HMD Global has given us some memorable Nokia smartphones previously. 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 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 an entire 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 are accessible 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 accessible 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 elements of this telephone in my first impressions, so we’ll leap straight into the efficiency of the Nokia 5.4.
Nokia 5.Four efficiency and battery life
Up till just lately, entry-level Nokia smartphones have not supplied the most effective consumer expertise because of underpowered processors, in my view. The Nokia 5.Four nonetheless sits in the next worth section and options the extra highly effective Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 SoC, much like the Poco M3 (Review). While the utilization expertise is healthier in comparison with, say, a Nokia 2.3, it is nonetheless not as clean correctly for a telephone at this worth. Just waking up the telephone utilizing the fingerprint sensor or face recognition feels torpid.
Swiping by homescreens and switching between apps doesn’t really feel snappy both, which is puzzling contemplating that Android doesn’t get leaner than the utterly 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 manner, it may have been higher.
Then there’s the show. The 6.39-inch panel has respectable viewing angles, and color replica is satisfactory. Watching movies is usually a nice 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 Web pages, and icons and different UI components haven’t got very noticeable jagged edges. However, the utmost brightness stage is on the decrease facet, which makes this show a bit exhausting to make use of underneath direct daylight.
The Snapdragon 662 carried out properly in benchmarks. In truth, I managed to report barely larger benchmark scores in comparison with the Poco M3, which additionally has the identical SoC. Simple video games comparable to Ninja Arashi 2 ran properly with none heating, however heavier titles comparable to Call of Duty: Mobile brought about the again of the telephone to get sizzling, regardless that 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’d have preferred to see dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 on the very least. The telephone can be lacking a built-in compass, which implies apps comparable to Google Maps will not present you the course you are going through. FM radio is current, and makes use of a wired headset because the antenna.
Software is one space that’s exhausting 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 predicted to roll out quickly. While I’m all for a lean-mean Android machine, I do miss a number of the creature comforts that third-party skins present, comparable to scrollable screenshots and even a recreation mode. I realised the necessity for the latter characteristic when the brightness stored altering when gaming on the Nokia 5.4, as a result of my thumb stored blocking the ambient gentle 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 massive 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 common. The Google Assistant button permits you to problem 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 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 take a look at operating for simply 9 hours and 21 minutes, which is properly beneath common. Charging the battery shouldn’t be the quickest both. With the bundled 10W adapter and even with any commonplace high-wattage Type-C adapter, I used to be capable of get solely a few 55 p.c cost after an hour.
Nokia 5.Four cameras
HMD Global is making a giant deal in regards to 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 provides you a flat color profile, so you possibly can colour-grade footage later in skilled post-production software program as per your liking. This characteristic is not generally seen in inventory telephone digicam apps, however some paid video recording apps comparable to Filmic Pro do provide it.
In order to make the most of the H-Log format, you may have to change to ‘Cinema’ capturing mode. Unfortunately, you possibly can solely shoot within the cinema facet 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 stability, publicity, focus, and ISO, both earlier than or when you are recording. H-Log recording is offered for the ultra-wide angle digicam too.
Once you have shot your video, you possibly can open it with ‘Cinema editor’ which helps you to select from a bunch of preset color profiles comparable to Rec.709, and many others, however you possibly can’t do any guide adjustment right here. You may additionally open these recordsdata 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 difficulty. Image 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 properly in capturing directional sound too. All mentioned and carried out, H-Log video recording is a reasonably area of interest characteristic 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, comparable to a zebra sample for checking publicity and focus peaking, or possibly 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 possibly can shoot as much as 1080p 60fps, which presents the most effective video high quality, however there isn’t any stabilisation. At 30fps, movies are stabilised properly however the picture high quality is softer. In low gentle, particulars are weak and there’s noise in darkish areas.
For stills, the principle 48-megapixel digicam captures pixel-binned 12-megapixel photos by default, which look good when you handle to shoot them on a brilliant sunny day. The telephone struggles a bit getting the main focus proper with close-ups, and it could get colors very mistaken at instances too, however general, the standard is respectable.
Images prove grainy in low gentle, and sadly, Night 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 may count on, picture high quality is poor even in the course of 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 gentle.
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 fundamental digicam additionally shoots respectable photos in the course of the day. But general, the cameras aren’t that spectacular for a telephone 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 seems 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 telephone nonetheless feels sturdy, and I did not discover any scuff marks in the course of the week-long evaluate interval, however it could have been good to see some premium supplies like glass.
The Nokia 5.4 may have been a strong selection 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 may put lots of people off. Take this characteristic 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 exhausting to advocate to anybody with a finances restrict of Rs. 15,000.
The design and the truth that you get inventory Android with assured updates are the principle redeeming elements right here, however I’m unsure how properly 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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