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Nokia 808 PureView vs Apple iPhone 4S

Posted: , by Daniel P.


Call quality and battery:

Nokia 808 PureView vs Apple iPhone 4S
Both the Nokia 808 PureView and the iPhone 4S exhibit above average sound quality in their ear pieces, with loud and discernible voices coming in. The dual mics on both make for good noise-canceling efforts, weeding out the background noises when we spoke.

The iPhone 4S has a sealed battery compartment, yet the marriage of hardware and software made by one company gives it one of the longest battery lives of all smartphones, but those with supersized battery packs like the DROID RAZR MAXX.

Apple's handset is quoted for 8 hours of talk time in 3G mode, while the Nokia 808 PureView manages the below average 6:50 hours with its 1400mAh battery. Since Nokia Belle FP1 is quite the frugal mobile OS, and the screen pixel density is so low, Nokia's handset performs pretty well in the battery life department, too, and with normal usage it seems to be on par with the iPhone 4S.


We are arriving back to our introductory question now, and it was whether some might swap or go directly for the Nokia 808 PureView before the iPhone 4S. Given that the price is about the same, the answer would be yes only if you are a shutterbug, or just very curious to try the outstanding PureView sensor.

The arguments are that Nokia Belle is leaps ahead of what Symbian used to be, supporting multiple homescreens, widgets and a notification bar, but is still no match for the fluidity of iOS, not to mention the power of many thousands of quality apps that the Nokia Store doesn't have much to show for. The Nokia 808 PureView has the advantage of its free offline voice-guided navigation Nokia Drive, though, which saves you a few tens that you'll need to buy a good standalone navigation app on iOS.

A big hindrance is also the lousy screen resolution that those Nokia apps are written for, and which makes both the interface and even the best apps look quite outdated in comparison with what's out there for the Retina Display of the iPhone 4S. The design of the Nokia 808 PureView also looks pretty outdated next to the exclusive iPhone 4S chassis. Still, it feels like a solid function-before-form device, and is more versatile in terms of connectivity and expandability, offering a removable battery and a microSD slot.

What might make you fall in love with the Nokia 808 PureView and forget about all of its disadvantages in comparison with a modern mobile OS smartphone like the iPhone 4S, however, is that groundbreaking PureView camera technology. While it might not make you switch your Apple handset, especially if you are design-conscious and deep into the iTunes ecosystem, it might certainly make you consider it a choice when you go on vacation or on your next night out, that's how good the 41MP PureView sensor is.


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posted on 02 Jul 2012, 08:23 19

1. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)

A nice balanced and concise comparison. Thank you!

I'd have the 808. No amount of OS gimmickry would take me away from the functionality and capability of the 808. Yes, it lags, and there aren't as many apps for it, but it exceeds my needs, and until the next Symbians arrive (if ever) or PureView makes its way to Windows Phone, this is my most coveted device

posted on 08 Jul 2012, 13:30 1

34. WWEraw (Posts: 3; Member since: 30 Jun 2012)

next symbian OS will be the Belle FP2
maybe carla and donna

posted on 14 Jul 2012, 15:55

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

Carla = Belle FP1
Donna = Belle FP2

posted on 02 Jul 2012, 08:24 14

2. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)

this is okay, but seriously? the iPhone again? why not with the n8?

don't blame them if they go calling you iPhoneArena again.

anyway, i believe that Symbian still packs a punch against iOS 6. lol. and I like the Pureview's design better, though thick.

posted on 02 Jul 2012, 08:39 13

4. OptimusOne (Posts: 694; Member since: 22 May 2012)

symbian is awesome, except for the apps and the browser

posted on 14 Jul 2012, 15:57 1

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

...The apps are limited, though the Nokia Store has around 70K to date. Outside of Kindle, most every other popular app has a presence in Symbian...or there's a suitable 3rd party proxy.

As for the browser, it is not competitive. However, the free Opera Mobile or Opera Mini browsers are, in fact, fully competitive.

posted on 14 Nov 2012, 00:52

52. tylerdurdon4 (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Nov 2012)

not to forget UCbrowser, still one of the best browser for symbian and ultra stable.

posted on 02 Jul 2012, 18:25 4

17. sithman (banned) (Posts: 299; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)

Phone arenas job is to compare the top devices against each other. If I'm not mistaking based on sales, reviews, performance, and rankings from both the consumers, and experts the 4S is still one of the top 3 phones on the market.

posted on 03 Jul 2012, 01:32 3

22. bayusuputra (Posts: 963; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)

by popularity..

posted on 12 Jul 2012, 17:06 3

38. Jaris (Posts: 3; Member since: 12 Jul 2012)

I own both phones and lately have used mainly the pureview 808 as I use camera a lot and one of the reasons for buying 808 was that I just could not get good enough images in low light conditions and inside with the iphone. Pureview technology in 808 is just amazing. No other phone comes even close (I have had also N8). Symbian is also great as doesn't eat battery like the other OS systems.

The only area where iphone and galaxy perform somewhat better is web browsing, but overall Nokia 808 is pretty good overall package and the camera is just fantastic.

posted on 02 Jul 2012, 08:38 18

3. OptimusOne (Posts: 694; Member since: 22 May 2012)

Thank you for not making the iphones camera sound better than the pureview camera!

posted on 02 Jul 2012, 15:39 2

14. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4320; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)

Wouldn't that defeat the purpose of having a 41megs of Pureveiw tech on 808??? ...if it comes to the conclusion that "iCamera" is better??

posted on 05 Jul 2012, 08:34

32. Raymond_htc (Posts: 430; Member since: 06 Apr 2012)

NO... he meant that he's scared that Phonearena would be biased again!

posted on 09 Jul 2012, 07:05 1

35. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4320; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)

I know.... meant that with sarcasm!! LOL!!

posted on 02 Jul 2012, 08:51 5

5. imran_khan0786 (Posts: 61; Member since: 21 Jun 2012)

Thank nokia

posted on 02 Jul 2012, 09:50 3

6. PhansMuneeb (Posts: 371; Member since: 28 Jan 2012)

Best Comparision on Phone arena, Thanks Daniel

posted on 02 Jul 2012, 10:27 4

7. arturmeireles (Posts: 20; Member since: 02 Jul 2012)

I have both phones and its hard to choose one.
I love both phones in different ways.
I take them both with me all the time.
All I can say is that the Nokia 808 exceed my expectations.

posted on 02 Jul 2012, 11:34 8

8. sbr999 (Posts: 79; Member since: 05 Jun 2012)

This single core, 512mb RAM Symbian smartphone is faster than a quad core Android... or just as fast, or uhm, almost iPhone 4s smooth. I'm simply amazed by Symbian's memory management. Too bad developers don't create cool and/or useful apps for it.

posted on 02 Jul 2012, 12:20 7

9. picka_vi_materina (Posts: 174; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)

If you think that PowerVR is much more powerful than the Broadcom 2763 ticking inside the 808, think again. 808's lack on the CPU front is offloaded by its software optimizations and extremely powerful GPU.

posted on 02 Jul 2012, 13:05 8

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

Fair article, but...

Your take on the design of the two devices...!!!

Design is a subjective matter...

You love the glass and metal of the iPhone? Fine. I love the exquisite slight curve of the Nokia N9, Lumia 800 and now 808, and find the flat (fragile non-gorilla glass, by the way!) screen of the iPhone unimpressive. The rough plastic you so despise do wonders to the tactile sense and reduces the chance of you actually dropping the device! In terms of comfort, the smooth edges of the 808 certainly beat the crap out of the sharp edges of the iPhone. Physical navigation keys is actually a plus in many peoples' books, perhaps not from a design point of view, but as a practical measure... At the very least, one can argue that it sets the phone apart from all the screen-only clones on the market.

As I said, design is subjective, and I'm not bashing your opinion about the iPhone being leaps ahead on this point; I'm merely pointing out that a statement like:

"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"

...is ridiculously presumptive!

posted on 02 Jul 2012, 14:29 4

11. bbblader (Posts: 590; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)

I like the symbian belle interface more than the iphone's
on iphone its apps that beat the 808
the 808 I think that has better grip because of the curved edges unlike the iphone's sharp ones
the UI i think is betten on the 808 because the only menu type UI i've liked is the N9's
the iphone one isn't what I want atleast
the browsing is better than symbian's at one point of view but the flash lite on symbian makes me think that the symbian browser is the better one even though the pixel density is less on symbian
here I like the fact that the apps count is worth meaning something
yes even the 60k apps on nokia store are too much when I only used 25 since I have the c6-01
and 30 on the SGS
so I don't care about how many million apps there are
and last but not least most wp7 symbian and android fans will agree with me when I say that the symbian 808 PW is better than iphone 4s

posted on 14 Jul 2012, 16:00

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

I wonder if Steve Jobs is writing checks to Phonearena from his grave.

posted on 02 Jul 2012, 15:20 1

12. Andrewtst (Posts: 678; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)

Great and fair review.

This is what in my mine as well.

Nokia 808PV is only great in Camera. That it.

Old and ugly design, outdated OS, bad OS.

Crap screen resolution.

posted on 02 Jul 2012, 16:05 5

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

And also in customizability of OS, landscape UI support, connectivity options, openness, multimedia, free offline navigation etc.

posted on 03 Jul 2012, 01:25 4

20. bbblader (Posts: 590; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)

lol if symbian is an outdated os idk what ios 6 is
having just now got the ''new'' remind me later button
even if symbian doesn't support flash
it still supports flash lite 4.0
your god iphone doesnt even support that
+ that iSight camera you have needs glasses compared to the 808
and one more thing tell me how can I download a song on an iphone when its not jailbroken? pay for it? yeah right

posted on 03 Jul 2012, 01:39 3

23. bayusuputra (Posts: 963; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)

really? the only downside of the 808PV is the number of apps available and the not-so-great screen..

can the iPhone support 41MP camera with single core? No..
does the iPhone have options other than zoom/HDR/flash toggles in its camera? No..

Symbian is one of the most stable and capable OS (if not the most) out there.. Yes, even compared to Android, it is more capable.. forget about iOS..

It's just that not many developers develop apps for it anymore..

The iPhone wins in the eye candy category hands down.. but PureView is another league of its own.. THE cameraphone..

posted on 02 Jul 2012, 15:34 3

13. 234Real (Posts: 1; Member since: 02 Jul 2012)

This comparison is so bias and dosen't worth it. Make comparison objectively without making statement like "Since Nokia Belle FP1 is quite the frugal mobile OS, and the screen pixel density is so low, Nokia's handset performs pretty well in the battery life department, too". Why not say a high pixel density is a battery guzzler. Gsmarena does the balancing better.

posted on 02 Jul 2012, 15:50 3

15. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4320; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)

Imagine iPhone with the pureview bump!! That would be ugly!!!
The curves does add to the charm to the 808!!
As i look back, Nokia has always been about curves! :)

posted on 02 Jul 2012, 20:17 1

18. lil2070 (Posts: 14; Member since: 11 Feb 2012)

This is true innovation

posted on 02 Jul 2012, 22:32 1

19. LodeStar (Posts: 28; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)

no this isn't innovation! apple is the only one who creates innovation that everyones love :) over 200+ new innovation on every os update. i love it..

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