Nokia 808 PureView Review
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...

Design:

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.



Display:

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:

FEATURED VIDEO

179 Comments

185. ILyAS

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 02, 2014

Yes, I want to buy this phone but I can not understand his selling price. I've seen phones and 700$ and 200$ (not new). Which its real price? Can I buy it with e-bay (china manufactured or what is the Asian). I would like a phone with a good camera work somewhere for 200$, I will be grateful for the assistance.

184. vanessaelizebeth

Posts: 18; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

Thank you nokia for such a wonderful and amazing phone like the 808 pureview!

183. steelicon

Posts: 318; Member since: Apr 02, 2011

Hi! Can you pls verify? NEWS FLASH!!! Nokia 808 PureView for only PHP 18,000.00 @ SM Mall of Asia, Philippines Call +63 (2) 556 0690 - 93.

182. Miley_3d

Posts: 16; Member since: Oct 02, 2012

The technology of PureView by nokia is Beautiful. i LOVE Nokia 808 PureView Because the camera of 808 is more than Better ever made on mobile phone, and it's great for people that want take photograph with a phone.

179. Smartech

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 29, 2012

Nokia 808 is amazing smartphone with the best camera available to date. It's basically SUPERSIZED Nokia N8 with better speed, Camera, etc.For those who continue to echo certain perception about Symbian OS, all I can say is that it's obvious you have not used a Symbian OS or you must be an average low tech person. I ve used every phone that exists to date and while I dont think there is one that is best or better than other, I do think that when it comes to functionality it must be versatile and perform properly and Symbian seems to do exactly that. Granted Android and Iphone have 1 biilion (useless) apps and Android has full flash function but both lack many useful functions like FM Transmitter, ability to see all your emails on home screen widget (as you recieve em), send/recieve file between devices and ability to connect to ad-hoc network, and few more. Someone here was talking about hacking their Android. Obvious this person did not understand what hacking means. They have simply downloaded few programs and use it to load stuff on their Android phone and find such task amazing. Well go out an buy an old Nokia N95 which is about 6-7 years old none touch screen phone and other than being slow begin to find out that many of the functions these so called popular phone have today as revolutionary abilities, was in use on the N95 years ago. You dont need to hack a phone to get its full potential.Hacking is needed when operators or phone maker locks down its systems to force the user only get stuff through them. You dont need to hack a Symbian phone as almost all the apps are available through many sites and can be easily installed on the phone. I guess people are so used to getting these restricted phones like AOS or IOS that they find it revolutionary when they re finally able to install apps from the web. No it s not revolutionary, just simple installation if you own a Symbian. And before continuing to echo the Symbian being this and that, please specify the exact problem that you have with the Symbian OS. May be you dont know how to use it and someone can point you in the right direction.

177. sonnycrockett

Posts: 5; Member since: Aug 16, 2012

who gives a s**t about apps? It's really ridiculous and completely inessential in life, people can happily live without it. Apps bring the easy-minded public to its knees, like my aunt who can't imagine her life without her iPhone

174. paudebbs

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 01, 2012

Nokia 808 primary objective is to be the best camera phone, and nokia did it.... It may have the old symbian but still for nokia fan like me, i want to owned it.... I do have new ipad tablet, and this will be a perfect combination for me.... I really want to have it. I'll save money, and by december,,,,,ill try to buy it......

158. Andrewtst

Posts: 697; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Beside the gorgeous camera, this phone is epic FAIL. - Outdated & ugly design - Oversize Camera lens, bulky - Too small resolution, not good on internet surfing and a lot others task. - No development & bad touch OS - Symbian Belle - soon R.I.P OS.

169. xsacha

Posts: 11; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

#1 and #2 are the same thing and it's because of the gorgeous camera that it is so bulky. Yes, #3 the resolution is the only disappointment of this phone and it is primarily because that's what previous Symbian devices had used. However, they did stick the best possible screen they could (for 640x360) on the device. Overall, I'd much prefer this 640x360 display compared to ANY PenTile Display (looking at you, SGS3). As with a PenTile Display, even zooming in to the image will not help you! #4 could have been prevented. Nokia has hampered its development by announcing its abandonment early and the apps will likely forever remain in 2011-era. 2011 wasn't that bad though. Symbian has all the goodies like Molome, Whatsapp (and soon Viber), Samba/CIFS shares, dukto, remote desktop, wireless hotspot, integrated voip (best on any OS), ..

175. Waynest

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 09, 2012

Actually there is nothing wrong with internet surfing either, if you bother to download opera for browser. I admit that the default browser is a failure, but with opera symbian phones are on par with any other OS to use the internet.

180. Smartech

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 29, 2012

Outdated design? well you walk in somewhere with your boxy hard to handle idiotphone and everyone immediatelylooks at you like another sheep following the crowd. I happen to own the devoce and nothing is bulky. I guess if one can only afford the see the photos, it looks bulky to them. Developement is what Nokia and Symbian started before you could even hold a phone in your hand and continued to wet your pants. Comparing anything without hands on use/experience and simply reading/echoing others biased opinion is not an opinion. Again following the crowd. And for the other fellow that seems to think Nokia abandoned the Symbian...... Well Nokia just introduced a brand new revolutionary phone, selling for $700. because they wanted to abandon the OS. WOW.

143. Schmao

Posts: 365; Member since: Jul 05, 2009

Use this sensor in WP8 or Android with a nice design, and I think i see my next phone.

141. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

I strongly believe that 90% users commenting this artcicle NEVER EVER HAVE HAD any symbian phone in their very own hands. fu$% your "android-like uglier cousin" argument. This discussion reminds me "ios similarities versus android". Pointless. Belle especially fp1 is quick and stable enough to run effciently through your typical day. It has most functions that android has (and even more) and you are accusing it only because you've never had it and Symbian is passe.

139. cheeseycheeser

Posts: 413; Member since: Mar 24, 2011

The camera is pretty awesome! But the only good thing about this POS. I'd much rather give up the unnecessarily good camera for a much, MUCH better phone such as the GSIII or Lumia 900.

140. cheeseycheeser

Posts: 413; Member since: Mar 24, 2011

Not to mention, Symbian basically is like Android's uglier, badly executed cousin.

128. Snoobab

Posts: 175; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

"Overall, in terms of functionality Symbian Belle FP1 on the Nokia 808 PureView can rank along the modern Android, iOS, or Windows Phone, and sometimes excels in things like a full landscape layout and easy file transfer. When it comes to fluidity and user experience, though, it is much less uniform, requires a steeper learning curve, and its outdated resolution and processor support stand little chance against the contemporary mobile OS players." -- Well said, this is the best descrption I've heard of Belle OS in a long, long time. It can do everything the others can, albeit in a more "clunky" fashion.

121. djmuzi

Posts: 23; Member since: Oct 12, 2009

The same old camera problems like on the N8....

116. deadhead

Posts: 17; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Your unit has bad optics.. each of the lenses is individually aligned, I guess you got unlucky. All of your pictures loose a lot of detail toward the right edge. That is the first one I've seen that has this problem.. i just checked allaboutsymbian and theirs shoots perfectly across the whole frame.

119. -RVM-

Posts: 331; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Isn't this the case only with some photos ? Maybe some smudges on lens ?

114. deadhead

Posts: 17; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

GSMarena destroyed you with their review.. this reads like an amateur blog post, not a professional review.

118. -RVM-

Posts: 331; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Well GSMArena is probably the best among major review sites, but i wouldn't call this one bad. Actually it's pretty good for PA standards. However, something was wrong while shooting photos in the town (those historical buildings), which are clearly out of focus.

125. jackhammeR

Posts: 1548; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

great said pal. nothing else to add.

111. snowgator

Posts: 3630; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

If you were going to axe Symbian, and I do not think Nokia should have, at least go out with a huge bang. Fun device, and what an exciting look ahead to those of us excited for WP8 can expect. If Nokia can tread water for a little longer, maybe the future ain't as bleak as people have painted it.

98. Shubham412302

Posts: 595; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

Cant wait for wp8 with this camera

107. stylinred

Posts: 50; Member since: Mar 03, 2012

2013 woot

112. ReturningToNokia

Posts: 130; Member since: Jul 09, 2011

Stylinred - The point is, that Pureview IS coming to WP8 phones; so what if it is in 2013? There is no reason for someone who doesn't want to use Nokia Belle or Symbian to settle for and purchase this device just to use Pureview. Those wanting to use WP8, surely, will find that it will be worth the wait to get the best cameraphone experience while using the OS that they desire.

134. stylinred

Posts: 50; Member since: Mar 03, 2012

I dont understand your comment at all?? what does that have to do with mine? 2013 WOOT

95. djmuzi

Posts: 23; Member since: Oct 12, 2009

Are you guys blind? The first 2 rowns of pictures compared to the GF2 are totally blurry and worse than anything else on the smarphone market... Did the autofocus not work properly? Or did you leave Macro mode on? Whar happened there? And why you didn's see this? Look at this first pic and say that it is not blurry!?!? http://i-cdn.phonearena.com/images/reviews/114839- image/1.jpg Second one:http://i-cdn.phonearena.com/images/reviews/114840-image/2.jpg It's the same... seems to be out of focus too.

91. weirdfisher

Posts: 51; Member since: Mar 31, 2011

there Is no ovi store anymore it is called Nokia Store!!!!

90. akmaintu

Posts: 42; Member since: Jan 08, 2012

one word awesome, just go for it. i am using this phone for the past few days am just blown away by its performance.
808 PureView
  • Display 4.0 inches
    640 x 360 pixels
  • Camera 41 MP (Single camera)
    0.3 MP VGA front
  • Hardware , 0.5GB RAM
  • Storage 16GB, microSDHC
  • Battery 1400 mAh
  • OS Symbian Belle

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