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Key Features: 41MP camera sensor; 38MP effective resolution images; Symbian Operating system

Manufacturer: Nokia

Update: We've just taken delivery of our review sample of this phone and will be posting a full review in the next few days but we couldn't resist grabbing a few snaps and sharing them with you straight away.

Here they are in all their raw glory.

Nokia 808 PureView Camera Sample

Our standard cityscape view. The phone's slightly underexposed the buildings but overall dynamic range is excellent for a phone. And, zoom in and there's an insane amount of detail. Compare it to the Shot below, taken with an iPhone 4S.

Apple iPhone 4S Camera Sample Outdoor

Nokia 808 PureView Camera Sample

Using the PureView's zoom feature, this is the view you get. Again, click to see the fullsize image and the incredible amount of detail it reveals.

Nokia 808 PureView Camera Sample

Another example of the 'power' of the digital zoom. The picture above shows a zoomed in shot of some flowers while the shot further below shows the full wide angle.

Nokia 808 PureView Camera Sample

It likes there may be a bit of vignetting in this shot but we'll have to have a bit more of a play before passing judgement.

Bonkers. Utterly bonkers. This could just about fairly be an assessment of the Nokia 808 PureView and its 41MP camera. Nokia has literally put together a phone the sole purpose of which is to showcase this astonishing new camera technology. And although the handset is a somewhat underwhelming plasticky Symbian model. The camera tech is undeniably impressive. Moreover, it's likely to come to proper Lumia smartphones in the not-too-distant future.

We were shown the camera in action in the uncharacteristically bright conditions of the demo floor here at Mobile World Congress and despite the favourable conditions we were impressed. Taking a wide angle snap of the miniature street scene which appeared as though shot from a tenth floor window, it was possible to zoom in and make out individual blades of the (admittedly over sized pretend) grass. Shots taken of faces from a metre or two away allow for zooming in to view indiviual pimples or eyelashes.

Nokia 808 PureView 5

Nokia 808 PureView 1

Nokia 808 PureView 2

The interface also makes it easy to zoom into your subject, before shooting, giving effectively an optical zoom – you're still getting 8MP or 5MP when zoomed in.

Nokia 808 PureView 6

Helping to ensure the picture remains top quality is the size of the sensor, which is 1/1.2in – massive for a phone camera. This accounts for the large bulge that's needed to accommodate the camera, though the lens itself is fairly modest in size. It has an f-number of f/2.4 and focal length of 28mm, which actually makes it near-identical to most camera phones in those terms.

The technology behind the new sensor is derived from that employed in satellite photography, apparently, though we've yet to determine exactly what makes this so. Either way, Toshiba was the development partner for the piece of silicon that packs in 7,728 x 5,368 pixels, each of a mere 1.4microns across.

Nokia 808 PureView 3

Finishing off the impressive camera performance are the dual flashes – a Xenon for stills and an LED for video; video that can be shot at 1080p with up to a 4x digital zoom.

As to the phone, while we were a little dismissive of it in our opening gambit, it's actually a perfectly respectable device. It's reasonably smart, has a bright, colourful and responsive AMOLED touchscreen. And although Symbian isn't exactly the most sophisticated operating system going, recent improvements have at least made it easy to use.

Nokia 808 PureView 7

Still with a launch price of 450EUR, it's as much as some seriously powerful and impressive upcoming Android smartphones. As such it's probably a case of waiting for this technology to filter into Nokia's Lumia handsets before buying in.

User Score

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February 27, 2012, 10:15 pm

I love it. I know it's just pure number pushing from Nokia but the fact that someone is finally taking the ball and running with camera technology again makes it all that more exciting. Competitors will need to up their game so this is only good for consumers if 12 months down the line, other manufacturers bring similar tech to the table.


February 27, 2012, 11:10 pm

I'm so tempted to wait for this phone. If Nokia brings this camera into their Windows portfolio, I'll ditch my HTC android set and go for one of these instead.


February 28, 2012, 2:02 am

But the display resolution is an anaemic 640 x 360 while the Galaxy Nexus (and most of the high-end phones announced at MWC: HTC, Huawei, LG) are packing 1280 x 720. Don't much fancy browsing the web on that (or viewing photos, which is a sad irony). Not to mention the comparatively sad Symbian app scene. I'll wait till this tech appears on a better phone.


February 28, 2012, 3:06 pm

At first, I thought what's the point. 8 Mega-pixel is more than enough!!. But were I think this really comes in handy is with digital zooming, as space for an optical zoom is so limited in a smartphone. The question is, how good are these pixels when zoomed in, especially in low light. eg., if say using this phone at a party makes everybody look like they have dandruff when zoomed in, that would be a shame.


February 28, 2012, 3:49 pm

The images it produces are excelent. Check out the ones in this zip file:


February 28, 2012, 5:40 pm

Zoomed out, they do indeed look good.

A couple of comments, in no means expert ones. :)

1. Zoom in to a 1:1, and you notice loss of detail, eg, the man hanging on cliff zoomed @ 1:1 looks slightly out of focus.

2. No shadow detail, maybe some HDR magic might help here.

3. No example pictures in low light, all these were taken in ideal lighting.

4. Also zoomed in @1:1 you notice a lot of Noise.

So I'm not sure having so many Mega-Pixels & digital zoom is going to replace having an optical zoom here. I'm sure it's still the best smartphone camera though.


June 26, 2012, 4:59 pm

Bonkers detail, you can even see that naked women in those tower blocks, getting ready for work I assume. :)


July 3, 2012, 1:55 pm

41 MP, isn't it better than usual cameras?

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