Nokia has seen it all, from being at the top to being at the bottom. The brand has been part of different Operating Systems as well, with the old Nokia devices featuring Windows OS and the new phones featuring stock Android experience. The brand recently announced the Nokia 5.3 and we have been using it for some time, so is it a device worth considering in this endless sea of smartphones, especially in the budget segment? Let us discuss in brief. Here’s our Nokia 5.3 Review.
Nokia 5.3 Review: Design
The Nokia 5.3 is a device built to last, with a robust feel, albeit with a plastic body. The device does not creak or flex even a bit and post after using the device for a month, we still do not see any damage to the body and the device still feels as sturdy as it seemed when new. The design in one word is simple. There are no flashy gradient patterns, simple hard matte plastic.
The front features a 2.5d curved screen with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection. After using the device for around a month, we are yet to see any damage on the phone, even after rough usage. The back too has helped up pretty well and is scratch free, thanks in part to the aforementioned frosted plastic design, which plays to its design.
In terms of the weight as well, the device does not feel unwieldy and can be used with one hand easily. To sum it up, the design is functional and sturdy, something that has been a feature of the Nokias of the past.
Nokia 5.3 Review: Display
The display is something that does not match up to the price at which this device comes and is by far the most disappointing feature of this device and the main reason for that is the bezel situation and more importantly the resolution. The Nokia 5.3 features a 6.55-inch dewdrop display with a resolution of HD+ and an aspect ratio of 20:9.
While the panel itself is serviceable, the two main issues are in the form of the thick chin to the bottom of the device and more importantly the addition of a resolution of HD+. This is simply not acceptable considering devices in the same segment as the Nokia 5.3 and some cheaper devices feature an FHD+ panel.
While this is not a major issue, there are some things that you expect with a device of a certain segment and in terms of the display, the 5.3 loses out. Additionally, we found the display to be vivid and colorful which plays to its advantage, but, there was a slight lag in the touch response, which could result in a loss in terms of gaming. While this should be fixed by software updates, it is yet to happen and the lag is sometimes evident.
Nokia 5.3 Review: Cameras
The cameras are sub-par, to be honest. While more megapixels do not always mean better quality as evident by iPhones and Pixels, in the budget segment, the hardware does play a huge role and the Nokia 5.3 brings a 13-megapixel sensor to the segment where 48 or even 64-megapixels are now a common feature.
While the main sensor itself produces decent shots in good lighting, the sharpness and clarity is just not at par with competitors that feature a higher megapixel primary sensor. While the wide-angle sensor is good, the sensor itself is a 5-megapixel sensor and the clarity is just not there.
The macro and depth sensors perform as advertised and are at par with said competition so that is nice. But, to sum up, the camera department, it is how should we put it, adequate. It is not a good setup, but, it can get the job done.
Nokia 5.3 Review: Performance
The performance too is adequate. The device features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor coupled with up to 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage. While the chip is old and can no longer compete with devices from Redmi and Realme even in the 10-12k segment, it does get the job done, thanks in part to the higher storage coupled with bone stock android experience.
While using the device, we did not find any issues with the same and while 60Hz is a bummer compared to devices like the Realme 7i/6i that offer 90Hz for less, it is still a niche of a feature, so we cannot really complain. Basically, it’s good for day to day tasks and some light gaming, but, you throw more at it and it might not cope up.
Nokia 5.3 Review: Verdict
Well, this is a tough one, because to the average customer, the Nokia 5.3 might seem over-priced but, one must keep in mind what Nokia offers that no other brand in the competition can offer, which includes stock android, a bloatware-free experience, and fast updates.
The Indian market is a market-driven by specifications, where the Nokia 5.3 does not make sense, but, in reality, it is a really good device in terms of the software. So, to conclude, the Nokia 5.3 nails all the basics, but does not excel in anything. The saying “jack of all trades, master of none” sits perfectly with this device, and for Rs 13,999 it is a device for a certain niche, which is fading away day by day due to this rat race of spec sheets.
1. Stock Android experience + No Bloatware.
2. Good build
3. Vivid display despite being HD+
4. Snappy fingerprint sensor.
1. HD+ display
2. Average cameras
3. Sub-par performance.
Disclaimer: This product was thoroughly tested by the editor, whose thoughts regarding the product are being portrayed in the article. The Author did not test the product himself, but, has been briefed regarding the experience of the Editor post usage.