The Nokia 808 PureView succeeds the Nokia N8 as Nokia’s best cameraphone. Its flagship feature is its 41-megapixel camera sensor and PureView imaging technology. It is also the latest phone to feature Nokia’s Nokia Belle operating system. The 808 PureView has a 4-inch AMOLED ClearBlack touchscreen, GPS mapping, and shoots video in full high definition at 30 frames-per-second. For storage there’s 16GB of memory and capacity to add a Micro SD memory card for up to 32GB of storage.
There’s only one place to start: that 41-megapixel monster of a sensor. Forget the megapixel arms race, Nokia has just won it with a sensor bigger than any smartphone before it, and bigger than most ‘normal’ cameras. However, the 41-megapixel sensor isn’t the most important thing here: it’s the PureView technology.
PureView ‘oversamples’ pictures to deliver shots that are bursting with detail, the sharpest, brightest colours, and no loss of detail or clarity when zoomed in on. At the best quality, shots show no sign of grain at all.
A welcome array of automatic modes, and shooting options lets you create effects on par with many digital SLR cameras. Pictures are consistently fantastic, made better by tweaking colour levels. No cameraphone beats the photo quality on show here. The 808 PureView's 4-inch AMOLED ClearBlack screen also does a great job of previewing your shots.
The added beauty of PureView is that the technology squeezes so much detail into shots that take less memory. An extra benefit of that is it makes sharing your snaps via picture message, email, or online to your social networks easier and quicker.
It’s a big shame that the operating system running the 808 PureView is already on the process of being outdated by the likes of Android and iOS Nokia soon won’t be investing in its own operating system either, so there might be a lack of updates in future. For a top of the range smartphone, it’s not exactly the quickest either, not when compared to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S3. Do you really want a device that’s already out of date?
A whopping £500 price tag is sure to put even the most die-hard Nokia fan off purchasing the 808 PureView. And you won’t be able to get it on contract either. The major networks aren’t selling it as part of their deals due to the outdated operating system. SIM-free is the only option. £500 price tag and all.
The bottom line
It’s the best cameraphone around for taking pictures. The best there has ever been, and may be for some time, but a prehistoric operating system makes the Nokia 808 PureView difficult to recommend. Especially not at £500.