THE Nokia, controlled by the Finnish Global HMD, returned to Brazil in 2020 with the 2.3 smartphone, a more basic model that did not please much due to the poor performance. Now, the company brings another new proposal: Nokia 5.3, an intermediary with four cameras, Snapdragon 665 processor, large 6.55-inch screen and 4,000 mAh battery.
However, the company charges dearly for all this. Nokia 5.3 was launched for an impressive R $ 1,899. Is it worth spending all that? Do I find better options for less? And performance? I have tested the new Nokia device in the past few days and I share all the details in this review.
Nokia 5.3 video review
O Tecnoblog is a technology-independent journalistic vehicle that helps people make their next purchase decision since 2005. Our product reviews are opinionated and have no advertising intent. For this reason, we always transparently highlight the positive and negative points of each product.
No company, manufacturer or store has paid the Tecnoblog to produce this content. Our reviews are not reviewed or approved by external agents. 5.3 was provided by Nokia by donation. The product will be used in future content and will not be returned to the company.
This cleaner design is reminiscent of the brand’s other smartphones, especially the 8.3, which also received a round module for the cameras. The 5.3, however, won four lenses accompanied by an LED flash in the center and a fingerprint reader just below.
The volume and unlock buttons are on the right side, and the latter also warns you, via a built-in LED there, when there are new notifications. On the other hand, Nokia added a dedicated button for Google Assistant, which is very cool, but the company could allow it to be configured for other purposes.
At least the chip drawer, which is there next to this button, allows you to insert and use two nano-SIM cards and a MicroSD simultaneously. For the more conservative, Nokia kept the standard input for headphones and no Micro USB port, as we saw in the first device, luckily, 5.3 already comes with USB type C.
Screen and sound
At the front, the panel is of the 6.55-inch IPS LCD type with few edges and a front end very similar to the Galaxy A21s. The resolution, however, is HD +, 1,600 × 720 pixels, and, let’s face it, this model could at least be Full HD and an OLED panel would also be welcome. After all, we are talking about a smartphone of almost R $ 2 thousand.
Despite these caveats, the Nokia 5.3’s display delivers strong brightness and I didn’t have to keep the brightness close to maximum during the days I stayed with it; the colors don’t come close to what we found on the OLED, but they are decent on this device; finally, viewing in sunlight is average and requires little effort.
Still on the edges, they are not so prominent, something positive for those who frequently consume videos and games on their cell phones. A drop-shaped notch houses the selfie camera and the bottom of the screen has a chin with the brand identification.
The Nokia 5.3 speaker does not have a high volume, so you will most likely use a headset while consuming media. But that does not mean that the experience will be better, because the entrance to the accessory is in the upper area of the phone and not below, where it should be. You may notice some discomfort during gambling, for example.
Nokia 5.3 participates in Google’s Android One program, which provides the user with a clean interface, that is, only Google applications are pre-installed. I really like the company’s strategy of delivering software without the game apps and other services you’re barely using.
When it comes to system updates, Nokia has been very honest, making it clear to the consumer, another convenient attitude. The company also reports that 5.3 is ready to receive Android 11, however the new version was not yet available on the device I tested. Security updates are also guaranteed for three years and two years of Android upgrades, information that is “stamped” on the product box.
In addition, it brings the application drawer, dark mode support, and, as I said earlier, the main downside is not allowing the Google Assistant button to be configured.
The 5.3 photographic set consists of a 13 megapixel main lens, a 5 megapixel ultrawide, 2 megapixel macro and ends with a 2 megapixel depth sensor. We can say that the device is following the trend, but I expected more from these cameras here.
The main one should be 48 megapixels, like the Motorola One Fusion and Samsung Galaxy A51, which also cost almost R $ 2 thousand. But let’s get to it: when the ambient lighting is good, this camera delivers photos with a satisfactory level of detail, balanced exposure and it still works well with shadows.
Despite this, there is a certain deficiency in registering wooded environments, because, in this scenario, chromatic aberrations are very visible and end up ruining the final record. Ultrawide tries to follow the main lens formula, but noise dominates the entire image, a situation very similar to that of the LG K62 +.
The depth sensor can get in the way where there is a lot of visual information, but otherwise it works well. The macro lens is not surprising, since it delivers photographs without definition, the company, at least, could offer a better camera of 5 megapixels, like the Samsung Galaxy A31. Night mode is available and strives to produce sharp images, the result is just ok.
The sharpness and brightness of the front camera, 8 megapixels, I like. And post-processing tends to deliver selfies with more saturated colors, but without excess.
Hardware and battery
In hardware, here we have the Qualcomm Snapdragon 665, the same processor as the Moto G8 Power and other middlemen, it is octa-core running at up to 2 GHz and the GPU is the Areno 610. It still has 4 GB of RAM and storage 128 GB internal memory, an excellent number.
In general, Nokia 5.3 performs well, but some detail consumers may notice a lack of fluidity, but it is nothing serious that compromises usability Most apps open quickly and, during the days I used the device, there were no unexpected closing of apps or constant gagging.
This is not a dedicated gaming device, but I managed to play light and heavy titles without much trouble. Asphalt 9, for example, runs well with the graphics on automatic and has some occasional crashes.
The 4,000 mAh battery is another highlight of the device, although this capacity is very common these days, and Nokia points out that it can last up to two days. I started the day with 100% and spent three hours on Netflix, one hour on YouTube, 10 minutes on social media and ended with 15 minutes on Asphalt 9then 56% remained. 5.3 was connected to Wi-Fi all the time and the brightness was at maximum, therefore, an excellent result and shows that the cell phone meets the requirements.
The 10 watt source sent in the box makes the device reach its full charge in 2h45min, I believe that a more powerful source could accompany the cell phone, right?
Nokia 5.3: is it worth it?
After discouraging nostalgic fans with 2.3, Nokia hits with 5.3 and clearly tries to pull audiences accustomed to intermediaries from Samsung and Motorola. The device has a simpler design that does not interfere with the final score, the performance with the Snapdragon 665 is decent and the “pure Android” is another hit, as well as honesty with product updates.
But Nokia could deliver more and it didn’t even have to be much. An OLED screen was already a good size, just to compete better with Samsung’s more complete intermediaries. The camera is still a point that makes this device lose points, all of them need refining and it doesn’t make sense to maintain a macro of just 2 MP, since the consumer will not have good results with it.
Considering all this, Nokia 5.3 only makes sense if you find it in a good deal, with a value below R $ 1,500. If it is to take into account the suggested price, the Galaxy A51 is the best option with better cameras and AMOLED screen. The Moto G9 Play is another model that I would recommend, which has similar hardware and is much cheaper.
- Clean software and guaranteed updates
- Good job with the Snapdragon 665
- Excellent battery
- Deserved an OLED screen
- Photo set may disappoint
- A more powerful plug adapter is missing
- High Price