Well, the diesel lens equipped Nokia 808 PureView is finally here in India and we gave it the beans to see if the hype was really worth it. In not so many words, we are on the fence. While there some features that we absolutely love, some aspects of the phone left us a little sore. The best feature of the phone is what you see in all commercials, the camera. You can take incredibly detailed photos from near and afar, and the image is still crystal clear upon zoom. While the sensor has a 41MP resolution, the maximum resolution for still images is 38MP in 4:3 mode and 34MP in 16:9 mode. Where the 41MP lens comes in is to ensure images still remain clear upon closer review. Think of it as a 41MP image compressed into an 38MP one (about 11MB per picture). Videos captured using the 1080P capable lens are also phenomenal and are among the best we have seen.
Another feature which we haven’t seen being promoted is the sound. With Dolby surround sound from the built in speakers (and its dual microphone), it is the best we have heard in a long time… even from the  Beats audio equipped HTC One X. Try it with a pair of decent headphones and you will really enjoy any videos on the 4 inch display. Speaking of, here are some of the specs:
  1. 4″ display at a resolution of 640 x 360 pixels
  2. 1.3GHz single core ARM processor
  3. 512MB RAM
  4. 16GB storage expandable to 48GB via microSD
  5. 41MP rear camera with Carl Zeiss lens and Xenon flash
  6. 640 x 480 pixels front facing camera
  7. 1080P capable video recording at 30 frames per second
  8. Operating system: Symbian Belle
  9. Weight: 169g
  10. Battery capacity: 1400mAh
Unfortunately for the PureView, the good aspects have already been covered. The list of negatives definitely outweigh the positives. Let’s take a look at some of them shall we. First the weight… we carry Samsung Galaxy Notes and it isn’t exactly light. When we first held the PureView, our thought was, “Wow this is heavy!” And it isn’t evenly distributed. Granted the camera and lens are very powerful, but that’s where most of the weight is. It just doesn’t feel right. And it will not feel comfortable in your pocket either. The display resolution could have also used some work. Videos look good but not as good as they can be. It is surprising Nokia went all out with the camera only to equip the phone with a mediocre display. What good is a camera if the photos you take don’t look their best?

The story goes on… Nokia just announced a long term deal to switch away from their in-house Symbian operating system to Windows Mobile. We wish the PureView had made the switch before being released into the wild. The Symbian Belle operating system really detracts from the overall experience of the phone. And now that you know support for Symbian will end at some point, one has to consider if it is really worth spending all that cash on a soon to be obscure product. Silver lining here though, Nokia is planning on equipping its Lumia line of phones with the sensor used in the PureView. The battery life is decent and should net you about 6 hours with moderate to heavy use but if you start using the camera with the flash on that time will reduce drastically. Not so good if you are about to drop about $600 on a phone.

In closing, it looks to us that the Nokia 808 PureView is more of a test in the market to see how it would react to some of Nokia’s cutting edge technology so that it can be included in their mainstream offerings. Yes the phone could possibly replace your point and shoot camera with the lens and settings at your display but you’ll have to be prepared to put up with a less than desirable operating system. What we would like to see if the next generation of Lumia phones equipped with Windows Mobile AND the kick ass sensor in the PureView.

Our Rating: 

The Nokia 808 PureView is currently on sale in India for Rs. 33,300 (~$600).

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