Nokia 808 PureView Review by CashSherpa.com

Nokia 808 PureView Review by CashSherpa.com

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This year at the Mobile World Congress, hundreds of new phones were introduced by almost every manufacturer in the world. They all tried to differentiate themselves in various ways, but perhaps the one phone that came out as the most talked about handset from the show floor was the Nokia 808 PureView and its impressive 41MPx camera. This is obviously an order of magnitude over the current camera phones, and even DSLR professional cameras. So now that the phone is available, should you rush to buy it? Is this the end of point and shoot cameras? Let’s investigate.

First, it’s important to see all the phone specifications, and not just the camera. The phone itself is a fairly standard size at 123.9 x 60.2 x 13.9 mm, and sports a 4″ AMOLED display. The screen itself uses somewhat standard glass, and provides a 640 x 360 pixel resolution. As far as connectivity goes, it supports GSM, EDGE and HSDPA, which basically means it’s a 3G phone, with no capability for LTE or other 4G technologies. It also supports WiFi and Bluetooth. It has a mini USB and HDMI connectors, and provides a standard phone jack. So far, those stats are pretty common from mid-range phones, but nothing ground breaking. When we look at the software however, things get worse. This phone runs a version of Symbian OS, so don’t expect Android or any kind of AppStore experience here. This is a major drawback, since most of the innovation occurs in the Android and iPhone worlds. Since Nokia is a Microsoft partner, one would think that they would at least put Windows Phone on it, but apparently this handset was designed before the alliance happened.

Of course, the big news here is the camera. It’s a full 41 megapixels camera lens with Carl Zeiss optics. However, this camera isn’t meant to take pictures at that resolution. In fact, the default image quality you get out of this handset is 5MPx. To understand why, we need to know a bit about how cameras work. Basically, to get a higher resolution, you need to increase the size of the die inside the camera. But in a phone, you can’t make it too big, or it won’t fit inside the device. So the breakthrough here is to keep the aperture very small and still get a high resolution. But because the lens is so small, if you took a picture at that resolution, it just wouldn’t look that great, because not enough light would get in. Said simply, it’s unlikely that a 41MPx image from this handset would look any better than a 8MPx picture from a good point and shoot.

So what’s the verdict? This phone is a very interesting piece of technology, and for certain very specific applications it could be useful, like if you really need extremely high resolution images for some reason, and needed to take them with your phone. But if you’re mostly worried about taking good every day pictures, an iPhone 4S or the latest Android handsets would do fine, and this device has too many negative features (small screen, Symbian OS) to be worth it.

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