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Nokia 5.3 comes with a quad camera setup and costs around Ksh20,000 in Kenya

Nokia’s journey to reclaim its lost glory has been a bumpy one largely due to worthy competition in the android world. But HMD global has performed better than we’d imagined, trouncing once regarded heavyweights like HTC by number of global sales. There are actually a couple of devices from HMD such as the latest Nokia 5.3 we’d easily use as our daily driver; it has all the spec’s that’s needed in a mid-tier handset, and to an average consumer, that’s all they’d hope for.

Nokia 5.3 made headlines when it opted for a quad-camera setup, something that’s almost shaping up to become a new normal in the smartphone world. There’s an interesting editorial written by tuvuti clarifying what these setups are capable of in comparison to once single sensors. But it’s still interesting to see a mid-tier phone bring bragging rights of multiple camera setups to the average consumer, we don’t expect photos taken by the setup to rival top-tier occupants such as the iPhone 11 Pro Max or the Galaxy S20 sequels, though it’s a good feeling to just know it’s there.

During the launch, HMD described the Nokia 5.3 as a phenomenal value, coupled with the magical quad-camera setup and the latest soc from Qualcomm® for mid-level devices – the Snapdragon™ 665. We don’t always take word-for-it when it comes to manufacturer stated battery life; however, having using more than a dozen Nokia devices, we expect the marketed signature two-day battery life to be close to the truth.

But we’re a bit hesitant to endorse HMD’s claim that Nokia 5.3’s supposed AI quad-camera setup will take brilliant photos under any circumstance. The same way we saw Huawei Nova 7i touted to be the best in its class; within ourselves, we know there’s a lot of effort needed in the software compartment to make those shots pop.  

And just as we saw in the Nova 7i, the wide-angle and macro lenses are aimed at helping users capture close-ups, or wide, scenic shots. Done with the marketing gimmick on the camera sector, we loved the fact that there’s a reasonable 6.55 inches of screen real estate for our media consumption. HDM also promises to put android 11 when released on the Nokia 5.3.

The phone does however perform better than a slightly cheaper Tecno Spark 5, and the price difference makes sense aiming higher rather than settling for the Tecno alternative

Nokia 5.3 specifications

BODY DIMENSIONS164.3 x 76.6 x 8.5 mm (6.47 x 3.02 x 0.33 in)
 185 g (6.53 oz)
 Glass front (Gorilla Glass 3), plastic back, plastic frame
 Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
SCREENIPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
 6.55 inches, 103.6 cm2 (~82.3% screen-to-body ratio)
 720 x 1600 pixels, 20:9 ratio (~268 ppi density)
 Corning Gorilla Glass 3
 450 nits typ. brightness (advertised)
PLATFORMAndroid 10, Android One
 Qualcomm SM6125 Snapdragon 665 (11 nm)
 Octa-core (4×2.0 GHz Kryo 260 Gold & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 260 Silver)
 Adreno 610
MEMORYmicroSDXC (dedicated slot)
 64GB 3GB RAM, some options have 4GB or 6GB RAM,
 eMMC 5.1
MAIN CAMERA13 MP, f/1.8, (wide), PDAF
 5 MP, 13mm (ultrawide)
 2 MP, (macro)
 2 MP, (depth)
 LED flash, HDR, panorama
 1080p@30fps
SELFIE CAMERA8 MP, f/2.0, (wide)
 1080p@30fps
COMMSWi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
 4.2, A2DP, LE, aptX
 Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
 Yes
 FM radio
 2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector, USB On-The-Go
FEATURESFingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, proximity
BATTERYNon-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh battery
 Charging 10W
COLORSCyan, Sand, Charcoal

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