The Nokia 8.3 represents the top of the range of the brand. It was to be Daniel Craig’s smartphone in the latest James Bond: Die Can Wait. Unfortunately as the theatrical release of the film is postponed until October 21, 2021, HMD Global, Nokia licensee for mobile phones, has asked to return the scenes where the mobile appeared. It’s hard to imagine Agent 007 using any other device than the brand’s latest flagship since at that time, another device would be more representative. Dropped by Bond, the fact remains that he still has some arguments to defend, if only its compatibility with 5G networks, its 4 photo sensors on the back and its very large screen of 6.81 inches. Offered at a price of € 500, let’s see what it’s really worth in a full test.
Main technical characteristics:
- 6.81 inch LCD screen, 1080×2400 pixels 60Hz
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G Chipset
- 8 GB of RAM
- 128 GB of expandable internal storage
- Quadruple photo sensor 64 + 12 + 2 + 2 megapixels
- 24 megapixel front sensor
- Fingerprint reader on the power button
- 3400 mAh battery compatible 18 watt charge (compatible charger included)
- Operating System: Android 11
If the forms of the Nokia 8.3 smartphone do not mark a break with what is currently being done on the mobile market, we can still note the use of very qualitative materials and giving a serious impression of having a high-end device in your hands. His back is particularly noteworthy with light reflections of a very nice effect. In the “Polar Night” version inspired by the Northern Lights, lines enhance the back of the mobile in a magnificent way. The back, always, benefits from a slight curved angle on both sides and gently returns to the profiles where an element that goes all around the device emphasizes the edges of the device.
The screen comes to rest on it with edges again slightly curved (2.5D) join the frame. We can highlight the very good quality of finish. The mobile is balanced. In hand, it does not fall to one side or the other. Let’s go back to the back to notice the photo optical unit in the central position at the top. It protrudes quite seriously from the rest of the rear surface. Once the shell provided by the manufacturer is threaded, it is on the same plane. The circle which inscribes the 4 sensors is underlined by a blue border, in the same tone as the reflections of the light which lands on the back of the mobile. The center also benefits from this color and the inscription of the brand of the photo partner: Zeiss. Oddly enough, the Zeiss and Nokia brands (in the middle of the back) are written vertically whereas most of the time, we hold our mobile in this direction except… when taking a photo in landscape mode. Perhaps this is how the two brands want to be noticed the most?
If we look around the Nokia 8.3, we note the presence of the ignition button confused with the fingerprint reader. The latter proved to be flawless during our tests, systematically denying access to people other than its owner. Just above, there is the double button to manage the volume. A little higher, still on the right, there is the slot for SIM and memory cards. Very oddly this drawer has the appearance of a button, because it stands out slightly compared to the rest of the profile. The first reflex is therefore to press on it, but in vain … Inside, it is possible to insert two SIM cards or one SIM card and one micro SD card. The Nokia 8.3 offers 128 GB of internal storage space. On the left profile, there is the button to launch the Google Assistant. It is placed exactly at the same height as the power button opposite, and it happens (very) regularly that we press it without doing it on purpose when we simply want to turn on the device. It will have been necessary to install it higher to avoid any mishandling. Finally, on the lower profile, there is the USB-C connector, a 3.5mm audio jack and a speaker.
A very large screen, but neither OLED nor high frequency
The screen of the Nokia 8.3 5G measures 6.81 inch which makes itone of the largest on the market with, in the leading pack, the Xiaomi Mi 11 (with which it shares the diagonal), the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the Galaxy S21 Ultra or the Galaxy S20 Ultra for example. On the other hand, unlike these models which uses an AMOLED panel, the Nokia 8.3 is based on the LCD technology, less flattering. The refresh rate is 60 Hz while it reaches double on the most high-end models from the competition and not only since mid-range devices also offer this feature. The screen displays an FHD definition of 1080×2400 pixels which is correct, but on such a diagonal, we would have preferred to be able to go further. The screen of the Nokia 8.3 clearly looks red and there are very few settings available to try to fix this. The black edges of the screen are quite thin, but not as much as one would expect from a most premium smartphone of the brand.
A mid-range SoC indoors
In fact, if it is indeed a flagship for the Nokia brand, when we look at its characteristics and the competition, especially Chinese, we realize that it is equipped with mid-range components and no more. Its screen already which we talked about previously. Then its platform which is composed of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chip, clearly mid-range, associated with 8 GB of RAM. This is the same processor that we find for example in the Oppo Find X2 Neo, the Oppo Reno4 Pro or the Vivo X51 5G. Even though the device dates from the end of 2020, the Snapdragon 865 is more powerful (but also more expensive). HMD Global certainly wanted to reduce costs in order to offer an affordable smartphone. The concern is that performance is actually lower than what we would have expected in relation to its positioning. The apps run smoothly with no slowing down, but oddly enough in games we got a few jerks and a level of detail that you can’t achieve without having the latest chip on board. We have subjected the mobile to several measurement tools in order to be able to compare them with the scores of other smartphones tested previously.
Powered by Android 11, always up to date
The Nokia 8.3 5G works under Android 11 with security updates from January 2021. We are therefore entitled to the latest version which is always the case at Nokia given that the manufacturer offers stock versions of Android so without any software overlay that could slow down the system, but also provide certain additional features, particularly in the customization aspect of interfaces. However, like other Nokia smartphones, it offers some gestures as shortcuts to certain features, for example. With Android 11, by launching the application manager, you can take a screenshot. The multimedia player is available in the notifications bar and you can access bank cards and connected objects in the house by pressing and holding the power button.
A solid configuration with 4 sensors
For the multimedia part, the Nokia 8.3 5G is perfectly capable ofPlay streaming videos with FHD quality. To take pictures, he takes a 64 megapixel main sensor. There is also a 12-megapixel module for wide-angle photos and two other 2-megapixel sensors for macro photos and depth of field calculation to optimize portraits. The mobile is capable of shoot with maximum Ultra HD definition at 30 frames per second, but the Full HD mode offers a frame rate of 60 frames per second, more realistic. According to the independent measurement laboratory DxOMark, the Nokia 8.3 5G scores 86. It is just below the Samsung Galaxy A51 5G and above the Nokia 7.2. According to DxOMark, the smartphone offers a valid configuration on paper, but which fails to impress in practice, especially in the face of the competition.
The Nokia 8.3 battery has a capacity of 4500 mAh, according to the manufacturer. It allowed us to last a long day and a little more in rather intensive use. This is good news since it should mean that taking care of its consumption or may exceed a day of use. Connected with the power supply supplied by the manufacturer for 30 minutes, he was able to gain 40% on average. Too bad Nokia does not offer a faster charging system where all the competition is seriously organized in this area offering delays of less than 40 minutes for a full charge.
Rather versatile than really powerful, the Nokia 8.3 5G fulfills its daily tasks, but is still surpassed in almost all areas by the competition better equipped at this price level, offering better performance especially on raw power and multimedia capabilities. His design is remarkable, its screen is very large, but apart from its 5G compatibility, it is difficult to put one feature over another.