Call quality and battery life:

The Nokia 808 PureView provides adequate volume in the earpiece during conversation, with no audible distortions, hissing or echo. The dual mics also do a decent job relaying our voice to the other side clean enough, and weeding out the background noise while talking. Here we have to mention again the excellent loudspeaker, which makes it unlikely that you’ll miss a call.

Nokia quotes the 1400mAh battery for about 7 hours of talk time in 3G mode which is pretty average. Symbian, despite its true multitasking is a pretty frugal mobile OS, and Nokia uses a black background everywhere in the interface, so the AMOLED screen draws less juice.

The huge 41MP camera doesn’t seem to draw an excessive amount of energy while filming and processing shots, too, and we were able to do many shots after the low battery warning without the phone dying on us. Nokia says that moving parts in the camera module are reduced to the minimum, so overall the Nokia 808 PureView could last you a weekend with normal use, as most Symbian phones do, unless you are browsing for a long time, which you probably won't do to yourself considering the abilities of the default browser.

Conclusion:

We admit that we paid the bulk of our attention in the review to the camera on the Nokia 808 PureView, because we were mesmerized by what the 41MP module is capable of. As a phone the handset functions as good as it gets with Symbian, especially if you have some experience with this mobile OS, then your basics will be covered, otherwise the learning curve might be steep. To somewhat compensate for the comparatively clunky interface and apps, the 808 PureView carries the free offline navigation of Nokia Drive in most countries worldwide.

Frankly, we are in awe of what Nokia has produced with the camera in this phone. The achievement makes us optimistic about its future flagships, despite the major turnaround that is going on at the company now. Even in today’s breakneck smartphone industry, it’s been a long time since we saw true innovation - something that is leaps and bounds ahead of the competition, with no chance of being replicated in a few months by everybody, as was the case with dual-core processors or HD screens - the main hardware innovations in the last two years.

Granted, at the initial price Nokia is asking for the 808 PureView you can get any flagship out there, be it the Galaxy S III, iPhone 4S, Optimus 4X HD or the HTC One X. They are all svelte, with high-res displays, decent cameras, speedy processors and hundreds of thousands of quality apps behind their backs, but get quickly overshadowed as soon as the next best thing is around the corner with upgraded specs, design, and a clever software trick or two.

Enthusiasts that will purchase the 808 PureView, however, know that they can live without many less important things, but if they want the best photography a mobile device can deliver, that’s precisely what Nokia’s groundbreaking invention offers.

Here's to hoping that the example Nokia sets with the PureView smartphone camera technology will up the ante for the other manufacturers to push even harder in delivering better shooters in their future handsets, and that might easily be the best thing that the existence of the Nokia 808 PureView achieves. And here’s to hoping Nokia will popularize this amazing camera technology further by bringing it to a flagship Windows Phone 8 device, that might very well start a new smartphone era. For now, the Nokia 808 PureView is in a league of its own.

Software version: 112.020.0309

Nokia 808 PureView Video Review:

Pros

  • Groundbreaking PureView camera technology
  • Good sunlight visibility
  • Excellent Nokia Rich Recording audio
  • Free offline voice-guided navigation in most countries

Cons

  • Symbian lacks in apps, browsing and user-friendliness
  • Low screen pixel density
  • Chunky and hefty design

PhoneArena Rating:

8.5

User Rating:

9.1
16 Reviews

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179 Comments

1. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 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.

3. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

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

6. goesoer

Posts: 15; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

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

28. Extraneus

Posts: 121; Member since: Jun 02, 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?!? ;)

35. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 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.

93. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 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.

96. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

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

100. markamps

Posts: 4; Member since: May 04, 2012

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

126. agferrari

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 26, 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?

136. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 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

142. stylinred

Posts: 50; Member since: Mar 03, 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)

144. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 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!

147. stylinred

Posts: 50; Member since: Mar 03, 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!"

148. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

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

150. stylinred

Posts: 50; Member since: Mar 03, 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

154. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

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

149. Hlorri

Posts: 40; Member since: May 07, 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.

153. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 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.

171. nissin

Posts: 2; Member since: Jul 19, 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 :)

181. jsboy

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 09, 2012

then what kind of hacking DO you mean?

176. lamborghini666

Posts: 2; Member since: Aug 13, 2012

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

32. nak1017

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 08, 2010

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

45. -RVM-

Posts: 331; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Well, Belle FP1 is more powerful OS than WP8.

38. Roomaku

Posts: 278; Member since: Feb 06, 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".

43. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

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

64. Roomaku

Posts: 278; Member since: Feb 06, 2012

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

65. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

It is ok, it is your opinion. :)

132. markamps

Posts: 4; Member since: May 04, 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.

83. Stoli89

Posts: 333; Member since: Jun 28, 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.

146. dxbjan_2008

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

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