Nokia 5.3, launched in Brazil in 2020, caught our attention because it is more advanced than other models announced by HMD Global here. The evaluations, however, showed that he had some problems that prevented the recommendation and the high price did not help either. A few months later, the Finnish woman then formalized her successor, the Nokia 5.4, with design adjustments, 6.39-inch screen, Snapdragon 662 processor and Android 12 guaranteed.
However, the device arrived more expensive in stores, costing R $ 1,999. Did the company finally get it right? Nokia 5.4 has been my main cell phone for the past few weeks and I share its positive and negative points below.
Nokia 5.4 video review
O Tecnoblog it is an independent journalistic vehicle that helps people make their next purchase decision since 2005. Our analyzes are not intended for advertising, which is why they highlight the positive and negative points of each product. No company has paid, reviewed or had early access to this content.
Nokia 5.4 was provided by HMD Global on loan and will be returned to the company after testing. For more information, visit tecnoblog.net/etica.
Nokia 5.4 is a phone without much personality. The look refers to some Chinese cell phones, such as the Poco X3, but the Finnish intermediary, of course, is much simpler, but not as simple as the previous generation. Although it is identical to 5.3, with almost no change in layout, layout of shortcuts and in the round module of the camera, the device has gained a slight update in the rear material, which is brighter and brings new colors.
Even without having received an upgrade in the battery, which could go from 4,000 mAh to 5,000 or even 6,000 mAh, Nokia 5.4 is thicker. It is not a problem, because the device remains light, allowing use with only one hand, but the change is curious. The new flattened sides house the on / off buttons, an exclusive to activate the Google Assistant, the volume buttons and the chip and memory card drawer.
For the rest, the brand remains conservative, but in a good way. The 3.5 mm audio input is present at the top of the device and the USB-C connection is at the bottom. The fingerprint reader, next to the cameras, is another good addition: at times, the recognition may fail, but it is not at all serious.
Screen and sound
The Nokia 5.4 screen is controversial. We expected a good upgrade in this regard, but in fact, we faced a downgrade. The first point to note is that it has decreased from 6.55 inches to 6.39 inches. In my view, it is not a decline that may displease many people, as the phone remains with a large panel and the removal of the notch favored the feeling of the big screen.
Unfortunately, AMOLED did not show up in this generation and it continues with the IPS LCD and the resolution is HD + (1560 x 720 pixels), while the ratio was 19.5: 9. This simpler configuration should not make much difference for less demanding users, however it is difficult to ignore, given that the Samsung Galaxy M21s, cheaper than Nokia, has a top panel and Full HD +.
Excluding the strict ones, the screen of the intermediary must please many people: within the limitations, the LCD of the device is good. In turn, the speaker, mono, is very low and practically has the same quality as 5.3; at least the headset is shipped in the box.
If the smartphone does not animate on the screen, it is in the software that Nokia has been pleasing. Although it takes time, it is good to know that the product will not be stagnant in the coming years. In the case of 5.4, after reviewing its calendar, HMD Global hit the hammer and defined that Android 11 will be made available to him in the second quarter of this year; the update in this period still reaches the predecessor, 5.3, and 2.4, which we have already evaluated in the Tecnoblog. Android 12 is guaranteed and monthly security updates are available for three years.
As for the interface, again the brand delivers a clean device, without bizarre modifications and bloatwares. From the factory, you already have access to the main Google apps, My Phone, which concentrates recommendations for apps for you to download, has support and a community. FM radio is also available and, on the left side, there is a dedicated button to activate the Google Assistant, which cannot be configured for other actions.
The photographic set has been improved. The main camera, before 13 megapixels, advanced to 48 megapixels. The rest remains the same: ultrawide has 5 megapixels of resolution, the macro lens has 2 megapixels and there is also a depth sensor of 2 megapixels. The front becomes 16 megapixels: it produces cool selfies, with good sharpness and controlled exposure. I, however, believe that the saturation could be a little bit stronger, still, you can get interesting images.
The main lens is the big star of Nokia 5.4. The definition is decent, the color pleases and I, too, liked the texture that post-processing values. But one thing that Nokia has not solved is the chromatic aberrations that always appear in the middle of the trees. The depth sensor is just ok; it is not so slow during capture, but it gets lost with a lot of information in the scene.
Ultrawide is not convincing: the image has no life, the definition is 100% impaired, both in the center and in the corners of the photo. The macro is the Achilles heel of this set: the focus is fixed, so the user needs to find the best position to register. But here comes another mistake: you must keep a distance of 4 cm from the object, only that Nokia’s artificial intelligence cannot point out when the interval is good to take the photo. You will be irritated and will not have decent pictures.
In low light conditions, the result, even with the main one, is good considering the cell phone category. It is possible to notice that the Night Mode tries, to the maximum, to improve the sharpness: some points work, but some ghosts are visible.
Hardware and battery
Interestingly, Nokia 5.4 fell back on performance, because the company switched from Snapdragon 665 to 662. It is not a giant obstacle, given that this generation does not sin so much in performance, but this downgrade is somewhat confusing. It works together with 4 GB of RAM, a good number, and 128 GB of internal space. Even with the setback, this configuration should serve a good part of the buyers. While browsing the main apps, I didn’t see any gagging and unexpected closings.
The Adreno 610 GPU does a good job and shouldn’t create headaches for less demanding players. With the details reduced, Asphalt 9 runs with satisfactory performance: most of the time, the title runs without crashes. Other lightweight games also operate smoothly.
After the software, the battery remains the highlight of Nokia 5.4. The Finnish stresses that the 4,000 mAh component guarantees up to two days of use on a single charge. The truth is that this device does not have high settings that there is a lot of battery, so it is possible to get close to two days. With the screen brightness at maximum, I consumed two hours of Netflix, one hour of YouTube, one hour of social networks and closed with 15 minutes of Asphalt 9: the percentage was 100 to 45, enough charge for another day.
A 10-watt charger is included in the box. The accessory makes the phone go from zero and reach 100% in 2h35min. Did he deserve a faster charger? It even deserved it, but this time is still acceptable and it is worth remembering that 5.4 does not consume so much energy on a daily basis.
Nokia 5.4: is it worth it?
In 2020, I said that Nokia 5.3 has advanced, but not so much. That same phrase can define Nokia 5.4. Unfortunately, the device has no personality and a differential that captivates the consumer. The Galaxy M21s has an AMOLED panel and a 6,000 mAh battery; the Moto G20 has a 90 Hz screen; the Redmi Note 10 has top-of-the-line design and a very exciting photo set; Nokia 5.4 has the software. I don’t know if it is enough.
It is also unclear why the downgrades on the screen and on the processor are low which can be even more discouraging. The Nokia 5.4 is a model that appeals to few details: the 4,000 mAh battery is interesting, the main camera takes good pictures for social media, removing the notch, in my view, was a hit, and keeping the input for headphones makes him earn more points with me.
In summary, this device is not bad, but it is in the wrong category and has no differentials for those looking for something superior to Nokia 2.3 and 2.4. Currently, it only makes sense during retail promotions. It is not worth paying R $ 2 thousand or R $ 1,700, which is the price that retailers have charged while I was producing this review. I would pay, at most, R $ 1,100 and, finally, I hope that HMD Global can surprise us in the next generation.
- Design just got more modern
- Has Android 12 guaranteed
- Performance still pleases the basics
- Downgrades on the screen and on the processor
- Macro and ultrawide cameras do not please
- Device is in the wrong category and has no differentials
- Deserved 5,000 or 6,000 mAh battery
- Screen: 6.39 inches with HD + resolution (1600 x 720 pixels) and 20: 9 aspect ratio
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 662
- RAM: 4 GB
- Storage: 128 GB, expandable via microSD memory card
- Quadruple rear camera:
- main: 48 megapixels
- ultrawide: 5 megapixels
- depth: 2 megapixels
- macro: 2 megapixels
- Frontal camera: 16 megapixels
- Drums: 4,000 mAh
- Operational system: Android 10
- Connectivity: dedicated headphone jack (3.5 mm), USB-C, 4G, 802.11 b / g / n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2 and GPS
- More: fingerprint reader on the back and facial unlock
- Dimensions: 160.97 × 75.99 × 8.7 mm
- Weight: 180 grams