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Nokia 808 won't come to North America; 41MP PureView tech probably will

By dpreview staff on Mar 7, 2012 at 02:16 GMT

Nokia's developer website is showing the 41MP 808 PureView as being available globally, with the exception of North America. However, Windows Phone website WPCentral is reporting that the company will bring its PureView technology to a phone running Windows Mobile - something likely that become truly global product. Meanwhile, Nokia has published a blog post about the 808's Carl Zeiss lens and how its molded plastic design allows it to out-perform some pro-grade DSLR glass.


Total comments: 45
By vlad0 (Mar 15, 2012)

newegg, amazon .. they will have it for sure

By saimran (Mar 12, 2012)

Nokia 808 PureView with 41 MP camera:- Smartphone Nokia PureView with 41-megapixel camera (effective resolution – 38 M) was one of the highlights of the exhibition Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona. In spring 2005, Nokia released N93 smartphone with a unique 3-megapixel camera and 3x optical zoom and, according to Damian Dinning (Damian Dinning), a specialist in the department of photographs from Nokia Smart Devices, continued experiments on the use of optical zoom in their devices. The company has created a number of concepts that were never put into commercial products, they used different configurations of cameras and the physical form factors, some traditional and some quite unusual.
The development of smartphones in the direction of increasing the screen size negated many of these developments.

By N13L5 (Mar 14, 2012)

Nokia's camera department seems to be their only hope to avoid becoming Microsoft's Foxconn...

So, stay tuned for Elop axing that soon

By globethrottle (Mar 11, 2012)

Why will it not be available in north America?

By Mina_Girgis (Mar 15, 2012)

This has to do with the disagreement between Nikon and US carriers over how Nokia want their phones to be distributed in the market. If you notice most nokia's phones are not subsidized in US carriers. This one is no different. Especially with these kind of specs with the camera. Nokia want to make good profit and not allow carriers to take a big share from it. I believe you can get the phone unlocked for the full price with no problems only on GSM network.

1 upvote
By ChapelThrill23 (Mar 10, 2012)

The 41 megapixel number is a great one for spec-sheet warriors who judge products based on numbers but in the real world it won't mean that much. You'll never be able to match a decent camera with a fraction of the pixels. This camera will outresolve the lens by a massive amount, you'll never have any control over depth of field, and the files will be large. At this point with most cameras it is the lens that is the limiting factor and the laws of optics all but prevent a tiny cheapo lens like that from being worthy of 41 noisy megapixels. But it is a wonderful thing to brag about to your camera illiterate friends.

By zodiacfml (Mar 10, 2012)

Yes,you're probably right. I had a feeling that the lens actually resolves only to 5MP, which is why it is the default resolution.

By andrewD2 (Mar 11, 2012)

Did you see the full size sample of the climber hanging from a rock? Check it out and then see if you agree with what you've just said.

1 upvote
By kelokera (Mar 13, 2012)

Dont talk without knowing what you are talking about... the Pure View tech is great! best thing in a loot of time... they are making promo with the 41mp, but they are explaining why they create this sensor! is not to take noisy pics, is for zoom, and to make perfect 5 and 8 megapixels photos taking a 38mp pic and selecting just the best pixels and creating a perfect photo... as other says... go to flickr and see it for yourself! I'm buying one!!!

By f64Craft (Mar 10, 2012)

its not just about MP.

By Gadgety (Mar 10, 2012)

Wow, this is what, the second or third article on dpreview about the 808 Pureview? Nokia is generating a lot of commotion. WP doesn't really appeal to me as it is not customizable to any great degree, but Nokia's Drive and the PureView tech may convince me to get a WP after all.

By ganesh123 (Mar 9, 2012)

I cant believe nokia is into such an wonderful product, im sure this is going to be a massive hit of this year, its 41 megapixel camera is the key feature of this product if this situation continues im sure there will be no use for digicams, then all digicam companies will start producing mobile phones, I like the way you guys presented your website good keep rocking:) ...

By Vitruvius (Mar 9, 2012)

They keep mentioning "zoom" but judjing by the lack of specifics on the optics or the actual word "optical" I suspect that they are using the full res data to digitally zoom in and out. This wouldn't be a big deal for most occasions but it does imply that you would NOT be able to actually take a 41MP image WITH zoom. It would also mean the it would have less data to downsample and create the TruView image while zooming. Hence the more you zoom in the more the image quality would drop, IF it actually does not have any "optical" zoom capability.
Just saying... Its good to know what you are actually getting.

By zodiacfml (Mar 9, 2012)

You are not interested.

By WaltFrench (Mar 14, 2012)

@vitruvius, you've got it pegged. But most comments are ignoring the relatively HUGE sensor size crammed into the phone that should retain quality rather well despite high magnification.

The 808 won't have the creative control that dpreview readers usually want, but for snaps — even zoomed in — it should handily trounce other cameraphones. Alas, people who really value that will already own an N8 or otherwise not draw new customers to the brand. In the US, squeezing in a 3rd smartphone OS will be a challenge for Microsoft (BlackBerry being a “dead man walking”) and they will not risk confusing customers by identifying Nokia with a niche feature on a last-gen OS.

By Jarda_Houdek (Mar 8, 2012)

I bought Nokia N8 this week to warm up for this. I must say I like it a lot so far. Even old N8 has great camera embedded, better than most compacts. Symbian looks like great system so far (I didn't know it before), only letdown is that most apps are not as new as the Belle system. And the HW features of N8 leave iPhone in dust (HDMI, USB host, mass storage, OLED screen...).
If only the Elop guy didn't want to kill it...

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
1 upvote
By CAcreeks (Mar 7, 2012)

Hopefully I can buy it from Amazon UK and put my SIM card in it, as I did with my last Samsung Vodafone phone. Or is it Vodaphone fone?

By obeythebeagle (Mar 7, 2012)

Zeiss rules and what photographer wouldn't want one? Kudos on the noise approach, and the final criteria is the image. If you just showed me the sample images, I would simply want the camera that took those photos.

In a few years, independent point and shoot cameras will cease to be. Only slrs and waycool smartphonecameras! Zeiss t coatings on my phone?

By Richard (Mar 7, 2012)

I am bummed the lenses for my Canikon don't smell professional :(

" A ZEISS lens even has a certain smell – to me it smells professional"

1 upvote
Baxter Bad
By Baxter Bad (Mar 7, 2012)

Not coming to N America: sucks for me.

Coming on future Windows handsets for N America: okay, but I like the design of the 808, especially in white (reminds me of HAL). If Nokia makes it exactly the same but running Windows, giddyap. On second thought, make the outer shell glossy rather than matte. Thanks.

The 808's CZ lens outperforming some pro glass: Based on the 38MP samples I've seen, it's an amazing little lens, great job.

By Menneisyys (Mar 7, 2012)

Let's also add that independent testers (for example, me - see my article series starting at ) also tested the sharpness and can also emphasize the resolution of this camera is simply great.

1 upvote
By Infms (Mar 7, 2012)

Here's a fantastic interview with Damian Dinning, for those curious about Nokia's PureView technology:

By SerKol (Mar 7, 2012)

Thanks for the link! I will buy the WP version of this.

1 upvote
Spencer Goh
By Spencer Goh (Mar 9, 2012)

@SerKol, I doubt they will do a 41MP WP version anytime soon... imo indications are that the zooming/oversampling tech will move to WP but at varying resolutions depending on form factor requirements. I suspect this will remain the camera king for quite a while even after WP versions appear

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
By _sem_ (Mar 7, 2012)

I wander if Nokia can survive. Obviously they've made a number of desperate moves. Like announcing the kill of their underdog kinda-smartphone OS for another underdog OS, a year before the first phone with the new one came out. And yet they surprise us with a neat new phone camera on a fresh phone with the killed OS. The message being the new OS is worse than they've imagined?

By Gadgety (Mar 10, 2012)

Whether they survive, how they survive etc is a relevant question."The message being the new OS is worse than they've imagined?" No I don't think so. Releasing this on Symbian first is because it already exists for Symbian, whereas it's not yet been integrated into Windows Phone. Nokia chose WP a year ago. It'll take a while to develop this. It may also be that the current version, WP7, may not handle the type of application that the PureView entails. Nokia's CEO Elop has stated they will influence the next gen WP and what it will be able to do. MS is betting on Nokia and I believe they will listen to their expertise.

By Boissez (Mar 7, 2012)

This is the first cameraphone that truly cuts the mustard. However I don't believe I'll buy it unless they'll put in some sort of protection for the lens. Such a shame really because the quality seems to exceed my current lx3 in a pocketable form factor (the phone part is just a bonus). Oh and RAW would be nice too but I'm not holding my breath on that one.

Jay Kim
By Jay Kim (Mar 7, 2012)

The glass that protects the lens is Corning Gorilla Glass. So it should be quite resistant to scratches or nicks. RAW support won't happen unfortunately. But JPEG compression is 95% which is pretty good.

1 upvote
By StefanW (Mar 7, 2012)

While the Gorilla Glass helps against scratches a typical problem of phones is the dust that gets between the glass and the lens ... especially when carrying the phone without protection shell in your pockets.

1 upvote
By edotgm (Mar 7, 2012)

I agree; it only lacks a lens protection for scratches and dirt. A sliding one would be perfect (like in nokia N85/N86 or ultracompact cameras)!!!

By Menneisyys (Mar 7, 2012)

1. pretty much understandable there isn't a lens protector: it added some 2-3 mm's to the N95. This is why it was left out from subsequent models. Now, imagine what moaning some of the "independent" (read: people on the Google and/or Apple payroll) press and tech blogs would have done if the 808 was some mm's wider: "unpocketable brick" etc. They are spreading outright lies and false propaganda even now...

2. Nokia's own hard case, the CC-3046 (see ) also has a separate, removable lens cover.

By SerKol (Mar 7, 2012)

Or that's great (the Nokia's case)!

By Voldenuit (Mar 7, 2012)

I had an N80 and the sliding cover did absolutely nothing to prevent dust buildup.

I also have an N8 and the lens cover is still going strong despite being made of plastic.

Really bummed that the 808 is not coming to America, I would have been happy to upgrade from my N8, but there is no way in hell that I am getting a WP7 phone. They need to license the tech to some Android phone makers.

1 upvote
By munte (Mar 7, 2012)

I would love to see this technology in a small tiny waterproof camera. Something to take with me on ski/bike/trail running trips.

By michael2011 (Mar 7, 2012)

If Nokia brings that to a Windows Phone, it will surely be my next phone. WP is already fantastic and this will be an awesome icing on the cake.

By proto23 (Mar 7, 2012)

Interesting - from Nokia's blog post about the lens on their 41 megapixel camera phone:

"If there is one misunderstanding that they are all desperate to dispel, it is the myth of the megapixel. Fewer than 2 megapixels really affects image quality, but bigger than that is not necessarily better. Paper prints or PC-displays usually do not need a much higher resolution."

1 upvote
Sergey Borachev
By Sergey Borachev (Mar 7, 2012)

Nokia is just not getting it. The best upgrade and the one it needed and still does is Android.

1 upvote
By jj74e (Mar 7, 2012)

I don't like android all that much. too copycat-like to iOS, and a bit glitchy IMO, although that could just be my particular phone.

personally i'm really excited for windows.

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
By CFynn (Mar 7, 2012)

Nokia's Mameo / Meego operating systems were good - and could do things Android and WP still don't. They should have kept faith in themselves and got a better marketing department instead of throwing themselves into the arms of Microsoft.

By spencerspencer (Mar 7, 2012)

I don't like Android much either - it is kludgy and in some ways not efficient. I don't think it's like that similar to IOS though - which sn't that great ...

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
By watty1964 (Mar 7, 2012)

My symbian Nokia N8 does as much, if not more then any Android clone. I would be quite happy with a Windows phone, it's the future and this camera would be the icing on the cake.

By Menneisyys (Mar 7, 2012)

Android is un-optimalized battery-killer cr*p. All other major mobile OS'es are far better optimized; Symbian has even been fine-tuned to use power as little as possible. The same can't be stated about the Java-based juggernaut (Android)...

1 upvote
By guest2007 (Mar 7, 2012)

I don't know about ICS 4.0 but froyo and gingerbread are horrible ram hogs. Common nokia i used to like your phones. Bring it to north am and kill samsung and iphone.

By Vinter (Mar 10, 2012)

Menneisyys I think you are a bit wrong bud, I have a screen capture of my battery being at 18% with 2 days off charger. Light to moderate usage, few phone calls, gaming for 5 or 10 min here and there..etc.. SGSII , and I couldn't be happier.

By Zer007 (Apr 22, 2012)

Hear hear Sergey, I agree. 41Mp sensor is a nice marketing stunt.

Now dig this!...imagine this 41Mp sensor in the Samsung S3 with Android 4 OS would be my ideal buy but with the S3 having 12MP sensor it will be my next SP anyway. I'm turning away from the apple ip5 and this Nokia 808

Total comments: 45