Nokia 5.4 review – this one’s for the stock Android

Reviews
  • This Nokia phone offers an upgraded experience to those who want a stock Android smartphone in the budget segment.
  • The device, true to its promise, delivers a bloatware-free experience, standing apart from the competition.
  • But is the clean software enough to justify the slightly less powerful hardware when compared to other phones? I find out in my review.

The Nokia 5.4 is the latest smartphone from Finland-based HMD Global to launch in India, promising to offer a clean and bloatware-free experience.

As part of the Android One programme, Nokia smartphones offer 3 years of monthly security updates and 2 years of operating system updates. While this is an added advantage if you want to buy a Nokia smartphone, you might have to sacrifice a bit in terms of hardware features.

A similar pattern is evident with the Nokia 5.4, but a great smartphone is a sum of its good software and hardware. HMD Global tries to strike a balance between the two aspects with the Nokia 5.4, so I was intrigued to see how it actually works out in real life.

Nokia 5.4 price and availability

The phone is priced at ₹13,999 for the 4GB variant, and ₹15,499 for the 6GB variant. It comes in two colours – Polar Night and Dusk.

Here are some of the phones the Nokia 5.4 is competing with:

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Phone Price
Poco M3 ₹10,999
Poco M2 Pro ₹12,999
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro ₹12,999
Realme 7 ₹14,999

Design, build quality and display

HMD Global has kept things simple when it comes to design, but at the same time, it has added some flair to keep things interesting. The front of the phone is noticeable for its thick chin with the Nokia branding.

Nokia 5.4 review – this one’s for the stock Android fans on a tight budgetNokia 5.4 backRounak Jain
On the back, the company has opted for a gradient finish but the glossy plastic panel makes it a fingerprint magnet. It does look good but you might want to use a case if a clean phone is important to you.

The build quality is good and there are no noticeable squeaky noises.

The phone has a 6.39-inch display that gets bright enough in most situations when you’re indoors. However, readability takes a hit under direct sunlight.

On the downside, the display resolution is just HD+. For context, most phones in this price range feature a Full HD+ display. The immediate effect of this is on media consumption – the video quality is restricted to just 720p.

Software

One of the key selling points of the Nokia 5.4 is its software. It comes with Android 10 out of the box and should receive the Android 11 update in the near future.

Nokia 5.4 review – this one’s for the stock Android fans on a tight budgetThe Nokia 5.4 offers a clean and clutter-free experienceRounak Jain / screenshot
Sticking to its promise of a clean experience, the Nokia 5.4 comes without any bloatware. This comes as a breath of fresh air – more so because there is a dearth of Android One smartphones, with the only comparable alternative being the Xiaomi Mi A3 which was launched in 2019.

The Nokia 5.4 should have come with Android 11 out of the box, especially since Google announced Android 11 back in September, 2020. That being said, it is expected to get the update in the near future.

Performance and battery life

The Nokia 5.4 was mostly a smooth performer, especially while performing basic tasks like messaging, calling, streaming music or videos. I noticed minor stutters while scrolling across the interface, but those were few and far between.Nokia 5.4 review – this one’s for the stock Android fans on a tight budgetNokia 5.4Rounak Jain
Given that the phone is powered by the Snapdragon 662 chipset, I had not expected a lot from it, especially when it comes to gaming. I was able to play some basic puzzle games like 2048, Sudoku, and even Subway Surf without any issues. However, the phone stuttered while playing graphic-intensive games like Call of Duty: Mobile and Asphalt 9.

The Nokia 5.4 is powered by a 4,000mAh battery that easily lasted me an entire day of usage, with dozens of calls, hundreds of messages and moderate video streaming.

CameraNokia 5.4 review – this one’s for the stock Android fans on a tight budgetNokia 5.4 camerasRounak Jain
The Nokia 5.4 offers a quad-camera setup, with a 48MP primary camera and a 5MP ultrawide camera, along with two 2MP cameras.In real life, the Nokia 5.4 delivers okay-ish results. It manages to capture a good amount of detail in daylight conditions, but the colours are not as rich or true as they should be.Nokia 5.4 review – this one’s for the stock Android fans on a tight budgetNokia 5.4 daylight photoRounak Jain
The phone fared well enough in indoor lighting conditions, but on the whole it could have done better.Nokia 5.4 review – this one’s for the stock Android fans on a tight budgetNokia 5.4 indoor photoRounak Jain
Verdict

The Nokia 5.4 has its task cut out, especially in a sea of smartphones with relatively more powerful hardware. Theoretically, phones like the Poco M3, Poco M2 Pro, Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro and the Realme 7 offer similar or better hardware at comparable prices.

However, the software experience redeems the Nokia 5.4, especially if you prefer a bloatware-free experience.

If you want a clean, clutter-free experience, the Nokia 5.4 is a good option.

SEE ALSO:

Realme X7 Pro 5G mobile review – democratising 5G

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G review – the best Android smartphone, yet

Realme X7 Pro 5G vs Xiaomi Mi 10i – best mid-range device under ₹30,000 in India

This article originally appeared on https://www.businessinsider.in/tech/mobile/news/nokia-5-4-review-performance-features-price-comparison/articleshow/81034132.cms

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