HMD International has given us some memorable Nokia smartphones prior to now. 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 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 corporate’s newest launch is the Nokia 5.4, which succeeds the Nokia 5.3. HMD International is pitching this to content material creators who need “cinema-grade” digital camera 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 value level. Does it have sufficient options to face out? Let’s first check out the completely different choices which can be out there in India.

Nokia 5.Four value and variants

The bottom variant of the Nokia 5.Four has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, and is priced at Rs. 13,999. There is a second variant with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage priced at Rs. 15,499. It is out there in two colors — Nightfall and Polar Evening — 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 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 one of the best person expertise due to underpowered processors, for my part. The Nokia 5.Four nevertheless sits in a better value phase and options the extra highly effective Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 SoC, just like the Poco M3 (Evaluation). Whereas the utilization expertise is best in comparison with, say, a Nokia 2.3, it is nonetheless not as easy correctly for a cellphone at this value. Simply 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 International makes use of. Possibly it is the truth that there’s solely 4GB of RAM or only a lack of correct optimisation, however both approach, it might have been higher.

Then there’s the show. The 6.39-inch panel has respectable viewing angles, and color replica is sufficient. Watching movies is mostly a pleasing 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 Net pages, and icons and different UI parts haven’t got very noticeable jagged edges. Nevertheless, the utmost brightness degree is on the decrease aspect, which makes this show a bit laborious to make use of beneath direct daylight.

The 4GB model of the Nokia 5.Four does not supply the smoothest Android expertise, even with none heavy pores and skin or bloatware

 

The Snapdragon 662 carried out properly in benchmarks. Actually, I managed to document barely increased benchmark scores in comparison with the Poco M3, which additionally has the identical SoC. Easy video games similar to Ninja Arashi 2 ran properly with none heating, however heavier titles similar to Name of Responsibility: Cell prompted the again of the cellphone to get scorching, though the sport was playable. The only speaker on the backside will get loud sufficient for media playback. The bundled wired headset is of poor high quality so I would not suggest 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 primary sensors. As soon as once more, at this value level I’d have favored to see dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5 on the very least. The cellphone can be lacking a built-in compass, which suggests apps similar to Google Maps will not present you the course you are dealing with. FM radio is current, and makes use of a wired headset because the antenna.

Software program is one space that’s laborious to seek out fault with on Nokia smartphones. It is inventory Android 10 with simply Google’s suite of apps, a help app from HMD International, and a Cinema editor extension within the Google Images app for color grading H-Log movies . An Android 11 replace is predicted to roll out quickly. Whereas I am all for a lean-mean Android machine, I do miss among the creature comforts that third-party skins present, similar to scrollable screenshots and even a sport mode. I realised the necessity for the latter function when the brightness saved altering when gaming on the Nokia 5.4, as a result of my thumb saved blocking the ambient gentle sensor. It is little issues like these that we take with no consideration now and I feel it is excessive time HMD International begins including them.

One huge 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 normal. The Google Assistant button allows you to concern instructions, take notes, and so forth, with a single press, and the dialler app options built-in name recording too.

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The battery lifetime of the Nokia 5.Four just isn’t dangerous, supplied your utilization just isn’t too heavy

 

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 following day if my utilization was frugal. Gaming and watching movies undoubtedly drains the battery rather a lot faster, in my expertise. This cellphone 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 just isn’t the quickest both. With the bundled 10W adapter and even with any commonplace high-wattage Kind-C adapter, I used to be capable of get solely a few 55 p.c cost after an hour.

Nokia 5.Four cameras

HMD International is making an enormous deal in regards to the Nokia 5.4’s skill to shoot H-Log video, which to be truthful, no competitor on this phase is providing. This video format basically provides you a flat color profile, so you’ll be able to colour-grade footage later in skilled post-production software program as per your liking. This function is not generally seen in inventory cellphone digital camera apps, however some paid video recording apps similar to Filmic Professional do supply it.

With a view to make the most of the H-Log format, you may have to change to ‘Cinema’ taking pictures mode. Sadly, you’ll be able to solely shoot within the cinema side ratio of 21:9 (1920×822) at 24fps. Inside this mode, you may want to enter the settings and allow H-Log format. Within the viewfinder, you might have the choice to manually alter white steadiness, publicity, focus, and ISO, both earlier than or while you’re recording. H-Log recording is accessible for the ultra-wide angle digital camera too.

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H-Log video recording is a novel providing within the Nokia 5.4

 

As soon as you’ve got shot your video, you’ll be able to open it with ‘Cinema editor’ which helps you to select from a bunch of preset color profiles similar to Rec.709, and so forth, however you’ll be able to’t do any guide adjustment right here. You could possibly additionally open these information in your laptop in appropriate video enhancing software program to color grade it.

All of this works fairly properly, as marketed. Movies shot in Cinema mode aren’t the sharpest as a result of stabilisation being utilized however when you’re going for a cinematic look, it should not be a difficulty. Picture high quality is respectable 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 stated and accomplished, H-Log video recording is a reasonably area of interest function which most likely solely a handful of content material creators will care about.

It might have been good to see HMD International go all out and supply different skilled options too, similar 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 commonplace video mode, you’ll be able to shoot as much as 1080p 60fps, which gives one of the best video high quality, however there is not any stabilisation. At 30fps, movies are stabilised properly however the picture high quality is softer. In low gentle, particulars are weak and there may be noise in darkish areas.

 

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Nokia 5.Four major digital camera pattern (faucet to see bigger picture)

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Nokia 5.Four ultra-wide angle digital camera pattern (faucet to see bigger picture)

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Nokia 5.Four close-up digital camera pattern (faucet to see bigger picture)

 

For stills, the principle 48-megapixel digital camera captures pixel-binned 12-megapixel photos by default, which look good when you handle to shoot them on a shiny sunny day. The cellphone struggles a bit getting the main focus proper with close-ups, and it could get colors very flawed at occasions too, however total, the standard is respectable.

Pictures end up grainy in low gentle, and sadly, Evening mode will increase noise significantly, whereas brightening up the picture solely a bit of bit. The ultra-wide angle digital camera has only a 5-megapixel decision, and as you may count on, picture high quality is poor even through the day. I did not discover a lot use for the macro digital camera, as picture high quality was lower than passable. The 16-megapixel selfie digital camera does alright within the daytime and delivers satisfactory ends in low gentle.

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Nokia 5.Four Evening mode digital camera pattern (faucet to see bigger picture)

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Nokia 5.Four selfie digital camera pattern (faucet to see bigger picture)

 

Considered one of our gripes with the Nokia 5.Three was that it lacked video stabilisation, which HMD International has addressed with the Nokia 5.4. The primary digital camera additionally shoots respectable photos through the day. However total, 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 robust factors for the Nokia 5.4. The curvy physique makes it snug to carry, it is pretty slim and lightweight, and the Polar Evening trim appears unbelievable. Nevertheless, the again attracts smudges and fingerprints very simply, and it is a ache to maintain wiping these away. The usage of plastic does not hassle me an excessive amount of since this cellphone nonetheless feels sturdy, and I did not discover any scuff marks through the week-long evaluate interval, however it could have been good to see some premium supplies like glass.

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The Nokia 5.Four appears good however does not supply a lot else to face up towards the competitors

 

Verdict

The Nokia 5.Four might have been a strong alternative within the sub-Rs. 15,000 phase, however the options and efficiency on supply 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 a bit of laborious to suggest 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 principle redeeming elements right here, however I am undecided how properly these will maintain up towards the present competitors which is already fierce, in addition to upcoming launches on this phase.


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