Tested: Nokia 8.3 5G smartphone

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By Mike O’Connor | June 1, 2021

Not that long ago, if you wanted the cutting edge of smartphone imaging, you really had to look at established players like Samsung and Apple and their flagship phones with their corresponding (and huge) price tags.

But these days it’s a different playing field. Many companies are now offering great devices for less money, and Nokia’s 8.3 5G smartphone is one of the most promising on the market – incorporating the latest 5G technology, Qualcomm’s fast Snapdragon 765G chipset, a device solid photo and stunning design at a price ($ 799 RRP as tested) that won’t break the bank.

The device

In the hand, the 8.3 is a stunning smartphone to hold and admire, with a blue metal center band and Gorilla Glass on the back of the phone. Like a Ford Model T, it is only available in one color; a “refracted light” blue hue that Nokia’s parent company, HMD Global, calls Polar Night. The front display, a huge 6.81-inch Full HD + display, has a bezel-less design and is bright and clear.

Physically, the 8.3 is perfectly designed with a fingerprint sensor positioned on the right side of the handset, allowing you to wake up the phone and unlock it with just one press. There is also a dedicated 3.5mm audio jack, ideal if you want to charge the phone while listening through wired headphones.

If we had to offer a review of Nokia’s design, it would be the dedicated Google Assistant button on the left side. Hitting it launches the wizard but also pauses any app you are using on the phone at the same time.

It’s a bit frustrating as the button is easily bumped and you can’t reassign it either – a missed opportunity as that would make a great button to assign to the camera if you could.

Finally, it is worth mentioning the sleek design of the camera array on the back. It sits almost flush with the phone and features a nice minimalist design.

The camera

The rear camera array of the Nokia 8.3 5G includes a Zeiss 64MP f / 1.89 main camera, a 12MP ultra-wide camera with an f / 2.2 aperture, a 2MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth sensor.

The main camera takes 16MP by default but switches to the main 64MP file in Pro mode. I found images in both modes to be pretty much indistinguishable, and therefore stuck at 16MP for most of my testing because I didn’t want to fill the phone’s memory too quickly with 20MB images. details, and even the default JPEGs respond pretty well to editing.

It’s worth mentioning how sharp the lenses are, even the ultra wide-angle mode showing impressive front-to-back sharpness. If landscapes are your thing, you’ll be impressed with how well the 8.3 works with its in-camera focusing batteries.

Speaking of ultra-wide mode, that’s fantastic. I found this to be a really creative setting to use as the field of view is huge – equivalent to 16mm, but without any of the flaws of camera lenses at this focal length like smoothness around the edges. It is also easy to switch to ultra-wide mode and there is basically no quality loss compared to other modes.

There is also a night mode, although my results with this have been a bit more mixed. While this improved my images captured at night and in low light conditions, the files lost a bit of detail, although noise was handled quite well. Still, it’s a nice feature to have, even if it’s not as advanced as in competing smartphones.

Finally, the front selfie camera delivers excellent results, with images that hold up well when pixels are visible.

Video

Video specs are maximum at 4K 24 fps and 21: 1 cinematic mode, although there is also a new Action Cam mode designed to capture smooth video, which uses a higher frame rate of 60 fps to enhance images. images of fast moving subjects.

The Nokia 8.3’s Portrait mode does a good job of blurring the background in portrait images, although file processing takes a bit of time. In this photo of my daughter, there is also a bit of backlighting reflections, but I don’t think that distracts.

Otherwise, if slow motion is your thing, there’s 1080p video up to 240 fps and 720p up to 960 fps. In testing I found solid results, especially in good lighting. No complaints here.

Battery life

After reading independent reviews describing its battery life as best in class, my hopes were high for the Nokia 8.3 5G. You’ll be delighted to know it more than lived up to my expectations, consistently delivering a full day’s use on a single charge, and significantly improved performance over my old phone, the Google Pixel 4XL. If battery life is important to you, you will find the 8.3 very impressive.

What about 5G?

It would be remiss of me not to mention the 5G capabilities of Nokia’s flagship. Few smartphones in Australia currently offer 5G, but if this technology in your device is important to you, you will find 8.3 to be a good cost-effective option.

Nokia claims that the phone is capable of using a range of frequency bands in the market and will continue to be supported in the future as well. Your access to 5G will of course vary by location, but you can expect the service to become more mainstream in the future.

The summary

The Nokia 8.3 5G is a great smartphone that delivers solid results at a much more palatable price than many of its rivals. If you’re looking for a smartphone with excellent image quality and usability, you could do a lot worse than adding Nokia’s flagship to your list.

The Nokia 8.3 5G is now available and can be ordered directly from Nokia. Click here for more information.

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