Nokia 5.3 is the best phone you can buy for less than €200
The Nokia 5.3 is the latest budget-priced Android smartphone from the much-loved brand.
Since the moniker was relaunched by HMD Global, Nokia has been most successful in Ireland and across Europe in the lower-mid-price and budget-price segments of the market.
So it’s no surprise that Nokia 5.3 is a solid device that covers all of the basics well.
It has a 6.5in 720p LCD display, quad camera system, 4000 mAh battery (that easily lasts more than a day), decent performance and 64GB of internal storage.
The 5.3 runs an almost pure version of Android 10 and it’s also an Android One device. This means you receive Android upgrades and security patches for at least two years.
Design and build
My review model was a gorgeous cyan blue colour and even though it has a plastic rear, it does not look or feel like a budget phone.
In fact, the lightweight body of the device resists fingerprints and dust more than premium glass-back handsets.
And despite its light frame (185g), the phone feels sturdy and well built.
On the rear is the circular camera arrangement that houses the four lenses and the LED flash.
Located underneath the rear cameras is the recessed circular fingerprint reader.
The left side of the phone houses the sim tray and a Google Assistant shortcut button. You can disable it if you wish.
On the right are volume controls and the power button, while on top is the 3.5mm headphone port.
The bottom is where you will find the speaker and the USB-C charging port.
Nokia 5.3 has a 6.55in IPS LCD screen with a HD+ resolution of 1,600 x 720 and a pixel density of 268ppi.
Bezels are thin and there is a teardrop notch for the selfie camera.
It has a widescreen aspect ratio of 20:9.
It covers 80.5 per cent of the sRGB gamut, and is as bright and colourful a display as you are going to get for less than €200.
The quadruple camera set-up on the rear comprises a primary 13MP lens with f/1.8 aperture, 2MP depth sensor, 5MP macro lens and 5MP ultra-wide camera.
The main rear camera delivers acceptable images. It has decent auto-HDR and works reasonably well, particularly in good lighting conditions.
It can capture video at 4K resolution but I found it delivered better results in full HD.
The selfie camera is an 8MP lens with an f/2.0 aperture. It delivers plenty of detail.
The handset is armed with 4GB of RAM and an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor.
The combination works more efficiently than I expected, and during my testing period I found no issues with lag or loading times even when multitasking.
The 5.3 even handled games such as Call of Duty: Mobile and PUBG Mobile without any issues.
This is advertised as having two-day battery life but that is far from the case.
I got a full day’s heavy use with some juice still left in the tank so a casual user should easily get more than a day.
Charging is capped at 10w.
The single speaker is loud, but with a maximum volume of 94dB.
It works fine for conference calls, and talk radio, but if you are listening to music or watching video content I would recommend using headphones or a speaker.
The 5.3 supports dual-band Wi-Fi and has Bluetooth 5.0.
It also has NFC which is uncommon in devices in this price range.
Nokia 5.3 has decent build quality, a large 6.5in screen, performs well in everyday use and looks like a phone that costs much more.
I would recommend it and it should do very well on the Christmas market as a gift phone for younger and older members of families.
How much does Nokia 5.3 cost?
Nokia 5.3 (64GB/4GB) is available now at Harvey Norman for €179 sim-free.
What are the specs of Nokia 5.3?
Dimensions: 164.3 x 76.6 x 8.5 mm
Weight: 185 g
Display: 6.55in, IPS LCD, 1600×720 resolution
Rear cameras: 13 MP primary, f/1.8, PDAF; 5 MP ultrawide; 2MP depth sensor, 2MP macro
Selfie camera: 8 MP
Processor: Snapdragon 665
Battery: 4000 mAh
Sensors: Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, proximity
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