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Nokia 5.4 quick review: Appealing looks, big display

HMD's new Nokia 5.4 places a huge bet on the pure Android experience that it comes with but is it enough? Read our first impressions of Nokia 5.4.

twitter-logoShubham Verma | February 10, 2021 | Updated 12:50 IST

Highlights

  • The Nokia 5.4 comes with a big display with a punch-hole cutout.
  • Nokia 5.4 is powered by a Snapdragon 662 SoC that should be enough for most tasks.
  • The Nokia 5.4 is priced at Rs 13,999 and will go on sale next week.

Nokia brand licensee HMD Global has just launched the Nokia 5.4 smartphone in India. The release of this mid-range phone in India comes over a month after the company introduced it in the European market. Nokia 5.4 has a lot going on for its price of Rs 13,999. Remember, this is the same price that the predecessor Nokia 5.3 was launched for back in August. So, the Nokia 5.4 has a shiny, arresting design, a set of capable hardware, and the promise of pure Android experience that you get for that price but is it a good value of money?

The Nokia 5.4 has to take on Realme, Redmi, Samsung, and Motorola phones in the price group. And this fight is about the specifications, even though HMD denies its participation in this battle. For HMD, the Android experience holds more value than the mumbo-jumbo of specifications that have become the most highlighted part of the pitch on smartphones. I am not denying the importance of specifications, because that is what makes the phone complete but they do not tell the entire picture. Unless the software is good, the hardware will make little sense. HMD is just playing on this argument to attract customers.

So, what about the Nokia 5.4? How good is it?

In this article, I will tell you about my first impressions about the Nokia 5.4. Remember this is not a full review, which will be out in the coming days.

Right off the bat, the Nokia 5.4 design looks impressive. I have always lauded HMD for its sense of good phone design and Nokia 5.4 is no exception. The shiny back looks premium for the price with the lined pattern. There is no way this phone feels that it costs just Rs 13,999. The grip of the phone is good, as well. I had no issues in reaching the top corner of the phone display. The display is a 720p one that looks fine to me. I mean it is not the best display to get for the price but it is doable. There is no 90Hz support on this display, which is a bit disappointing though.

The buttons and ports on the Nokia 5.4 are located in the right places. The buttons give tactile feedback, which I found good enough for the price. The Google Assistant button is available on the left but it is not reprogrammable. And while it is a good addition, I found myself accidentally hitting the button triggering the voice assistant unnecessarily. But it is useful for people who often rely on Google Assistant. The USB-C port works well. The sound of the phone is also decent enough through the mono speakers.

Performance-wise, the Nokia 5.4 should be able to handle most tasks and play light to medium games properly. But do not expect the phone to support high-end gaming with high refresh rates on different games. I have not had much time to spend with the Nokia 5.4 but the Snapdragon 662 is a seasoned processor and is rated to deliver good results. I will have a clearer verdict on the performance of the Nokia 5.4 in my review. The battery on the Nokia 5.4 is a 4000mAh one that supports 10W charging. While I do not have an observation about how long this battery will last, the 10W fast charging seems underwhelming. Most smartphones in this segment come with 18W and 30W fast charging technologies while the Narzo 20 Pro has 65W fast charging for Rs 1,000 extra.

Talking specifically about the cameras, the Nokia 5.4 has a 48MP main sensor on the back with support from a 5MP ultrawide camera, a 2MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth-sensing camera. Nokia phone cameras have never really disappointed me. They produce good and natural colours in photos while giving a high dynamic range. I expect Nokia 5.4 cameras to bring the same results. The videos shot on the Nokia 5.4 should also be good enough for you. And there is a 16MP selfie camera inside the punch-hole on the display. I believe the selfies will look good but the performance of the portrait mode remains to be seen.

The Nokia 5.4 comes across as a good phone for Rs 13,999. Away from the specifications, you have pure Android experience with regular updates for two years and three years of security updates. The display is appealing, the design is arresting, and the overall deal seems good. For the rest of the things and detailed analysis, you will have to stay tuned for the review of Nokia 5.4.

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