Catching Up Casually: Mi A3 vs Moto G9 vs Nokia 5.3

The battle for the best sub-Rs 15,000 Stock Android Crown!

by: - Last updated on: August 26th, 2020

They are all priced under Rs 15,000. And while there are devices that are better specced than them at their price points, all three are special in one unique manner – they all run stock Android, with hardly any bloatware. Two of them are spanking new, while one is a little long in the tooth but still relevant, especially if you are a pure Android follower. Two come from two of the oldest names in mobile telephony, while one comes from a relatively newer one.

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We are talking about the Nokia 5.3, the Moto G9, and the Xiaomi Mi 3.

So, if you are looking for pure Android experience, without getting into the Pixel zone (that is a little pricey), which should be the one to go for? Let us try and figure out, shall we? We would like to make it clear at the very outset that this is largely specs and initial impressions based comparison. Of all the devices, the Mi A3 is the one we have used most (it has been around for the longest time), but we have tried to keep things as objective as possible.

Right, on to it, then!

Mi A3 vs Moto G9 vs Nokia 5.3: Which looks the best?

In terms of design, we are going to admit that we got a little swayed by the Sand and Cyan versions of the Nokia 5.3, which along with its circular camera unit on the back, make it the most distinct device of the three. The Moto G9 comes second with its squarish camera unit and eye-catching green and blue shades. Compared to these, the Mi A3 is pretty “regular” – gradient finished back, capsule-shaped camera unit, and so on.

Mi A3 vs Moto G9 vs Nokia 5.3: The easiest to carry?

Easily the Mi A3. It is the smallest and lightest of the three – 153.8 mm tall and 173 grams in weight. The Nokia 5.3 is 164.3 mm in height and 180 grams. The Moto G9 is the biggest – 165.21 mm tall and 203 grams in weight.

Mi A3 vs Moto G9 vs Nokia 5.3: All plastic, or some clas…we mean glass?

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Interestingly, both the Nokia 5.3 and the Moto G9 have plastic blacks, while the relatively plain-looking Mi A3 has Gorilla Glass on front and back. That said, we do think the Nokia and Moto have slightly more interesting shades.

Mi A3 vs Moto G9 vs Nokia 5.3: Which can handle water the best?

The Moto G9 comes with a “water repellant” design while the Mi A3 has P2i splash resistance. Nokia 5.3? If it gets into the water zone, start praying.

Mi A3 vs Moto G9 vs Nokia 5.3: Who has the best display?

All three phones come with HD+ rather than full HD displays with drop notches. The Moto G9 and the Nokia 5.3 have both relatively bigger displays – 6.5 inches and 6.55 inches respectively – but in our book, the Mi A3 takes this round because of its 6.08-inch AMOLED display, which looks significantly more colorful. The smaller size of the display also means it gets slightly higher pixel density.

Mi A3 vs Moto G9 vs Nokia 5.3: The best processor of the three?

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In terms of processor, the Mi A3 and the Nokia 5.3 are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 665, while the Moot G9 comes with the much newer Snapdragon 662. While the 662 is a newer chip, all anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that there is no serious difference in performance among the three processors.

Mi A3 vs Moto G9 vs Nokia 5.3: We are looking for memories here – RAM and storage!

In terms of RAM and storage, the Mi A3 holds the edge. It is the only device of the three which has both a 4 GB/ 64 GB and a 6 GB/ 28 GB variant. The Nokia 5.3 has 4 GB/ 64 GB and 6 GB/ 64 GB variants, while the Moto G9 comes with only a 4 GB/ 64 GB variant. All three phones have expandable memories.

Mi A3 vs Moto G9 vs Nokia 5.3: Who has got the best cameras on the back?

The Nokia 5.3 has four cameras, while the Mi A3 and the Moto G9 have three each. But ironically, the three-camera duo seems to have better sensors. The Mi A3 has a clear edge here with a 48 megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor (the same you see on the OnePlus Nord) as well as an 8 megapixel ultrawide and a 2-megapixel depth camera. The Moto G9 too has a 48-megapixel main sensor (brand not specified) but its other two sensors are 2-megapixel ones, one for depth and the other for macro. The Nokia 5.3 is the most humble one of the lot – 13-megapixel main sensor, 5-megapixel ultrawide, 2-megapixel macro, and 2-megapixel depth. Potentially, Mi A3 is the best of the lot.

Mi A3 vs Moto G9 vs Nokia 5.3: Who takes the best selfies?

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Well, this seems like a simple one – 32 megapixels on the Mi A3, and 8 megapixels each on the Moto G9 and the Nokia 5.3. The Selfie Photo Force is strong with the Mi A3.

Mi A3 vs Moto G9 vs Nokia 5.3: The best battery?

The Moto G9 has a 5000 mAh battery, the Mi A3 a 4030 mAh and the Nokia 4000 mAh

Mi A3 vs Moto G9 vs Nokia 5.3: The fastest chargers?

The Moto G9 gets this again – a 20W charger in the box, while the Mi A3 and Nokia 5.3 have 10W ones. The Mi A3 does support 18W charging, but the charger would have to be purchased separately.

Mi A3 vs Moto G9 vs Nokia 5.3: Scan those fingerprints, please?

The Moto G9 and the Nokia 5.3 have fingerprint scanners on the back, but the Mi A3 has it below the AMOLED display. We actually think the best place for the fingerprint scanner is on the back, but below the display definitely has a “cool” factor to it.

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Mi A3 vs Moto G9 vs Nokia 5.3: The best software…so what if they are ALL stock Android?

Yes, they are all stock Android devices and all are running Android 10 with zero bloatware. But the Nokia 5.3 and Mi A3 are Android One devices, which means they are both assured Android updates. The Moto G9 is not part of the initiative so updates might be a little less consistent there. Nokia has by far the best update record in all smartphone brands, and the Mi A3’s track record is a little spotty (the Android 10 update was very buggy initially) but it has been getting security patches regularly, and well, it is part of Android One.

Mi A3 vs Moto G9 vs Nokia 5.3: Can we check connectivity please?

A 3.5 mm jack, 4G, Wi-Fi, and GPS – all three phones have it. The Nokia 5.3 and Moto G9 also come with NFC. However, the Mi A3 and Moto G9 come with Bluetooth 5.0 while the Nokia 5.3 rather oddly comes with Bluetooth 4.2.

Mi A3 vs Moto G9 vs Nokia 5.3: The best price?

Well, these are the prices:

Moto G9: Rs 11,499 (4 GB/ 64 GB)

Mi A3: Rs 12,999 (4 GB/ 64 GB)
Mi A3: Rs 14,999 (6 GB/ 128 GB)

Nokia 5.3: Rs 13,999 (4 GB/ 64 GB)
Nokia 5.3: Rs 15,499 (6 GB/ 64 GB)

That’s it, folks. Do remember once again, this is mainly a spec and initial experience based comparison. Hope it helps. Three cheers for stock Android on a budget? Well, there are definitely three phones for it!

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