Nokia 5.4 review: A cheap phone you’d be proud to use

Nokia 54 Lifestyle 011Supply: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

Okay, I’ve to be sincere with you.

I went into this Nokia 5.4 evaluation with out very excessive expectations. In any case, how excited can you actually get about an Android cellphone that’s below $300 on this period the place the perfect Android telephones can value properly over $1,000, and even so-called “worth” flagships are approaching $800? Because it seems, after utilizing it for somewhat over per week thus far, the Nokia 5.4 has excited me fairly a bit.

I wish to image myself as a champion of inexpensive tech, as long as it is good inexpensive tech. My private every day carry is often the $350 Google Pixel 4a moderately than the dearer $700 Google Pixel 5. I choose to put on a minimalistic and inexpensive health tracker to a elaborate costly smartwatch, and I might moderately rock out with an Echo Dot or Nest Mini than a high-end Bose or Sonos system. What can I say? I am fundamental; it is simply how I roll.

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The Nokia 5.4 is not an ideal cellphone, and for those who will need to have absolutely the cutting-edge in smartphone tech, then, properly, you most likely did not click on on this text within the first place. Nonetheless, for those who’re somebody who’s on the lookout for an excellent cut price, you’ve got come to the suitable spot. This can be a cellphone that I’m most undoubtedly going to be recommending to these on the lookout for a top quality, long-lasting, inexpensive machine. It is also one which I can see myself utilizing fairly a bit for the foreseeable future.

Nokia 5 4 Official Render

Nokia 5.4

Backside line: Coming lower than a 12 months after its predecessor, the Nokia 5.4 is a decidedly iterative replace to the 5.3. Nonetheless, it boasts a much-improved digicam to go together with an honest show, glorious battery life, and top-notch software program and replace schedule. If you cannot afford telephones that value $300 or extra, you may’t actually do a lot better than this.

The Good

  • Clear Android One software program expertise
  • Two years of software program updates and three years of month-to-month safety patches
  • NFC succesful
  • Eye-catching design and colours
  • Twin-SIM and microSD card help
  • High quality main and ultra-wide cameras

The Unhealthy

  • Ships with Android 10
  • Gradual fingerprint sensor
  • No official waterproof score
  • No wi-fi charging

Nokia 5.4 Worth and availability

Nokia 54 Lifestyle 6

Supply: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

Because the much-anticipated successor to the favored Nokia 5.3, the Nokia 5.4 was launched in mid-December 2020. It went on sale in Europe and different choose markets shortly thereafter. It turned out there within the U.S. on February 15, 2021, for $250 at varied third-party retailers. Curiously, on the time of this writing, the Nokia 5.4 just isn’t out there immediately by Nokia’s web site, although we count on that to vary very quickly.

Nokia 5.4: Design

Nokia 54 Lifestyle Front

Supply: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

By this level, most smartphones look just about the identical, no less than when considered head-on, and that is definitely the case right here with the Nokia 5.4. This cellphone’s face greats you with a 6.39-inch HD+ IPS LCD that’s at 720p. It contains a small, hole-punch 16MP selfie digicam cutout within the high left nook and has noticeable, although minimal, bezels alongside the edges. The brow can be minimal, although the chin is a bit bigger, accomodating the Nokia title/brand.

Spec nerds will most likely get upset with this show, however I feel it seems to be simply nice in follow. No, scratch that. It is fairly nice, really. I do know that the majority Android telephones have lengthy since moved on from 720p shows, however as somebody who typically makes use of an iPhone, I can let you know that they don’t seem to be that unhealthy. I did not thoughts a 720p-ish show after I frequently used an iPhone XR, and I do not thoughts it right here both. Colours are vivid and vibrant, textual content is crisp, and video watching is an pleasant expertise. Belief me, for many use instances, this show goes to be simply nice.

The Polar Evening and Nightfall colours are actually lovely; pity they’re fingerprint magnets too.

The 5.4 is available in two colours — Polar Evening, the attractive deep blue model that got here on my evaluation unit, and Nightfall, an equally beautiful purple hue. Each have a diagonal line sample in them which makes it seem that the cellphone is textured, however alas, that is only for present. This handset is as easy they arrive.

There’s the slightest little bit of give for those who squeeze the cellphone within the center again portion, however aside from that, it feels properly put along with no gaps or creaking. It sports activities a capacitive fingerprint sensor on the again for safety and authentication. The sensor works properly, however it’s a tick slower than most I’ve used, particularly the capacitive selection.

The 5.4 just isn’t a small cellphone by any stretch of the creativeness, because it simply barely suits within the footprint of one thing just like the Galaxy Be aware 10+ or Be aware 20. It is also somewhat on the slippery aspect; no less than, it appeared that solution to my butterfingers. Due to its measurement and slipperiness and the truth that it’s a main fingerprint magnet, I’d reluctantly recommend that you simply put among the best Nokia 5.4 instances in your machine to guard it for those who’re vulnerable to drops.

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Nonetheless, for those who wish to rock your cellphone au pure, then you may nonetheless really feel considerably protected and not using a case. The machine is made from plastic (polycarbonate), and it comes with a pre-installed display screen protector, so it ought to stand as much as all however probably the most dramatic scratches, scuffs, and drops.

Nokia 5.4: Specs and Efficiency

Nokia 54 Lifestyle 010

Supply: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

Class Nokia 5.4
Working System Android 10
Show 6.39 inches, HD+ IPS LCD, 720 x 1560p, 269ppi
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 662, 8-core, 4×1.8GHz
Graphics Adreno 620
Reminiscence 4GB/6GB
Storage 64GB/128GB DriveTech
Expandable Storage as much as 512GB by way of microSD
Rear Digicam 1 48MP main ƒ/1.8 aperture
Rear Digicam 2 2MP depth
Rear Digicam 3 5MP ultra-wide
Rear Digicam 4 2MP macro
Entrance Digicam 16MP
Safety rear fingerprint sensor, face unlock, sample/PIN unlock
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, LTE Cat 4, Bluetooth 4.2
Ports USB-C, microSD, dualSIM, 3.5mm audio combo jack
NFC Sure
Audio Ozo Audio speaker, 3.5mm headphone jack
Battery 4,000mAh/Wh, XX hours, XXW charging
Water Resistance NA
Dimensions 6.34 x 2.99 x .34 inches
Weight 6.4 oz
Colours Polar Evening (blue), Nightfall (purple)

The Nokia 5.4 does not look all that completely different than its predecessor, however there are just a few updates and enhancements to notice, in addition to a doable downgrade or two.

For starters, the cellphone is barely shorter and narrower than the 5.3, although it’s primarily similar in thickness and weight. The entrance sports activities a hole-punch selfie digicam cutout moderately than a teardrop notch, and there at the moment are two fashionable coloration choices as an alternative of the earlier mannequin’s beautiful Cyan and bland Black choices.

The most important enchancment right here, no less than on paper, is the cameras on the 5.4. Final 12 months, the 5.3 shipped with a 13MP main sensor on the again, whereas the 5.4 sports activities a 48MP main shooter this 12 months. The remaining three cameras — depth sensor, ultra-wide, and macro — are all comparatively the identical.

Saying that the CPU change a downgrade may be a little bit of a stretch, however you drop from a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 within the 5.3 to a Snapdragon 662 within the 5.4. Except for that, you get the identical 4,000mAh battery, the identical 512GB expandable storage choice, the identical twin SIM help, and the identical 3.5mm headphone jack.

Talking of that battery, Nokia boasts that it may “quick cost” at 10W, which I feel is enjoying somewhat quick and unfastened with that phrase. I discovered charging to be fairly sluggish in comparison with my different gadgets. Nonetheless, the battery efficiency does reside as much as Nokia’s claims. The standby time is implausible, and since it isn’t pushing round a ton of pixels and has a modest processor, it has no hassle lasting you two full days for those who handle issues proper.

Nokia 54 Bottom

Nokia 54 TopSupply: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

Calling the 662 a modest processor may be somewhat harsh too. I had no downside with day-to-day efficiency, scrolling, or app switching. Fortunately, the cellphone comes with NFC for contactless funds, although it does not sport any official IP water or mud resistance. It’s out there with 64GB or 128GB of storage, and there are 4GB and 6GB RAM choices. Lastly, I simply needed to touch upon the haptics: they’re really actually good, particularly for a “worth” priced cellphone.

Nokia 5.4: Software program

Nokia 54 Front 1

Supply: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

Except for their low costs, considered one of Nokia telephones’ greatest options in recent times must be their software program help and expertise. For probably the most half, Nokia gadgets function a near-stock Android consumer interface, with a wonderful observe file for updates.

Android 11 has been out for months now, but this new cellphone does not include it out of the field, and that is type of a bummer. To be honest, Nokia’s webpage says that the 5.4 is “primed and prepared for Android 11,” and studies are that it’s going to obtain the replace someday within the first quarter of 2021 (so, any day now).

Chances are you’ll not get Android 11 instantly, nevertheless it’s coming quickly. And Android One makes it really feel Pixel-like.

This example is not superb, nevertheless, the corporate does nonetheless promise two years of platform updates, in addition to three years of month-to-month safety patches. Plus, it runs Android One, a platform that delivers a near-stock or Pixel-like expertise to non-Google-produced telephones. There’s just about zero bloatware; solely an FM radio app and a Nokia My Telephone app come pre-installed. The remainder is all Google!

If you happen to like the essential Pixel expertise, however cannot, or do not wish to, pony up one other $100 for the Pixel 4a, then you will get practically there with this Nokia. That is a fairly highly effective worth proposition for those who ask me. If you happen to’re on the lookout for one cause to purchase this cellphone over others on this worth vary, that is it proper there, people.

Nokia 5.4: Cameras

Nokia 54 Lifestyle 3

Supply: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

As talked about within the specs part, the 5.4 got here out a mere 9 months after its predecessor, with very minimal adjustments. Why would Nokia try this? Nicely, one of many causes seems to be a brand new digicam setup. So what all does this new digicam system entail, and is it any good?

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First off, let’s discuss in regards to the digicam placement and association. All 4 cameras are grouped in a round module centered on the high and rear of the cellphone. Personally, I actually like this placement. It appeared nice on the OnePlus 7T, and it seems to be nice right here. Not solely is it symmetrical, nevertheless it helps a considerably ordinary-looking cellphone stand out somewhat extra amidst a sea of sameness with left-justified, vertical digicam modules.

The macro sensor is meh, however the ultra-wide and first cameras are respectable.

Three of the 4 rear sensors, the depth, ultra-wide, and macro, seem practically similar to the earlier mannequin. There’s additionally a 16MP front-facing digicam, and you’ll file cinematic video as much as 4K decision at 30fps. The true improve right here is within the main sensor, which jumped up from a 13MP to a 48MP sensor.

As you may see from the samples from the first sensor beneath, the picture high quality from the 48MP sensor is sort of good in they daylight pictures I took:

The ultra-wide-angle digicam does not produce photos fairly as detailed as the first digicam, however they’re “adequate” and do a fairly good job at exposing extra of the scene.

Lastly, we come to the macro digicam. It is solely 2MP, and it asks you to carry the sensor inside 4cm of your topic, so outcomes for me had been hit and miss. This primary shot of the snail on the rock is definitely fairly detailed (take note of the bark of the tree… the panting itself was somewhat blurry), although the darker painted rock and leaf should not nearly as good. Admittedly, a few of the blame falls on my shaky palms, however the high quality is not nice both.

Nokia 5.4: competitors

Nokia 5.3

Supply: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central

If you happen to’re contemplating your different choices vs. the Nokia 5.4, chances are you’ll simply wish to have a look at a few of the different greatest Nokia telephones like final years’ Nokia 5.3. Like we talked about above, this cellphone technically has a quicker processor, and now that the 5.4 is out, you will get it for properly below $200. Plus, it has a few years throughout which it is going to nonetheless obtain software program and safety updates.

Talking of final 12 months’s telephones, it’s best to undoubtedly have a look at the Moto G Energy (2020), which we presently checklist as the perfect low-cost Android cellphone. It sits at an analogous worth level and has a greater show and processor than the Nokia 5.4. The truth is, we even appreciated the Moto G Energy (2020) higher than the Moto G Energy (2021).

Lastly, the TCL 10L is a good wanting and nice performing machine for the value. It has a formidable show, customizable Sensible Key, and actually clear software program.

Nokia 5.4: Do you have to purchase

Nokia 5.4

Supply: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

You can purchase this if …

You’ve got a restricted finances

Occasions are powerful, and cash does not go far as of late. At the least with the Nokia 5.4, you do not have to spend so much to get an excellent worth.

You want good battery life

With a 4,000mAh cell, 720p show, and mid-range Snapdragon 662 processor, your battery can reliably final two full days.

You care about software program updates

Nokia guarantees two years of Android updates and three years of month-to-month safety patches. Examine that to Motorola’s telephones on this worth vary, which get one replace, at greatest.

You shouldn’t purchase this if …

You’re a actual pixel peeper

As I’ve said, I feel the 720p IPS LCD seems to be fairly good, nevertheless it will not maintain up towards the Tremendous AMOLED, Quad HD+ shows on premium flagships from Samsung and others.

You want IP-rated waterproofing

It is a cheap cellphone, and a few issues should be reduce. Water-resistance is a kind of issues.

You need superior biometrics

This cellphone does not have safe facial recognition, nor does it have a quick in-display fingerprint sensor. It sports activities a capacitive sensor and a sluggish one at that.

out of 5

Android is an excellent OS with a vibrant machine ecosystem largely due to its software program flexibility and the just about limitless quantity of {hardware} selections. You will discover telephones at nearly any worth level, with numerous permutations of options, from probably the most fundamental burner to $2,000 foldables. Surprisingly, the variety of choices is largest the much less it’s a must to spend, which may make selecting a top quality, inexpensive cellphone fairly difficult.

After spending time with the Nokia 5.4, I feel it simply could also be the most suitable choice for people who wish to spend not more than $250 on a top quality machine. It gives an enormous, vivid display screen, a easy software program expertise, and fairly darn good cameras in a nice-looking package deal. You get two platform updates and three years of safety patches in an OS expertise that appears just about like that on a Pixel. There’s not a lot you might actually ask for for the value.

Nokia 5 4 Official Render

Nokia 5.4

Backside line: Coming lower than a 12 months after its predecessor, the Nokia 5.4 is a decidedly iterative replace to the 5.3. Nonetheless, it boasts a much-improved digicam to go together with an honest show, glorious battery life, and top-notch software program and replace schedule. If you cannot afford telephones that value $300 or extra, you may’t actually do a lot better than this.

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