Nokia presented James Bond’s new smartphone in September 2020: the Nokia 8.3 5G. Sold at €659, it is the current flagship of the brand. If we still have to wait to see it in ” Dying can wait“, we have already been able to take it in hand and review it.
Our opinion on the Nokia 8.3 5G
When we received the Nokia 8.3 5G in review, we were immediately surprised by the size of the beast. 6.8″ is big. Maybe even a bit too big…especially when you think of Google’s Nexus range which included a tablet of about the same size! But either, there is something for everyone and this huge slab may find a buyer.
Still, the Nokia 8.3 5G struggles to convince on everything else. It’s not a bad smartphone in itself, but it clearly suffers from the competition. For example, Nokia emphasizes the Android One program and its two years of guaranteed updates: what’s the point when OnePlus, Samsung or even Sony promise up to three years at the same price? It is therefore difficult to recommend this Nokia 8.3 5G compared to competitors – and that’s not to mention the screen which is only LCD and the poor photo performance…
Complete Nokia 8.3 5G product sheet
The Nokia 8.3 5G will arrive in a large, relatively thin rectangular box. This finesse translates into an obvious lack of accessories supplied with the smartphone. Here, no protective shell. Nokia only provides what is strictly necessary. There is thus a USB-C to USB-A cable, a power supply unit and a pair of headphones.
The mains unit only allows fast charging of 15W. It’s a very meager content compared to the competition. We think in particular of one of its direct rivals, the Oppo Reno4 5G, which is much more generous for a lower selling price. Pity.
Design and handling
The failure of the unboxing catches up slightly with the grip. Only slightly, since, although the Nokia 8.3 5G is objectively a very beautiful device, it is above all very large. Top big, even. So yes, it is true that the back of the smartphone is successful, but it is very difficult to understand the smartphone once in the hands. And without a hull, hello sliding.
Otherwise, Android One smartphone requires, we find all the Google artillery… including the Google Assistant button on the left edge. The smartphone being very large, we stopped counting accidental presses. And that’s not to mention the loudspeaker on the lower edge, which is often obstructed by the palm of your hand as the smartphone is too large to be comfortably held in hand.
We have already mentioned the size of this screen, almost 7″. If this diagonal certainly meets a request, we would still have liked Nokia to integrate an OLED screen or, at the very least, a high refresh rate screen.
A very large screen
The LCD panel is nevertheless quite good, pushing the brightness enough to be readable in direct sunlight. The pill containing the selfie sensor knows how to be discreet, but we regret the Nokia logo on the chin. It attracts the eye too much and reminds you of the presence of a fairly substantial border these days.
The Nokia 8.3 5G is equipped with a Snapdragon 765G. If this processor is not the most powerful, it is still more than enough for comfortable daily use. We ran a benchmark on Geekbench5 and got a score of 608 in single-core and 1907 in multi-core. We thus obtain, more or less, the same performance as an Oppo Reno4 5G or a Mi 9T Pro, a smartphone equipped with a Snapdragon 8 series chip.
If such a large screen proved to be a bit painful for daily use, we must admit that it is a real pleasure for the game. We were able to try out games of Asphalt 9 or Genshin Impact . The Snapdragon 765G is built for gaming, no need to worry: everything runs smoothly. If you want to run Fortnite, you’ll be able to play in Epic quality at 30 frames per second.
Photo and video performance of the Nokia 8.3 5G
Yet stamped Zeiss, we were disappointed with the performance delivered by the photo module of the Nokia 8.3 5G. The pictures too often lack sharpness and contrast. The dynamic range is not very wide and the skies quickly become unreadable. Not to mention chromatic aberrations.
If the photo module of the Nokia 8.3 5G reveals 4 sensors, only 2 are, in fact, really usable. The depth sensor certainly helps with portrait mode, but it can’t do much more if the base shot isn’t good. As for the macro sensor, the small resolution of 2MP is far too low to hope to take beautiful shots.
- Macro mushrooms
- Macro masks
In selfie mode, we saw better. Portrait mode tends to darken your photos way too much, and classic mode has the same issues as the back sensor: poor dynamic range, and poor sharpness.
- Without portrait mode
- With portrait mode
At night, on the other hand, the Nokia 8.3 5G does not do too badly… provided you like the flares. Parasitic reflections caused by a light source. If some may find a certain aesthetic appeal in it, it is still very embarrassing not to be able to get rid of it.
- Night digital zoom
- Always the flares…
In video, Nokia is catching up well by offering a cinema mode allowing you to take control of all your settings. The back sensor can shoot up to 4K/30fps and the selfie sensor even has the luxury of being able to shoot in 2K/60fps.
No Dolby Atmos or other functionality here, which does not prevent the audio quality from being decent. We had no problem connecting a Bose QC35 via Bluetooth, and were happy to find our good friend the Jack plug. The loudspeaker, unfortunately mono, is all the same powerful and above all does not saturate or very little at high volume.
The Android One overlay is the very definition of purity and Nokia hasn’t pre-installed any apps except for Netflix, Amazon and My Phone, the in-house app which is just a portal to Nokia services.
Android One promises two years of major Android updates. If such a program had its arguments a few years ago, what about today? The competition, starting with OnePlus and Samsung, now promise up to three years. Google itself also keeps this promise on smartphones sold at the same price, or even cheaper. Writing DroidSoft, it’s hard to understand the interest of Android One today – especially since at the time we publish this review, the lareview security patch for the Nokia 8.3 5G is that of October 2020.
The Nokia 8.3 5G is, as you can imagine, 5G compatible. If the technology is not yet really to be seen in our regions, this remains a good point for anyone who wants to keep their smartphone over the long term. In the meantime, we have carried out speedreviews in 4G as well as in Wi-Fi and have not noticed any obvious differences with our other smartphones or computers.
Bluetooth, meanwhile, comes in version 5.0. We have a Bose QC35 II on our ears and everything went without a hitch — in music as well as in calls.
Speaking of call quality is good. Our interlocutors did not notice any differences concerning the microphone and, on our side, the loudspeaker makes it possible to hear them without any problem.
This is the good surprise of the Nokia 8.3 5G. With such a large slab, we had our reservations about the autonomy of the beast. But, surely helped by a pure Android coupled with the energy-efficient Snapdragon 765G, we were able to obtain a nice score of 8h13 screen time on over two days of use combining web browsing and Netflix.
We regret the low power of the supplied charger, only 15W. It then takes more than 1h30 to charge the Nokia 8.3 5G from 0 to 100%… while fast charging up to 36W.
Conclusion – What is the Nokia 8.3 5G worth?
We have trouble with our Nokia. Many have grown up with this brand, and seeing the failures of the Nokia 8.3 5G does not please anyone. If we find the screen too big, we cannot incriminate it on this point – the demand exists and we must respect it. Nevertheless, poor photo performance is unforgivable at this price. And that’s not to mention the Android One program which no longer really has any arguments today: competitors now offer up to three years of updates.
- Successful design
- Very good autonomy
- Ready for the future with 5G
- (Port Jack)
- Useless macro sensor
- Handling not obvious
- Android One is no longer an argument
- Photo performance that leaves something to be desired…