Nokia 808 PureView evaluation: the way forward for cellular imaging, wrapped within the smartphone previous
The Nokia 808 PureView has a forty one-megapixel digital camera sensor. However you knew that. The crystallization of 5 years of imaging R&D has landed, and the timing could not have been higher for Nokia. Alongside uncomfortable monetary studying, its transfer to Home windows Telephone hasn’t precisely set the smartphone world alight simply but. It is seemingly established itself because the go-to WinPho selection for American clients because of some aggressive pricing, however with information that the subsequent iteration of Home windows Telephone will not come to the Lumia 900, many will maintain out for Nokia’s subsequent handset. No matter that system will probably be, it is more likely to convey the identical PureView know-how we have got right here on the Nokia 808 PureView — a Symbian-based mostly handset whose software program has seen higher days. Nevertheless, OS be damned, it nonetheless blew away attendees at this yr’s Cellular World Congress. Spectacular stuff, given that it is the similar present the place HTC’s admirable One collection debuted.
That big sensor is paired with a brand new 5-aspect Carl Zeiss lens and a refreshed flash with double the power of the one on the Nokia N8 — the prevailing cameraphone champ. However behind the technical bullet factors, it is how Nokia maximizes the forty one-megapixel sensor, oversampling with these pixels to create improved 5-, eight- , three- and a couple of-megapixel photographs, decreasing noise and enhancing low-mild efficiency. Nevertheless, in relation to software program, Symbian Belle (with Function Pack 1 in tow) lags behind the likes of Android, iOS and Home windows Telephone in consumer expertise and app provision. Equally, the chunky handset flies in the other way of the development for slender smartphones. Is that digital camera module actually all Nokia thinks (and hopes) it’s? What’s extra, is Symbian related sufficient for such future-dealing with goodness? Let’s discover out.
Nokia 808 PureView
- Greatest cameraphone ever
- Excellent video and audio recording
- Display simply viewable outside
- Low-res show
- App retailer lacks the vary and breadth of rivals
- Symbian Belle OS is temperamental and unintuitive
The PureView 808 is definitely one of the best cameraphone but. However should you’re obsessive about imaging high quality, be ready to compromise on efficiency and usefulness.
Whereas the 808 PureView forgoes the N8’s metallic casing, we will not consider a telephone that has a extra strong-feeling plastic shell than this. It feels so hardy that if we have been to by accident drop it, the pavement under us may come off worse. Fortuitously, the tough matte end has nice buy within the hand, and the identical coating runs throughout the sting of the telephone — exactly the place you will be grabbing the system whereas taking pictures. That substantial construct means the telephone’s profile tops out at 18mm thick, narrowing to a extra acceptable 14mm.
There are two causes the 808 PureView measures almost twice as thick as different current smartphones. First, that sensor wants the additional area, as does the Carl Zeiss lens. Secondly, given the digital camera-centric gravitas of the entire system, a curvier profile higher lends itself to images. Regardless of its prime-heavy look, the load distribution feels balanced, if barely biased in the direction of the lens finish.
All informed, it’s, certainly, as cumbersome because it seems to be, weighing in at 169g (six ounces) and making a great case for these plastic construct supplies. The again of the telephone wraps round to satisfy the Gorilla Glass-protected display, whereas a plastic strip cuts throughout the decrease half of the battery cowl. It gave us one thing to grip with our fingernails, however might have stood to be a bit of extra substantial. Eradicating stated battery cowl will provide you with entry to a swappable (however surprisingly small) 1,400mAh battery, in addition to micro-SIM and microSD slots. Fortuitously, there’s already 16GB of storage inbuilt, however you’ll be able to increase this to 32GB with a card.
Different connectivity choices embrace a micro-USB port for charging and knowledge switch, and a mini-HDMI socket behind a coated door on the telephone’s prime aspect. That uppermost edge homes each of those and the headphone socket, whereas the left aspect is left naked. On the correct, the quantity rocker and two-stage digital camera button match the chrome end on the digital camera unit, with a telephone lock change making a welcome return. The digital camera button is a core a part of this system, and we’re glad to report that it is satisfyingly tactile — even by means of Nokia’s official case, which cocoons the digital camera telephone in versatile plastic.
Throughout the underside of the display, the standard trio of Symbian buttons are on show: a inexperienced dialer button, central residence button and pink disconnect button. They’re all collected right into a single strip, which can look acquainted to anybody who’s seen previous Symbian hardware and even the Lumia 710. Above the display, you will discover the earpiece, mild sensor and entrance-dealing with digital camera. The telephone’s loudspeaker is on the bottom of the telephone, to the appropriate of the lens, which is flanked by the Xenon flash on the opposite aspect. The digital camera itself has a mechanical shutter, which you will discover whenever you begin taking these solipsistic forty one-megapixel self-portraits.Display
Nokia continues to make use of Gorilla Glass on its units, this time even coating the digital camera lens with the stuff — a clever determination. This safety extends throughout all 4 inches of the AMOLED display as nicely. Sadly, the decision hasn’t moved on from the N8, with the identical 640 x 360 pixel rely now stretched additional, which interprets to a creaky 184 ppi. It actually places the brakes on having fun with all these pin-sharp pictures and excessive-definition video, though the gallery’s responsive pinch-to-zoom interface does aspect-step this slightly. It might have been good to see these footage on double, if not quadruple the variety of pixels, and the display stays a curious juxtaposition with the excessive-finish digital camera.
Oddly, when you’re capable of modify brightness in settings, the sunshine sensor will proceed to regulate the output of the display — one thing we might want to be answerable for. At full brightness, the display appears to tackle a delicate bluish-purple tint. One nice shock is the display’s efficiency outside. The Lumia 900 provided a equally stand-out expertise, and once more, it appears a wise improvement for Nokia’s first PureView system — you will be eager to take pictures outdoors, and you will need to see them instantly. Nokia’s ClearBlack display gave us colours that have been predictably sensible and distinction was excellent, regardless of the dearth of pixels.Digital camera
Overlook the awkward industrial design. Ignore the irritating mess that’s Belle. Take one image with Nokia’s 808 PureView and all will probably be forgiven. We dare you. It is troublesome to relay precisely how completely superior this digital camera is and the way stupendously phenomenal the ensuing photographs are. This system immediately obliterates each different cameraphone, whereas concurrently giving most devoted level-and-shoots the proverbial finger. It is that good. So what is the particular sauce? How is that this potential? Welcome to the world of software program images, the place lenses and motors and hardware are changed with algorithms and code and wizardry.
As you’d anticipate, all of it begins with a pleasant sensor. There’s been lots of brouhaha concerning the forty one-megapixel digital camera aboard the 808 PureView, and rightfully so. Picture high quality is not concerning the variety of pixels as a lot as it’s about pixel measurement. On the one hand, forty one megapixels looks like overkill — then again, it is what makes the PureView know-how attainable. Contemplate this: at 1.four microns this sensor’s pixel measurement is equivalent to that of the iPhone 4S. Which means pixel for pixel, this shooter matches the competitors — it simply makes use of 5 occasions extra pixels per picture than an eight-megapixel digital camera. At 1/1.2 inches (10.eighty two x 7.52mm), the 808’s sensor is bodily large, bigger even than the 1/1.7-inch array in Canon’s S95 excessive-finish level-and-shoot. In fact, that is all meaningless and not using a correct lens. Right here, the 808 PureView delivers once more with an autofocus prime lens made by Carl Zeiss that options 5 aspherical glass parts (in a single group) and a mechanical shutter. The aperture is fastened at f/2.four however the lens features a selectable impartial density filter. In contrast to a lot of the competitors, the 808 incorporates each a xenon flash for stills and an LED mild for video (the latter additionally getting used to help with autofocus). A devoted two-stage shutter key rounds out the digital camera hardware — we anticipate any cameraphone value its salt to have one. This specific button is respectable, however the second detent feels somewhat mushier and more durable to press than we might like. A few of HTC’s handsets (just like the EVO 3D, myTouch 4G Slide and EVO 4G LTE) have keys providing higher tactile suggestions. Now let’s speak about Nokia’s PureView know-how. What is the massive deal, anyway? How does it work? Let’s start with that forty one-megapixel sensor. Capturing this many pixels allows a software program trick referred to as pixel oversampling. Since a ultimate eight- or 5-megapixel photograph often incorporates sufficient element for printing and is simpler to retailer and transmit, it is attainable to make use of these forty one megapixels to zoom in or stabilize the picture with out resorting to interpolation and dropping info. By combining many pixels to create a single larger-high quality pixel, oversampling additionally removes Bayer sample issues and reduces noise. Higher but, all this is applicable to video recording. The web result’s crisper stills and movies, with much less noise and extra element.
Nokia’s considerably revised and improved the digital camera interface on the 808 PureView — it is easier and much more intuitive than on the N8. The viewfinder is split into three areas: a vertical stripe on the left edge containing widespread setting just like the flash, EV, white stability and ISO; a vertical stripe on the suitable edge which incorporates the stills / video change, on-display shutter key and gallery button; lastly an automated / scenes / artistic toggle within the center prime. Tapping anyplace within the viewfinder allows contact-to-focus, tapping and holding lets you choose the autofocus mode. A finger swipe brings up a body that is sized by additional swiping — take away your finger and the 808 zooms easily to match the zoom degree proven within the body. Neat. Alternatively, the quantity rocker doubles as a normal zoom management.
So what do photographs taken with the 808 PureView appear to be? Beautiful, detailed, vibrant, and noise-free.
Automated mode takes care of the whole lot for you, whereas scenes mode offers a selection between numerous presets (like portrait, panorama, night time and macro) — each modes seize eight-megapixel photographs with a sixteen:9 facet ratio. Artistic mode is for images buffs and gives full management over each attainable adjustment, together with time lapse. Better of all, on this mode Nokia enables you to select between taking full-decision footage and snapping PureView photographs (eight, 5 or three megapixels) at commonplace or broad facet ratios. Full-decision pictures are literally 38 megapixels (7152 x 5368) at four:three and 34 megapixels (7728 x 4354) at sixteen:9. General, there is not a lot to complain about when it comes to digital camera interface — it is in all probability probably the most polished app on the handset. We might wish to see a setting to disable face detection (it is all the time on) and a repair for the gallery, which is caught in panorama when accessed from inside the shooter. There isn’t any panorama or bona fide HDR mode (the digital camera helps bracketing, however does not mix the outcomes).
So what do pictures taken with the 808 PureView appear to be? Beautiful, detailed, vibrant and noise-free. The candy spot seems to be eight-megapixel PureView photographs with little to no zoom — this offers the perfect circumstances for pixel oversampling to do its magic. When zooming in all the best way or when taking footage at full-decision (thus revealing the sensor’s unique pixels) we observed a bit much less element and a contact extra noise. Even then, the outcomes surpass that of succesful shooters, just like the One X, compared pixel for pixel, which speaks volumes concerning the high quality of the sensor and optics. In our checks, publicity was spot on and low-mild efficiency was spectacular — white stability, regardless of being often correct, was typically off when snapping photographs in synthetic mild (like underneath fluorescents).
Movies captured with the 808 PureView are simply as extremely superb because the stills. The digital camera data 1080p and 720p HD video at as much as 30fps with selectable steady autofocus and stereo audio. The ensuing movies clock in at a wholesome 20Mbps and profit from the identical pixel oversampling trickery (lossless zoom and picture stabilization) because the PureView photographs. Not solely is video efficiency completely excellent — simply beating the competitors — sound high quality is one other robust level because of Nokia’s Wealthy Recording know-how, which makes use of MEMS digital microphones and allows clear, distortion-free audio seize at ranges as much as one hundred forty-145dBs.
It is clear that Nokia’s 808 PureView represents a revolution when it comes to stills and video efficiency — not only for cameraphones, however for all the imaging business. This (together with Lytro’s mild subject know-how) is the daybreak of software program images, the place hardware nonetheless issues however is stored easy, compact, dependable and reasonably priced. We might be stunned if pixel oversampling does not make its means into level-and-shoots and ultimately even mirrorless and reflex interchangeable lens cameras — simply think about this know-how being mixed with a full-measurement sensor and extremely-quick prime lens. Within the extra speedy future it is doubtless that PureView will play an essential position in Nokia’s subsequent-era Home windows Telephone eight handsets. We will not wait.
Replace: This is a ZIP file containing Myriam’s unique 808 PureView photographs. As some have identified within the feedback, the image taken with the One X within the comparability shot above was unusually underneath-uncovered, however we discovered a second, similar, correctly uncovered photograph so we up to date the comparability shot.Software program
Anybody that involves the 808 PureView from a equally Symbian system will wave away lots of our complaints about Belle FP1, however that does not make them any much less legitimate. Symbian Belle feels previous. The notion that, on its launch, a truckload of latest widgets was a core function is laughably tragic. And although a drop-down menu, adjustable widgets and incremental function additions make this much less pronounced, all shouldn’t be properly. WiFi hotspot web sharing is now doable by means of the third-social gathering app, however this wasn’t straightforward. The freeware model of JoikuSpot comes pre-put in, however was unwilling to work with a number of of our SIM playing cards. Equally, putting in apps takes a number of occasions longer than we have grown used to on the likes of Home windows Telephone and Android. Like BlackBerry units, be ready to reset the telephone for some apps. We additionally needed to put aside round half an hour pottering round apps, whereas downloads languished and installations stalled and sometimes terminated.
Nokia Maps stands out, because the Espoo cartographers show they know precisely what we would like from mapping software program.
On the floor, navigation round house screens is usually responsive and slick, with a pleasant transitional animation between every display — these can all be custom-made with a selected photograph. The photograph widget is value noting, by the by, as you’ll be able to assign a plethora of pictures to cycle by means of. It’s going to refresh the pictures proven once you transition between screens. The app drawer can also be conscious of your swipes, with a brand new listing or icon view that bounces on the prime and backside of the respective views. You possibly can both type alphabetically, or customise in your heavy-use apps and drag them to the highest. Folders might be added to categorize apps, and it was one thing we did quickly after establishing our check gadget, as there are a number of settings choices taking over area that would in any other case be devoted to standalone apps. It is unimaginable to tug and drop gadgets into these, nevertheless, and you will have to laboriously “tag” every icon with the respective folder identify.
Throughout the app choice, Nokia Maps stands out but once more, because the Espoo cartographers show they know precisely what we would like from mapping software program. Even right here, there is a faint whiff of Symbian’s growing older standing, with minimal app integration to share your location. Nonetheless, you’ll examine in with a number of main social networks together with Fb, Foursquare and even Sina — though this courtesy extends to an announcement submit solely. One other good contact is the truth that location-tagged pictures will routinely populate the map wherever you took them. Nokia’s Public Transit app separates route planning for metropolitan hubs which have their practice and bus routes mapped out. There is a light-weight number of underwhelming pre-put in video games. Arguably the richest of the bunch, Asphalt 6, stutters throughout play regardless of the standard display decision. The variety of interesting titles in Nokia’s retailer means you will not be looking for a brand new recreation all that always — a criticism that may be leveled at its app retailer normally.
Whereas there are icons for each Fb and Twitter, these are merely built-in into Nokia’s Social app, with no native purposes for both. Additionally, they bear tedious interfaces in contrast with the Fb and Twitter apps you will discover on competing platforms. You will not have the ability to see photographs posted to those, and you will have to faucet by way of hyperlinks to have a look.
Nokia continues to roll out NFC features, with a handful of apps and options showing on the 808 PureView. These vary from helpful contact and knowledge-sharing between suitable units to the quaint NFC iteration Indignant Birds — though why Nokia could not afford to bundle the complete model of Indignant Birds Magic baffles us. There’s additionally a mild NFC tutorial to information you round what the gadget has to supply, though it is largely a hub of hyperlinks to net-based mostly content material.
Video help is surprisingly broad, with help for many codecs essential to play our numerous pattern movies. This is one other caveat, although: the place’s your Netflix or Lovefilm account going to reside?Keyboard
Whereas that is the perfect native keyboard Symbian’s received to supply, it makes the iPhone’s seem positively ahead-wanting as compared, to say nothing of Android’s nicely-rounded inventory providing and SwiftKey (an Engadget employees favourite). Whereas Swype is free to obtain, this is likely one of the least intuitive iterations we have utilized in a while — an odd mixture of the Swype we’re used to and a few poor touchscreen sensitivity and extra keys. Suffice to say, we quickly returned to inventory. The difficulty is partly because of the key association, a inflexible grid of letters and symbols, with not one of the off-middle spacing seen on rival cellular OSes and your PC keyboard. Regardless of Symbian Belle’s new additions, this keyboard stays previous and troublesome to steer. Conversely, choosing textual content to repeat and paste is straightforward to tug off, and we all the time appeared to spotlight precisely what we meant to.Browser
Giving some credit score to that 1.3GHz processor, the online browser on the 808 PureView is quicker and extra succesful than any Symbian system that got here earlier than it. Nonetheless, it trails the efficiency of different telephones which are half the worth. Web page scrolls are a stuttering affair, and crashes are a daily prevalence. Throw in a media-wealthy website and you will have signed the browser’s dying warrant. Design-clever, the handle bar now disappears as soon as a web page is loaded — crucial provided that display-measurement is at a premium at this decision — whereas the menu bar is decked out with 5 icons, together with a brand new fast-entry tabbed browser choice. Even the obscurity-sure Meego-powered Nokia N9 dealt with searching with extra aplomb. Might you think about a Meego PureView cameraphone? As we performed with the 808 PureView, we imagined this tech on virtually each different cellular OS — the disappointing consumer expertise of Symbian pervades every part you do with the telephone, detracting from all that digital camera magic. We might have been prepared to attend a couple of extra months if it meant tighter app integration, quicker transition between packages and a greater (even simply common) shopping expertise.Battery life and efficiency
With that optical cannon on the again and a comparatively meek AMOLED show — how does a modest 1,400mAh battery fare? Briefly, properly. Understandably, the digital camera element takes a good bit of energy to seize 34- and 38-megapixel photographs, not to mention oversample and churn out polished 5-megapixel masterpieces. In a day of capturing, we discovered the digital camera lasted via a day of social community utilization, map queries, intermittent net shopping and snapping over one hundred photographs at numerous resolutions. On our video rundown check, we enabled WiFi with out connecting to a community, and tried to repair brightness at 50 % (as talked about earlier, the sunshine sensor nonetheless interferes). The 808 PureView provided us eight hours and forty minutes of playback, which was a pleasing shock. Viewing, cropping and modifying photographs will naturally impinge on how a lot mileage you will get from a single cost. Nevertheless, Nokia’s trendy Common Charger (extra on that in a second) provides some aid, and there is additionally the choice of buying a spare juicepack. In contrast to Samsung’s current NFC-outfitted telephones, the Nokia 808 PureView retains its close to-area hardware on the casing, so you’ll swap the battery with out difficulty.
Symbian is prepared for retirement. It is had its run, and whereas there’s nonetheless loads of intelligent methods to reinforce what it could actually do, why undergo the effort?
We will cut up our feedback on efficiency in two right here. First, Symbian is prepared for retirement. It is had its run, and whereas there’s nonetheless loads of intelligent methods to reinforce what it could do, why undergo the effort? We hope we’re lower than a yr away from a Home windows Telephone eight gadget packing an analogous optical marvel, as a result of we quickly fell into frustration with Symbian Belle, with its typically tortuous menu navigation and temperament. The telephone mechanically shops photographs and put in apps on the mounted drive, which signifies that once we plugged within the telephone to switch photographs or just give the telephone a fast prime-up, many apps got here crashing down, disappearing outright because the telephone spiraled into panic.
On the digital camera aspect, nevertheless, it is a marvel. The digital camera app launches swiftly from the lock display, because of that single-core 1.3GHz processor, and seize follows a few second afterwards. You will discover the complete-decision stills will take a couple of seconds to retailer — comprehensible, provided that file sizes skirt round 12MB per shot. At oversampled (and decrease) resolutions, nevertheless, footage are faster, if maybe not even near the speeds seen on the One X or Galaxy S III’s burst modes. Navigating round your creations is definitely completed and the telephone is prepared to scroll round tons of of pictures with ease. They’re all fastened in date order, and though there’s a tagging system so as to add some kind of classification, it is such an extended-winded method of organizing that we quickly gave up. Apparently, there have been extra gallery choices on previous Nokia units, which makes it a curious oversight that there are actually no menu choices on its newest telephone. You will have to pick every undesirable photograph individually if you wish to delete. We discovered it simpler to fill the telephone up with photographs, hook up with a PC and delete in batches, however it stays one other niggle of the Belle OS.
Nokia nonetheless continues to ship on voice name high quality, with crisp calls augmented by an additional noise-cancelling mic. The Nokia 808 PureView is a world-pleasant slice of digital camera telephone, with pentaband 3G connectivity as much as 14.four Mbps down and 5.seventy six Mbps up — making a robust case to exchange each your smartphone and your level-and-shoot on that upcoming vacation.Equipment
The 808 PureView will not be alone when it hits shops. Alongside our assessment mannequin, Nokia delivered a smorgasbord of equipment to reinforce its new cameraphone, together with a tripod adapter, rubberized case, micro-HDMI cable reel and that new common moveable USB charger.
The tripod adapter is a spring-loaded bracket that is completely satisfied to grip onto the system whether or not it is within the case or not. This could then be hooked up to a (small-fixture) tripod, stabilizing the cameraphone once you’re in search of out the crispest photographs, or trying to take advantage of the complete-decision mode — these additional pixels are susceptible to blurring.
The exhausting cowl wraps across the again of the telephone, the edges and simply across the lip of the entrance aspect. Whereas it isn’t as pleasing to the contact because the telephone’s personal end, it is a comfortable match and the plastic casing provides a bit extra rigidity to the shutter key. The opposite ports are left open to entry, whereas the case features a tethered cowl for the lens element which satisfyingly clicks into place.
Surprisingly, maybe, it is Nokia’s common moveable charger that we’re most enamored with. Measuring 170mm size-clever, the pod could be charged by means of the micro-USB port at one finish. 4 LED lights point out precisely how a lot of the two,200mAh battery is full, whereas the USB port on the different finish can hook up with any system able to utilizing its 950mA output. It isn’t restricted to Nokia hardware and even smartphones, though the colour choice and polycarbonate design appear greatest fitted to Nokia’s personal Lumia vary. We like the thought of carrying this round in lieu of a spare battery, particularly with the moveable charger’s bigger capability.
Rounding out the accent choice is a three-meter HDMI cable that is admittedly much less visually fascinating, however does what it guarantees to and may be saved away in a versatile pouch.Wrap-up
The Nokia 808 PureView is the most effective cameraphone on the market, however you will should be prepared to forgo the simplicity, perform and luxury of competing smartphones should you intend to personal it. You additionally should be significantly imaging-obsessed to deal with this as your day by day driver. Whereas Nokia has made some effort to make picture sharing painless, these options are nonetheless restricted, with constrained choices and an OS that always collapses underneath the load of even average calls for. Normally, you may hear reviewers toss round clichés like “setting new benchmarks” and “peerless outcomes,” however on this case, all these platitudes ring true. The 808’s low-noise photographs, even in dim mild, and its lossless digital zoom options roar. Throw within the excellent video- and audio-recording efficiency and you’ve got a transparent cameraphone champion. The issue is, it is one which calls for a extra succesful and (future-dealing with) working system.
Myriam Joire and Zach Honig contributed to this evaluate.
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- Key specs
- <a href=”http://www.engadget.com/merchandise/nokia/808/pureview/” title=”Nokia 808 PureView critiques” goal=”_blank”> Critiques • 6 </a>
- Sort Smartphone
- Working system Symbian
- Display measurement four inches
- Inner reminiscence sixteen GB
- Digital camera forty one&#one hundred sixty;megapixels
- Dimensions four.88 x 2.37 x zero.fifty five in
- Weight 5.ninety six oz
- Launched 2012-06
<a href=”http://www.engadget.com/merchandise/symbian-basis/symbian3/”> Symbian Basis Symbian^three </a>