For Ksh.23,000, the Nokia 5.3 is a good buy

The Nokia 5.3 is available for purchase in Kenya for Ksh.23,000. HMD Global launched this device in June this year and it offers good value for money. 

HMD tried to get everything right with the Nokia 5.3 – its a solid budget performer, good specs, absolutely worth considering. 

Here’s the thing, the mid-range smartphone market is so crowded in Kenya with different smartphone brands. Consumers have a wide range of options to choose from and most manufacturers have really been trying to position themselves well to ensure they give consumers value for money.

HMD is one of these companies and I remember in a previous interview we did with Gerald Muthwale, HMD’s Kenya Technical Account Manager, he said they were bidding to become the number one smartphone brand in the Kenyan market.

‘’We are at a place where we’re fighting to gain. We’re not fighting to retain customers, we want to gain more customers. Rather than pump devices in the market, where you have a particular price segment, we listen to our customers, make sure our devices are competitively priced so that the user knows whatever it is they are getting from us is quality,’’ he said.

HMD is doing exactly this with the Nokia 5.3. The device features a 6.55-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 720×1600 pixels and an aspect ratio of 20:9. It is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor and comes with 3GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.

The Nokia 5.3 runs Android 10 and is powered by a 4000mAh non-removable battery. For the cameras, the Nokia 5.3 packs a 13-megapixel primary camera on the rear with an f/1.8 aperture; a second 5-megapixel camera; a third 2-megapixel camera and a fourth 2-megapixel camera. The front camera is 8-megapixel with an f/2.0 aperture.

We have had the Nokia 5.3 for almost two weeks now and we already did the unboxing video, which you can check below.


So what did we really like this phone and why do we think it’s a good buy despite the competition?

Bloatware Free

The Nokia 5.3 is an Android One device meaning you get a pure software experience with a streamlined interface and no bloatware. Other than this you will also be getting regular updates for the next two years. 

Nokia has never disappointed on this so you really don’t need to worry about falling behind when it comes to software updates. Remember, Nokia currently leads the global ranking in updating smartphone software and security. A huge number of Nokia smartphones are already being sold in the local market running on Android Pie or have an update already issued to them. This makes Nokia the fastest smartphone brand to reach this level. 

Good Pricing

HMD Global is selling the Nokia 5.3 for Ksh.23,000. For a mid-range device, the Nokia 5.3 offers some good specs for that price. 

With quadruple cameras, large IPS display and speedy performance, the Nokia 5.3 is a good buy. You are also getting some 3GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage a 4000mAh that can be topped up via USB-C. The phone is also powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 665 processor, that’s more commonly found in smartphones that cost more than Ksh.30,000 like the OPPO A92, Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 among others. 

Great Cameras

The Nokia 5.3 an 8MP, f/2.0 affair, and the quadruple rear one consists of a primary 13MP, f/1.8 module, a 2MP depth sensor, a 5MP macro lens and a 5MP ultra-wide camera. 

Camera modes include portrait, night among others and by default, the Nokia 5.3 camera shoots in Auto-HDR at a resolution of 4,208 x 3,120. Unless it’s really necessary, we prefer leaving the camera settings as they are. 

Check sample images below:

The pictures come out looking pretty natural and full of details typical for a phone at this price range. The ultra-wide lens is great and fits more people or a wider landscape into a scene. 

The selfie camera, on the other hand, might not offer much but will do for your video calling and social media selfies. If you want to get a decent photo just use the rear camera. 

Well, we have used a number of budget phones this year and Nokia 5.3 is one of those that we really liked. The software which we talked about earlier is one of the key highlights of this phone – the latest Android version and the phone is also part of the Android One program.

Remember the ”James Bond 007 edition” phone case that HMD Global unveiled in April this year for the Nokia 6.2/7.2? We also have one for the Nokia 5.3. The case is made of Kevlar, a material considered to be five times stronger than steel.

HMD Global recently announced it was the official phone partner for the 25th James Bond film No Time to Die. And to celebrate this partnership, the company also launched this exclusive 007 branded special edition Kevlar Case.

You can buy the Nokia 5.3 on Jumia here.  

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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