Nokia 5.3 overview: The very best £150 smartphone


Simply once you suppose that funds smartphones can’t presumably get any higher, one other unbelievably inexpensive and well-rounded handset comes alongside to show you incorrect. With the Nokia 5.3’s quadruple cameras, giant IPS show and speedy efficiency, it’s laborious to think about that there’s some other cellphone this low cost that might presumably compete.

Now, I’m not saying that Nokia 5.3 is one of the best funds handset full cease. Nonetheless, there’s positively a stable case to be made for it being one of the best funds cellphone for £150 or much less. Nokia already takes the crown for one of the best handset below £100 with the Nokia 1.3; the one factor stopping it from cornering this patch of the market is a few fierce competitors from the likes of Motorola.

Nokia 5.3 overview: What it is advisable to know

For a cellphone this low cost, the Nokia 5.3 has an terrible lot going for it. For a begin, it’s the one £150 cellphone we’ve examined to have 4 rear cameras. What’s extra, it’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor, a CPU that’s extra generally present in smartphones which are between £30-£50 costlier than the Nokia 5.3.

It has a 6.5in IPS show, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in storage, which is expandable as much as 512GB with a microSD. There’s no wi-fi charging choice, so the 4,000mAH battery can solely be topped up through USB-C, however it does have NFC for contactless cellphone funds.

Sadly, the Nokia 5.3 lacks a gyroscope, a sensor that assists in orientation monitoring and capturing exact panoramic photographs. The Nokia 5.3 runs Android 10 and it’s additionally an Android One machine, which implies it’s assured to obtain Android upgrades and safety patches for at the very least two years.

READ NEXT: The very best funds smartphones you should purchase

Nokia 5.3 overview: Worth and competitors

The 4GB/64GB mannequin I’m testing right here will be bought from Nokia, Argos and Amazon UK for under £150.

Additionally obtainable for £150 is the Motorola Moto G8 Energy Lite. The Moto has a triple rear digicam and a good 6.5in 1,600 x 700 IPS show, however it’s a comparatively weak performer as a consequence of its low-powered MediaTek processor. On the plus aspect, its battery life is great.

Stump up a bit extra and you can get your palms on both the Samsung Galaxy A21s, which prices £179, or the Xiaomi Redmi Word 9, obtainable for between £179-£199.

Each these smartphones push the boundaries of what’s attainable on a funds cellphone, with beautiful quadruple cameras and vibrant shows, though the Xiaomi does have a slight edge in energy phrases.

Nokia 5.3 overview: Design

At a look, no person would guess that the Nokia 5.3 was solely £150. The plastic casing might really feel low cost however the cellphone’s construct is way from flimsy. It’s a big, sturdy handset, however at 180g, it’s not too heavy. It’s a disgrace that Nokia despatched me a mannequin with a Charcoal end reasonably than one with a Cyan or Sand color scheme, as a result of, from the again, it simply appears to be like like a black slab of plastic. There’s no sheen to the casing and it picks up greasy fingerprints fairly simply.

The highest half of the cellphone’s rear is dominated by a round digicam association that strongly resembles the design seen on funds Motorola telephones such because the Moto G8. Inside this raised module there are 4 cameras and, proper within the center, the only LED flash. Immediately beneath the rear cameras is a recessed round fingerprint reader. This truly didn’t learn my fingerprint on many events and it’s a lot quicker to unlock the cellphone utilizing a PIN, sample or facial recognition.

On the left-hand edge, Nokia has carried out a Google Assistant shortcut button, which I deactivated within the cellphone’s settings after by accident urgent it numerous instances. Above that’s the dual-SIM and microSD tray. On the alternative aspect, you’ll discover the facility button and quantity rocker, and the three.5mm headphone jack is situated on the highest. Lastly, the underside edge homes the cellphone’s speaker and USB-C charging port.

Nokia has opted for a centrally-placed teardrop notch for the front-facing digicam, which received’t be to everybody’s style. You possibly can’t conceal the notch with a black bar throughout the show settings, so that you’re caught with it except you resolve to obtain a third-party notch hider. The 6.5in show is coated in a protecting layer of Corning Gorilla Glass, nonetheless, and the bezels surrounding the sides are slim sufficient to not be a distraction.

Nokia 5.3 overview: Show

The Nokia 5.3 has a 6.55in IPS LCD panel with a HD+ decision of 1,600 x 700 and a pixel density of 268ppi, which places it proper on par with the Moto G8 Energy Lite’s display. Each telephones have a most luminance of 426cd/m², in order that they’re fairly vibrant, although display glare is a matter when in direct daylight.

The Nokia 5.3 solely has one show profile, and it’s capable of cowl 80.5% of the sRGB gamut, with a gamut quantity of 86.3%. That’s roughly in the identical ballpark because the Moto G8 Energy Lite and Samsung Galaxy A21s, and it’s about nearly as good as you may count on from a £150 handset. A median Delta E rating of three.66 tells us that color accuracy isn’t nice, although; pinks, oranges and reds are a tad boring, whereas greens, blues and purples are oversaturated.

Regardless of this, color replica is vibrant on the entire and, because of the cellphone’s comparatively excessive 1,444:1 distinction ratio, textures are sharply outlined. Even in opposition to the backdrop of a rainbow-coloured wallpaper, the entire app icons come out properly.

Purchase now from Argos

Nokia 5.3 overview: Efficiency and battery life

The Nokia 5.3 actually comes into its personal in the case of efficiency. Nokia has outfitted this handset with 4GB of RAM and an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor, a mixture which excelled in our CPU efficiency benchmarks. Within the GeekBench 5 take a look at, the Nokia 5.3 recorded single-core speeds of 311 and within the multi-core section, it hit 1,402, placing it approach forward of the Moto G8 Energy Lite. It even managed to beat the costlier Samsung Galaxy A21s.

Actually, its efficiency is true up there with the common Moto G8 and Redmi Word 9, which price £30 and £50 greater than the Nokia 5.3. Throughout my time with the cellphone, I by no means had any points with its responsiveness or loading instances. It leaps round its Android working system, working a number of apps concurrently with out slowing down.

The Nokia 5.3 is adept at working video games too. Within the GFXBench Manhattan 3 graphics benchmark, it managed a formidable 33fps within the on-screen section and 20fps in the course of the off-screen take a look at. That places it neck and neck with the usual Moto G8 and, because the chart above demonstrates, it additionally implies that it’s twice as succesful as its direct competitor, the Moto G8 Energy Lite.

My two favorite Android video games, Name of Obligation: Cellular and PUBG Cellular, each run completely on the Nokia 5.3, which was a pleasing shock.

They’re demanding titles and funds telephones are inclined to battle with them, however the 5.3 ran each with out loading or overheating points. The dearth of a gyroscope sensor is perhaps a deal-breaker for hardcore PUBG gamers who want to fine-tune their goal, thoughts you.

The Nokia 5.3’s solely downfall, in efficiency phrases, is its battery life. On a full cost, the Nokia 5.3’s 4,000mAh battery stored it alive for 14hrs 55mins in our video playback take a look at. That’s over 5hrs lower than the Moto G8 Energy Lite, and practically 8hrs lower than the Samsung Galaxy A21s. It isn’t devastatingly unhealthy – it could run a video on repeat for almost all of your waking day, in any case – however it does imply you’ll must recharge the cellphone at the very least as soon as per day.

Nokia 5.3 overview: Digicam

Lastly, let’s speak about cameras. The Nokia 5.3 has 5 of them, one on the entrance and 4 on the rear. The selfie digicam is a normal 8MP, f/2.0 affair, and that quadruple rear snapper consists of a major 13MP, f/1.8 module, a 2MP depth sensor, a 5MP macro lens and a 5MP ultra-wide digicam. This isn’t dissimilar to the Moto G8 Energy Lite’s triple rear digicam setup, which features a 16MP f/2.0 principal sensor, however the Energy Lite lacks the ultra-wide lens.


By default, the rear digicam shoots in Auto-HDR at a decision of 4,208 x 3,120 and, for essentially the most half, it’s value leaving the settings as they’re. Until there’s an extra of sunshine pouring into the lens, footage come out trying fairly pure, and the finer particulars of vegetation and brickwork element are captured faithfully.

^ Non-HDR

In surroundings photographs that absorb a number of the sky, there’s some noticeable darkening across the edges of photographs, however the HDR algorithm does its finest to cut back this impact.

The digicam software program is simple to make use of, although the ‘Scene Detection’ function will be distracting typically, continually throwing up little symbols to inform you it’s switching to indoor mode or suggesting that you just attempt portrait mode on your shot as a substitute.

^ Extremely-wide

Between the Nokia 5.3 and Moto G8 Energy Lite, the Nokia manages to seize extra realistic-looking pictures. The Moto tends to massively oversaturate major colors when taking pictures in HDR mode, capturing photographs with loads of pop which don’t look as pure.

The Nokia 5.3 can be the higher of the 2 for taking pictures in low mild, because it’s ready to select textures with higher readability, in addition to lower down on the visible noise brought on by extreme shadows.

Its macro taking pictures capabilities are equally improbable and it could seize the smallest of options on a 5p coin or home plant, as proven in my photographs.

The depth sensor is a bit fussy in the case of capturing macro pictures on the appropriate distance, and I discovered that it was simpler to get macro photographs in focus when utilizing the Moto G8 Energy Lite and Xiaomi Redmi Word 9.

The 8MP, f/2.0 entrance digicam captures loads of element with selfies and, each time a face is in shot, the software program helpfully suggests switching to portrait mode with a purpose to add in some background blur. It appears to be like good, however it’s not as spectacular because the bokeh results achieved by the principle digicam. Each the rear and selfie cameras document video in 1080p at 30fps, although there’s no picture stabilisation.

Purchase now from Argos

Nokia 5.3 overview: Verdict

With the Nokia 5.3, Nokia has outmanoeuvred Motorola to supply one of the best £150 smartphone you should purchase. With respectable construct high quality and a big 6.5in display, it appears to be like like a cellphone that prices twice the value, and the efficiency speeds outdo a few of the high funds smartphones in the marketplace. The superb quadruple rear digicam is one other main promoting level.

As spectacular because the Nokia 5.3’s digicam is, nonetheless, it’s clearly no match for the digicam capabilities provided by the Xiaomi Redmi Word 9 snd Samsung Galaxy A21s, with their 48MP modules. Should you can fortunately pay a bit additional, then it’s value contemplating a type of two as a substitute. However, if you really want to stay to your funds, then the Nokia 5.3 is a stellar alternative.

Nokia 5.3 specs
Processor Octa-core, Qualcomm SM6125 Snapdragon 665
(4×2.0 GHz, 4×1.8 GHz)
Display screen dimension 6.55in
Display screen decision 720 x 1,600
Pixel density 268ppi
Display screen sort IPS LCD
Entrance digicam 8MP, f/2.0
Rear digicam 13 MP, f/1.8; 5 MP, 13mm; 2 MP; 2 MP
Flash LED flash
Mud and water resistance N/A
3.5mm headphone jack Sure
Wi-fi charging No
USB connection sort USB-C
Storage choices 64GB
Reminiscence card slot microSD as much as 512GB
Wi-Fi Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth Bluetooth 4.2
NFC Sure
Mobile information 4G, Class 4 (150Mbps)
Twin SIM Sure
Dimensions (WDH) 164.3 x 76.6 x 8.5mm
Weight 180g
Working system Android 10
Battery dimension 4,000mAh


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