MWC 2012: Nokia 808 PureView Launches with a 41-Megapixel Camera [Gallery]

Thought that Symbian was dead? Think again because Nokia has just announced a new smartphone, the 808 PureView, which has an unprecedented 41-megapixel camera and is expected to launch in Europe in May.

  • Photo taken with the 41-megapixel Nokia 808 PureView smartphone in Cape Town. Photo: NokiaPhoto taken with the 41-megapixel Nokia 808 PureView smartphone in Cape Town. Photo: Nokia
  • Photo taken with the 41-megapixel Nokia 808 PureView smartphone in Cape Town. Photo: NokiaPhoto taken with the 41-megapixel Nokia 808 PureView smartphone in Cape Town. Photo: Nokia
  • Photo taken with the 41-megapixel Nokia 808 PureView smartphone in Cape Town. Photo: NokiaPhoto taken with the 41-megapixel Nokia 808 PureView smartphone in Cape Town. Photo: Nokia
  • Photo taken with the 41-megapixel Nokia 808 PureView smartphone in Cape Town. Photo: NokiaPhoto taken with the 41-megapixel Nokia 808 PureView smartphone in Cape Town. Photo: Nokia
  • Photo taken with the 41-megapixel Nokia 808 PureView smartphone in Cape Town. Photo: NokiaPhoto taken with the 41-megapixel Nokia 808 PureView smartphone in Cape Town. Photo: Nokia
  • Photo taken with the 41-megapixel Nokia 808 PureView smartphone in Cape Town. Photo: NokiaPhoto taken with the 41-megapixel Nokia 808 PureView smartphone in Cape Town. Photo: Nokia
  • Photo taken with the 41-megapixel Nokia 808 PureView smartphone in Cape Town. Photo: NokiaPhoto taken with the 41-megapixel Nokia 808 PureView smartphone in Cape Town. Photo: Nokia
  • Photo taken with the 41-megapixel Nokia 808 PureView smartphone in Cape Town. Photo: NokiaPhoto taken with the 41-megapixel Nokia 808 PureView smartphone in Cape Town. Photo: Nokia
  • The Nokia 808 PureView smartphone, with a 41-megapixel camera. Photo: NokiaThe Nokia 808 PureView smartphone, with a 41-megapixel camera. Photo: Nokia
  • The Nokia 808 PureView smartphone, with a 41-megapixel camera. Photo: NokiaThe Nokia 808 PureView smartphone, with a 41-megapixel camera. Photo: Nokia
  • The Nokia 808 PureView smartphone, with a 41-megapixel camera. Photo: NokiaThe Nokia 808 PureView smartphone, with a 41-megapixel camera. Photo: Nokia
  • The Nokia 808 PureView smartphone, with a 41-megapixel camera. Photo: NokiaThe Nokia 808 PureView smartphone, with a 41-megapixel camera. Photo: Nokia
  • The Nokia 808 PureView smartphone, with a 41-megapixel camera. Photo: NokiaThe Nokia 808 PureView smartphone, with a 41-megapixel camera. Photo: Nokia
  • The Nokia 808 PureView smartphone, with a 41-megapixel camera. Photo: NokiaThe Nokia 808 PureView smartphone, with a 41-megapixel camera. Photo: Nokia
  • The Nokia 808 PureView smartphone, with a 41-megapixel camera. Photo: NokiaThe Nokia 808 PureView smartphone, with a 41-megapixel camera. Photo: Nokia

The Monday announcement of the 41-megapixel Nokia 808 PureView represents a major leap in mobile camera technology.

The $600-device, however, which was announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, runs on software that Nokia is phasing out in favour of Windows Phone.

Mary McDowell, the firm’s executive vice president for mobile phones, said that the company’s engineers had been working on this product ‘for years.’

She said it was “natural” to assume that its technology would be used in other Nokia products in the future, although she declined to be drawn specifically on whether it was “when or if” the company would produce a Windows Phone with such imaging capabilities.

The Finnish phone-maker is looking to raise the bar in smartphone photography far past what currently passes for a good camera-phone.

Most high-end smartphones are currently packing 8-megapixel cameras or 5-megapixel cameras, which has resulted in millions of fantastic, detailed shots taken and uploaded to the likes of Facebook, Flickr and Instagram.

The world doesn’t seem to be crying out for even more detail from their smartphone photos, but Nokia is also a company that is looking to revive its brand, as it has lost market share to rivals running Google’s Android OS and the iPhone.

So far, Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system has been the marquee strategy to the company’s turnaround — along with giving up on the Nokia-built Symbian software.

With the unveiling of the 808 PureView at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday, Nokia is looking to expand its comeback beyond Microsoft to rely once again on its own software and now photography too.

The 808 PureView runs on Nokia’s new Belle operating system, which is built with the same underpinnings as the abandoned Symbian OS.

Thankfully, the company did say in a blog post that its PureView camera technology will make its way “to several Nokia products going forward,” including Windows Phone handsets.

And while the 808 PureView can shoot up to 41-megapixel images, Nokia said it intends for users of phones with its PureView cameras to still take most of their photos at resolutions of about 5-megapixels, which takes up less storage space on a smartphone.

But even at lower resolutions, Nokia is claiming its PureView cameras will result in better-looking photos by combining multiple shots in a technique it calls “oversampling.”

The 808 PureView, for example, uses “oversampling to combine up to seven pixels into one ‘pure’ pixel, eliminating the visual noise found on other mobile phone cameras.

On top of that, you can zoom in up to 3X without losing any of the detail in your shot — and there’s no artificially created pixels in your picture, either,” Nokia said. The 808 PureView also claims the ability to record audio in videos shot on the phone at CD-like quality.

Aside from the impressive new camera, the 808 PureView is pretty much a standard Nokia smartphone – a single core 1.3 GHz CPU, a 4-inch, 360 x 640 pixel screen, 512 MB of RAM and 16 GB of storage

What do you think of this smartphone? Is the price tag fair for its incredible camera? Tell us in the comments below.

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