Nokia 808 PureView vs Apple iPhone 4S

Introduction and Design

If you have been itching for a smartphone camera breakthrough in your life time, the Nokia 808 PureView is the one the fits the bill. Unfortunately the PureView camera technology has been years in the making, and developed with the idea that the handset will be running Symbian, so all the camera interface and APIs are tied up to the aging OS the handset is running – Nokia Belle.

Still, is it worth to consider the Nokia 808 PureView if you are rocking, or intend to get Apple's finest – the iPhone 4S – with its steel and glass design and more than half a million apps army behinds its back? Read on our quick comparison to find out...


You'd have to be a total function-before-form kind of guy to call the Nokia 808 PureView design good compared with the svelte iPhone 4S made of premium materials like glass and steel. The 808 PureView looks like Quasimodo in comparison, and we are not only talking about the hump on the back here, but also the front with its physical navigational keys bar, and the rough plastic used for the chassis, which make it look like a Symbian phone from a few years ago.

Granted, the chubby 14mm device with a big 41MP PureView camera sensor hump feels very solid in the hand, and the heft is not nearly as we would expect from one with such a monster camera. It is also pretty easy to use with one hand, not only because of the 4” screen, whose size is good for one-handed usage, but also because the hump on the back makes it easier to hold.

The iPhone 4S feels more “edgy”, but solid as well, and is even easier to operate with one-hand, thanks to the smaller display. On the other hand, you get all the ports and slots you may wish for, like microUSB, HDMI-out and microSD with the 808 PureView, and there is a removable battery inside, whereas with the iPhone 4S you only get a proprietary dock connector. Both handsets utilize micro-SIM cards, though.


The AMOLED screen of the Nokia 808 PureView is with a very low pixel density compared to the Retina Display on the iPhone 4S, due to the 360x640 resolution splashed over a 4” display. It makes reading and browsing pretty unpleasant experiences in comparison with the 640x960 pixels on the 3.5” screen of Apple's best.

What the AMOLED screen has going for it is the stellar antireflective coating that comes with Nokia's ClearBlack layer, making for the brightest AMOLED screen we've seen to date, helping tremendously for good visibility when shooting outside under direct sunlight. The iPhone 4S also has a very bright 500 nits screen, and, since it is IPS-LCD, viewing angles are very wide, just like on the 808 PureView.

The other difference between the two, besides the pixel density, is the color representation – the Nokia 808 PureView AMOLED display exhibits the typical for the technology oversaturated, to the point of gaudy here colors, while the Retina Display covers a more narrow gamut, making its colors appear natural in comparison.

Nokia 808 PureView 360-Degrees View:

Apple iPhone 4S 360-Degrees View:

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