Nokia 808 PureView Review

Introduction, Design and Display
What's the difference between innovation and an upgrade? Real innovation is when you do something nobody has done before you, that was deemed impossible or not worth pursuing. In the Nokia 808 PureView, which has been conceived and tweaked in Nokia's R&D labs for the last five years we have these markings of true innovation,.

Granted, the handset is a chunky little thing, and it is running Symbian, but it's the potential for major disruption in the smartphone camera department that its PureView photographic technology holds that matters here.

Shutterbugs will tell you that you can live with less apps, and slick design gets old quick when you use a handset daily, but if you have the typical smartphone camera module inside, you are stuck for the duration of your ownership with mediocre pics, in a time where your phone is your most used camera.

Hopefully the technology in the 41MP sensor of the Nokia 808 PureView will be leveraged into a versatile line of products to mark the next era in smartphone photography, but for now let's look at this enthusiast device as a whole in our review, with a special emphasis on its stellar camera abilities...


There is no arguing that it is function before form with the design of the Nokia 808 PureView. The Finns just built a phone around the monstrous 41MP PureView sensor, instead of the other way around.

The soap-shaped front with the plain plastic bar that houses the call, end and home key/notification light below the display make the device look like a typical affordable Symbian handset. That feeling is reinforced by the significant thickness and the plain, but sturdy plastic chassis. We got the black version, which is the most unassuming of all other colors like white and red the phone is available in.

Flip the handset over, however, and it starts telling a different story. You just can't miss the huge elliptic metal plate that takes a quarter of the back, and covers the 41MP sensor, as well as the rare combination between a Xenon flash for still shots, and LED light for focus assist and video illumination.

Still, when considering that the sensor is 1/1.2” - the largest in a cameraphone – and its advanced optics, Nokia has managed to keep the phone size and especially the weight in check. Moreover, the 14mm thickness and the “hump” that the sensor produces on the back, make for a comfortable grip in your palm. All in all, the handset is borderline ugly, but with a sturdy build, and unless you are overly self-conscious, it won't ruin your street cred when you take it out.

All side buttons
– the volume rocker, lock slider and the two-stage shutter key on the right - are made of metal and very easy to feel and press. The ports like microUSB, HDMI and audio jack are all concentrated at the top, and the rest is plain, giving the phone somewhat barren looks from the side.


We have a 4” AMOLED screen on the Nokia 808 PureView, with the typical for Symbian 360x640 pixels of resolution, which is pretty low for today's standards, and makes for below average 184ppi pixel density. Thus if you look into solid colors, icon edges or enlarge text they look pixelated, and 480x800 would be the minimum for a 4-incher to look decent in that respect.

Furthermore, the AMOLED display is behaving like one, exhibiting saturated to the point of gaudy, but cold colors, making white backgrounds in websites appear blueish compared to a good LCD.

Yet its other virtues like great contrast ratio and viewing angles more than compensate, and the addition of Nokia's ClearBlack layer improves sunlight visibility a lot by bringing screen reflection down to a minimum. You won't have any troubles working the interface or framing your shots even when the sun is shining directly on the display, and this is pretty important for a cameraphone like the 808 PureView.

Nokia 808 PureView 360-Degrees View:

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