 assessment: Effectively-priced however flawed

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I needed to do a double-take after I first learn the Nokia 5.4’s specs. A yr after the launch of the earlier mannequin, the 5.3, it wasn’t instantly clear whether or not there have been any important adjustments this time round, which appeared just a little bit cheeky since Nokia additionally determined to cost an additional £10 this yr.

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As they are saying, the proof is within the pudding, and I used to be reserving my full judgement till the Nokia 5.4 arrived for testing. Now that it’s in my palms, although, I’m not satisfied it does sufficient to raise itself from the steadily rising variety of top-value finances handsets.

Nokia 5.4 assessment: What it is advisable know

Cheaper than most telephones, the Nokia 5.4 has suitably low-end specs. An entry-level Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 powers the cellphone and it additionally has 4GB of RAM with 64GB of onboard storage, which might additionally take microSD playing cards as much as 512GB in dimension.

On the entrance of the Nokia 5.4 sits a 6.39in IPS show with a decision of 1,560 x 720. A quad-camera array is on the again, which consists of a major 64MP digital camera, an ultrawide unit and a pair of macro and depth sensors. Lastly, it runs Android 10 – with an improve to Android 11 as a result of arrive shortly – and it additionally guarantees at the very least three years of safety updates.

Nokia 5.4 assessment: Value and competitors

Priced at £160, the Nokia 5.4 prices £10 extra at launch than its predecessor, the Nokia 5.3, but it surely nonetheless manages to cost a lot lower than the vast majority of 2021’s smartphone launches up to now. Must you be so inclined, you would purchase virtually 5 Nokia 5.4’s as a substitute of a 64GB iPhone 12, for example.

There’s loads of competitors at this value, although. Our present finances favorite is the Xiaomi Redmi Be aware 9T which, for a similar value because the Nokia, comes with 5G connectivity and a barely bigger Full HD+ show. Motorola’s Moto G9 Energy and its long-lasting battery additionally prices the identical because the Nokia 5.4, whereas the Realme 6 with its 90Hz display prices a bit extra at £199.

Nokia 5.4 assessment: Design and key options

The Nokia 5.4 is available in a alternative of two colors: “Polar Night time” and “Nightfall”. Like earlier Nokia telephones, each colors are “impressed by Nordic nature” and what this implies, in response to Nokia, is that their shimmering rear panels are speculated to symbolize the multicoloured gentle patterns of the Aurora Borealis.

The cellphone’s screen-bordering bezels have been decreased barely (the cellphone’s total dimensions are a bit smaller too) and the brand new hole-punch selfie cutout is much less obtrusive than the relatively chunky centrally-placed teardrop notch on the final mannequin.

All of this provides as much as a cellphone that each seems to be and feels extra premium than its bargain-bin value would possibly initially counsel. You definitely don’t get the impression that it was cheaply made – it doesn’t flex or bend once you give it an excellent twist – and its interesting design is arguably befitting of a handset that prices twice the value.

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The identical may be mentioned in regards to the Nokia 5.4’s thoughtfully positioned buttons and connections. On the best fringe of the handset, you’ll discover the cellphone’s quantity rocker and energy button, in addition to a devoted Google Assistant button on the alternative aspect. The Nokia 5.4 costs through USB-C on the backside, and there’s a 3.5mm audio jack on the high. Lastly, flip the cellphone over and also you’ll spot the small round fingerprint sensor, which can be utilized for safe unlocks in addition to authorising contactless card funds through NFC.

Nokia 5.4 assessment: Show

The Nokia 5.4’s IPS display has shriveled for the reason that 5.3, however solely by lower than 3%. It now stretches out throughout a distance of 6.39in, which remains to be fairly massive, but it surely’s disappointing that it nonetheless solely has an HD+ (1,560 x 720) decision, with a piddly pixel density of simply 269ppi.

It’s definitely not one of the best within the high quality stakes, both. You possibly can’t swap between show modes within the cellphone’s settings, so in some ways what you see is what you get. And, sadly, what you see isn’t that nice. Color accuracy is kind of poor, with a median Delta E of three.17, an sRGB protection of 83.8% and a complete quantity of 93.6%.

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The Nokia 5.4’s distinction ratio of 1,270:1 isn’t too dangerous, although, and at the very least it will get lots brilliant with a recorded peak luminance of 490cd/m2.

Nokia 5.4 assessment: Efficiency and battery life

The Nokia 5.4 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor, which is paired with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of inside storage, with area so as to add a microSD card as much as 512GB in capability. We final noticed this chipset contained in the Moto G9 Energy, a cellphone which coincidentally moved on from the Snapdragon 665 powering its predecessor, simply because the Nokia 5.4 did.

Regardless of the chipset change, nevertheless, you gained’t discover any variations between the Nokia 5.4 and 5.3 by way of efficiency. The only-core and multi-core Geekbench 5 processing speeds are similar, returning scores of 303 and 1,396 respectively. It doesn’t really feel sluggish to make use of, however there’s positively a noticeable dip in responsiveness in comparison with the comparatively speedy Xiaomi Redmi Be aware 9T.

As for gaming, it’s an analogous story. With a median on-screen rating of 34fps within the GFXBench Manhattan 3 take a look at, the Nokia 5.4 is a succesful gaming cellphone if you happen to’re an avid Sweet Crush participant, simply don’t count on it to run high-fidelity video games like Name of Responsibility: Cellular and Genshin Impression at excessive body charges.

Sadly, the Nokia 5.4’s battery life isn’t good. Lasting for 14hrs 38mins throughout our video playback take a look at, the Nokia 5.4’s 4,000mAh capability battery isn’t anyplace near the smartphones in our greatest cellphone battery life article, and it’s just about the identical end result as final yr’s mannequin. By comparability, the Moto G9 Energy shares the Nokia 5.4’s Snapdragon 662 chipset however its beefed-up 6,000mAh battery lasted 12 hours longer in the identical take a look at.

Nokia 5.4 assessment: Cameras

The Nokia 5.4’s efficiency and stamina is likely to be similar to the Nokia 5.3, however issues have modified barely on the digital camera aspect of issues. The Zeiss-branded main digital camera is now a 48MP quantity (a rise from 13MP), but it surely’s nonetheless backed by the identical 5MP ultrawide in addition to a pair of 2MP macro and depth sensors.

Additional upgrades embody 60fps video recording at 1080p decision (the Nokia 5.3 was restricted to 30fps on this mode) in addition to new Ozo-certified spatial audio recording and enhancements to wind noise cancellation. You can even add a customized watermark to your pictures within the cellphone’s settings and file through a brand new “Cinema” capturing mode, which stabilises your footage at 24fps at a 21:9 facet.

The standard of the Nokia 5.4’s pictures are a bit hit or miss, although. On the constructive aspect of issues, I used to be an enormous fan of the portrait mode pictures, which had loads of element and properly blurred backgrounds, and the cellphone’s evening mode can also be fairly good, with not a lot visible noise.

Sadly, the Nokia 5.4’s capturing expertise falls flat as quickly as you turn to the traditional capturing modes. My largest criticism right here is that the Nokia 5.4’s color steadiness is off-kilter within the default capturing mode, with outside scenic pictures making use of an unnatural orange hue. Check out the comparability picture beneath, which seems to be extra like a nonetheless taken straight from a Mad Max movie, relatively than a pre-apocalyptic image of the River Thames:

The macro digital camera continues to be a enjoyable addition, though you’ll be able to solely take so many close-up footage of a pillow or houseplant earlier than getting a bit bored.

Nokia 5.4 assessment: Verdict

It’s no shock that my closing ideas aren’t precisely constructive. The Nokia 5.4 is a good sufficient finances cellphone, but it surely doesn’t actually do something particularly fascinating, and the Redmi Be aware 9T is solely higher worth in response to each single metric.

The Nokia 5.4’s value is low sufficient that numerous these points may be excused barely, but when there’s a a lot better cellphone for a similar sum of money, you should be shopping for that one as a substitute. You would possibly need to give the Nokia 5.4 a miss.

Nokia 5.4 specs
Processor Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 (4x2GHz, 4×1.8GHz)
RAM 4GB
Display screen dimension 6.39in
Display screen decision 1,560 x 720
Pixel density 269ppi
Display screen kind IPS
Display screen refresh price 60Hz
Entrance digital camera 16MP (f/2.0)
Rear digital camera 48MP (f/1.8), 5MP vast, 2MP macro, 2MP depth
Flash LED
Mud and water resistance No
3.5mm headphone jack Sure
Wi-fi charging No
USB connection kind USB-C
Storage choices 64GB
Reminiscence card slot (equipped) microSD
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.2
NFC Sure
Mobile knowledge 4G
Twin SIM Sure
Dimensions (WDH) 161 x 76 8.7mm
Weight 181g
Working system Android 10
Battery dimension 4,000 mAh

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