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Smartphones Reviews
15,670 Reviews

Nokia 808 PureView review

Around £500 inc VAT SIM free

Manufacturer: Nokia

Our Rating: We rate this 3 out of 5

The Nokia 808 PureView is a Symbian smartphone with a staggeringly well specified camera. Here's our Nokia 808 PureView review. Updated July 24 2012.

Our Nokia 808 PureView review continues with a look at the camera in use, and some test shots that show off the picture quality.

Nokia 808 PureView: using the camera

We found it fairly simple to get to grips with the 808 PureView, even without the helpful hints and tips that come up in contextual menus. Because of its smartphone pretensions, as a camera it is exceptionally easy to use. There are a host of manual controls adjusted via the touchscreen, but the Automatic settings work pretty well too. And because this is a camera in smartphone's clothing, the ability to make minor adjustments using the touchscreen is much more intuitive that that of the majority of dedicated cameras.

You choose from three shooting modes: Automatic, Scenes and Creative. As we previously mentioned the point-and-shoot Automatic mode works well, getting you straight into 5Mp shooting mode. For most compact camera users, this is the apogee of their ambition, but we'd wager that those shelling out £500 for the Nokia 808 PureView likely want more. The next step up is the Scenes mode, in which you choose the type of photo 'Portrait' or 'Night-time' and let the camera do the rest.

Proper photographers and weekend warriors will choose Creative. Here you can customise pretty much everything, from exposure and contrast to ISO level, aspect ratio, saturation and sharpnes. Once you've found a series of setting that you like you can save them as a preset. Most of the 808 PureView's manual settings are adjusted using on-screen sliders that allow you to see results in real time. You can add basic effects such as black and white, and sepia, also in real time.

Nokia 808 PureView: picture quality

PureView test shot

Using automatic settings, the 808 PureView brings out good levels of detail in the foreground - an area on which it exclusively focused

PureView test shot

Colour reproduction was faithful on a rare sunny evening in London. Again, using automatic

PureView test shot

The dedicated landscape preset captures nice detail over a large area

PureView test shot

Back using the automatic preset, colour reproduction is good and focus intuitive - but the background is a little too blurry for our taste

PureView test shot

Even in low light detail is sharp using automatic settings

PureView test shot

This shot was incorrectly taken using the macro preset at too great a distance, but it is still far from a poor shot

Nokia 808 PureView Expert Verdict »

Nokia 808 PureView reviews verified by Reevoo

Nokia 808 PureViewScores 8.8 out of 10 based on 20 reviews
GSM 850/900/1800/1900
HSDPA 850/900/1700/1900/2100
123.9 x 60.2 x 13.9 mm, 95.5 cc
169 g
AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, 360 x 640 pixels, 4.0 inches (~184 ppi pixel density), Corning Gorilla Glass
3.5mm jack
microSD, up to 32 GB
16 GB storage, 1 GB ROM, 512 MB RAM
HSDPA 14.4 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA, UPnP technology
Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP
Primary 41 MP (38 MP effective, 7152 x 5368 pixels), Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, Xenon flash, check quality
1/1.2'' sensor size, ND filter, up to 4x lossless digital zoom, geo-tagging, face detection
1080p@30fps, lossless digital zoom, LED light, check quality
VGA@30fps video recording secondary camera
Nokia Belle OS
1.3 GHz ARM 11
Broadcom BCM2763
Accelerometer, proximity, compass
SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
HTML5, Adobe Flash Lite
Stereo FM radio with RDS
FM transmitter
Li-Ion 1400 mAh (BV-4D)
  • Build Quality: We give this item 7 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 7 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 4 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 6 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 6 of 10 overall

Nokia's 808 PureView is best described as a camera with a phone in it. And that 41-megapixel camera is impressive. The question is: do you want to spend £500 on a camera with a Symbian smartphone attached, when you could get a top level compact camera for that amount of money? If you are not bothered about having the latest smartphone technology, the savings entailed in buying just one device to fulfil both smartphone and camera functions will make the PureView a bargain. Everyone else should look elsewhere, however.

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