With Nokia 5.4, HMD Global aims to penetrate the budget mid-range smartphone segment. Once again, the company is not competing on the basis of specifications, and has tried to keep things simple. At first glance, you won’t be blown away by what Nokia 5.4 offers, but it is a considerable improvement over its predecessor. Here’s what my initial impressions of the device are.
Nokia 5.4: Display and design
Nokia 5.4 has a 6.39-inch display with 720×1560 resolution. The lack of a full HD display at this price is surprising, given all the competition offers this. But the screen gets the job done. It comes pre-installed with Netflix and I watched a few minutes of an episode of Planet Earth and was not disappointed.
I also logged in to my Disney+ Hotstar account and watched the latest episode of WandaVision briefly and the display performed fairly well. But, when I took it outside the display struggled in bright sunlight even at maximum brightness.
The design of the phone has changed from Nokia 5.3. It does not feature a waterdrop-style notch but a selfie cutout on a top-left corner. It is a welcome move as it makes content consumption a better experience than before. The bezels are thinner as well and it makes the phone easy to hold. The Nokia branding at the bottom is still there.
The back of the phone is plastic and feels hollow when you tap on it which I didn’t like. Also, the back attracts a lot of fingerprints. I got the Polar Night variant of the device and I liked the colour as it makes the phone look sleeker. There is a fingerprint scanner on the back, which does not work well if your finger is a little bit sweaty. There is a dedicated Google Assistant button on the left.
Nokia 5.4: Performance
Nokia 5.4 sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor. There are only two configurations of the phone that offer the same 64GB internal storage but two RAM options, 4GB and 6GB. The phone worked fine during the limited usage and there were hardly any lags while switching between the apps. I installed and played one round of battle royale game Garena Free Fire and it worked fine with medium settings.
The phone did not heat up either which is a good sign for people who like to play games on their phone every now and then. It runs on Android 10 out of the box and is Android 11 ready. The bloatware free and clean Android experience is definitely a positive for the phone.
The camera of the Nokia 5.4 is pretty much a mixed bag. On the front, it has a 16MP sensor that takes good, detailed selfies. But the portrait mode results don’t look impressive at all.
The phone has a quad-camera setup at the back. The primary camera is 48MP and I got good results in daylight. The 5MP ultrawide camera offers good performance as well. However, if your hands shake a bit like me while taking pictures, you may need a few takes before getting the desired result.
But, at times the camera was not colour accurate and some shots of flowers were seriously overexposed. There is a 2MP depth sensor and a 2MP macro camera in the circular camera module too. I did not like the macro camera at all and preferred taking photos with the main sensor. I am yet to test the camera in low-light conditions, especially while using the dedicated Night Mode.
Nokia 5.4: Battery
Nokia 5.4 has a 4,000 mAh battery with support for 10W charging. Even though the charging speed may be an issue for many, the phone is expected to last at least a day depending on the usage.
Nokia 5.4: Early impressions
Nokia 5.4 is another phone on the company’s list that aims to impress buyers with a clean Android experience. However, Nokia hasn’t provided the Android 11 update for many of its phones yet. The company promised in the press conference that it will soon be bringing the Android 11 update to its devices, but there is no fixed date. Apart from the software, Nokia 5.4 may find it hard to compete with the likes of Realme Narzo 20 Pro, Redmi Note 9 Pro Max and others.