I am definitely not in Barcelona, Spain covering the 2012 Mobile World Congress, I am in Kenya studying and trying to make long ends meet but like many other tech enthusiasts and bloggers worldwide have been awe struck by the unveiling early today at the MWC of Nokia’s new device, the Nokia 808 PureView.
I first saw a Twitter link from The Next Web and could certainly not believe it…a whooping 41 megapixel camera!!!!! Easy, easy. A phone with a 41 MP sensor that condenses it all to 5 MP for still images is just a milestone. A big milestone. I’ve been closely following the MWC to get the latest on all releases from various top device makers but this is certainly my highlight of the week even after Huawei’s impressive releases the previous day (releasing what it touts as the world’s fastest smartphone, the Ascend D Quad).
According to a press release from the Finnish mobile giant, the 808 PureView is the first Nokia smartphone that supports the new PureView technology which according to them, “completely blows away any prior expectations about the quality of camera phone photography.” The 41-MP sensor includes the highest performing Carl Zeiss optics ever used on smartphones and also Nokia’s brand-new pixel sampling technology. Mmmm!
What does such pixelage mean? Well, since the 41-MP sensor produces clear still images of 5-MP, this is how it does it. The high sensor capability enables one to take normal shots, the 5-MP we are used to, but then the camera can use oversampling to combine upto seven pixels into one “pure” pixel eliminating the visual noisefound on other mobile phone cameras. It also allows one to zoom upto three times without getting those grains you get when you zoom on any other phone (save for those with retina displays like er the i…) and on top of that, there are no artificially created pixels either. Quality on quality!
The phone (or is it a camera?) also gives the user a chance to use ‘Creative Shooting Mode’ to capture images at high resolution i.e. 38-MP before doing the normal editing like say, crop, reframe, zoom etc.
There’s also its other side: video shooting capability. Well it allows for 1080p (full HD!!) recording and has image processing of over one billion pixels per second.
Nokia also touts this device as the world’s first video recording device to allow recording without distortion at audio levels as high as 140 decibels, beyond the capability of human hearing (hence allows one to capture stereo CD-like audio quality even in the harshest of environments).
Much has been said about that super camera. Other specs? It has 512 MB of RAM (Too low, I’m dissapointed. Even my low-end Samsung can give this RAM a distant glare). It will ship with Symbian (These days its called Nokia, no more Symbian) Belle with Feature Pack 1 (Service Park 1 anyone?). Why not Windows Phone 7? A 4-inch ClearBlack AMOLED (not super AMOLED!!) display underneath Gorilla Glass, 360×240. A 1.3 GHz processor (Deserves this!), 16 Gb internal memory expandable via microSD to 32 Gb and is expected to weight slightly under 169 grams (battery included).
Well, after all is said and done, is the 41-megapixel camera really that necessary? Why would someone want to part with 450 Euros for such a device when it enters the market in May? Instead I can grab a Kodak (oops, Eastman Kodak’s life is hanging in the balance. Bankruptcy!) if it is photography I want, anyway that’s my opinion. I salute the Nokia engineers who took 5 years to come up with such a device. In the 5 years they’ve been working on the camera, the sensor blah blah blah, Apple Inc has risen from a Mac maker to making the world’s best selling smartphone brand, the iPhone, and also the world’s most profitable app store. Fill the blanks.
Also unveiled today is the Lumia 610 which I can’t wait for its Kenyan market debut as it is going to be cheaper and was designed with young people in mind.