The Nokia 808 Pureview blows other cellphone cameras out of the water — but its clunky interface makes it almost not worth the effort.
Earlier this year, Nokia said it would release the 808 PureView, a phone with a 41-megapixel camera. That’s a number not found on many other cameras on the market, and Nokia claimed it would allow users to take jawdropping photos of far-off scenes that could be easily zoomed and manipulated.
Mashable put the camera to the test to see if it lived up to the promise. You can see the gallery of images from our tests above. These images were taken on the roof of the building that houses the Mashable offices in Manhattan, about 12 stories up.
As you can see from the photos, the camera is beyond anything else you’ll find on a phone. The large file sizes really allow for close crops on details of photos. While adding more megapixels doesn’t equal a better quality image, it leads to bigger files that you can do more things with in post-production.
The 808 PureView also offers far more features than you’ll find on most phones, such as white balance and autofocus. All of this is accessible from the phone’s touch screen. While this can’t compare to something like a DSLR, for users wanting to pack a high-powered point-and-shoot on their phone, it’s perfect.
Unfortunately, the interface is the phone’s biggest downfall. It’s hard to figure out how to actually get the phone’s camera into 41-megapixel mode. It’s not a default setting at all, and you have to navigate through a series of obtuse menus to change your photos’ quality and size.
Given that the phone trumpets this feature, it should be visible on the camera’s main menu. The image sizes also had meaningless names, such as “PureView” and “Full Resolution,” to differentiate them.
Not making large images the default makes sense when trying to conserve space — a 41-megapixel image is roughly 34 megabytes — but it defeats the purpose of having such a powerful camera. While it’s a great fit for a phone, it lives in a clunky ecosystem that hides its potential.