Nokia 8.3 5G review: Timing is Everything

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After being revealed back in March, we at TechStomper have finally gotten our hands on the Nokia 8.3 5G to review, and it’s safe to say we have some issues.

Now there are certainly major positives to the Nokia 8.3 5G. Namely the three years of guaranteed Android security updates thanks to Nokia’s partnership with the Android One program. On the back, you get a nice quadruple Zeiss camera setup with some fantastic customisation options that will definitely bring out your inner director.While the front has a rather large 6.81-inch Full HD+ screen.

But. Yes, there’s a but. With the phone being delayed a fair few months due to Covid, a lot of competitors have released similar spec phones for €100+ cheaper.Phones like the Realme X50 and onePlus Nord have made the entry point for 5G a lot cheaper than the 8.3 5G and even have features not present on Nokia 8.3 5G

A Big Boi

The Nokia 8.3 5G is a big boi even in today’s world of phablets. With the screen measuring in at 6.8 inches, it was a bit of a struggle for me to not accidentally press the corner of the screen with the palm of my hand when scrolling through Twitter and YouTube.

It’s an IPS LCD panel that has a Full HD+ resolution Pureview screen at 60hz refresh rate, which is one of the areas where the competition has a leg up on the Nokia 8.3 5G.Both the X50 5G and the onePlus Nord have 90hz screens. But if you’ve never experienced a 90hz screen, then it won’t really affect you.

With it being an IPS panel, you’ll find the fingerprint sensor on the Side of the phone. Having used an in-screen fingerprint sensor on the Poco F2 Pro, I can honestly say that the Nokia 8.3 5G side-mounted fingerprint sensor is the more reliable.

There are quite large bezels around the phone, and in typical Nokia fashion, they’ve maintained the chin on the bottom which only adds to its considerable size.

Unlike competitors, Nokia saw sense to only include a single selfie camera in the top left corner of the screen. Dual selfie cameras on the front take up far too much real estate for this writer’s liking. I’m looking at you, Huawei P40 Pro.

The rear camera is where Nokia wants you to pay attention. once again they partnered with Zeiss Optics to provide a high-quality quad-camera set up with a 64MP main wide sensor with some pretty nifty effects options. You also get a 12MP ultrawide, 2MP macro and 2MP depth sensor.

One of the many advantages of Zeiss cinematic effects is video stabilisation. When recording in Action Cam mode, it will smooth out any bumps you may have experienced during recording.

Nokia 8.3 5G’s lens and sensor arrangement is set up to deliver strong capture in an array of environments with a versatile set of effects to support the user’s creativity. And it does just that. While this approach lacks the marketable 1,000x zooms and plasma selfies of other devices, the balanced approach seen here is much more useful.

Playing with Light

The visual hook is the rear of the phone. An almost holographic sheen, Nokia call the finish ‘Polar Night’ as it was inspired by the Finnish Polar Night. Light enters the glass is teased and distorted elegantly before returning a shade of blue-green.

The overall build quality of the phone is good but the device is a lightweight.And as with all glass backed phones, it is scratch-resistant but can be slippery. Unlike previous Nokia phones, no slipcase was included with our unit.

When I compare the handfeel and weighting of Nokia 8.3 5G to the copper-framed, ceramic-wrapped Nokia 7 Plus, 2020 just pales in comparison.

Balanced Hardware, Excellent Software

Nokia 8.3 5G will be sold locally as 6GB/64GB version which retails for €469. Even with a middling-sounding 6GB of RAM, the performance of the Nokia 8.3 5G is still very smooth even with multiple tabs and apps open. And in case you want to add more storage to the base 64gb, there’s a micro SD card slot.Battery life won’t be an issue either thanks to the 4500mAh

The Snapdragon 765G processor, which is the best mid-range processor on the market, helps to maintain a buttery smooth experience. By having a built-in 5G capability unlike the Snapdragon 865, it allows phone manufacturers to bring 5G to the masses.

On the software side of things, one of the massive benefits Nokia have from being part of the Android One program is that the user gets vanilla Android. It is nigh on identical to the experience in the Pixel range of phones. Nilla ‘droid is famously clean, intuitive and, most importantly free of bloatware.

So, to sum up. Software-wise it’s a fantastic experience that you really dig your teeth into thanks to Android One. The design is a bit dated with the chin strap just becoming more and more noticeable now tat it’s barely used by other phone companies.

With 6GB of Ram, Snapdragon 765G processor and a hefty 4500 mAh battery, performance will be a breeze for the entire day. It’s just unfortunate that since the Nokia 8.3 5G was revealed back in March, a number of other manufacturers have taken their cut of the upper mid-range market with cheaper phones.

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