Nokia 5.3 Review: Pure Android, Solid Screen Make An Impressive Mid-Ranger

Nokia 5.3

Nokia has been making strides after being reborn with HMD. The phones coming out of their stables have been well-designed and very value-oriented. Nokia 5.3 is their latest offering in India and I got to spend time with this new device. This seems to be a well thought out addition to the lineup. Here is my detailed review of this device.

The year 2020 has been very different and perplexing year for humanity. This year has changed many things. Buying patterns and market factors are things that have changed big time. People are not looking to make extravagant purchases, buyers are interested in stable and reliable devices that do not make a hole in their wallets. They want devices that can last long and give them security and new versions of OS reliably.

Nokia is placed perfectly well to fit right into this slot. The whole lineup is Android One based, meaning  that updates are seamless and guaranteed. Nokia has been very fast and efficient with updates. The Nokia 5.3 plays to all these strengths and plays well. Let us get right on with the review now.

Nokia 5.3

The phone has Corning Gorilla Glass 3 on the display which helps it to prevent getting scratched. Given that the big 6.55-inch display on the Nokia 5.3 is already very good, knowing that it comes with protection is reassuring, given the price segment that the phone is in. It’s very vivid and crisp with its HD+ resolution and it makes it one of the best you’ll get at this price point. The company has gone for a 20:9 panel which is very good for viewing videos in landscape mode, there is a dewdrop notch at the top which houses an 8-megapixel selfie camera.

Due to the fact that the Nokia 5.3 is a budget smartphone, you do not get the glass back. It is a polycarbonate back that has a matte finish in three colours. The unit with me has  the beautiful Cyan finish at the back, which looks superlative and very premium. Even though it is not a shiny back, the matte rear looks brilliant. There is a silicone case in the retail box . The fingerprint sensor at the back of the Nokia 5.3 is responsive and works fine for me.

Nokia 5.3

The design of the phone is brilliant. Nokia have outdone themselves this time. The fine marriage of Nordic design and functional aspects make the device very very good looking. It is very easy to hold in one hand, but you need to get used to the large screen for sometime to get to using it with one hand.

The phone has a large 6.55-inch display that supports 720p resolution.The colours looked vibrant, crisp and beautiful on the display and I liked watching videos on the screen. You will love how nice and vivid YouTube videos look on the display. Plus, streaming movies and shows on Netflix and Disney+ Hotstar was something that the Nokia 5.3 display makes enjoyable to the core.

Nokia 5.3

The Nokia 5.3 is powered by a Snapdragon 665 processor that I felt was very snappy enough to handle everything I threw at it. I did not feel any stutters on the Nokia 5.3 even when I was playing heavy games.The moment I dialled down the graphics, the game ran smoother than before. The processor is  adequately powerful for your everyday tasks and gets the job done. Multi-tasking was a breeze and the phone was on par with most top range phones of today. HMD Nokia has really done this very well and this works given the price range of the device.

Nokia 5.3

Out of the box, Nokia 5.3 runs Android 10 with a stock-like interface. Just like the Google Pixel  with a few changes here and there. The best thing about the software on Nokia 5.3 is that there is absolutely no bloatware, what a relief! Nokia has a reputation of getting timely security updates on Nokia 5.3, which is one of the selling points for Nokia smartphones. And then, there are promised immediate releases of Android versions as and when they are out. There is also the availability of up to 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, the unit I got was 4 GB/ 64 GB.

The Nokia 5.3 has a 4000mAh battery that lasts well above a day for me. I used it very heavily on social media, streaming and email a lot. At the end of the day, I still had about 13-14 per cent battery to go with. The battery life on the Nokia 5.3 is impressive, again when you put the price of the phone in context you will see that this is a HUGE plus point.

Nokia 5.3

The cameras on the Nokia 5.3 include a 13-megapixel primary shooter, a 5-megapixel ultrawide shooter, a 2-megapixel macro sensor, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor. For selfies, you have an 8-megapixel camera that is placed inside the drop notch on the display. I clicked a few pictures with the phone and it was able to churn out good pictures consistently. The low-light performance can be better, but given the price, I am definitely not complaining at all. Detailed camera review coming up soon. Here are a few pictures


At a starting price of INR 13,999/- the Nokia 5.3 has a very good screen, comes with pure android and performs like a champ. This is definitely a phone that justifies it’s price and fits right into the user mindset in these challenging times. I would certainly recommend it.

About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

View all posts by Shakthi →