Nokia 5.3 review, the mid-range from HMD Global with fast and clean software at an honest and competitive price. Let’s find out together
Today we are testing a smartphone from the historic Nokia brand, under the brand since December 2016 HMD Global, which proves to have all the credentials to clash in one of the most aggressive price ranges, that of 150/200 euros. In fact, the latest smartphone from the Finnish company embodies all the experience of Android One with some small hardware and software additions. However, there are some flaws – completely justifiable in the price range – which do not, however, affect the general quality of the product.
Technical sheet | Nokia 5.3 review
- Display: 6.55 ″ 20: 9 LCD in HD + resolution (268ppi and 450 nits), Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and 60Hz refresh rate
- SoC: Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 octa-core a 11nm (4x Kryo 260 Gold at 2.0 GHz + 4x Kryo 260 Silver at 1.8 GHz)
- GPU: Adreno 610
- RAM: 4GB
- Internal memory: 64GB eMMC 5.1 with expansion slot
- Rear cameras: 13MP main sensor – 5MP (13mm) wide angle – 2MP macro – 2MP depth
- Front camera: 8MP in the drop notch
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2, 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac dual band, USB-C, NFC
- Other: aptX audio codec, rear fingerprint sensor, Dual-SIM, 3.5mm audio jack
- Battery: 4,000 mAh with support for wired charging at 10W
- Dimensions: 164.3 x 76.6 x 8.5 mm
- Weight: 185g
- Colors: Charcoal, Cyan e Sand
- Operating system: Android 10 con Android One
Packaging, build quality and materials | Nokia 5.3 review
Starting from the design, we are faced with a device with original lines and not at all anonymous. Especially on the back, where we have a photographic compartment – slightly protruding – enclosed in a porthole with the double LED flash (from two shades). A little below is the biometric sensor for fingerprint recognition, a useful alternative to facial unlocking – especially these days – which, however, does not make precision and speed its strong point. On the lower side we then have the microphone, the mono speaker and the USB Type-C input.
An advantage not just due to the polycarbonate body is certainly that relating to weight: in fact, despite the large 6.55 ″ diagonal, the device weighs only 185g. At the front we then have a panel with frames all in all optimized, given the presence of a little invasive drop notch, and which makes use of the now run-in Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Finally, there is the traditional power button (with integrated notification LED), the volume rocker and – a welcome surprise – the jack audio da 3,5mm. Small note on the sales package, which contains the smartphone, the 10W power supply and a pair of good wired in-ear headphones.
Hardware, connectivity and display | Nokia 5.3 review
The beating heart of this Nokia 5.3 is the SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 assisted by the GPU Adreno 610, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of ROM for data storage. Despite the obvious limitations due to a not very recent chip, everything runs smoothly and without jamming for most of the daily operations, however, there is a slight overheating in case of prolonged sessions and / or gaming. Moving on to the memories, these are sufficient to manage the most common tasks thanks to a decent speed guaranteed by eMMC 5.1. It should be noted the possibility of expanding the memory with a micro SD or using this slot to take advantage of the Dual-SIM features. Finally, there is no shortage of NFC, 4G up to 150 Mbps, dual band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2 and surprisingly FM Radio.
But a telephone must also know how to call right? Well, this Nokia 5.3 does not disappoint at all, thus reconfirming the undoubted experience of Nokia in this field. In fact, we have good reception and excellent audio in the capsule, clear and powerful, and even the interlocutors will hear us well and without background noise. Turning now to analyzing the display, it is a large panel 6.55 ″ 20: 9 LCD in HD + resolution (268ppi e 450 nits) con refresh rate a 60Hz e certificazione TÜV Rheinland. But ban on technicalities, as can be seen? The display can be seen well in all light conditions, however, only the HD resolution (which in 2020/21 is a bit upset in 2020/21) and the LCD technology that does not allow excellent viewing angles and bright colors should be considered. Finally, a small note of demerit goes to the audio, since the only speaker present at the bottom is able to guarantee good power, with a quality that is not the best and an audio that tends to distort at higher volumes.
Cameras | Nokia 5.3 review
But what attracts most of this smartphone, both aesthetically and otherwise, are the cameras. Enclosed within an elegant and minimal porthole, this compartment ensures good performance, in line with the price range, which however deteriorate as soon as the light goes down. But let’s start from the basics.
On board the smartphone we find a module consisting of ben 4 lenti: 13 MP, f / 1.8, (wide), 5 MP, 13mm (ultra wide), 2 MP, (macro), 2 MP, (depth). For videos we have the following options: 4K @ 30fps, 1080p @ 30fps. So how does this Nokia 5.3 shoot? Starting from the main sensor, the shots are crisp and clean in good light conditions, ergo: you will have no problems outdoors or in illuminated environments. The color range and bokeh are also not bad at all, with natural colors and a precise blur. The situation changes at night or in dark interiors, where the sensor struggles to focus leading to noisy and lacking detail shots. However, in the latter case the night mode, which thanks to a clever algorithm is able to bring out excellent shots.
The ultra-wide angle lens behaves similarly to the main one, despite the more washed out colors and less general detail due to only 5MP. Even the last two sensors are attested to the same quality, as well as the videos, not too stabilized and requiring a steady hand. Previously we then have one selfie camera da 8MP f/2.0, set in the drop notch and which allows you to take good shots despite the not too high resolution, however absolutely promoted for daily social / video calling use. Small reference to the camera software, complete but a bit obsolete from a strictly aesthetic point of view, with an outdated and not very intuitive interface.
Software and autonomy | Nokia 5.3 review
So here we are at the strong point, autonomy and software, certainly the two aspects that most convince. Indeed on board this Nokia 5.3 we find Android version 10 without customizations and one 4000 mAh battery. With the first you can get absolutely above average performance, thanks to the software optimization and the lightness of the same, with always fluid and flawless animations. The choice not to insert bloatware into the system or duplicate apps already present is appreciable. To keep in mind the extreme speed of Nokia in updating their smartphones, with patches always in step and an upcoming Android 11.
Autonomy side, the 4000 mAh works wonders with peaks of the screen on that reach 13 hours spread over two days of use. Obviously this result can vary from person to person, however exceeding 24 hours will not be a problem for anyone. The only sore point here is charging, as the supplied power supply can deliver a maximum of 10W of power, this leads the smartphone to recharge excessively slowly (more than 2 hours!).
Price and final considerations
We have come to the end of this review, summing up this Nokia 5.3 is a good smartphone, which makes performance, software and autonomy its strengths. On the other hand, it lacks in the hardware, a bit limited, and in the display, a simple HD + LCD that in 2020/21 starts to look a bit obsolete. A smartphone therefore that aims to the point and does not get lost in weighted software or complex menus, and which at the right price can give great satisfaction, especially bearing in mind the still long-lasting support from the parent company with always immediate updates.
It is currently possible to find it in street price around € 200. You can buy it on Amazon through the box below or on the official website of HMD Global. Before saying goodbye, we invite you to follow the mobile section of TechGameWorld.com for further news and video reviews. See you soon!