When you thought smartphone players were content releasing devices with 8 and 12 megapixel cameras, Nokia pulled out a surprise off its hat by revealing 808 PureView with a 41 megapixel sensor. A 41megapixel phone does sound good on paper but is it worth it? We take a look.
Unlike Nokia N8, which the 808 PureView supersedes, the new phone adopts a slightly curvier design. Gone are the N8’s metallic body and non-removable battery but we now have a plastic chassis with a completely user-removable battery. Despite the plastic body, the phone does not feel or look cheap.
The phone weighs 169g, which is hefty by today’s smartphone standards but nevertheless, the phone feels good in the hands. The front side of the phone is graced by the huge 4-inch display with a camera for video calls on the top front and call, home and end buttons on the bottom front. The right side of the device features a dedicated camera key, phone lock slider and volume +/- buttons whereas the top side of the phone has a 3.5mm headphone port, microUSB slot and HDMI port for connecting it to a HDTV. The back features the all important protruding camera with Carl Zeiss lens and Xenon flash.
Nokia 808 PureView sports a 4-inch AMOLED display with nHD resolution (360×640). While we don’t have an issue with the phone’s display size, the resolution of the device is a bit downer. As with AMOLED display tech, the black levels were deep and offered good legibility under sunlight.
Nokia 808 PureView runs Symbian Belle FP1 and if you are wondering why Nokia chose a dead platform instead of Windows Phone, here’s a simple answer – Nokia was working on the PureView technology for the past five years before they adopted Windows Phone, which made Symbian the obvious choice.
However, Symbian Belle FP1 does improve the experience as compared to previous Symbian versions. Admittedly, not as intuitive as the iOS or Android but Nokia did add some nice touch to make the OS more user friendly. Most notable changes are the notification bar at the top with few menu toggles and up to six customizable home screens.
Nokia also bundles couple of photo and video centric apps. ColorizIt allows users to color out the subject and gray out the rest of the area with few simple taps. Silent Film Director allows to take videos and create simple styled videos.
Performance and Multimedia:
While we talk about dual-core and quad-core chips in smartphones, 808 PureView is equipped with a single-core 1.3GHz chip. Frankly, the processor is more than enough for Symbian as you won’t experience any lag while doing the usual chores.
Nokia 808 PureView supports Dolby, which goes without saying that it enhances the overall music listening or video viewing experience. The built-in music player features a Cover Flow-like UI that makes it easy and quick to surf through the entire collection. Another advantage for Indian 808 PureView owners is that the device supports Nokia Music Unlimited. For the uninitiated, Music Unlimited allows users to download DRM-free music from Nokia’s Music store for one full year.
The phone doesn’t disappoint on the video front as well. It supports variety of codecs and plays almost any video file, including DivX, Xvid, mkv etc.
This is the most important feature of the device and to cut the long story short – 808 PureView’s camera is amazing. You can activate the camera conventionally by opening the camera app from the phone or press the dedicated camera button. You can either choose to click pictures in Automatic mode that automatically adjusts the settings, Scene mode for clicking a macro image, landscape etc. or the Creative mode that allows you to unlock the potential of the camera.
Despite the 41 megapixel sensor, the maximum resolution image a user can take is 38 megapixel with 4:3 aspect ratio or 34 megapixel in case of 16:9. Another thing to note is that when selected to shoot in full resolution, a user won’t be able zoom in, which is understandable. The PureView mode on the other hand, captures images at up to 8 megapixel but uses oversampling.
|Nokia PureView Sample Shots|
On the video front, the 808 PureView can record in 360p, 720p or 1080p resolution. This is probably one of the few phones that feature zooming while recording video and allows up to 4X lossless zoom when recorded in 1080p, 6X for 720p and 12X for 360p. The video options also allow to keep the video light on during the recording and continuous autofocus.
Other Features and Battery Life:
808 PureView supports Nokia Maps and Drive service, which means users get offline walking and driving navigation for free. The phone also sports NFC (Near-Field Communication) and DLNA.
The phone features a 1400mAh battery life and given the considerable amount of pictures taken, music being played and couple of short videos viewed, it lasted around a day before finding its way to the charger.
808 PureView’s is a unique phone that banks on one aspect – camera. Sure, Symbian is on its way out but if camera is all you want from a device that can also make calls, post updates to social networks, OS is the least of your concern. But then again, it wouldn’t really hurt to wait till Sep 5 to see if Nokia delivers a Windows Phone with PureView technology.
Nokia 808 PureView currently retails for Rs 31,999.
Pros: Camera, Music Unlimited support, Nokia Maps
Cons: Low screen resolution, Symbian OS