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