Nokia 808 PureView Hands-on Review

Nokia 808 PureView Hands-on Review
Alright, so here it is, probably the last (or one of the very last) Symbian smartphones ever – the Nokia 808 PureView. And boy is this an epic way for Symbian to exit the industry!

What do we mean here? Well, first of all, the Nokia 808 PureView comes to succeed the N8 – the smartphone that kind of set the new benchmark for camera phones when it came out. Well, interestingly, the still largest handset manufacturer by volume seems to be aiming even higher this time by introducing a handset with a camera which has not 12, not 16... but an enormous 41 megapixels! Sounds pretty wicked, we know.

First of all, we should note that the handset looks like a typical Nokia, which isn't a bad thing, of course. It has a large 4" screen on the front, however, it still has Symbian's usual nHD resolution, which is 360x640 pixels. The display uses the AMOLED technology, and overall it looks cool, despite the relatively low resolution. Touch sensitivity is also pretty good.

Do not expect wonders from this device on the build quality front. Is's actually quite light, and doesn't feel as premium as the N8. Still, it's not bad either.


As we said, this is one of the last Symbian smartphones, and the exact version running on it is Belle. To tell you the truth, we feel that Nokia has made some pretty good advancements in the way of the UI with these latest Symbian iterations, so it's kind of sad to know that its lifetime is coming to an end. Overall, the software runs great, it's very fluid, although we can't really say that it's as streamlined as it should be yet.

Since this is mainly a camera-centric handset, Nokia has put some effort into improving the camera application. Indeed, we were fascinated to find how simple to use it was. All of the options are easily accessible on the left side of the screen, without unnecessary taking too much space.


The Nokia 808 PureView's 41MP camera can actually shoot still at a maximum of 38MP resolution. The aperture is set at f/2.4, while a Xenon flash is there to assist you while shooting in low-light conditions. In addition, there's an LED light to help the handset focus better. Probably the coolest thing about this high-resolution sensor, is that when you shoot in a standard 8MP or 5MP mode, you can actually zoom in without loosing much quality. And for those worrying about the size of these giant pics- the guys from Nokia said that the 808 PureView is doing a lot to compress the pics so a giant 38MP image, for example, shouldn't take more than 12MB, which does sound like a lot of compression. Here's for hoping this won't be at the expense of the quality.


As far as video recording is concerned, you can shoot with a maximum of 1080p resolution, 30fps. Again, thanks to the giant sensor, this new Nokia allows you to zoom in up to 4 times without loosing quality. Sounds great to us!

Obviously, we have a new king on the camera phone scene on its way. When is it going to arrive? The Nokia 808 PureView should become available in May for about $600 (EUR 450), before carrier subsidies.









Related phones

808 PureView
  • Display 4.0" 360 x 640 pixels
  • Camera 41 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Storage 16 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1400 mAh(6.50h 3G talk time)

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139 Comments

1. rycx365

Posts: 37; Member since: Mar 18, 2011

AWESOME CAMERA, but it's 2012, still 1.3ghz single core with 512mb ram??? Dual core and i'd get it, there's more to a smartphone than having the best camera (even if it's my a HUGE margin)

2. rycx365

Posts: 37; Member since: Mar 18, 2011

*by a huge margin*

10. weirdfisher

Posts: 51; Member since: Mar 31, 2011

1.3ghz single core with 512mb ram which phone can record 1080p video with such spec...please?

3. danieru.05

Posts: 9; Member since: Feb 24, 2012

yeah your right...let us say that 1.3 ghz single core and 512 ram is sufficient to run nokia pure view fluently...but is it possible to compete with the giant smart phones out there with dual core or quad core processors???i dont think so...camera ALONE is not very essential to a person...but others consider the whole package instead..

8. sadaivadai

Posts: 156; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

To compete with other phones Nokia has their new flagship phone Nokia 900 . This is a "camera" phone . This is a mobile for people who think camera is the most important part in their mobile . This stands alone like a beast . And to say the truth actually there is no competition for this mobile in this department . And other things of this mobile is not bad either . Its has good enough specs to be a decent smartphone . I think you missed the important part . It is only 600$ for a 41 MP camera . If they added any other things the price will be huge and i don't think many can afford such a price .

15. danieru.05

Posts: 9; Member since: Feb 24, 2012

yeah yeah yeah...ur right...hope they will launch this phone here @philippines...im sure this will be a must see phone.. ^_^

64. cepcamba

Posts: 717; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

Philippines will probably get it around Q4 or Q1 of 2013. :p

89. Medel

Posts: 84; Member since: May 31, 2011

the price of this Nokia 808 Pureview. guesstimate 25 to 27k php. I want to buy this in 2014. i still have my nokia n8.

66. allen83

Posts: 107; Member since: Mar 01, 2012

yes wanted that phone hope this will be available in the philippines as soon as possible right kabayan!

44. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

Plus the screen resolution for a 4inch screen is a massive mistake from nokia

74. steelicon

Posts: 318; Member since: Apr 02, 2011

Olympus XZ-1 Monitor Product type OLED Size 3.0 inches (3:2) Total no. of pixels 614,000 dots 960x640 10MP Nokia 808 Pure View AMOLED 4.0" Pixels 230,400 dots 360x640 3MP/5MP/8MP 34MP/38MP You be the judge.

56. Snoobab

Posts: 175; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

If the 808 ran slowly, fair enough to complain. The fact is we've seen no slowdown. If 1.3GHz offers a plesant user experience, why suck more power with a dual-core? To quote from the 808 PureView whitepaper... "One of the reasons the Nokia 808 PureView has taken so long to develop is down to processing power. We simply couldn’t get hold of enough. Even the most powerful mobile chipsets have an upper limit of around 20Mpix image processing capability. The Nokia 808 PureView eats up more than double that." "For video, the amount of pixels handled through the processing chain is staggering — over 1 billion pixels per second, and 16x oversampling. That’s a throughput of pixels 16 times greater than many other smartphones." The 808 has many seperate processors (image, GPU, CPU) so much of the work normally done my a phone's CPU is offloaded to these. It's a shame the masses are so uninformed.

57. shadez10

Posts: 427; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

your really right... all they think is if its symbian its bad... then think twice people... symbian can do anything just like what android does...

65. cepcamba

Posts: 717; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

Finally! Someone who doesn't churn out un-researched non-sense! Yeah, I actually applaud Nokia for segregating the camera processing. Fits a principle I follow perfectly. Build something simple that works (from the creator of the AK-47). Then combine these simple things to create something complex. But keep in mind that complex is not the same as complicated.

68. Stoli89

Posts: 333; Member since: Jun 28, 2010

To note, the Belle FP1 808 beat a WP in a Windows Phone Challenge at MWC when it came to taking a picutre and posting it to FB. Seems Noia's approach to combining a massive GPU plus latest scaling chip within the camera module has resulted in a very fast and efficient shooter.

70. jamrockjones

Posts: 345; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Agreed. The camera is only one element of a phone. I wouldn't purchase a phone for the sole reason that it has a nice camera. What about reception, usability, screen size and quality, OS, design, and battery life.

71. stylinred

Posts: 50; Member since: Mar 03, 2012

Each operating system has different requirements to run it Symbian has always been more efficient compared to the rest that's why even on the N8 with 680mhz 256mb ram it could run the same apps/games that Android needed dual cores to run just look at Belle OS the N8 can run it smoothly and it has half the cpu/ram that the 808 does and lets not forget that theres also a 1gb GPU in the device

75. steelicon

Posts: 318; Member since: Apr 02, 2011

01.) Xenon Flash; 02.) LED video light; 03.) 1080p 30 fps video with Continuous AutoFocus Connectivity; 04.) Bluetooth 3.0; 05.) HDMI; 06.) DLNA; 07.) micro USB 2.0; 08.) USB On-The-Go; 09.) Secure NFC ; 10.) 3.5 mm audio connector with TV-out; 11.) FM transmitter; 12.) WIFI A/B/G/N. Show me a single ANDROID mobile phone device or APPLE mobile phone device that has ALL of these features. Ha! I knew it! :p

87. cepcamba

Posts: 717; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

This is the first device I know of that have both Xenon Flash and LED video light.

92. stash

Posts: 3; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Sony Ericsson C905

93. danieru.05

Posts: 9; Member since: Feb 24, 2012

lets see how the quality of photos looks like in reality...

94. stylinred

Posts: 50; Member since: Mar 03, 2012

as opposed to fantasy???? what....?

113. Mekobag

Posts: 26; Member since: Apr 05, 2012

That is so true, my friend... The only brilliant feature the 808 has is the camera. Period.

4. moneyrockers

Posts: 4; Member since: Feb 26, 2012

I want to have this SmartesT PhonE. Running on Belle is great, I hope Carla and Donna update is possible. Nokia RoCkZZZZZZ........

5. miksu

Posts: 2; Member since: Jan 26, 2012

Yes, true about that processing power. But also, symbian doesnt need as much power, its more efficient

6. Giggity

Posts: 147; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

I thought Nokia is done with Symbian already, why churn out another handset with it?

46. bintheham

Posts: 13; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

I'm sure there was a contractual obligation to release it, just like the one and only Meego phone. Windows Phone is the future of Nokia, this phone will be forgotten by the few that will even hear about it.

58. shadez10

Posts: 427; Member since: Jan 15, 2012

i believe this will not be forgotten... its revolutionary for a camera phone... this phone is epic... it wouldnt be that easy to forgot...

7. ScottSchneider

Posts: 336; Member since: Dec 06, 2011

I don't need a smart phone with this high camera resolution., Probably no one would either... What is more important is the sensor size for really good pics... A Photo taken with this piece of hardware, I would see it in the phone itself or in my PC. I aint gonna print a hoarding with a 500 feet size... this is utter crappyness...

9. sadaivadai

Posts: 156; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

You need to learn more about camera . And how high camera sensors can be useful at least for some people . May be this is not the mobile for you :)

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