The Nokia 808 PureView is a cameraphone – certainly an oddity in this day and age – and yet it’s highly anticipated because of its unusual feature-set.
While it does come with a ‘smartphone’ OS in Symbian Belle, the big attraction here is the imaging system that takes up an inordinate amount of space as a bulge on the rear of the phone. It’s got a 41 megapixel sensor with Carl Zeiss optics – many times better than anything that’s shipped on a smartphone before, where even at the high-end the standard is 8 or 12 megapixels. The PureView system uses that massive sensor to ‘oversample’, taking information from 7 neighbouring pixels to produce one pixel that’s perfect. When this process is used across the full 41 megapixel image, you get a 5 megapixel image of the highest quality, with the absolute minimum of noise.
If Nokia could bring that kind of power to bear on a budget, then the 808 would undoubtedly be a success. However, initial reports from retailers is that the handset will come at a high cost – in the UK, the sim-free cost is a whopping £540 when it launches on May 7th. That’s higher than even the most expensive smartphones of the last few years upon launch, including the iPhone 4S, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the HTC One X.
With few other notable features, the now-abandoned Symbian platform and a low-spec nHD (640 x 360) AMOLED display, the Nokia 808 is at danger of becoming a relic.
Hopefully hardcore Nokia fans and photography fans will make it a success, but it seems a hard task – we may not see widespread adoption of the technology until Nokia brings PureView to Windows Phone later this year.