Nokia 5.4 hands-on review: Unboxing and first impressions

Posted by Mister Mobility

The Nokia 5.4 reminds us of the Nokia 3.4, and that is likely because it is an enhanced version of it. The two devices share the same design and dimensions, as well as many specifications and features. The 5.4 brings a more advanced processor, more memory options, and better cameras to the table.

Announced in December 2020, the Nokia 5.4 has come visiting us now, and we have spent some time with it. The unit we have here is the 4GB RAM + 128GB storage version, and we are here to share unboxing photos, as well as our first impressions with you in this Nokia 5.4 hands-on article.

Nokia 5.4 has a firm plastic body with a 6.39″ IPS LCD, with a 16 MP selfie camera in a punch hole, a 48 MP main camera along with a 5MP ultra-wide and 2MP depth lenses at the back, a 4000mAh battery, and 10W charging via a micro USB-C port.

The phone is available in two colours – Polar Night and Dusk. Our review unit is in Polar Night, a blue trim. We like it. It fits nicely in both formal and informal settings.


Powering the 5.4 is a Snapdragon 662 chipset, and it runs Android 10 (upgradable to Android 11 and 12). It is a dual SIM, 4G LTE phone and has a dedicated memory card slot.

Nokia 5.4 hands-on review: specs at a glance

  • Body: 161 x 76 x 8.7 mm, 181g; plastic body.
  • Display: 6.39″, 720 x 1560 pixels, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, IPS LCD.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 (11 nm): Octa-core 2.0 GHz, Kryo 260 Gold;
  • GPU: Adreno 610.
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM, 128 GB;
  • External Memory: microSDXC (uses dedicated SIM slot).
  • OS/Software: Android 10 (stock).
  • Rear camera: 48 MP Wide angle main camera; 5 MP Ultra wide angle lens; 2 MP Macro lens; and 2 MP depth sensor, 4K@30fps, 1080p@30fps.
  • Front camera: 16 MP wide-angle camera, 1080p@30fps.
  • Battery: 4000mAh; 10W “fast” charging.
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (rear-mounted); 3.5 mm jack; NFC.

Nokia 5.4 hands-on review: The Unboxing

The Nokia 5.4 retail box includes the usual suspects – a transparent Silicon case, paperwork, SIM ejector tool, USB-C cable, and a 10W adapter. Note that the phone supports 10W charging, and it is good to see that the box includes a compatible charger.

Nokia 5.4 hands-on review: First Impressions

In hand, the Nokia 5.4 is a lightweight phone. The back panel is clearly plastic, but it has a feel of glass – a feeling we like to call glasstic. It gives a luxurious appearance and feel. Despite knowing that it isn’t glass, one still has a fear of the phone falling and cracking.

As far as handling goes, the back cover has a diagonal striped appearance, but unlike what obtains with the Nokia 3.4, it is only a visual effect. There is no texture on the panel, and it is smooth and slippery like glass. And it is a fingerprint magnet just like glass.

L-R: The back panels of Nokia 3.4 and 5.4 respectively

There is a fingerprint scanner at the back, right below the circular camera island and some distance above the Nokia logo.

Below the SIM tray slot on the left edge of the Nokia 5.4 is a dedicated Google Assistant button. The volume and power buttons are on the right edge of the phone.

Nokia 5.4 hands-on review: First 24 Hours Of Use

The Snapdragon 460 used in Nokia 3.4 impressed us and now the Snapdragon 662 in the 5.4 takes it a notch higher. In use, the phone was smooth, apps launched and switched fine. It isn’t a premium flagship level of smoothness and speed, but it doesn’t stutter and leave us frustrated.

In the last 24 hours, we have installed our usual apps and put them to use. Of course, 24 hours is a short period of time, but we haven’t encountered any issues that had us with misgivings.

The 10W “fast” charging works as advertised, and the USB Type-C port also supports OTG or USB Host, allowing us to transfer files between the phone and available dual flash drives.

The 720×1520 pixel resolution isn’t flattering on paper, but in daily use, it didn’t leave us feeling like we were missing anything. As usual, adaptive brightness often turns the display a little darker than we would like. But hopefully, it will get better, as the AI learns our preference over the next few days. There is no Gorilla Glass protection, Always-on display, or HDR10 either.

We have taken the cameras for a brief spin as well, and they are good as well. We will have sample photos available in the full review.

In all, we have had pleasant vibes from our early handling of this mid-range Android phone from HMD Global. Stick around for our full review for all the juicy details and our verdict.

The phone is already available and on sale for 82,000 in stores across Nigeria. The full detailed review will be available on MobilityArena in about a week, so stick around. If you have any questions you would like us to answer in the review, please ask using the Comment box below.

 

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