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Nokia 5.3 Test / Review

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On this page:
Price Nokia 5.3
First configuration
CPU / GPU Performance
Benchmark Antutu/3DMark
Network performance
Wifi performance
GPS performance
Battery range
Photo camera test
Audio quality
Screen quality
Operating system
Test / Review conclusion
Test Reviews

Nokia 5.3 Test / Review

Published on: 02-10-2020 / Modified: 01-03-2021
Nokia was the reference in mobile phones at the beginning of the 2000s, it was the brand that everyone wanted and then one day smartphones arrived (with Apple in particular) and Nokia was swept off the map.

Nokia was then bought by Microsoft to launch a new range of smartphones running Windows Mobile, I had bought a Nokia Lumia 930 which I was really happy with but once again Nokia was swept off the map.

Nokia was then bought by a Chinese manufacturer and this Nokia 5.3 is part of the third generation of Chinese Nokia, it was time for me to test one of their phones, this Nokia 5.3 falls perfectly in the price range that I am used to test but it has to face strong competitors like the Poco X3, the Redmi Note 9S/Pro and some other Chinese competitors.

Structure of my tests

I test the phones according to a pre-established structure (see below) to provide you with as much information as possible. Unfortunately, this takes a long time. Some tests like network performance tests take several days and for photo tests I sometimes have to wait until the weather is suitable to take pictures in good conditions. I am therefore obliged to publish the tests step by step, so I invite you to come back if the test is not complete at the time of your visit.

Price Nokia 5.3

The list below shows the prices for the Nokia 5.3 from more than 50 sites around the world. If you are not satisfied with any price, you can subscribe to a price alert to be the first to be notified when the price drops.

The above links are affiliate links from companies such as Amazon, Gearbest, Aliexpress,... If you appreciate my work, I would be grateful if you could purchase these products through these links. It costs you absolutely nothing but I get a small commission that allows me to buy the material I test. Thank you very much!


17/09/2020: purchase of the Nokia 5.3 on Rueducommerce.fr
30/09/2020: delivery with a lot of delay, the delivery man had not received my house number.

Why this phone?

I bought the Nokia 5.3 out of curiosity as it has very similar features to what I'm used to testing and I haven't seen very thorough testing on this phone yet.

I have had many Nokias in the past but these Nokias have absolutely nothing to do with the ones produced today. This Nokia 5.3 is priced at a level equivalent to the Poco X3 or Redmi Note 9S but from a technical point of view it is closer to a Redmi Note 9. This shows once again to what extent Xiaomi has managed to crush prices by offering phones that outperform the competition.

I don't think we should rule out the Nokia 5.3 for all that, my test should show if it is able to stand up to Xiaomi and if so, on what points this phone stands out.


nokia 5 3 test avis review recensione analisis opinion 1

The Nokia 5.3 comes in a flat box, I haven't seen a phone in this type of box for a long time. The box contains the phone, a charger, a USB C cable, earphones and the usual manuals.

First configuration

The Nokia 5.3 runs on Android One, which is a streamlined version of Android. There is therefore no installation of unwanted applications (bloatware). Those who are allergic to the applications imposed by Xiaomi or Samsung will be delighted.

The configuration procedure is indeed limited to its strict minimum and this is a good thing, but you will have to count on a restart after choosing the language and country.

With Android One, you can easily retrieve your profile from another Android phone or iPhone, you don't need to have used a phone under Android One before.


nokia 5 3 test avis review recensione analisis opinion 8

The Nokia 5.3 is at the end of the entry-level price range and in this price range we find more and more smartphones with a mid-range finish. The Nokia 5.3 has a correct level of finishing, it plays the card of sobriety where Xiaomi will add all sorts of colour effects on its phones. It's a matter of taste.

nokia 5 3 test avis review recensione analisis opinion 16

The screen occupies 82% of the front of the phone, the edges are clearly visible, especially at the bottom with the presence of the Nokia logo. The front camera is housed in a notch at the top of the screen. This type of format is quite classic, the Nokia uses standards used in many other phones.

nokia 5 3 test avis review recensione analisis opinion 13

At the bottom there is a USB C port, a speaker and a sound sensor. The Jack connector is located at the top of the phone. The Nokia brand is strongly emphasized as if to capitalize on a more glorious past.

nokia 5 3 test avis review recensione analisis opinion 14

The SIM drawer is on the left side, it can hold two SIM cards and a memory card. The volume and start buttons are on the right in a very classic configuration. The start button contains a small LED.
nokia 5 3 test avis review recensione analisis opinion 18

The back of the Nokia 5.3 is made of plastic, the construction is quite sober, there are no colour effects like at Xiaomi. It doesn't bother me at all, the Nokia has its own style and it assumes it. The photo module is circular and located in the middle, it's a good positioning to avoid having fingers on the photos. This photo module doesn't stick out very much from the back where Xiaomi tends to make big photo modules that stick out strongly from the back of the device.

The fingerprint sensor is ideally located underneath the photo module.

Overall, I think Nokia did a good job, the finishes are sober but correct. The photo module is very well integrated into the phone. The plastic feel is very present but it won't prevent you from using the phone.


The information below comes from the Device Info HW application. The application provides detailed technical information about the tested phone.I tested the basic version of Nokia 5.3 (4Gb / 64 Gb). This model uses the code name "CaptainAmerica_00EEA".

CPU / GPU Performance

The Nokia 5.3 uses a Snapdragon 665 CPU, this processor is also present in two other phones I tested (Motorola G8 Power and Redmi Note 8). This processor offers sufficient performance for all the daily tasks with sometimes a few slowdowns for heavier operations.

For the graphics part, the Nokia 5.3 uses a Qualcomm Adreno 610 GPU, it is an entry level GPU that I find on the Motorola G8 Power, the Redmi Note 8 or the Xiaomi Mi A3. The Qualcomm Adreno 610 allows you to play most games with sometimes a concession in terms of graphics.

Benchmark Antutu/3DMark

I obtained a score of 168036 points with Antutu v8, it is a score comparable to the Motorola G8 Power, the Redmi Note 8 or the Honor 9x. In this price range (150-200€), this is a fairly common performance.

The Nokia 5.3 is not designed to be a gaming machine but you will be able to play most games without any problem if you accept to play with a lower level of graphics.

I haven't noticed any particular problems with the phone's performance, there are some slowdowns when opening certain applications or a small latency when switching from one application to another but in this price range it's quite common. However, I found that the phone takes a little longer to boot up than what I have seen on equivalent phones.


To test the performance in game, I download the mobile PUBG game and evaluate the in-game experience, graphics level and depth of vision. This game is quite demanding and should help you evaluating the performance of a phone.
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The Nokia 5.3 is not a phone designed for gaming but it is powerful enough to run a game like PUBG Mobile. The graphics are at their lowest level, the depth of vision is not very important and sometimes the movements are a bit jerky but overall it is possible to play PUBG Mobile without too many problems.

Network performance

Nokia 5.3 covers most of the 4G frequencies used in Europe, including the B28 frequency (700 Mhz) used in some countries.

Signal 4G (before december 2020)

The ability to pick up the network correctly is an essential element for a phone but it is only very rarely measured. To measure a phone's ability to pick up the network, I perform a large number of measurements on the same cells to be able to compare phones under similar conditions. The signal is measured in dBm, a value of -90dBm indicates a worse signal than -70dBm. These measurements are therefore taken under real conditions and not in a laboratory, they are not scientific but give a good indication of performance.

I made 531 measurements in 4G with the Nokia 5.3 and obtained an average signal of -94.98 dBm. I usually take more measurements but this doesn't influence the result because the Nokia 5.3 offers a stable performance (few fluctuations) and in the end I got an excellent score. I also compared it to my reference device and the Nokia did consistently better.

Signal 4G (from December 2020)

I decided to change the methodology for measuring the network because I noticed that the configuration of the mobile network changes over time. This makes it more difficult to compare phones because the conditions are no longer exactly the same.

To overcome this problem, I set up a device that captures 24 hours a day about ten parameters from the mobile network (ex: cell id, rssi, rsrq, snr, frequency,...). I then place the phone next to the device for 24 to 48 hours taking the same measurements so that I can compare them.

Overview of the phones tested with this methodology

Download/Upload speed

To test the download speed, I have identified some 4G cells offering good performance where I test all my devices several times to see what download and upload speed they can achieve.

The Nokia 5.3 is a category 4 LTE smartphone, which means that its maximum download speed is 150 Mbps and its maximum upload speed is 50 Mbps.

In download I got a speed of 135 Mbps, so I was quite close to the maximum speed and this type of speed allows me to stream in HD without any problems.

In upload I obtained a speed of 65 Mbps, this speed is higher than the maximum speed theoretically possible for this kind of phone. This could be due to a measurement error in the SpeedTest application or a tolerance in the network.

Wifi performance

To test a phone's ability to receive the network properly, I take measurements near my router and then remotely (and always at the same place). This gives me an average in dBm where a value of -90 dBm indicates poorer performance than a value at -30 dBm.

Wifi signal

I measured a signal of -20 dBm near the router, this is a score in the middle, it is neither good nor bad.

At a distance from the router I measured a signal of -70 dBm, here again it is a score in the average.

Download/Upload speed

To test the speed in Wifi, I connect to my router in 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz (if available) and use the Ookla application to measure the speed.The Nokia 5.3 uses the 5Ghz frequency for wifi, so I should get a high speed for the download but for some reason I don't know, this was not the case. I did a lot of tests to get a speed of about 60 Mbps. That's enough speed to do streaming but I got speeds two to three times higher with other phones in the same price range.

GPS performance

To test the quality of the GPS signal I use the Offline Maps application and I make the same train trip in pedestrian mode. Why? In pedestrian mode, the GPS does not artificially correct the signal to stick to the road, it has no markings, so you can see the actual position. I then use an application to measure the accuracy of the signal.
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I obtained a precision level of 3 metres with the Nokia 5.3, which is a score in the middle. I found that the signal was not stable and the accuracy fluctuated between 3 and 5 metres. This kind of discrepancy can be corrected by a good GPS application but in an urban environment, the positioning could very well position you in an adjacent street.

The Nokia 5.3 does not seem to support the Galileo network, it does not detect any satellite of this type.

Battery range

The Nokia 5.3 offers average battery performance. The battery capacity is lower than Xiaomi's for the same price and the energy efficiency is significantly lower than Redmi Note 9. You will still be able to last 2 days in normal use.

With the screen switched on at 100% the battery discharges almost twice as fast as at 50%, the lighting of the phone is therefore quite linear, which is quite rare.

I observe a decrease in consumption when the battery is between 5 and 10%, it is probably the energy saving mode which is activated automatically.

nokia 5.3 battery discharging

Charging time is also in the average, on the following graph we can see that the battery charging speed decreases in the last percents.

nokia 5.3 battery charging

Photo camera test

To test the quality of photos produced by a phone, I do a technical test (resolution, sharpness, chromatic aberration,...) in studio (identical conditions) to evaluate the technical part objectively. From the second half of 2020, I built my own laboratory to take completely objective technical measurements. I then take pictures in real conditions to see how the camera performs. I then evaluate these photos according to my criteria but I publish the photos so that you can evaluate the result according to your criteria.


Nokia did not provide much information about the photo sensor used in this Nokia 5.3.

The features I was able to get from the phone make me think that I have never tested this photo sensor in any other phone. The main sensor produces photos in 13 million pixels where competitors in this price range offer a minimum of 48 million pixels. This doesn't make much difference to the quality of the sensor but it gives an indication of the level of priority given to the photo at Nokia.

In theory the photo quality of the Nokia 5.3 should be compared with that of the Redmi Note 9 as they are in the same price range.

Default app

The default photo application in Nokia 5.3 is probably the same as the one used in other phones running Android One. This application is simple because it offers only a limited number of choices, there are no special effects or HDR or even a night mode.

The trigger button is black with just a white circle around it. This may seem trivial, but when exposed to daylight, this thin white circle is not enough to distinguish the shutter button from the camera. Fortunately, it is possible to use the volume button to take pictures.

Photo quality

Photo test / studio

The Nokia 5.3 uses two photo sensors, a wide angle (3.61mm) and an ultra wide angle (1.98mm).

I first tested the colorimetry of the wide angle sensor and I get the following graph:
nokia 5.3 color deviation 3D

This graph shows that the main photo sensor has a visible deviation in blue and green. Seen from this angle, the deviation looks significant but I have seen much worse on other phones. The average colour deviation is 13.93 dE, which is much better than a Redmi Note 9.

So I can see that green and blue deviate from the norm, then you have to look at what other colours they deviate to, here is the answer:
nokia 5.3 color deviation 2D

The blue deviates towards a lighter blue which should make the photos with the sky look lighter. The green deviates towards a darker green. This kind of deviation is in principle not problematic because the deviation does not cause a blue to purple or a green to yellow.

I did the same test with the ultra wide angle sensor starting with the colorimetry.
nokia 5.3 color deviation 3D uwa

I see here that the colour deviation is much greater, green and blue deviates from the norm as is often the case but I see that most other colours deviate as well. Here I get a colour deviation of 14.39 dE.

Which colours does the sensor deviate to?
nokia 5.3 color deviation 2D uwa

The colorimetric deviations are numerous and if I go back to the main ones, I see that orange deviates strongly towards yellow, green also deviates towards yellow. This deviation should give a too warm colouring to the photos. The blues deviate towards purple.

Photo test / sunny

Main sensor
nokia 5.3 test review avis recensione prueba opinion beoordeling photo sun 25

I was positively surprised by the quality of the photos coming from the main sensor. I had started my photo tests with the night photos and the result was really bad, so I didn't expect to get good daytime photos.

The sharpness is good and this is visible in the details of the foliage. The sky is a little pale and this confirms the observation of the technical test which showed a deviation from blue to pale blue. The vegetation is a little too dark and here again this confirms what I had observed in the technical test. These are minor problems because the photo as a whole captures the atmosphere well.

nokia 5.3 test review avis recensione prueba opinion beoordeling photo sun 30 1

In this second photo, the light blue effect on the sky is even more visible and the sky is generally overexposed. Nokia 5.3 does not use techniques like HDR to compensate for this kind of problem. Due to its lack of processing the Nokia is quickly put in trouble with either over- or under-exposure. However, we have to be honest, in this price range the result is quite acceptable.

Ultra wide angle sensor
nokia 5.3 test review avis recensione prueba opinion beoordeling photo sun 15

My technical test showed that the colorimetry of the ultra wide angle sensor was not good and was too warm. This can be seen very clearly in this photo, the whole picture shows colours that are too warm. This is not necessarily unpleasant to look at but these colours do not reflect reality.

The other problem of this wide angle sensor is the sharpness, it is really bad on the whole photo. The filming is no longer detailed, the pixels are mixed and the photo is generally not very good even when the light is good. There is also an abnormal presence of digital noise in broad daylight. This sensor is really not good.

Here are other photos taken in the same conditions where you can see the obvious differences between the main sensor and the ultra wide angle sensor. The main sensor produces good photos when the brightness is good, but as soon as the difference between shadows and bright areas increases, you will quickly get overexposure of the sky or underexposure below the horizon line.

Photo test / cloudy

Test photo / night

nokia 5.3 test review avis recensione prueba opinion beoordeling photo night 1

When I test a phone I always try to keep a certain neutrality so that everyone can make their own judgement but sometimes it is not possible. The Nokia 5.3 is not good for night photography. The exposure is not good, the colours are not good, the sharpness is not good and there is also a lot of digital noise. As I wrote above, the Nokia 5.3 does not (or very little) process photos where most other phones in this price range use gimmicks to improve photos.

The ultra wide angle sensor produces even worse pictures, this sensor is really useless.

Here are a few photos taken under the same conditions, the verdict is indisputable, this phone is not made to take pictures at night.

Video quality


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The Nokia 5.3 does not offer video stabilization, so shocks caused by footsteps are clearly visible. However, I find that the recalculation of pixels due to movements is less visible than on the Redmi Note 9.

Video normale conditions
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Daylight video has the same advantages and disadvantages as daylight photography. The sky is slightly too clear but I find the video is of good quality for a phone in this range. The sharpness is good and the colours are properly saturated. There are however a few jumps in the picture which gives the impression that the phone is receiving a small shock.

Video low light

The night video is of poor quality on the Nokia 5.3, the videos are too dark and the colours are too cold as for night photos. The weak point of the Nokia 5.3 is clearly the night photo/video.

Audio quality

To test the quality of the phone's audio output, I connect the device's audio output to a measuring tool, then play sounds on all frequencies and measure the differences between the original sound and the sound produced by the phone. In this way I measure the phone's ability to correctly reproduce all sounds.
I always start my audio test by listening subjectively from the loudspeaker and then with headphones.

The quality of the sound produced by the loudspeaker is frankly not very good, the distortion is important and the frequencies are not correctly rendered.

With earphones, the sound is fortunately better. The Nokia 5.3 produces sound quality equivalent to what I have been able to test in this price range.

Frequency Response

This test is intended to test the device's ability to correctly reproduce all frequencies. The white line in the middle of the graph is the ideal situation and the other colors come from tests on different phones. A deviation from the reference line indicates a deviation from the ideal situation. To see good sound at all frequencies, it is therefore necessary to get as close as possible to the reference line.
nokia 5.3 frequency response

I tested the frequency coverage several times and each time I got an anomaly in the graph. For some reason I don't know the test didn't work. I would say that the Nokia seems to have a small weakness in high pitched sounds but I cannot demonstrate this with my test.

Dynamic Range

This test is designed to test a phone's ability to play sounds at different volume levels. Here too, the phones must be as close as possible to the reference.
nokia 5.3 dynamic range

The Nokia 5.3 is capable of producing a much more powerful sound than the Redmi Note 9, but its frequency coverage is more irregular. What I have found from subjective listening seems to be confirmed here with a greater deviation in the high frequencies.

Noise Level

This test aims to identify if the device under test is able to reproduce sounds without too much noise. A high score indicates a low parasite rate, a lower score indicates a higher presence of parasites.
nokia 5.3 noise level

The Nokia 5.3 does not suffer from a noise problem except perhaps in the higher frequencies where I see some frequencies moving away from the reference instead of moving closer to it.

Screen quality

To test the screen, I use a colorimetric probe that measures the color accuracy of a screen, as well as other parameters to see if a screen is able to correctly reproduce an image. I also test the brightness level to determine if the screen will be able to display an image in full sunlight.


nokia 5.3 calibration ecran screen quality

The Nokia 5.3 screen offers a resolution of 720 x 1600 on a surface area of 6.55 inches. The pixel density is therefore lower than the equivalent models from Redmi, which offers a minimum of 1080x2340 for the same screen area. Is this a problem? No, but it can be seen in the precision of the images.

I measured a colour deviation dE of 4.6 after trying to find the best setting for all the colours. The Nokia 5.3 allows you to change the colour temperature but I was unable to get a better score than the one measured. Basic and without change the dE is higher than 6. The colours are too warm with the factory settings. The Redmi range at Xiaomi does a little better.

I got a white at 6801K with the change in settings, it's a pretty good value.

Brightness / Contrast

I measured a brightness of 434 cd/m² with my probe, it is a brightness above average which should allow you to read the screen under the sun but in strong light, you will have to change the orientation of the screen a little. To be readable in strong light, you should ideally have a brightness above 500 cd/m².

I measured a contrast ratio of 1539:1 with my probe, this is an average contrast ratio for this type of screen. The Nokia 5.3 scores much better here than the Redmi Note 9 which was rather bad in terms of contrast.


The Nokia 5.3 is equipped with a fingerprint sensor positioned under the photo sensor at the back of the display. This sensor works well, I didn't notice any problem, it's quite fast.

The Nokia 5.3 also offers a facial recognition to unlock the phone, here again I didn't notice anything particular, the recognition works well provided that you are in good light conditions.

Operating system

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The Nokia 5.3 runs on Android One (Android 10). If you've never used Android One you'll quickly find your bearings because most Android features are in the same place with sometimes a few differences.

The customization of shortcuts in the notification menu is limited to a single screen, so you have to remove a shortcut to be able to put another one.

The application drawer works the same way as on other Android phones, the search engine is here at the top, on Xiaomi it is at the bottom. The drawer doesn't offer a theme to better classify the applications, so everything is available in the same place and sometimes you have to search a little to find an application.

The navigation by gesture is activated by default, I rather like this mode of operation except that here it tends to intervene a little too quickly. For example, I have often encountered the problem while surfing on the internet or I just wanted to scroll a large page from left to right and the gesture navigation interpreted this movement as a will to go backwards. Interactions at the top of the screen also tend to make notifications appear too quickly.

The big advantage of this Android One version is that Nokia didn't install any unwanted applications where Xiaomi, Samsung or Huawei install many applications to try to sign you up to the services offered by each brand. This purity comes at a price, some basic features such as a photo album or screen recording are not available without downloading an additional application.

Encoutered bugs

I haven't encountered any bugs but the presence of the "Google" button on the left side of the phone requires some time to adapt. It is a place where you don't find a button on most phones, so I have accidentally pressed this button quite often. As I rarely use the Google assistant, this button has really bothered me.

Accessories Nokia 5.3

Compare Nokia 5.3 with the others

Test / Review conclusion

Nokia has changed ownership several times in recent years, the brand now belongs to HMD in China. Despite the years, the brand still enjoys recognition among a certain public to the point that HMD has tried to revive old models. This Nokia 5.3 is a new generation phone for Nokia and it arrives in a very competitive price zone where Xiaomi dominates the market. On some points it stands up to the Redmi Note 9 but it also has some weaknesses, the choice between this Nokia and the Redmi will depend on your priorities.

The Nokia is clearly more sober than what you find at Xiaomi or other brands but I think the format is quite successful. The integration of the photo module on the back is much better than on the Xiaomi in the same price range, it barely comes out of the phone's shell by one or two millimetres. The display offers a comparable experience to the competition with a colour difference that is barely visible.

The Nokia 5.3 offers slightly less performance than a Redmi Note 9 can offer, this does not affect its everyday use but the price/performance ratio does not tip in favour of the Nokia.

The Nokia 5.3 produces good photos when the conditions are good, it does better than the Redmi Note 9 but on the other hand as soon as the brightness drops, the photo and video quality is below the competition.

On the other hand, the Nokia stands out on its sensitivity to the 4G network, I got much better results than most of the Xiaomi I tested. We tend to forget this but basically, a phone should be able to connect to the network in good conditions and the Nokia does it better than average.

If this Nokia had been released a year ago, it would probably have been a reference but today it struggles a bit to dominate other phones in the same price zone. The choice of this Nokia instead of another phone will clearly depend on your priorities.


4G network sensitivity
Operating system without unwanted applications
Daytime photo quality
Integration of the photo module at the back


Night photo / video
Annoying Google button
Slight screen colour defect
Wifi speed

Alternatives to this product

The most direct competitor of this Nokia 5.3 is the Redmi Note 9. Both phones are available in the same price range with a similar level of performance (although the Redmi offers more performance).

The Redmi outperforms the Nokia in battery performance, screen colour and wifi performance. The Nokia outperforms the Redmi in network sensitivity, 4G download speed and daytime photo.

Both phones score very similarly, the choice will depend on the strengths that are important for you.

Head of myself on this blog

I share my passions on my blog in my free time since 2006, I prefer that to watching nonsense on TV or on social networks. I work alone, I am undoubtedly one of the last survivors of the world of blogs and personal sites.

My speciality? Digital in all its forms. I have spent the last 25 years working for multinationals where I managed digital teams and generated revenues of over €500 million per year. I have expertise in telecoms, media, aviation, travel and tourism.
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Sonic Soak test and review
Sonic Soak is a new gadget cleaning almost everything with ultrasound, does it deliver its promise ? Let's check out!
Samsung Galaxy S10 + : objective test, reviews and prices
The Samsung Galaxy S10 has it all, it doesn't lack anything (except you maybe). At this price level, we expect the best, but how different is it from the competition?
Amazon Fire TV Stick review/test
Amazon has successfully packaged a lot in its Fire TV stick. This small object will transform your TV or projector experience. On paper, nothing beats the Stick but what is it worth in reality?
Amazon Fire TV Stick: full and objective test, reviews and prices
Amazon has successfully packaged a condensed technology in its Fire TV stick. This small object will transform your TV or projector experience. On paper, nothing is done better. What is the reality?
Test / Avis mini pas pas cher (moins de 200€)
J'ai testé un mini pc de 12 cm de côté, totalement silencieux, consommant 25W max et suffisamment performant pour la bureautique et home cinéma.
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