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Nokia 808 PureView Review

Nokia 808 PureView

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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.

Nokia 808 PureView Review
Nokia 808 PureView Review
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.

Function is before form with the design of the Nokia 808 PureView - Nokia 808 PureView Review
Function is before form with the design of the Nokia 808 PureView - Nokia 808 PureView Review
Function is before form with the design of the Nokia 808 PureView - Nokia 808 PureView Review

Function is before form with the design of the Nokia 808 PureView


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.

The front side - Nokia 808 PureView Review
The front side - Nokia 808 PureView Review
The front side - Nokia 808 PureView Review

The front side


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.

The monstrous 41MP PureView camera - Nokia 808 PureView Review
The Xenon flash and the LED light - Nokia 808 PureView Review
Nokia 808 PureView Review

The monstrous 41MP PureView camera

The Xenon flash and the LED light

 


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.

Left side - Nokia 808 PureView Review
Volume rocker, lock/unlock and camera buttons - Nokia 808 PureView Review
The HDMI, microUSB and 3.5mm ports - Nokia 808 PureView Review

Left side

Volume rocker, lock/unlock and camera buttons

The HDMI, microUSB and 3.5mm ports



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.

The 4” AMOLED screen on the Nokia 808 PureView - Nokia 808 PureView Review
The 4” AMOLED screen on the Nokia 808 PureView - Nokia 808 PureView Review

The 4” AMOLED screen on the Nokia 808 PureView




Nokia 808 PureView 360-Degrees View:

179 Comments
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posted on 25 Jun 2012, 10:01 17

1. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


The problem of Nokia 808 PureView is that there is no 'balance' between a phone and camera. Good camera and not so good phone - no balance.

posted on 25 Jun 2012, 10:15 24

3. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Anyway, nice to see innovations in mobile handsets. :)

posted on 25 Jun 2012, 10:22 14

6. goesoer (Posts: 15; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


yeah, Nokia is always made innovations,, do you remember the camcorder-like-mobile phone?? it recorded briliant video on that time

posted on 25 Jun 2012, 12:14 14

28. Extraneus (Posts: 121; Member since: 02 Jun 2012)


Stupendous camera, good phone, not so good gaming machine, you mean?
If you need to make calls, send text messages, listen to music and take great photos, this phone will do it better than any other - the only place it falls short is on the app-front, but... Don't you own a tablet?!? ;)

posted on 25 Jun 2012, 13:15 6

35. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


If your needs are only to make a calls, send text messages, listen to music and take great photos, then I agree with you. But in many, many cases Symbian Belle isn't so 'flexible' OS and it is not about the gaming.

posted on 26 Jun 2012, 04:33 5

93. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


But that's the definition of a phone. For calling and SMS, you should've said that 808 is a good camera, good phone (nokia handsets are one of the bests in terms of phone quality), and not so smart.

posted on 26 Jun 2012, 05:05 4

96. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


"...(nokia handsets are one of the bests in terms of phone quality), and not so smart."

Agree.

posted on 26 Jun 2012, 06:08 2

100. markamps (Posts: 4; Member since: 04 May 2012)


"not so smart". So 808 is just a dumb phone with excellent camera?

posted on 26 Jun 2012, 22:33 5

126. agferrari (Posts: 2; Member since: 26 Jun 2012)


Hey, can you tell me what is the thing that Android can doe but Symbian Belle can't do.
Have do you use Belle?

posted on 27 Jun 2012, 06:49

136. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Symbian isn't so 'flexible' like Android. For example hacking, go to www.hackaday.com, how much hacks for Symbian do you see? Zero!
Have you heard about Google ADK and Arduino?
http://developer.android.com/guide/topics/connectivity/usb/adk.html

Or can you show me for example such thing like a Symbian PC System, I guess you can't. But here is such thing like Android PC System and only for $49:http://apc.io

posted on 28 Jun 2012, 06:05

142. stylinred (Posts: 50; Member since: 03 Mar 2012)


have you visited dailymobile ever? no hacks? wtf granted most of the old guys moved on to different os' but the community is still thriving

as for pc system, thats why Nokia made Maemo a linux based os like android but its been around longer and Android likes to copy from it (like the drop down notification bar)

posted on 28 Jun 2012, 11:55

144. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


"have you visited dailymobile ever? no hacks? wtf granted most of the old guys moved on to different os' but the community is still thriving"

So where is Symbian + Hardware hacks???
Do you even understand about what I'm talking about?

"as for pc system, thats why Nokia made Maemo a linux based os like android but its been around longer and Android likes to copy from it (like the drop down notification bar)"

Don't go off-topic! We are talking about Symbian, not about Maemo!

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 06:06

147. stylinred (Posts: 50; Member since: 03 Mar 2012)


im reminded of Jackie Chan asking Chris Tucker "do you understand the words coming out of my mouth?"

and Chris Tucker replies "don't nobody understand the words coming out of your mouth man!"

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 12:54

148. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Seems that you are out of arguments. Next time get some knowledge before talking and don't go off-topic.

posted on 30 Jun 2012, 06:31 3

150. stylinred (Posts: 50; Member since: 03 Mar 2012)


no... just seems like i made a point and you replied with "oh but you dont know what im talking about"

that clearly shows that either
a) you're incapable of getting your point across
or
b) you've got no argument and are just doing the back n forth babbling that we're currently involved in

posted on 30 Jun 2012, 07:19 1

154. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Have you visited links that I have posted because your talking not about the same things.

posted on 30 Jun 2012, 01:40 1

149. Hlorri (Posts: 40; Member since: 07 May 2008)


What kind of idiotic criteria are these?

Symbian can certainly be hacked. I, for one, am running my own custom firmware on my N8, an plan to do the same with the 808. Little tweaks like allowing the file manager to access "protected" files and folders, or allow it to install unsigned applications.

But again, why is this even considered? Fewer people hack Symbian, because it is more flexible out of the box than Android or iOS. (Consider, for example, all the various connectivity options for sending/receiving files via Bluetooth, USB, WebDAV, Nokia "Big Screen" for a nice interface to your HDMI enabled TV, built-in support for bluetooth mouse and keyboard, etc). In itself, Nokia phones could be used as "ultra-portable" computers ever since the N95.

Instead, as far as I see it, there are three areas where Symbian have fallen behind by now:
- Applications (not many developers want to develope for an OS whose main backer has declared it dead)
- Support for multi-core processors (only supports one).
- Screen resolution (limited to WVGA, 640x360).

Other than that, it is still the most powerful and flexible mobile OS on the planet.

posted on 30 Jun 2012, 07:16

153. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


"Symbian can certainly be hacked. I, for one, am running my own custom firmware on my N8, an plan to do the same with the 808. Little tweaks like allowing the file manager to access "protected" files and folders, or allow it to install unsigned applications."

I'm talking not about such kind of hacking...

"What kind of idiotic criteria are these?"

If you don't understand about what I'm talking about, don't say it is idiotic.

posted on 19 Jul 2012, 13:09

171. nissin (Posts: 2; Member since: 19 Jul 2012)


Thing is, most people don't use arduinos!
I know it's a disadvantage for those that do, but it sadly wouldn't be a part of the market the phone is aimed at.
If the OS grows further because of this phone and the microsoft link, we might just see such an addition. I for one wouldn't hold my breath and would continue to use wifi to control my arduino bots :)

posted on 09 Sep 2012, 12:59

181. jsboy (Posts: 1; Member since: 09 Sep 2012)


then what kind of hacking DO you mean?

posted on 13 Aug 2012, 03:45

176. lamborghini666 (Posts: 2; Member since: 13 Aug 2012)


crappy :(:(:(:(:P:P

posted on 25 Jun 2012, 12:48 9

32. nak1017 (Posts: 328; Member since: 08 Jan 2010)


If they build this camera into a win8 phone, I think you'd have a pretty decent combo

posted on 25 Jun 2012, 15:14 9

45. -RVM- (Posts: 331; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


Well, Belle FP1 is more powerful OS than WP8.

posted on 25 Jun 2012, 13:32 8

38. Roomaku (Posts: 278; Member since: 06 Feb 2012)


Its so ridiculous how people want the best of everything. I mean it makes phone calls, texts, and you can check the web and it has free offline maps. Seriously it has all that yet because the OS is not as intuitive as Android/iOS/WP7 it's considered bad? Come on people it does the basics and then some, and it has the best camera on a phone available today, so it's time to give it a break on the phone part or rethink what you really need on a "phone".

posted on 25 Jun 2012, 14:59 5

43. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


If your needs are only to make a calls and send text messages, then you need a phone not smartphone. :)

posted on 25 Jun 2012, 17:31 3

64. Roomaku (Posts: 278; Member since: 06 Feb 2012)


Yeah agreed. I just think it makes an okay phone too.

posted on 25 Jun 2012, 21:11

65. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


It is ok, it is your opinion. :)

posted on 27 Jun 2012, 05:41 1

132. markamps (Posts: 4; Member since: 04 May 2012)


Agree.

And people must not only know the difference between a smartphone and an ordinary phone, but also the difference between the standards of today's smartphone and the smartphone of prehistoric age.

posted on 26 Jun 2012, 02:42 3

83. Stoli89 (Posts: 333; Member since: 28 Jun 2010)


Actually, Belle with FP1 is very similar to Android, IMO. The problem is that it lacks certain apps, such as Kindle. In terms of hardware features, the phone is packed with goodies. Of course, it using older CPU tech, but this doesn't matter because Belle needs less resoruces to operate than Android. Bottom line, it's a very capable phone...but is limited by an app ecosystem hovering around 70,000 apps. The browser is OK, but still not up to Opera level. In any event, you can download Opera too.

posted on 29 Jun 2012, 03:48

146. dxbjan_2008 (Posts: 1; Member since: 29 Jun 2012)


Correct..!! Good points..!! :)

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PhoneArena rating:
8.5Excellent
Display4.0 inches, 360 x 640 pixels (184 ppi) AMOLED
Camera41 megapixels
Hardware
Single core, 1300 MHz, ARM11 processor
0.5 GB RAM
Size4.88 x 2.37 x 0.55 inches
(123.9 x 60.2 x 13.9 mm)
5.96 oz  (169 g)
Battery1400 mAh, 11 hours talk time

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