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Nokia's new phone might steal the title of 'best cheap phone' from Xiaomi

Nokia 5.4
The Nokia 5.4 (Image credit: Nokia)

Xiaomi currently holds the top two spots of our best cheap phones list, with the Poco X3 NFC and Redmi Note 9S, but in a competitive market it can't hold that throne without a fight, and it looks like Nokia is making a play for the crown.

HMD Global, which makes Nokia phones, has just unveiled the Nokia 5.4, a new budget phone that'll be rolling out to various regions from late-2020.

This new handset costs €189, which converts roughly to $230, £170, AU$300. HMD Global stated it'll be available in some regions before December 25, but will only come to Europe in the new year. Apparently, no definitive US release has been pencilled in yet, but it could come to that region as well before too long.

We haven't tested the phone yet, so can't really compare it to Xiaomi's two heavyweights just yet, but if you read the specs below you'll see it's definitely a contender.

Nokia 5.4 specs

The Nokia 5.4 has a 6.39-inch LCD display with a HD+ resolution. Like many of HMD Global's newer handsets, it's broken up by a punch-hole cut-out for the selfie camera in the top left of the display.

The phone's design is fairly standard for a Nokia phone - there's a circular camera bump with a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor below it, and a plastic build.

There are five cameras here, with a 16MP snapper on the front and four rear cameras led by a 48MP shooter and joined by a 5MP ultra-wide, 2MP depth and 2MP macro camera. One intriguing new feature of the phone is the ability to add custom watermarks to photos, not just the typical 'Taken on ____' you'll see on most phones. This could be a cool way to add your own flair to snaps.

The battery here is 4,000mAh, and HMD Global says the phone will last two days on a charge. We'll have to test out that claim when we write our full review, because 4,000mAh doesn't seem enough to provide that much use.

Inside the Nokia 5.4 you'll find a Snapdragon 662 chipset, which we've seen in the Moto G9 Play as well as other devices. We haven't heard about RAM or storage yet. The phone runs Android 10, though Nokia phones often get Android updates quite quickly, so an Android 11 upgrade might be pending.

Expect a full Nokia 5.4 review when we get the device into our labs.

Tom Bedford

Staff Writer, Phones

Tom's role in the TechRadar team is as a staff writer specializing in phones and tablets, but he also takes on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness trackers and more.