The Nokia 5.4 provides a competent phone experience all around, and we will always appreciate Nokia’s pure approach to Android.
- Stock Android
- Solid Nokia design
- Decent battery life
- Suitable master bedroom
- Display, soft 720p display
- Slow performance
- Slow charging
- Terrible ultra wide room
- Revision Price: £ 159.99
- Show 720p
- Android One
- 48MP main camera
- 4000mAh battery
For several years now, the resurrected Nokia smartphone brand HMD Global has been offering a certain type of absurdly bundled package consisting of a solid build quality, a pure Android software and affordable price tags. It’s all safe from the Nokia 5.4.
The Nokia 5.4 occupies one of the most competitive areas of the smartphone market – which aims to be one of the best better good phones. At £ 159.99 / $ 249.99 / € 189, it is in direct competition with Motorola’s tastes. Moto G30 and u Realme 7, both of which provide one or two stand-out features for a modest amount of money.
Compared to such strong rivals, the Nokia 5.4 runs the risk of crashing into the background. As competitive as the phone is, it fails to stand out in any significant way.
Nokia 5.4 design and screen – Workmanlike in all departments
- Made entirely of solid but dull plastic
- Pretty heavy given the materials
- Poor 720p LCD screen
We are now well acquainted with the modern language of Nokia design. Scan through our previous reviews and you’ll probably see words like “solid,” “reliable,” and “unshowy” wrapped around it.
The Nokia 5.4 fits all three of these descriptions. It’s an all-plastic case with a shiny back panel and a matte hem, insinuating the more precious glass and metallic materials that tend to pile up more on the market. There is a fair amount of flex to the phone when you give it a solid touch and squeeze it with both hands.
Despite the extensive use of plastic, this is a surprisingly heavy device at 181g. It is often, too, at 8.7 mm.
It’s a perfectly fine concept while cheap phones go, although I’d rather see cheap phone manufacturers really stick to plastic aesthetics and properly eliminate shiny metal and glass finishes. They don’t fool anyone, and they only attract greasy footprints.
Speaking of fingerprints, the Nokia 5.4’s biometric sensor is hidden on the bottom of the phone, just below a prominent central camera module. It’s pretty reliable, even if it’s still fairly superficial and complicated to find in a flash. It can be incredibly slow to unlock, though.
The front of the phone gives you a deeply submerged 6.39-inch display. It’s an LCD, and not a particularly good example of this. The colors are dark and muted, and reach only 400 nits of brightness.
Meanwhile, a resolution of 720 x 1560 makes the content of the videos and photos look stunning. I’ve said it before, but 1080p (or FHD) should be the bare minimum now, of course on devices that cost £ 150 more.
Another disappointment is the standard 60Hz refresh rate of the display. Yes, we are talking here about a £ 160 phone. But the Motorola Moto G30 and Realme 7 give you a refresh rate of 90Hz for similar price, and the Little X3 Pro offers full 120Hz for not much more.
Nokia 5.4 Camera – Competent main shooter in good lighting, poor everywhere else
- Suitable shots for money from the 48-megapixel main camera
- Ultra-wide 5-megapixel is really terrible
- 2-megapixel macro and depth
The Nokia 5.4 apparently features a quad-camera configuration, but only the main (wide) sensor is worth it. Certainly not one of the best camera phones around, even at this price.
Well, believe me where it is due: this 48-megapixel sensor is an upgrade over the 13-megapixel unit belonging to its predecessor, the Nokia 5.3. Combined with a wide aperture of f / 1.8 and PDAF (autofocus phase detection), it is a reasonably capable shooter in good lighting.
I was able to take some surprisingly crunchy and balanced shots out of the bat, even though there were a lot of problems. The zoom in will reveal considerable noise and excessive sharpness, and any kind of pronounced movement tends to be resumed, suggesting a slow shutter. It can also struggle with the dynamic range, blowing bright skies and white shirts on a sunny day.
Portrait mode is able to isolate the subject from the background reasonably well for a good-looking phone, but the bokeh effect is not particularly convincing or attractive. Meanwhile, the night shots are a complete cancellation. Without OIS, a small sensor, limited optics, and modest transforming power, low-light shots take ages to shoot and yet produce a dark, grainy disorder.
These are all complaints that could be sent to other phones of a similar price, to different degrees. And you’ll appreciate the work Nokia has done with that 48-megapixel main sensor as soon as you switch to the ultra-wide 5-megapixel.
It’s really terrible, giving very soft, noisy shots even in good lighting. The edges turn into a mushroom so grainy that it looks like you’ve activated some dodgy art filter. It also takes on a much duller, grayer color tone compared to the main sensor.
The 2 megapixel macro and depth sensors are barely worth the space they take up, and we won’t waste your time discussing them. They are terrible and useless, respectively.
One camera that you are much more likely to use is the 16 megapixel front unit of Nokia 5.4. Obviously he is not the best example of such a thing, but he is able to take respectable selfies.
Performance Nokia 5.4 – Snapdragon 662 touches par, but the phone feels slow
- Snapdragon 662 offers a suitable speed
- General lack of smoothness
- 3D will run at low parameters
You don’t expect a rigorous performance at this price, but we’re now at the point where the basic experience of unlocking, flipping through home screens and menus, and jumping between regular apps should reach a basic level of fluidity.
Unfortunately, the Nokia 5.4 is not fair. It uses a lower mid-range Snapdragon 662 in conjunction with 4 GB of RAM, which is a modest if reasonable installation. It’s the same chip that powers the aforementioned Moto G30 and the Moto G9 Power, and gives a comparable Geekbench 5 score.
But in the hand, everything feels a little too moral and stupid. Maybe I use too many high frequency smartphones, but there is only one way to use this phone.
As I already mentioned, unlocking it can take an age, and flashing between home screens feels judicious and stilted. I plan on completely buying the promised 120Hz phones at a bargain price – they never live up to their more expensive counterparts – but the opposite end of the spectrum is the Nokia 5.4, which doesn’t even seem to have a solid 60Hz experience.
When it comes to PUBG, you can expect that the most advanced 3D games will work well in low to medium settings. PUB Mobile will recommend the low-end resource pack when first booting up, and can be played on Balanced / Medium – just one scale on the scale of graphical parameters. It works well at that modest, if not massively fluid level.
You have 64GB of storage here, which is good for the money. Although it should be noted that many phones in the sub- £ 200 / $ 300 category have started to provide 128GB as standard, such as the Moto G9 Power and the Little X3 NFC. However, there is at least one micro-SDXC slot here, so there is potential for expansion.
Nokia 5.4 battery life – Easily exceeds the one-day mark
- The 4000mAh battery is decent if it is not capable of charging
- Well over a day of normal use
- The 10W charger is not fast
The Nokia 5.4 is powered by a 4000mAh battery. That doesn’t provide a great reason to celebrate on a better specified phone, but given this phone’s modest 720p display and slim processor, it’s not a bad performance in any way.
It will easily survive a day of moderate use, and will take you well within a second. Powerful users will see that figure fall apart one day, but then this is not really a phone for powerful users. Its screen and processor do not support video and game content.
However, if you really want strong stamina at this kind of price, then the Moto G9 Power with its 6000 mAh battery is a much better bet. The Nokia 5.4 can’t even come close to the figures of this rival budget phone.
With Nokia, I noticed that an hour of Netflix streaming with the screen brightness at 50% dropped 12% of a charge. The Moto G9 Power has lost only 7%, and has been with the screen brightness beating down to 100%.
I got a modest 10W charger bundled in the box, which took me from 50% to 54% in 15 minutes, and up to 57% in 30 minutes. It’s really not very fast – especially when the likes of the Poco X3 Pro and Realme 7 give you much faster 30W + chargers.
Conclusion Nokia 5.4
The Nokia 5.4 provides a competitive phone experience all around, and we will always appreciate Nokia’s pure approach to Android.
But that doesn’t feel enough anymore in today’s competitive balance sheet market, where one or two stand-out features aren’t uncommon. This is a phone that fully subdues with its dark screen and slow performance, while an improved camera can also handle only acceptable wide shots in good lighting. It’s not a bad phone in any way, but the Nokia 5.4 fails to shine with any of the principles.
You should buy the Nokia 5.4 if …
- You want the cleanest Android possible for the price
Nokia does not load a bloatware and strong skin on its version of Android, so the software you have is clean and easy to use.
- You’re a fan of Nokia’s solid and pointless concept
While HMD’s Nokia phones aren’t as indestructible as the Nokia phones of the times, they maintain a durable look and feel that is often rare in the Android space.
You should not buy the Nokia 5.4 if …
- Watch or play lots of games and videos
This is a good phone, but it can’t compare to other devices at this price when it comes to performance. If you want a gaming device, look elsewhere.
- You like to take ultra wide snaps
As you may have noticed in the review, the ultra wide camera is terrible. Like the other duo of secondary sensors. If you want variety with your cameras then this device is not for you.