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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Nokia 5.4 Assessment: Extra Type Than Substance?

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HMD World has given us some memorable Nokia smartphones up to now. 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 actually 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 World is pitching this to content material creators who need “cinema-grade” digicam instruments with out having to spend an entire lot. The Nokia 5.4 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 completely different choices which might be accessible in India.

Nokia 5.4 worth and variants

The bottom variant of the Nokia 5.4 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 accessible in two colors — Nightfall and Polar Night time — of which I’ve the latter with 4GB of RAM.

I’ve already gone over the design and construct high quality facets of this cellphone in my first impressions, so we’ll leap straight into the efficiency of the Nokia 5.4.

Nokia 5.4 efficiency and battery life

Up till not too long ago, entry-level Nokia smartphones have not provided the very best consumer expertise because of underpowered processors, in my view. The Nokia 5.4 nonetheless sits in the next worth phase and options the extra highly effective Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 SoC, just like the Poco M3 (Review). Whereas the utilization expertise is best in comparison with, say, a Nokia 2.3, it is nonetheless not as clean appropriately for a cellphone at this worth. 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 Global makes use of. Perhaps it is the truth that there’s solely 4GB of RAM or only a lack of correct optimisation, however both manner, it might have been higher.

Then there’s the show. The 6.39-inch panel has respectable viewing angles, and color copy is satisfactory. Watching movies is usually a nice expertise too, however the show decision is simply HD+, which is disappointing for a cellphone 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 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 5.4 would not provide the smoothest Android expertise, even with none heavy pores and skin or bloatware

 

The Snapdragon 662 carried out effectively in benchmarks. In truth, I managed to file barely increased benchmark scores in comparison with the Poco M3, which additionally has the identical SoC. Easy video games equivalent to Ninja Arashi 2 ran effectively with none heating, however heavier titles equivalent to Name of Responsibility: Cellular induced the again of the cellphone to get scorching, regardless that 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 advocate utilizing it.

The Nokia 5.4 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. As soon as 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 implies 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 program is one space that’s laborious to search out fault with on Nokia smartphones. It is inventory Android 10 with simply Google’s suite of apps, a help app from HMD World, and a Cinema editor extension within the Google Photographs 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 a number of 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 is little issues like these that we take with no consideration now and I feel it is excessive time HMD World 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 allows you to subject instructions, take notes, and many others, with a single press, and the dialler app options built-in name recording too.

nokia 54 review display qq

The battery lifetime of the Nokia 5.4 shouldn’t be dangerous, offered your utilization shouldn’t be too heavy

 

The Nokia 5.4 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 rather a lot faster, in my expertise. This cellphone did fare fairly poorly in our HD video battery loop check working for simply 9 hours and 21 minutes, which is effectively under common. Charging the battery shouldn’t be the quickest both. With the bundled 10W adapter and even with any customary high-wattage Kind-C adapter, I used to be in a position to get solely a couple of 55 p.c cost after an hour.

Nokia 5.4 cameras

HMD World is making a giant deal concerning the Nokia 5.4’s potential to shoot H-Log video, which to be honest, 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 Professional do provide it.

So as to benefit from the H-Log format, you may have to modify to ‘Cinema’ taking pictures mode. Sadly, you may 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 may have the choice to manually regulate white steadiness, publicity, focus, and ISO, both earlier than or while you’re recording. H-Log recording is obtainable for the ultra-wide angle digicam too.

nokia 54 review hlog as

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

 

As soon as you’ve got 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 would additionally open these recordsdata in your pc in appropriate video enhancing software program to color grade it.

All of this works fairly effectively, as marketed. Movies shot in Cinema mode aren’t the sharpest because of the stabilisation being utilized however if you happen to’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 effectively in capturing directional sound too. All mentioned and finished, 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 World go all out and provide different skilled options too, equivalent 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 side ratios too.

In customary video mode, you may shoot as much as 1080p 60fps, which affords the very best video high quality, however there isn’t any stabilisation. At 30fps, movies are stabilised effectively however the picture high quality is softer. In low mild, particulars are weak and there’s noise in darkish areas.

 

Nokia 5.4 predominant digicam pattern (faucet to see bigger picture)

Nokia 5.4 ultra-wide angle digicam pattern (faucet to see bigger picture)

Nokia 5.4 close-up digicam pattern (faucet to see bigger picture)

 

For stills, the primary 48-megapixel digicam captures pixel-binned 12-megapixel pictures by default, which look good if you happen to handle to shoot them on a shiny sunny day. The cellphone struggles a bit getting the main focus proper with close-ups, and it will possibly get colors very flawed at instances too, however general, the standard is respectable.

Photos end up grainy in low mild, and sadly, Night time mode will increase noise significantly, whereas brightening up the picture solely just a little 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 ends in low mild.

Nokia 5.4 Night time mode digicam pattern (faucet to see bigger picture)

Nokia 5.4 selfie digicam pattern (faucet to see bigger picture)

 

Considered one of our gripes with the Nokia 5.3 was that it lacked video stabilisation, which HMD World has addressed with the Nokia 5.4. The principle digicam additionally shoots respectable pictures in the course of the day. However general, the cameras aren’t that spectacular for a cellphone priced at across the Rs. 15,000 mark.

Nokia 5.4 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 time 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 would not trouble me an excessive amount of since this cellphone nonetheless feels sturdy, and I did not discover any scuff marks in the course of the week-long assessment interval, however it might have been good to see some premium supplies like glass.

nokia 54 review camers ww

The Nokia 5.4 appears good however would not provide a lot else to face up in opposition to the competitors

 

Verdict

The Nokia 5.4 might have been a stable 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 just a little laborious 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 primary redeeming elements right here, however I am undecided how effectively 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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