HMD Global has given us some memorable Nokia smartphones previously. The Nokia 5.1 Plus, Nokia 7.2, and Nokia 8.1, are simply among the standout choices that come to thoughts. Of late, the corporate has been increasing its reasonably priced vary with the Nokia 2.4, Nokia C3, and Nokia 5.3, however none of those have managed to actually impress us as a lot because the fashions that got here earlier than them.
The firm’s newest launch is the Nokia 5.4, which succeeds the Nokia 5.3. HMD Global is pitching this to content material creators who need “cinema-grade” digicam instruments with out having to spend a complete lot. The Nokia 5.Four 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 totally different choices which might be obtainable in India.
Nokia 5.Four worth and variants
The base variant of the Nokia 5.Four has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, and is priced at Rs. 13,999. There’s a second variant with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage priced at Rs. 15,499. It’s obtainable in two colors — Dusk and Polar Night — of which I’ve the latter with 4GB of RAM.
I’ve already gone over the design and construct high quality features of this cellphone in my first impressions, so we’ll bounce straight into the efficiency of the Nokia 5.4.
Nokia 5.Four efficiency and battery life
Up till lately, entry-level Nokia smartphones have not supplied the perfect person expertise due to underpowered processors, for my part. The Nokia 5.Four nevertheless sits in a better worth phase and options the extra highly effective Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 SoC, just like the Poco M3 (Review). While the utilization expertise is best in comparison with, say, a Nokia 2.3, it is nonetheless not as clean correctly for a cellphone at this worth. Just waking up the cellphone 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 Global makes use of. Maybe it is the truth that there’s solely 4GB of RAM or only a lack of correct optimisation, however both method, it might have been higher.
Then there’s the show. The 6.39-inch panel has first rate viewing angles, and color copy is enough. Watching movies is mostly a nice expertise too, however the show decision is simply HD+, which is disappointing for a cellphone costing practically 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 Web pages, and icons and different UI components do not have very noticeable jagged edges. However, the utmost brightness degree is on the decrease aspect, which makes this show a bit arduous to make use of below direct daylight.
The Snapdragon 662 carried out properly in benchmarks. In truth, I managed to document barely larger benchmark scores in comparison with the Poco M3, which additionally has the identical SoC. Simple video games equivalent to Ninja Arashi 2 ran properly with none heating, however heavier titles equivalent to Call of Duty: Mobile brought about the again of the cellphone to get sizzling, although the sport was playable. The single speaker on the backside will get loud sufficient for media playback. The bundled wired headset is of poor high quality so I would not advocate utilizing it.
The Nokia 5.Four 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. Once once more, at this worth level I might have appreciated to see dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 on the very least. The cellphone 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 is one space that’s arduous to seek out fault with on Nokia smartphones. It’s inventory Android 10 with simply Google’s suite of apps, a assist app from HMD Global, and a Cinema editor extension within the Google Photos app for color grading H-Log movies . An Android 11 replace is anticipated to roll out quickly. While I’m all for a lean-mean Android machine, I do miss among 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 stored altering when gaming on the Nokia 5.4, as a result of my thumb stored blocking the ambient mild sensor. It’s little issues like these that we take without any consideration now and I believe it is excessive time HMD Global 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 ordinary. The Google Assistant button enables you to subject instructions, take notes, and many others, with a single press, and the dialler app options built-in name recording too.
The Nokia 5.Four 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 positively drains the battery lots faster, in my expertise. This cellphone did fare fairly poorly in our HD video battery loop take a look at working for simply 9 hours and 21 minutes, which is properly under common. Charging the battery just isn’t the quickest both. With the bundled 10W adapter and even with any normal high-wattage Type-C adapter, I used to be capable of get solely a couple of 55 % cost after an hour.
Nokia 5.Four cameras
HMD Global is making an enormous deal concerning the Nokia 5.4’s capacity to shoot H-Log video, which to be truthful, no competitor on this phase is providing. This video format primarily provides 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 cellphone digicam apps, however some paid video recording apps equivalent to Filmic Pro do provide it.
In order to benefit from the H-Log format, you may have to modify to ‘Cinema’ taking pictures mode. Unfortunately, you may solely shoot within the cinema side ratio of 21:9 (1920×822) at 24fps. Within this mode, you may want to enter the settings and allow H-Log format. In the viewfinder, you may have the choice to manually alter white steadiness, publicity, focus, and ISO, both earlier than or if you are recording. H-Log recording is obtainable for the ultra-wide angle digicam too.
Once you have 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 many others, however you may’t do any guide adjustment right here. You might additionally open these information in your pc in appropriate video modifying software program to color grade it.
All of this works fairly properly, as marketed. Videos shot in Cinema mode aren’t the sharpest because of the stabilisation being utilized however when you’re going for a cinematic look, it should not be a problem. Image high quality is first rate contemplating we’re restricted to 1080p however the movies look higher on a pc than the cellphone’s low-resolution show. OZO spatial audio labored fairly properly in capturing directional sound too. All mentioned and performed, H-Log video recording is a fairly area of interest function which in all probability solely a handful of content material creators will care about.
It would have been good to see HMD Global 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 side ratios too.
In normal video mode, you may shoot as much as 1080p 60fps, which presents the perfect video high quality, however there isn’t any stabilisation. At 30fps, movies are stabilised properly however the picture high quality is softer. In low mild, particulars are weak and there’s noise in darkish areas.
For stills, the primary 48-megapixel digicam captures pixel-binned 12-megapixel photographs by default, which look good when you handle to shoot them on a brilliant sunny day. The cellphone struggles a bit getting the main focus proper with close-ups, and it may well get colors very fallacious at instances too, however general, the standard is first rate.
Images prove grainy in low mild, and sadly, Night mode will increase noise significantly, whereas brightening up the picture solely somewhat bit. The ultra-wide angle digicam has only a 5-megapixel decision, and as you may count on, picture high quality is poor even throughout 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 ends in low mild.
One of our gripes with the Nokia 5.Three was that it lacked video stabilisation, which HMD Global has addressed with the Nokia 5.4. The important digicam additionally shoots first rate photographs throughout the day. But general, the cameras aren’t that spectacular for a cellphone priced at across the Rs. 15,000 mark.
Nokia 5.Four design and dealing with
Design and ergonomics are sturdy factors for the Nokia 5.4. The curvy physique makes it snug to carry, it is pretty slim and lightweight, and the Polar Night trim appears to be like improbable. However, the again attracts smudges and fingerprints very simply, and it is a ache to maintain wiping these away. The use of plastic does not trouble me an excessive amount of since this cellphone nonetheless feels sturdy, and I did not discover any scuff marks throughout the week-long evaluate interval, however it could have been good to see some premium supplies like glass.
The Nokia 5.4 might have been a strong alternative within the sub-Rs. 15,000 phase, 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 may 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 cellphone that is somewhat arduous to advocate 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’m undecided how properly these will maintain up in opposition to the present competitors which is already fierce, in addition to upcoming launches on this phase.
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