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Nokia 5.3 – is 2 years worth the wait?

The Nokia 5.3 is the 2020 replacement of the 2018 released Nokia 5.1. Not quite sure what happened to the 5.2, but the fact that it has been 2 years since an iteration of the 5 series suggests there was one in the pipeline, but something happened to cause it to be canned.

Two years is a long time in the smartphone world and a lot has changed since 2018, so let’s see how the 5.3 measures up against the now decidedly old 5.1

More modern looking

Firstly, the looks and thankfully the 5.3 looks a lot more modern and sleeker. This is primarily because of the front. Gone are the enormous top and bottom bezels reminiscent of the last decade replaced with an immersive screen that covers most of the front. This screen is a 6.55” LCD one, over one inch bigger than the 5.1. It now has a much improved 82.3% screen to body ratio because of the reduction of the bezels, but surprisingly, screen resolution has been dropped to 720p.

Sadly this cutting of corners has been continued into the case, as although the screen is Gorilla glass, the back and frame are now all plastic, compared to aluminium in the 5.1 Despite this, the 5.3 is still pretty solid feeling in the hand and surprisingly weighs in at 185g – an extra 35g more than the 5.1.

Upgrades to OS, processor and battery

Inside it now ships with the Android 10 version of Android One, meaning you will get security and feature updates as soon as Google releases them. The chipset has been upgraded to the mid-range Snapdragon 665 with 3, 4 or 6GB of RAM available with 64GB of expandable storage.

There is a single speaker, headphone jack and FM radio available on the audio front. The 5.3 also supports NFC and has a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, positioned centrally below the camera array.

The battery is over 1/3rd bigger than the 5.1 at 4000 mAh – this probably accounts for a large proportion of the extra weight it now carries. It also supports 10W fast charging.

Now 3 cameras rather than one

It is in the camera department that the biggest change is noticeable. Now, instead of a single camera, there is triple array arranged in a central circular module with the LED flash in the centre. This array consists of the main 13MP f/1.8 wide lens, a 5MP, 13mm ultrawide and a 2MP macro. These will give you 1080p video at 30fps. The AI imaging software gives you plenty of flexibility and the capability to take decent shots in most light conditions.

On the front is an 8MP f/2.0 wide lens that is located in a central teardrop. This can also take 1080p video at 30fps.

Good budget priced smartphone

Available in three colours – Sand, Cyan and Charcoal, the Nokia 5.3 is a good budget-priced phone with the specs to keep most users happy. So, if you are looking for a new smartphone and don’t want to spend too much but still get a decent looking and reasonably specified phone with a recognised brand name, then the Nokia 5.3 is well worth considering.



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