Impressive performance for the price
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 July 2020
I'm going to start by saying that if I was reviewing the product I got straight out of the box, I'd probably give it 2/3 stars, I'll explain this as the review progresses.
The Nokia 5.3 should be considered a phone which sits at the high end of the entry level range, doesn't quiet enter the mid level range although that isn't a valid reason to overlook the 5.3, it isn't trying to be something better than it is. For £150, you'll have to appreciate that costs have been cut, this is firstly evident in the packaging, it comes packaged in a no frills box, included within its contents you'll find the mains charger, basic instructions a pair of ear-bud style headphonesand the sim removal tool. First look at the handset once again showed that costs had been cut, the screen looked nice and is glass fronted (Gorilla glass 3) The frame itself is plastic although at £150, if you were expecting a glass or aliminium frame you were probably expecting too much here!
The phone supports dual sim use, within the sim tray, you'll also find a space for a microSDXC card to boost the phones 64GB memory.
The 5.3 comes with Android One installed meaning it is bloat free, this means you don't have to spend time removing loads of rubbish apps which phone manufacturers force on users, when the phone is switched on, the Android One logo is the first thing you are met with proudly advertising the fact! There were 2 system updates that were waiting, once these were completed I rebooted.
I assumed 4GB would be plenty enough memory to keep things running smoothly, the Octa-core (4x2.0 GHz Kryo 260 Gold & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 260 Silver) although not the most powerful CPU in existance should be capable of delivering a good experience so I dived straight in an installed my regular apps, after that was completed I started having a play with the phone to see how it managed although things didn't start very well! I found Chrome browser was hanging then force quitting to the launcher screen, I had similar issues using Reddit, quitting the apps that were not having issues back to the home screen seemed to be taking a long time, I checked the memory stats which indicated it was using approx 60% of the available memory so this made little sense. I started to research the issue on a Nokia forum and stumbled upon a similar post by a user who had experienced the same issue, luckily a solution was at hand!
You need to go into the phones settings and search for 'optimisation', then select 'battery optimisation' then turn that option off for all the apps you use and ESPECIALLY one named 'Quickstep' Nokia's battery optimisation means that whenever you leave an app, although it stays in the tray for quick selection it is shut down to save battery performance, when this is happening to the home screen app, you are faced with the delays I mentioned. I wondered how this would adversly affect the battery performance although I've been suprosed to see that there isn't much of a hit at all, the phone is still good for a full days use so I'm unsure of Nokia's thinking here!
I re-booted once again (probably no need to although I usually find this the best option) and then started using the phone again, I was delighted to see the speed improvements, it was a lot quicker, felt like an entirely different phone in fact.
The main camera features 4 modules:-
13 MP, f/1.8, (wide), PDAF
5 MP, 13mm (ultrawide)
2 MP, (macro)
2 MP, (depth)
I found the picture quality better than I dared dream at £150, it made decent photos in most light scenes. The selfie camera is a 8 MP, f/2.0, (wide) module, I'm not really one for taking thousands of selfies although again the quality is perfectly fine. I found the video recording function lacks the stability of more expensive options, although the quality is good enough you really have to hold the phone still to prevent motion sickness when rewatching your clips!
Overall, this is a lot of phone for £150, for the price point it can't really be beaten. I highly recommend it.
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