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REVIEW: Nokia 8.3 5G

REVIEW: Nokia 8.3 5G
John Reilly
  • On October 1, 2020
  • https://www.theeffect.net

HMD Global’s latest and greatest Nokia handset, the Nokia 8.3 5G, is finally with us and it packs some impressive specs with a larger than average 6.81″ LCD display and quad camera set up on the rear. What’s special about this Nokia phone in particular is that it’s also about to become a film star! Well, it’s the handset of choice for the upcoming 007 film, No Time To Die, where 00 agent Nomi (Lashana Lynch) will be using it throughout her escapades hunting down the bad guys. So, is this phone fit for a spy or, more realistically, fit for you or I? Read on to find out in our review of the Nokia 8.3 5G.

Design & Build Quality

Right off the bat, you won’t be able to ignore the sheer size of this thing, coming in at almost 172mm tall and weighing 220g, the Nokia 8.3 5G is larger than the Note20 Ultra 5G!

Nokia 8.3 5G vs Note20 Ultra

Size aside, it’s definitely quite the looker with its stunning ‘Northern Lights’ effect finish on the rear glass panel which Nokia is aptly calling ‘Polar Night.’ The way light bounces around on the surface even replicates the flow of the Northern Lights.

When it comes to unlocking the phone securely, Nokia has embedded the fingerprint sensor into the side-mounted power button and it’s been working flawlessly throughout our review period.

There’s also a quirky little additional ‘Google Assistant’ button on the left hand side of the device which we accidentally triggered a few too many times but thankfully it can be disabled.

Nokia 8.3 5G rear Polar Night colour

Display

If you’re a fan of large screen phones, the Nokia 8.3 5G is definitely worth a look. Coming in at a massive 6.81 inches, this phone’s display is definitely a ‘two-handed affair’. The LCD panel has a resolution of 1080×2400 with pretty thin bezels along 3 of its sides with the bottom bezel that bit larger to house the Nokia branding.

 

Nokia 8.3 5G display

 

HDR video playback is impressive and, even if your content isn’t native HDR, the phone will automatically calibrate brightness and contrast levels to give the impression that it is. Viewing angles aren’t amazing unfortunately but that’s usually an issue with most LCD panels in this price point.

Overall, the screen is clear and bright and sharp, with no problems in terms of movie watching, web browsing, or doing anything else you might want to do with your smartphone. No, it’s not up there with the very best smartphone screens on the market, but for the price you’re paying it’s perfectly fine.

Cameras

When looking at the rear, it’s hard to miss the large circular camera bump which houses the device’s 4 camera lens:

  •  64MP main camera
  • 12MP ultra-wide camera
  • 2MP macro camera
  • 2MP depth sensor

 

Nokia 8.3 5G camera module

 

It’s crazy to think we’re in a time when you can get a 5G device with 4 rear cameras for less than €500 but here we are. Continuing their long-standing relationship with ZEISS, the Nokia 8.3 is capable of taking some really impressive stills and they’ve upgraded their video-capturing capabilities with the Nokia 8.3 able to capture 4K30fps video along with some interested new cinematic video modes, thanks to the ‘Cinema’ mode built into the phone’s camera app.

 

Nokia 8.3 5G sample shot

 

Going back to photography for a minute, the Nokia 8.3 is able to capture a significant amount of detail when using its 64MP main shooter, even in low light and the ultra-wide lens doesn’t do too bad a job either, even if the edges of these particular images come out a little warped.

 

Nokia 8.3 5G main sensor

A sample shot from the main 64MP sensor on the Nokia 8.3 5G

 

Nokia 5.3 5G ultra wide angle lens image

And a sample shot from the ultra-wide angle lens

 

The bokeh and macro lenses also delivery decent results but the 2MP sensor for the macro shots does result in less detail in extreme close up shots than we would have liked.

 

Nokia 8.3 5G macro shot

 

Sample portrait shot using the depth sensor

Impressive bokeh (blurred background) results using the depth sensor in Portrait mode

 

For video capturing, as I mentioned previously, the Nokia 8.3 5G has some tricks up its sleeve. Users can shoot in 21:9 aspect ratio at 4K/24 to get that ‘cinema’ look along with the option to even capture and edit in H-Log, which basically means you can go in after you’ve captured your video and play around with the colour palette seeing as you’ve captured a wider dynamic range, using the H-Log mode.

For those J.J. Abram’s wannabes out there, they’ve also added the ability to insert you’re own lens flare effects using the ZEISS Flare Feature.

 

Nokia 8.3 5G lens flare effect - video editor

Software

Running a very vanilla version of Android 10, the Nokia 8.3 5G is a clean and simple Android experience with no bloatware. Given that it’s also an Android One device, the 8.3 is expected to be upgraded to Android 11 before the year is out. Under the hood we’ve got the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor that’s quite the hit this year with manufacturers looking to keep costs down but still offer competent speeds. It’s paired with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage (which you can expand with a memory card).

Using the phone over the last week or so, we didn’t have any issues with apps loading, multi-tasking and general day to day use. Some of the images took an extra millisecond to process but nothing we’d lose sleep over. Qualcomm’s 765G chip definitely holds its own against the rest of the market, even its beefier SD865 sibling, and should be more than enough for the general consumer looking for a decent user experience on their new phone.

5G Connectivity

Th Nokia 8.3 5G covers the highest number of 5G New Radio bands yet and is ready for both standalone and non-standalone 5G network deployment combinations that operators around the globe are rolling out. What all this means is this handset is the most future-proofed 5G device available on the market right now, when it comes to the many different 5G networks across the globe so its quite the feat given its €479 price tag. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to actually test the 5G connectivity of the phone but we were more than happy with its 4G+ capabilities.

Battery

For the battery, Nokia packed a massive 4,500mAh cell into the phone and, after watching a 2 hour film on the device, we still had 69% battery left. This is seriously impressive given its screen size but Qualcomm’s new chip definitely kept things in check and we can see this phone lasting the guts of two days of moderate use before needing to be charged. Unfortunately, there’s no wireless charging but again, this was probably a conscious decision to keep costs down.

Conclusion

We’re living in crazy times. This phone was unveiled right back at the start of everything going haywire and, like everything else, it was put on hold until things somewhat settled down. Now we’re in October and the Nokia 8.3 5G has finally launched. It’s definitely an interesting phone given its massive size, feature rich camera specs and impressive battery life whilst also being Nokia’s first ever 5G phone.

Coming in at €469 on Vodafone Ireland makes it an even more interesting proposition for those looking to have the latest and greatest 5G network connectivity without breaking the bank.

This phone definitely isn’t for everyone but for those who do decide to pick it up, for any one of its USP’s, you’re sure to he happy with your decision. Now, we’re can’t wait to see if on the big screen this November when No Time to Die launches in cinemas.

 

Nokia 8.3 5G rear

Pricing & Availability

The Nokia 8.3 5G is available from today from Vodafone in Polar Night with 6GB/64GB for €469 on prepay. Additionally, all Nokia 8.3 5G owners will receive a free 6-month trial of Google One. You can learn more about the new Nokia 8.3 5G here.

Review Overview

Design & Build Quality
8
Display
7.5
Camera
8
Software
8.5
Battery
8.5
8.1

Very Good

This phone definitely isn't for everyone but for those who do decide to pick it up, for any one of its USP's, you're sure to he happy with your decision.

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