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Nokia 5.3 review (18 Days as daily driver): A mid-range smartphone that delivers

Nokia 5.3 is the latest entrant in the mid-range Nokia smartphone portfolio. It is the spiritual successor to the Nokia 5.1 and Nokia 5.1 Plus but takes the game a few notches higher with a better processor, bigger display and a Quad-camera module on the back. Read all about Nokia 5.3 at our dedicated page.

We have used Nokia 5.3 4GB Indian variant as our daily driver for over 18 days and this is our detailed review of the smartphone. It may help you in deciding whether you should really go for Nokia 5.3 as your next if you really wanted to own one and are still undecided.

Nokia 5.3 Design:

Nokia 5.3 is a good looking smartphone. With its new polymer composite frame it feels robust in your hand. The best part is that the back has light-diffusing satin finish that gives it a more robust feel in hand. Due to the back design and satin finish, the Nokia 5.3 feels steady in your hand.

Though it is a big smartphone with 6.5-inch display, because of its 20:9 display ratio, it still fits just fine in your hand.

Nokia 5.3 Display & Audio output Quality review:

Nokia 5.3 comes with a 6.5-inch HD+ display. The display is bright and ideal brightness level is around 40-45% in most of the cases. Adaptive brightness learns your choices quickly. Outdoor readability is good on Nokia 5.3.

You can control white Balance on Nokia 5.3 to add saturation to Nokia 5.3 display. Viewing angles are excellent. Fingerprint resistance is a very nice feature of Nokia 5.3 display and you don’t need to wipe it time and again.

The display is good for media consumption and gaming with the real-estate it offers. The audio output quality is good and doesn’t break even at the loudest the speaker has to offer.

You can watch the video below to see the display and audio quality review in action.

Nokia 5.3 detailed camera review:

Nokia 5.3 rear camera performance is a pleasant surprise for us because we didn’t expect it to give Nokia 8.1 camera a run for its money. But Nokia 5.3 camera impressed us with capturing detailed images that also capture accurate colors in most of the cases.

We must mention that the camera is really good at capturing Bokeh, Portrait and closeup macro images that will make you happy. The ultra-wide camera is also a great addition for capturing landscapes and surprisingly captures even more natural images than the main camera.

Nokia 5.3 camera captures also works well in low-light and Night Mode certainly brings difference over normal low-light capture but it has areas for improvements. It can be tweaked for even more light or/and better details capture.

Video capture while impressive when done with steady hands needs some improvements for stabilization and focusing in extreme low-light cases. But videos come out detailed and well-exposed.

You can check our detailed Nokia 5.3 camera review and comparison to and Nokia 8.1 camera by clicking here.

Nokia 5.3 Performance review :

Nokia 5.3 is powered by the Snapdragon 665 processor and this processor has proved its potential on many competitive offerings. Still, it is time to test it on Nokia 5.3 as many apps and games get updated and better tuned to newer processors with time.

Nokia 5.3 is good at handling basic and advanced tasks including browsing, gaming and handling many apps and games open in the background. Even if you push it to the limit with three heavy games open in the background apps and games still resume fine. But if you really want to multitask very heavily it may be better to go for the 6GB RAM variant.

You can watch the video below to see the review and comparison in action.

Nokia 5.3 Battery Life & Call quality:

Nokia 5.3 has surprised us with an excellent battery life during our review. In real-life conditions, I have been getting around 36-40 hrs of battery life with heavy “blogger” usage of the device. This involves lots of browsing, streaming, gaming, apps testing, attending calls and daily chores.

Check the screenshots below that show the battery statistics after a typical day of usage.

It may be around 40-44 hrs for a moderately heavy usage scenario and that is really very impressive. Screen-on time typically varies between 7.5 hrs – 8 hrs for heavy usage scenario.

Nokia 5.3 offers stellar call quality because of its innovative Antenna design. Call reception is usually very good. I didn’t face any issue like call drops etc and it holds well even during long conversations.

Nokia 5.3 Gestures, Face Unlock, Display settings:

Nokia 5.3 comes with Face unlock, some cool gestures and also ability to alter display color saturation.

Face unlock works fine out of the box and unlock is really quick. It has three settings to control when to use Face unlock.

Nokia 5.3 comes with many gestures including turn over to reject call, mute on pick-up, double-tap to wake up phone. Swipe fingerprint for notifications and jump to camera also are very useful gestures too.

Nokia 5.3 Positives & Negatives:

Negatives

  • Display size is huge and to compete in price and specs-sensitive markets like India, display resolution must have been kept higher.

Positives

  • Premium looking unibody design with new polymer composite frame
  • Rear Camera is better than expected and offers good performance in all lighting conditions
  • Google Assistant button and notification LED mated to power button are really nice touches

Nokia 5.3 Conclusion:

We subjected Nokia 5.3 to a rigorous and detailed evaluation and after using it as our daily driver for over 18 days, we recommend it as a dependable smartphone that delivers in all departments.

Nokia 5.3 comes with a robust design, quite capable camera and good performance. Even the display that has been panned for not being Full HD especially in India is good and offers good viewing and media consuming experience. The only thing that we would like HMD to do is to stop making smartphones bigger and bigger. 6.5-inch is too big and perhaps a 6-6.2-inch display could have been better.

Being an Android One smartphone, Nokia 5.3 has guaranteed two years of Android OS update and 3 years of monthly security updates. Keeping HMD’s track record in mind one can expect Nokia 5.3 to be in the league of very first Android smartphones to receive OS updates.

Nokia 5.3 is officially priced at Rs 13,999 for the 4GB RAM variant in India. It is priced at USD 199 in the US,  starts at £129.99 in the UK.

Nayan
Nayan has more than 10 years of experience of covering Technology and innovations. He is a big Nokia fan and Tech disruptions aficionado. He loves to review new cool gadgets and writing about Android, iOS, Gadgets and general Technology stuff. He has been associated with other well-known Tech sites WinCentral and GadgetOx since long. He currently sports a Lumia 950 XL and Nexus 5X. Other interests include listening to Nu-Metal Hits and Kick-Boxing. Write to him at Email: [email protected]
http://www.nokiapoweruser.com
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