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Nokia 5.3 Budget Quad Camera Smartphone Review

We take a look at the Nokia 5.3, Nokia's latest smartphone featuring a 13 megapixel quad camera with ultra-wide and macro options, as well as a 2-day battery life.


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Quick Verdict

The Nokia 5.3 is fantastic value for money in terms of how much you get for under £150 - a large 4000mAh battery capacity, quad camera, decent processor and large, bright screen. The phone does lack more professional camera features, so some who want to use the phone especially for photography may feel let down by this. The performance of the wide-angle camera is not great, but the macro camera is excellent and for the money, there's only so much criticism you can throw at it. If you're looking for a cheap smartphone with a quad-camera, the Nokia 5.3 shouldn't be overlooked.

+ Pros

  • Great macro camera
  • Large screen
  • Fantastic value
  • 4K video recording
  • 2-day 4000mAh battery life

- Cons

  • Poor wide-angle camera
  • Very basic camera functions
  • No manual mode
  • Plastic back looks easily scratchable
 


 

The Nokia 5.3 is the latest budget smartphone from the Nokia range, and is available for under £150! This seems like an absolute bargain for a quad-camera setup featuring a 2-day battery life and 'Advanced AI' imaging features. 

The Nokia 5.3 comes with 2 years of Android upgrades, and a speedy Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor. The phone is available in charcoal, cyan and sand colour options. Here, we put it through its paces. 

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Nokia 5.3 Features



The Nokia 5.3 uses Android One and has a large 6.55-inch HD+ 2.5D glass display with a 20.9-inch display ratio. It has a quad camera on the rear, offering 13-megapixel f/1.8 + 2-megapixel depth sensor + 5-megapixel ultra-wide + 2-megapixel Macro. There's also an LED flash.

The front camera is a single camera 8-megapixel f/2 offering. The camera app doesn't offer a pro shooting mode, but there are portrait, HDR, night mode, square image and panorama options. Time-lapse and slow-motion capture are also available.

The Nokia 5.3 boasts a 4000 mAh squared battery, which they say can keep the phone going for 2 days. On the rear, you'll find the quad-camera setup in a circle and in the middle of this the LED flash. Below this is a fingerprint sensor.

on the right-hand side, there's the power and volume buttons. On the left, there's the SIM/microSD card tray and a dedicated button for Google Assistant. On the bottom of the phone there's the USB0C charging port and on the top there's an aux cable socket, a rarity these days. On the front at the top in the middle there's a teardrop bezel which houses the small front camera. 

The phone has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. Video can be captured in UHD 4k, FHD 1080p or HD 720p on the rear camera and just UHD and HD from the selfie camera. You can shoot video in wide, standard or macro formats. 


 


Nokia say the phone features powerful AI for selfie photos featuring several bokeh blurred background shapes and a beautify mode. 

Key Features

  • Rear camera - 13-megapixel f/1.8 + 2-megapixel depth sensor + 5-megapixel ultra-wide + 2-megapixel Macro quad
  • Front camera - 8-megapixel f/2
  • 6.55-inch HD+ 2.5D glass screen
  • HDR shooting
  • Single LED flash
  • 4K, slow motion and timelapse video capability
  • Body / design: features: waterproof / shockproof / gps etc
  • Fingerprint sensor on rear
  • 64GB internal storage
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Cyan, Sand, and Charcoal colours available
  • Buy now on Amazon UK, Amazon USA

Nokia 5.3 Handling


 

The phone feels lightweight, and weighs only 180g. It has a plastic composite rear which Nokia say is scratch resistant, but we wouldn't like to test this too much! It has a matte finish, which feels good and grippy in the hand. Despite the plastic rear the phone does feel quite robust and well-made. It's quite a wide phone and so you may struggle to reach all of the screen with one hand. 

We're also not sure about the dedicated Google Assistant button - it's easy to accidentally catch this and open Google Assistant accidentally, which is a little annoying. 

The camera app is fairly basic, as you might expect from a phone costing under £200. It does features quad camera but when you're in the app there's not a whole lot you can do. You can select which of the cameras you're shooting with - wide (0.6x) standard (1x) or macro (the fourth is a depth sensor) and you have 5 options along the top:

  • Google Lens - analyses the scene and tells you what's in the photo, it's useful for translating text 
  • Motion - When this is on, a short 1-second video is captured when you take an image. 
  • Timer - There are 3 second and 10 second delay options.
  • HDR - This can be set to off, auto (the phone will decide if it's needed) or on. 
  • Flash - Again there's auto or on options. 

There is no manual mode at all, which is a shame, but there are depth and burst shot options in the camera menu. depth allows you to adjust the depth of the focus in the editor after you've taken a photo. But if this is enabled you can no longer select which camera is used to take the photo. If burst mode is enabled, a long press of the shutter will take a burst of images. 

There are portrait, photo, video and night mode options which you can swipe through. In portrait mode you have access to a few different bokeh shapes and a beauty slider that goes from 1-10 in strength. 

There's a symbol of 4 squares to the bottom left, tapping this brings up the Square format (for Instagram) panorama, time-lapse and slow-motion video options. The selfie camera options are the same as the rear camera ones. 

Despite its simplicity the app is well laid out and the menu for the extra settings is easily accessed through the hamburger symbol. 

The screen is fairly bright in everyday use however it struggled in bright sunlight. Contrast and responsiveness is good. 


 

        

 

        


 

The camera is quick to take a snap when the shutter is pressed but if you tap the screen to refocus some wobble is present from the camera mechanism. Swiping between modes and switching the camera you're using takes about a second before you can action anything.

Battery life - Battery life is rated as 4000mAh, which is fairly large, especially for a budget model, and Nokia say that it should keep the phone going for 2 full days. 

However, if you're going to be away from a power source, we'd recommend getting yourself a portable power bank just in case.  

 


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Nokia 5.3 SEARCH

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Nokia 5.3 SEARCH

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