Nokia 5.3: Still a good bargain a year on after market debut

HMD Global’s midrange smartphone, Nokia 5.3, has been in the market for slightly over a year now since it was launched in mid last year. However, the fact that it made its market debut over 12 months ago doesn’t make the device any inferior compared to later models, both from the Nokia 5 series and other devices in the same price segment from rival brands. We have come to this conclusion after using the device for over a month.

Launched at a retail price of Kshs 23,000 in Kenya (which has since come down marginally), the Nokia 5.3 comes packed with a number of incredible features and specs, all meant to meet the needs and aspirations of the consumer and Nokia fans.

During its launch in June last year, HMD Global exulted the features and specs of the Nokia 5.3, with the vendor’s Business Manager for East Africa, Mark Misumi, stating that that the device “was designed to enable smartphone users to Go big and Go beyond…”

Well, let’s take a look at the features and specs which make the Nokia 5.3 a good choice for potential customers:

Screen size and battery life
Nokia 5.3 has a 6.55-inch screen, an ideal screen size for watching saved videos (and photos), streaming videos as well as gaming. In case you’re curious (and concerned) about the battery capacity which will support continuous streaming and gaming, you need to worry less and relax because the Nokia 5.3 has a 4000mAh battery and AI-assisted Adaptive Battery feature which saves energy for the apps you use the most. The manufacturer promises a two-day battery life in the Nokia 5.3.

Design, aesthetics and overall durability

The Nokia 5.3 comes in a well-designed 2.5D glass front and a scratch-resistant composite back for prolonged durability and has a smooth finish. In terms of colour variants, one can choose from three – Cyan, Sand and Charcoal – according to their preference. 


Performance, software, and OS

Building on its partnership with Android One, and even though it comes with Android 10, the Nokia 5.3 is Android 11 ready and gets guaranteed monthly security updates for three years and OS updates for two years, enabling the user to get the best experience from the device. The device is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 665 processor. The phone is available in dual-SIM with 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of ROM (or internal storage) which can be expanded to 512 GB via the microSD slot.

The Nokia 5.3 also features a dedicated Google Assistant button, enabling the user to quickly and easily access their digital assistant. It also learns and adapts with every use, learning the user’s habits and activities while using the phone, thereby enabling it to assist the user even better after continuous. The Google Assistant’s Ambient Mode provides an always-on-display when a device is charging, which allows for the viewing of calendar entries, commute times and other contextual information without the need to pick up the device.


Nokia 5.3 comes with a multipurpose quad camera that enables the user to have the best in terms of creative experience while taking photos or shooting videos. With the quad camera, one can get up close with the macro lens or capture the entire scene with the ultra-wide 118° lens.

The smartphone has rear cameras with 13MP AF (f/1.8, 1.12um), 2MP depth, 5 MP (118°) UW, 2MP macro lens camera fixed focus and a front-facing camera 8 MP (f/2.0, 1.12um) to create stunning images in all conditions.

With its AI imaging features, the Nokia 5.3 gives the user the creative tools to enable them get stunning shots. AI-powered night mode allows for photography in low light, combining image fusion and explosion stacking to deliver excellent low light performance. One can also capture stellar images that truly pop in portrait mode with enhanced ZEISS bokeh effects.

Overall, you can check the Nokia 5.3 online if you’re still keen, impressed, and willing to carry it home, either for personal use or as a gift (or device upgrade) to a member of your household or loved one.


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