Finnish company HMD Globals new budget device comes with a near-stock Android experience and the versatile of a quad-camera setup including a macro lens for close-up shots. The Nokia 5.3 once again proves you don’t need to spend a thousand plus euro on a smartphone.
The Nokia 5.3 feels solid but light considering its massive 6.55-inch screen size at 185 grams. It has a textured plastic back and a gorilla glass front. With rounded corners, it feels comfortable in the hand. Around the back is the circular camera module and below that is the fingerprint sensor. On the front is a large teardrop notch, which houses an 8MP selfie camera and small chin has a Nokia logo.
The volume and power buttons are positioned on the right side. On the left side of the phone is a non-customisable Google assistant button. The power button features a pretty cool breathing notification light which is a nice touch.
The Nokia 5.3 features a 6.5 inch 720p LCD screen and although it's far from the sharpest it does impress with good contrast and decent brightness. Overall screen quality is good at this price point and the 20:9 aspect ratio makes it a good choice for watching movies and general media consumption.
The Nokia 5.3 is the first Nokia 5 series smartphone to feature an innovative quad-camera setup with a 13.1MP main camera, a 2MP macro, 5MP ultrawide and a TOF used to determine depth for portrait mode shots.
Portrait shots taken on both its selfie and back cameras are impressive in good light with decent edge detection and blurry backgrounds. In addition to portrait mode, you also get night mode for low light photography, which works on both the main and the wide-angle cameras.
Video recording from the main camera can go up to 4K while the front selfie camera is only 1080p. Video quality from is fine but there’s no optical image stabilisation so footage can appear a little shaky. You can get really close with the 2MP macro lens but the resolution is very low and the results are good as long as you only view them on a phone screen and no larger.
The ultrawide lens is only 5MP so results are fine for the small screen but soft.
There’s only a mono bottom-firing speaker that has a lack of bass but makes up for it with remarkably high peak loudness which remains clear even at the loudest setting. You also get a welcome 3.5mm headphone jack.
The Nokia 5.3 offers a pure Android software experience with basically zero bloatware and a guarantee of two years of Android updates and three years of monthly security updates.
The Nokia 5.3 is a budget to mid-range phone but the Snapdragon 665 processor makes it feel zippy and smooth in general use.
Nokia promises two-days of battery life on a single charge thanks to a large 4,000mAh battery and most users will have no problem achieving that. The 10-watt charger in the box takes up to two hours for a full charge.
Overall, the Nokia 5.3 is a really nice phone that ticks a lot of the right boxes. It does everything you need and is exceptional value for money. However, if you’re big into photography or need a lot more storage, expect to pay at least another €150 to get an upgrade in performance and image quality.
The Nokia 5.3 is available in Harvey Norman, Powercity, and Tesco Mobile and comes in Cyan and Charcoal with the 4GB/64GB RAM/ROM configuration priced at an average retail price of €199.