Nokia 808 PureView packs a 41-megapixel camera


February 27, 2012

The Nokia 808 PureView is a new smartphone with an astounding 41-megapixel image sensor

The Nokia 808 PureView is a new smartphone with an astounding 41-megapixel image sensor

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At this week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia announced the 808 PureView, a smartphone with an astounding 41-megapixel image sensor. The Nokia 808 will be the first smartphone by Nokia to include its new PureView imaging technology, which combines a high-resolution sensor with Carl Zeiss optics and Nokia-developed algorithms.

Typically you might want a high megapixel camera in order to take photos that can be printed larger - what makes the Nokia 808 PureView special, however, it what it does with those pixels. The 808 uses a new pixel oversampling technology, that captures seven pixels of information and then condenses those into one single pixel. This reportedly results in an exceptionally sharp photo, and the ability to zoom in on any portion of a 5-megapixel picture without losing clarity in the image.

The technology also works on video, so you can shoot a full HD video at 30fps and 4x zoom. Nokia has made some untouched images taken with the camera available online (as a sizable download) so you can get a feel for the quality.

In addition to offering a decent lens and large image sensor, the camera also has a few other notable features. It can capture photos quickly (in less than a second), has a Xenon flash as well as an LED video light for shooting in dark places, and offers integration with services such as GetMe Rated (for having other people rate your photos) and Vimeo, for sharing your videos with the world. Nokia claims the phone can capture audio at CD-like quality, and the handset is also the first smartphone with built-in Dolby Headphone technology, so you can listen to tunes (or your videos) in Dolby Surround sound using any set of stereo headphones.

Besides the camera and sound, the rest of the specs for the handset are actually on the low end of things. The Nokia Belle phone has a 4-inch screen with a 640 x 360 resolution, a 1.3Ghz single-core processor, and 512Mb of RAM. The handset comes with 16GB of storage space, but supports microSD expansion up to 32GB.

The Nokia 808 PureView is expected to roll out in May for around US$605.

Source: Nokia


holy crap seriously?

Kirill Belousov

Unfortunately without a properly sized chipset and proper lenses that is all a bunch of BS. What they are really doing is taking a an oversampled picture in order to get down to a 5MP sized picture with excellent detail. Nice but not worth the camera cost or that crap Symbian operating system they still have on that model. Their Windows 7 phones are far better and simply pushing that out because its been on the drawing board for 2 years was more an internal pride issue than anything else.

Rocky Stefano

What a stupid waste... 42 Mpix for a nail size lens?

I think the whole thing is about to push people to buy more expensive high capacity storage media. Most pictures created with mobilphones are only to see on the mobile's screen or Facebook, etc. 3Mpix is more than enough. And most pictures shot by mobiles are just crappy, improperly exposed, blurry, low dynamic range that better to trash after several weeks... An up-to-date entry level DSLR can take 16 Mpix and the quality is way better than any crappy phone camera and it's more than enough for all hobby photographers.

Iván Imhof

Kirill: "Unfortunately without a properly sized chipset and proper lenses that is all a bunch of BS." Very interesting comment you're making there. How would you define a "properly sized chipset"?

I assume you are not referring to the 41 mp sensor, are you? For a phone sensor this is HUGE. It's a 1/1.2'' sensor. About the size of the sensor in Nikon V1. For a mobile phone this is revolutionary. So is the IQ.

I agree when you say "What they are really doing is taking a an oversampled picture in order to get down to a 5MP sized picture with excellent detail." Exactly. Why is that bad? You can still get 34mp 16:9 and 38mp 4:3 images without the oversampling.

"Nice but not worth the camera cost" What is not worth the camera cost?? The image quality?

This is probably the greatest innovation to come out of MWC 2012!


That's IT! Nokia has discovered the secret to beating the iPhone. MOAR CAMERA PIXELS! Success is guaranteed!

William Volk

It'a a Camera with a smartphone, not a smartphone with a camera!

Anderson Assumpção

Gadgety: Innovation? WHat? An oversized image sensor and image cropping to trying to get details? From my point of view it's just a workaround not an invention.

The main element of any optical image reproduction is the lens. If it can not render high enough resolution with low distortion and consistent sharpness taking 42 Mpixels will not be a quantum leap. Well, maybe if you want to see some more details, it helps somewhat... however, the more detail isn't the only important parameter of an image.

Iván Imhof

Impressive for the size of the phone and especially with Carl Zeiss optics! Wow indeed. has a few sample shots that tells it all.

It does beg the question as to why other 'normal' cameras don't or can't go higher in MP without inflating the price. We do know the amount of MP is not the precursor to a great camera but one with great optics does add to the wonder IMO.

Serge Richard

Since the smartphone part is so lame (OS, single core etc) why not just use it in a feature phone instead of smartphone for people who want a phone with camera for great stills and 1080p video without the extra cost of a data plan.


@Ivan Imhof: I agree. But still this is impressive!

Kirill Belousov

I am really excited about what Nokia's engineering team has developed. Nokia has done with their custom camera module what Samsung has done with their AMOLED display. I believe Nokia will also share in similar success... especially in a world where differences in smartphones have become razor thin and consumers are no longer impressed with the next generation processor. Even the new Tegra III quad core won't raise as many eyebrows as Nokia's 41MP camera module since it doesn't really distinguish itself from the pack.

Another advantage could be that the new camera module is sold to other manufacturers after the first two years of very strong sales.

Did Nokia partner with OmniVision or other company to synergistically blend their expertise with Nokia's expertise in order to create the camera module?


Daniel D'Agostino

Forty-one megapixel, hmmmm. It may compete closed to Sigma's DP1 Merrill, DP2 Merrill and SD1 Merrill who has both 46 megapixel. DSLR SD1 set their price to $2,299 to be able to compete to Nikon D800 who has 36.3 MP with a price tag of over $3K. DPs Merrill with 46 mp price not been set.

For Nokia 808 price of $600 is good enough. I believe picture quality is closed to transparency film.

If everything works...I'd rather have Nokia instead of 36.3 or 46 megapixel. Technology is expensive!

David Cajudo

This was about getting the technology on the market. I read that the 808 PureView is not going to come to the US market but the technology will makes its way into a Windows phone in the US.

A lot of it is marketing math but with the larger sensor in the phone and half decent lens it does slightly outperform the Galaxy SIII.

I could see how a US launch on maybe Windows Phone 8 could draw attention since so many people now use phones instead of digital cameras.

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