At Mobile World Congress, Nokia took the wraps off of a truly impressive smartphone – the 808 PureView. While the phone is likely not destined for release in the US and packs Nokia’s aging Symbian OS, it’s still worth noting due to an impressive 42MP rear-facing camera. The huge sensor gives the device a chunky profile and an even more pronounced bump around the optics, but it may be worth it for pictures like the one above.
As previously mentioned the PureView runs Symbian Belle, the latest iteration of Nokia’s legacy OS. As a result, the screen packs a paltry nHD resolution (360×640) sprawled over a four-inch diagonal and the processor is an underwhelming single-core chip. Nonetheless, the specs are more than capable of running the OS but call into question why exactly Nokia would choose to step away from their all-in approach to Windows Phone 7 to undertake a project like this one.
While the camera does capture shots at 42MP, the imaging processor inside the phone composites some of the pixels to reduce image size to a more manageable footprint while still retaining a fantastic image. Many would be quick to point out that megapixels don’t mean much if a camera’s sensor is small, but the 1/1.2″ sensor is 2.5 times the size of the sensor in the Nokia N8 and almost 6 times the size of the iPhone 4S’s sensor. In fact, the sensor isn’t a far cry from that of Nikon’s mirrorless format which goes to show how much light the PureView is capable of taking in.
This phone is set to release in Europe for 450 Euros during the next quarter, though aspirational Nokia fans across the pond could import the phone for use on AT&T or T-Mobile (thanks to the pentaband modem, though data would top out at HSPA speeds). For more pictures and hands-on video, check out Engadget’s coverage of MWC.