Interestingly, this is the first Nokia 5 series smartphone to feature an innovative quad camera setup, delivering very good photography. The main 13MP camera allows you to get great shots in any situation while the macro and 5MP ultra-wide lenses let you get up close or snap the whole scene. There’s a 2MP macro for getting close-ups, plus an AI powered 8MP front camera selfie notch too.
If you are one of those who picked up their first mobile back in the late nineties or early 2000, chances are it might have been a Nokia handset—Nokia 5110 or Nokia 3210, if my memory serves me right. Both rugged and sturdy devices with excellent battery life; the Snake game became an entire generation’s obsession on these phones. The Finnish handset maker had a love affair with the Indian market during those days, with absolute market dominance. But competition soon caught up and as they say, the rest is history.
Recently, the new Nokia 5.3 brought back memories of that era to this reviewer. For the sake of record, Finland-based HMD Global is the home of Nokia phones. At first look, the device comes across as sturdy and durable with a sleek glass front with a durable composite back. I reckon it can withstand accidental falls and exposure to our dusty environs. It comes with Android 10 (with the promise of Android 11) and offers faster access to the Google Assistant via the dedicated button. The phone is available in three beautiful finishes—Cyan, Sand and Charcoal (our trial unit) and RAM/ROM variants of 4GB/64GB and 6GB/64GB for Rs 13,999 and Rs 15,499 respectively.
Although the Nokia 5.3 has a large 6.55-inch screen (20:9 aspect ratio, high brightness of 450nits), it will still fit comfortably in your hand. You can watch movies or immerse yourself in your favourite videos and games and experience the silky-smooth graphics, thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 Mobile Platform. Games such as Crash of Cars, Sonic Dash and Need for Speed No Limits are a breeze here. Plus, the user will be able to do more and charge less by taking advantage of the Nokia 5.3’s signature two-day battery life. The 4000mAh battery and AI-assisted Adaptive Battery feature, help you stream shows and play games without worrying about charging.
Interestingly, this is the first Nokia 5 series smartphone to feature an innovative quad camera setup, delivering very good photography. The main 13MP camera allows you to get great shots in any situation while the macro and 5MP ultra-wide lenses let you get up close or snap the whole scene. There’s a 2MP macro for getting close-ups, plus an AI powered 8MP front camera selfie notch too. The phone also brings AI imaging and smart tools for great shots every time. Night mode lets you capture the winning picture in low light. Portrait mode combined with enhanced bokeh effects and a depth sensor, helps your subject truly pop out in portraits.
Let me elaborate a little bit here. Portrait mode creates unique portraits with standout subjects and harmonious bokeh—perfect for foodies who enjoy taking artistic snaps of their meals, or animal-lovers who want to jazz up their pet photos. You can play around with the six different bokeh styles to create beautifully blurred bokeh portraits. On the other hand, Night mode with image fusion and exposure stacking together with a super-sensitive sensor and precision crafted optics deliver pretty good low-light performance. You can also use Night mode with the ultra-wide-angle camera.
How does Nokia 5.3 separate itself from the crowd? One, the brand has a strong connect with the Indian consumer. Two, be it the display, processor, audio or camera—there is vast improvement in all of these key areas, when compared to other offerings in the market. The new Nokia device has a fairly large screen with a vibrant and attractive display for the users to consume all kinds of content—movies, video, games etc. Viewing is top-notch here. Photos and videos captured by the phone are pretty good, easily comparable to the output given by higher priced flagships in the market.
In summary, the Nokia 5.3 is a surprisingly good phone, probably one of the finest made by it in recent years. A good pick in the mid-range category.
Display: 6.55-inch HD+20:9 display
Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 Mobile Platform
Operating system: Android 10
Memory & storage: 4/6GB RAM and 64GB internal storage
Camera: Quad camera (13MP/5MP ultra-wide/2MP macro/2MP depth), 8MP front camera
Battery: 4000mAh battery
Estimated street price: Rs 13,999 (4GB/64GB), `15,499 (6GB/64GB)