The PureView 808 has a few standard apps like Calculator, Calendar, Alarm and File manager. A few extras like QuickOffice, Adobe’s mobile PDF reader, Zip Manager, F-Secure, Dictionary and Notes are also packed. A message-reading application has also been provided with Indian voices. A few games like Asphalt 6, Bounce Boing Battle, a Lite (but NFC enabled – Free with Magic) version of Angry Birds is on board, as is Lets Golf 2.
The 808 PureView comes with a few handy extras
The Nokia Pureview 808's party piece has got to be its camera. It's got a 41MP camera on-board, and while many claimed it might just be interpolated images, this doesn't seem to be the case. We ran the camera through its paces by clicking both indoor and outdoor photos, with and without the flash enabled. The results of the tests are pretty spectacular and it's fair to say that this is quite easily the best camera phone out there. In outdoor shots, the exposure is well-balanced and there's none of the extra brightness and dark patches - images are even and well lit.
Cloudy day shot (fit to screen)
Cloudy day shot ( at 100% crop)
Focusing is quick and the user interface of the app is easy to use. One can quickly switch profiles or change the characteristics of the photo by moving around a few sliders. The entire experience is like using a really slick, compact handheld digital camera. There's an amazing level of detail that you get with this phone. The 808 doesn't handle macro photography well, as it only lets you get as close as 4 inches to the target. A decent handheld camera would let you come up to 5cm, making it easier for that kind of photography.
The flash on the 808 is strong and it's obvious when you click some close up shots. The downside, however, is that the background tends to get a little dark and underexposed in the process. Photos shot in the panoramic view look good and there's no sign of the images being stuck together. Exposure is even all across and there are no seams visible.
The controls on the Pureview 808 aren't as detailed as a prosumer camera, but you could compare it to a basic point-and-shoot. For instance, there are the usual set of shooting profiles and colour profiles to choose from, as well as the ISO settings. What you don't get however, are the shutter and aperture priority settings. There's no gradual manual focus control or any kind of burst mode present either. That's something both Samsung and HTC both boast of with their phones.
A landscape photograph (fit to screen)
A 100% crop section from same landscape
A 41MP camera comes across as being an extremely high-performance one, but the Pureview 808 isn't that. In fact, it's not as good as a decent entry-level DSLR either, but it is far ahead of any other camera phone and also quite a few of the cheaper point-and-shoot cameras.
The 808 PureView's 1400mAh battery proved to be quite stable in terms of usage, but nothing above average. On a full charge with emails, alerts, messages, a few calls and at least 20 pictures (some with flash), you'll get a full day's usage. Our video drain test revealed that with WiFi running in the background, the handset will deliver at least 5 hours 20-plus minutes of non-stop playback. In our tech2 Loop tests, it sucessfully completed one full loop consisting of 2 hours of video, 2 hours of audio, 2 hours of audio streaming via internet radio, and 1.5 hours of calls. It started the second round and ran for about 25 minutes with video. This puts in a total of about 8.5 hours of non-stop usage, which is quite decent.
The 808 PureView isn't an altogether new design concept
The PureView 808 comes with a price tag of 33,899, which is a little too steep for the handset, especially with competitors in the Android-powered gang (Xperia S, HTC One X) in the same range. They might not able to offer the same kind of camera functionality and quality, but they do offer better options in terms of overall usability. Beats Audio on the One X is a little better in comparison to Dolby and the 12MP camera on the Xperia S is quite good too. At that price, Nokia has also neglected to provide relevant cables for USB-on-the-go and HDMI. It’s great for media and certainly the most innovative handset yet in the mobile camera space, but it’s just not worth buying this one for just the camera. In some aspects, it can compete with some digicams out there, but in that price, if you’ve already got a good enough handset, a micro four thirds camera like the Sony Nex series or the Olympus E-PL1 camera with changeable lenses would be a better option.
Updated 21 May, 2013, 8:25 am IST
Nokia 808 PureView Review
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