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Nokia 5.3 review: This midrange smartphone covers the basics, but only that

Priced Rs 13,999 onwards, the Nokia 5.3 seems to be a good offering for those who like the stock Android experience more than the customised user interface of most other smartphones

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HMD Global | Nokia HMD Global | Nokia

Khalid Anzar  |  New Delhi 

Nokia 5.3
Nokia 5.3

The 5.3, the new midrange smartphone from Finnish technology company HMD Global, is part of the Android One programme, so entitled to two major Android version updates and security update for three years. It boots vanilla Android 10 with no bloatware and minimal value-added customisation. Priced Rs 13,999 onwards, the 5.3 seems to be a good offering for people who like stock Android experience more than the customised user interface that most other offer.

But how does the latest smartphone fare on parameters like design, display, performance and on-battery time? Let’s find out:

Design

The Nokia 5.3 is a midrange smartphone and it looks like one. Made of polycarbonate, the phone has a curved glass on the front with Corning Gorilla Glass protection, which makes it resilient to daily abuses. The back, on the other hand, has a frosted design that looks premium and does not get easily smudged. Overall, the phone has a minimal design but it is broad and thick, and it would have done well to shed the heavy build.

Display

The Nokia 5.3 has a 6.55-inch waterdrop-shaped notch screen of a HD+ resolution, stretched in a tall 20:9 aspect ratio. The screen is bright and vivid with a good contrast. However, the lower resolution panel seems underwhelming for multimedia content. Moreover, there is a noticeable lag in touch response. Therefore, it is not best suited for gaming. Besides the dark mode, the phone lacks any other option to customise the display output or to calibrate based on personal preferences.

Nokia 5.3

Camera

The Nokia 5.3 sports a quad-camera set-up on the back, featuring a 13-megapixel primary sensor, a 5MP ultra-wide sensor, a 2MP macro sensor and a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, the phone has an 8MP sensor for selfies and video calls.

Nokia 5.3

The phone’s primary 13MP sensor is a decent one and it takes satisfactory shots in good light conditions. The ultra-wide sensor is good, but not the best in the segment; it struggles with dynamic range and captures visible noise even in day light. Though the phone has a dedicated night mode for lowlight imaging, both sensors struggle to capture details. As for the front camera, it is good for selfies and video calls, but do not expect any miracles here.

Performance

Powering the phone is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 system-on-chip, paired with up to 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage. It boots the Android 10 operating system with stock user interface, which looks neat and has no bloatware. The phone’s performance is sleek and it handles everyday tasks without any hiccups. It may not be the best performer you get in the midrange segment, but it is by no means a slouch. It works well for daily operations and handles some graphic-intensive games, too.

Nokia 5.3

The phone is powered by a 4,000 mAh battery, which is good enough for a day of on-battery time. Unfortunately, the phone comes with a 10W charger which takes more than two hours to charge the phone’s completely drained-out battery.

Verdict

The Nokia 5.3 is a good phone if you prefer ease of use to everything else. Otherwise, there is no parameter on which the phone outshines its peers. Its screen looks pixelated, the cameras are mediocre and the performance is good only if you stick to basic functions. The phone has some cleverly implemented features, such as the notification light in the power button and a multi-purpose capacitive fingerprint sensor on the back, but they do not lift the user experience much.

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First Published: Thu, October 08 2020. 12:24 IST
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