If, as recently as a year or two ago, someone had told me that it would be possible to get a 41 megapixel camera in a mobile phone I would have laughed them out of the room, the county and possibly the country. However, that is exactly what Nokia have brought to the table with their latest offering, the Nokia 808 Pureview. A company renowned for both good and bad elements in mobile communications, Nokia don’t disappoint! The 808 Pureview really does showcase the very best that Nokia are capable of along with some extremely disappointing features.
The camera is the best thing about this phone by a mile. It is a 41 megapixel camera (no, that’s not a mistake, I do mean forty one!) that utilises special imaging technology and imaging software that you will not find on any other smartphone out there. With 5 times more pixels per image than a standard 8MP camera this really sets the bar incredibly high. With an autofocus prime lens by Zeiss and a mechanical shutter the picture clarity should be superb in the most difficult of lighting conditions. There are 2 flash components that are designed for different shooting modes – a xenon flash for still pictures and an LED light for shooting video footage. The bottom line is that the camera on the 808 will outperform most low-range cameras and will match and sometimes surpass mid-range cameras. There are 3 different shooting modes with the 808’s camera: Automatic, Scenes and Creative. Automatic, as you would expect, is a simple point and click experience. Scenes allows a little more control giving the user the choice of a variety of presets such as landscape, portrait, macro and night. Both of these options take a 5MP photograph in a 16:9 aspect ratio. In order to take a full 38MP there is Creative mode which allows users absolute control over every aspect of the camera.
It would be easy to take an instantly negative view about the operating system (Belle FP1) as it is very slow compared to Android or iOS. Other negatives are the time it takes to install apps as well as the fact that you can’t multi-task whilst they are installing, simply being left with a loading screen for the duration. The web browsing is pretty slow but can be remedied by downloading Opera. The weight of the phone has been talked about quite a lot – it is heavier than most comparable devices – but then if you are getting such a high quality camera then a bit of extra weight is to be expected and tolerated. Personally speaking I don’t mind a slightly heavier phone as the current trend towards lighter mobiles means I sometimes don’t even know it’s in my pocket!
It’s just a shame that there are still questions over the choice of OS as the other positives, such as Ovi Maps and the incredible battery life, are really good points in it’s favour. Is it a perfect phone? No. But it is a top quality piece of hardware. Will I be thinking about a phone trade in to get one for myself? Not just now, no, but if my digital camera ever lets me down I don’t think I’ll replace it, I will simply sell my mobile and my camera and get a Nokia 808 Pureview.