The mammoth printout of a photograph in the image above was taken with the Nokia 808 PureView. Impressive, eh?
The smartphone’s launch was initially met with much skepticism – largely because the tech press couldn’t possibly fathom how its diminutive frame could house a 41-megapixel image sensor (for publicity’s sake, Nokia did the right thing because the press picked up on it. I think it would’ve been a collective “meh” if they had simply slapped a typical 5-megapixel on the smartphone) and the fact that it was running the Symbian Belle operating system.
Sure, the Symbian OS isn’t quite exactly the way to go, and doesn’t instill any consumer confidence when Nokia’s already putting its money on the Windows Phone platform. After having a hands-on session with the phone on the Mobile World Congress showfloor, I found the 808 PureView to lag slightly (it runs on a 1.3GHz processor) with typical actions you would do with a smartphone – like a pinch-to-zoom gesture, or double-tapping to enlarge a photo onscreen. But the phone stuck to its main promise – pictures with large amounts of detail. Video quality was pretty good as well, although the focusing wasn’t up to snuff.
Let’s ignore the fact that the phone still runs on the antiquated Symbian platform – Nokia did mention it was coming to its upcoming smartphones. We can take that as a big hint the PureView technology is coming to the Lumia range of Windows Phones. If it was initially launched on a Windows Phone, it would have provided Nokia much oomph in differentiating itself from other smartphone makers.
It might be a niche product, but the bottom line is that the 808 PureView ups the game for other smartphone makers when it comes to high-quality photography on a mobile phone – it’s proof that there is still much distance left to run when it comes to innovating on image quality. And the ridiculous number of megapixels on the 808 would encourage Nokia’s competitors to create smartphones that churn out great photos, instead of harping on the number of megapixels their image sensors harbour.
PS: That said, camera makers should be quaking in their boots as well, as the 808’s another reason why snap and shoot cameras might grow to be more irrelevant among consumers.
Catch the Nokia 808 PureView in action in the following video, along with the Lumia 900 and the new Lumia 610: