Impressions of the Nokia 808 Pureview
In late August I bought a Nokia 808. After using it for three months and printing some photos taken with it, I now feel ready to share my assessment of this groundbreaking camera phone. Rather than writing a comprehensive review, I just want to share a few things that have surprised me about the phone, and, as someone who takes and processes photos almost every day, comment on the performance of the phone’s most distinctive feature, its 41-megapixel, 1/1.2-inch-sensor camera. I’ll also show a few photos taken with the phone.
My objective is to share my impression of the phone with people who are considering buying one. Overall, my impression is very favorable.
The 808’s specifications and a detailed description of its features can be found in DPreview.com’s review. DPreview gave the 808 a Gold Award.
The photos that I printed this week were impressive: comparable in quality to photos taken with my Lumix LX3. For my work I now use a Lumix G1. I would say that the 808’s photos are not as good as those taken with the G1, particularly in terms of clipping highlights and in terms of precision focusing. The 808 lacks the G1’s ability to reduce the focus frame.
My only disappointment with the phone is that internet signal reception is poorer than that of my previous phone, a Nokia E6, so checking my e-mail is often a frustrating experience.
Perhaps my biggest surprise is the phone’s remarkable battery life. I hesitated to upgrade from the Nokia E6 because, with judicious power management, the E6 went for up to four days without needing to be charged. I dreaded the prospect of having a phone that must be charged daily. I’m delighted that the 808 goes for three days between charges.
Another delight has been shooting HD video with the phone and then playing the clips on my TV by connecting the phone to the TV with an HDMI cable. Full HD video shot with the phone looks great.
The phone’s camera lets users adjust many settings, and the lossless zoom (silent in videos!) works very well.
The phone’s major advantage over other camera phones is its ability to capture quite decent images in low light, partly because of its large sensor but also because of its powerful Xenon flash.
Here is a photo that I shot of three friends last night.
Here’s a photo of cows at the farm on which I live.
This is a photo of plastic bottle labels dumped beside a truck terminal in Pondicherry, one of my favorite (photo) shooting grounds. I imagine they’ve been discarded by a plastic bottle recycler.
And here’s a 100% crop of the area denoted by the red rectangle in the above image.
Here’s a macro of the labels.
Finally, here are images of cows foraging in the rubbish dumped beside the truck terminal. Almost all Indian livestock that graze on such mixed municipal solid waste have some plastic in their digestive tracts, and cows have been found to accumulate up to 50 kilograms of plastic in their rumens, sometimes killing the animals.
Several others have posted their assessments of Nokia’s 808 in WordPress blogs. Like many of them, I conclude that the 808 is a very capable camera and, by the way, a decent phone.