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February 28, 2012

Nokia releases awesome 41MP sensor camera phone...on Symbian

Nokia today announced it latest phone at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), Nokia 808 PureView, which boasts a 41MP camera and stunning photo quality. The phone uses Nokia's new PureView technology to reduce noise and eliminate image distortion, resulting in amazing details. PureView, using oversampling combines several pixels into a single pixel, which reduces noise but keeps the image details, leading to amazing picture quality. Initial shots released by Nokia are very impressive - you can download them on Nokia Conversations..

The PureView advantage
You can download the whitepaper released by Nokia here, explaining PureView. Below are the key highlights from the paper.

The starting point is a super-high-resolution sensor. This has an active area of 7728 x 5368 pixels, totalling over 41Mpix. Depending on the aspect ratio you choose, it will use 7728 x 4354 pixels for 16:9 images/videos, or 7152 x 5368 pixels for 4:3 images/videos.
While conventional zoom upscales the images reducing quality, there is no upsacling with PureView, according to Nokia.
When you zoom with the Nokia 808 PureView, in effect you are just selecting the relevant area of the sensor. So with no zoom, the full area of the sensor corresponding to the aspect ratio is used. The limit of the zoom (regardless of the resolution setting for stills or video) is reached when the selected output
resolution becomes the same as the input resolution. For example, with the default setting of 5Mpix (3072 x 1728), once the area of the sensor reaches
3072 x 1728, you’ve hit the zoom limit. This means the zoom is always true to the image you want.

The main advantage of PureView is "pixel oversampling"
Pixel oversampling combines many pixels to create a single (super) pixel.
When this happens, you keep
virtually all the detail, but filter away visual noise from the image. The level of pixel oversampling is highest when you’re not using the zoom. It gradually decreases until you hit maximum zoom, where there is no oversampling.
Pixel oversampling combines many pixels to create a single (super) pixel.
The only sore point of the entire device is the OS, which is Nokia Beele - the Symbian variant released in August 2011. While I have always like Symbian and still own a Nokia handset E63, I don't understand the logic of introducing a high end phone on a platform, which according to Nokia itself is a burning platform. There will be few, if any apps developed for it - which means it will only be a camera phone and not a smartphone.

If Nokia really had planned major launches like this phone (and who knows other phones as well!) on Symbian, they should not have said/indicated that Symbian is over. It is a losing strategy — Nokia doesn't gain enough customers, customers who buy would be unhappy and in turn will move to other manufacturers, which will have a negative impact on future sales.

So who should buy it?
While the pricing has not been disclosed yet, if it is right then it could replace both, your phone and the camera. Phone quality is generally great on Nokia phones, and that trend should continue here.

But what if you are looking for a smartphone? Then please avoid it. I, for one, will not recommend this phone to anyone. This is inspite of a general preference towards Nokia products.

Sorry Nokia, you have already sunk the Symbian ship, though I am happy that you still can, and do, create cutting edge devices. Hopefully you can take these technologies and combine with Windows and your quality phone builds to create new amazing devices - which can actually work as smartphones.

Link: Nokia product page 

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