I got a Nokia Pureview 808 couple of days ago. Yes, the “camera” which plays music and videos, surfs the net and also makes phone calls
I have used iPhone 4, Android Phones (HTC Hero, Google Nexus, Galaxy Ace and Galaxy Note) and lots of other phones so I am in a pretty decent position to compare this phone with other phones.
Here are some things that I absolutely love in my Nokia Pureview 808 phone and I believe these features are worth the price that Nokia charges for this phone.
These features also sets this phone way ahead of any other phone in the market today.
Note: All the photos in this post were shot with my pureview. Click on the photo to visit the Flickr page where you can check out larger versions and also view exif info of each photo.
1. Camera with 41 Mega Pixel Sensor, Carl Zeiss Lens and Intelligent Xenon flash
Let us get this out of the way. Everybody who has heard about this phone knows it as a phone with a 41 Megapixel camera. And yes, everything that you have heard about this camera is absolutely true.
This photo looks equally good in full 38MPix resolution
Did you know that despite such outrageous amounts of pixels, even by DSLR standards, the size of each pixel in the sensor is almost the same size (1.4 micron) as that on iPhone or Samsung or similar phones in the market.
So you get photos that are of similar or better quality than other camera phones. The sensor is also larger than the sensors of serious compacts like Canon S100 or Canon G12 etc.
For this photo, the camera exposed for the sky and fired the intelligent flash to expose Madhulika properly.
It has a Carl Zeiss Lens that is rated at f2.6 max aperture and it has a Xenon Flash that intelligently adjusts intensity according to the scene that you plan to shoot.
This photo and this wonderful memory would not have been impossible if I did not have this phone with me.
And it has a dedicated core in its processor for photography so the camera can handle such huge photos both in the camera module and in the gallery module without breaking a sweat.
2. Quality of the photos captured by the camera
As all photography enthusiasts know, more megapixel does not mean better photos but in the case of Nokia Pureview… it does.
Pureview uses a technology called over-sampling. It takes a 38 Megapixel photo, removes bad pixels (noise etc) and uses the remaining pixels to create a 5/8 Megapixel photo that has the best data from across its entire sensor area.
The result, awesome pictures even in low light conditions such as inside a restaurant or drawing room in the evening.
Not only that, even if you click a photo at the full 38 Megapixel resolution, the quality is awesome. Thanks to the Carl Zeiss lens, the smallest details in the photo are very clear.
So I can click a photo first and then compose it in Lightroom by cropping a 12 Megapixel image from it without any loss in quality. It also allows me to zoom in on any specific area very closely. The closeups are mind-blowing.
This was a big photo, I cropped a portion of it in Lightroom. Even the heavily cropped photo is 12 Megapixel in size
3. Video Recording with lossless zoom
The Pureview over sampling of pixels is done even during video recording. This results in less grainy videos if you shoot in dim lights. And depending on the video resolution, you can use the lossless zoom to go closer to your subjects in the video without any loss in video quality.
When shooting in 360p mode, I can zoom to 12x size with no loss in quality… that is mind-blowing.
I think this is the only camera phone in the market right now that can do this.
4. Sound Recording with “Rich Recording”
Nokia uses a technology called “Rich Recording” to record audio both for Vidoes and also for audio recording. Like pureview, it cleans up the noise and allows you to record really loud noises very clearly in the sound and records crystal clear audio.
You have to check it out to understand what I mean.
5. Unlimited free music download
Since I am in India, I get the option to download unlimited numbers of songs from the Ovi Store at no extra cost. It means that I get all the latest movie songs without buying CDs. This is huge.
6. FM Transmitter
Nokia Pureview 808, like some other Nokia phones comes with a FM Transmitter built in the phone. It means that I can use the music system of my car or the hifi system at home to listen to the music that I play on my phone… wirelessly.
This is an awesome way to manage all the music in one location and use the high-fi music systems to listen to these music. The audio quality that is transmitted on the FM is also great.
Add this the fact that I can download unlimited music from the Ovi Store… this is amazing.
7. Alarm plays even when you switch off the phone
This is unbelievable. If I a set the alarm and switch off the phone, the alarm will switch on the phone and play the alarm.
Imagine, I can switch off the phone when I go to sleep (so I save battery) and the phone wakes itself up and then wakes me I don’t think either Android or iPhone can do that.
8. Turn by turn Map Navigation
This is a real value that Nokia gives for free. In India, Google Navigation is not available. All other navigation/GPS systems are commercial and charge a license fees. Nokia gives a turn by turn navigation GPS unit that is not only free, it is pretty accurate, works in smaller cities like Indore and Bhopal and it even gives spoken instructions in Hindi (and tons of other regional languages). How awesome is that.
9. USB Client
I can transfer photos, videos, music or any other file from my usb drive to my phone and vice-versa without having to use a computer. photo_pen_drive It becomes so easy to click a photo and give it to a friend on a pen-drive or copy the videos from my friend’s pen-drive to my phone.
I don’t know about the world… but in India, that is huge :)
10. It is a decent smartphone.
There are many things that I would like to have in my phone and I have them in my Nokia 808, such as
- Dolby Digital Sound Playback
- Ability to sync Google Contacts, Calendar and Mail
- All the apps that I use personally e.g.
- Ionic for reading ebooks
- Opera Mini for browsing
- Sports Tracker for outdoor fitness activities like Running, Cycling etc
- Pre-installed Microsoft Office for viewing/editing office files
- Pre-Installed Social app for Facebook and Twitter
- Great music player and audio quality etc
- Video player supports all the formats that I use e.g. DivX, Xvid, MKV along with the standard video formats that all phones support
- Perfect phone features like clear audio in phone calls, good battery life, good connectivity etc
- I can manage the contents of my file from any PC without having to use any software like iTunes etc
- Tethering of internet from phone to my laptop
And generally everything that I need from my phone. For everything else, I have an iPad, Laptop and a DSLR.
11. The most important feature: Now I always have an awesome camera+phone with me.
Sleek user interface, high res screens etc will continue to evolve and will improve with each generation of phones that are launched.
If you have an iPhone with retina display today, you will have something else with an even higher res display next year…
If you have ice-cream sandwich or IOS6 today, next year you will have something even more gorgeous and sexy on your phones.
But the photos that you take today will remain with you for your life and generations to come.
A common cliche is that the best camera is the one that you have with you. Now with Pureview 808, the best camera (both figuratively and literally) is always with me along with a great music/video player, a decent ebook reader, a decent web surfing device and a fantastic phone.
Having fun with my son
Because of it, my wife could click photos of me having fun with my son,
I could click the photo of my son playing with a puppy when we were walking to his bus stop on the first day of his school,
and the photo of my wife waiting for my son’s school bus and so many trivial things in life that are such great memories.
I think I will hang on to this phone for a very long time.
PS: Like all devices and everything else in life, this is also not perfect. And the problems that various technical reviewers mention are obvious features (not bugs) of the OS and hardware used in the phone.
I have some other general things that I wish were fixed or did not exist in this phone but that calls for another post