Nokia 808 PureView Review


Nokia Pureview 808
Nokia Pureview 808
Nokia Pureview 808

Feature set summary for Nokia 808 PureView review

The 41-megapixel snapper is the star of the show. Crammed with functions and producing pin-sharp, colourful snaps, this is the best we’ve seen on a smartphone.


Style and handling summary for Nokia 808 PureView review

The Nokia 808 PureView is not small by any means, and the lens sticks out, but it still looks good and has a comforting heft when you hold it. Just be aware you will feel it in your pocket!


Battery power summary for Nokia 808 PureView review

Considering the features on offer, battery life is impressive. A fully charged battery will offer a good day of use, and you can take hundreds of snaps before the juice drains.


Performance summary for Nokia 808 PureView review

Performance was good; the small choice of games ran okay, but the handset did slow down when we were finding our way through the menus.


User friendliness summary for Nokia 808 PureView review

The 808 runs on Nokia’s clunky Symbian operating system, which is not as intuitive as Android and its ilk. But the good news is that the touchscreen proves responsive and the snapper controls are also user friendly.


Nokia 808 Pureview Review Scoring Summary

Style & Handling
User Friendliness
Feature Set
Battery Power
Overall Score grey star


Pros :
Fantastic camera, grabs clear Full HD video, impressive battery life, decent performance 

Cons :
Outdated OS, disappointing virtual keyboard, few apps, chunky body



The Nokia 808 PureView has by far the best snapper we’ve encountered on a smartphone, so keen photographers who can cope with its bulk and the clunky Symbian operating system will want to take a look.

Full Review and Specification for the Nokia 808 Pureview

If you’ve already seen the specs for the Nokia 808 PureView and thought we’d made some sort of typo over the 41-megapixel snapper – you’ll be as surprised to know that this is actually correct. We’ve seen some good snappers on phones such as the HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S II – but 41 megapixels – really? We’re wondering if professional snappers might eschew all their kit for a phone, and if your average user will really see the benefit of such momentous photographic technology.



Snap happy

Because we were so impressed by the 41-megapixel snapper, we spent a lot of time putting it through its paces – see our full PureView camera review for details and plenty of photos.  But in summary – it’s fantastic!



Outdated system


It seems strange, given that the camera is so utterly impressive, that Nokia has chosen to lumber the 808 PureView with its antiquated Symbian operating system, which is more than 10 years old now. Apparently it’s because the camera functionality was built over it, but in reality it is responsible for pretty much everything that is not great about the handset.


One good thing is that there has been an update – known as ‘Symbian Belle’ – which has managed to make it a tad less clunky than it was previously. You have a selection of four desktops, each of which can be customised with a nice choice of widgets. There are Twitter and Facebook widgets, along with a BBC News widget for getting the latest stories, plus quick-access keys taking you to media tools, favourite contacts and websites. It’s just a shame the widgets are so darn ugly – and far from easy to use. It took us some time to work out that to get them off our desktops we needed to drag them up to the top of the display and then press delete.


Bulk buy


This is not a neat phone – it won’t slip into a pocket on a pair of tight jeans, and you may have difficulty squeezing it into a small handbag. That fantastic camera comes at a price – the lens sticks out, making the phone 14mm thick at its widest point. You’ll know it’s in your pocket, that’s for sure – and that lens ends up covered in fingerprints, because it’s hard not to touch it when you’re using the handset as a phone.


Despite its bulky body, the 808 still manages to look smart, with its edge-to-edge glass coating on the front, interrupted only by the Home/Call/Reject strip at the bottom. The reverse side is matt white, and the panel pops off to offer access to the SIM card, battery and microSD slot.


Un ‘appy


Going back to Symbian, one of its issues is the lack of app support on offer – the Nokia Store offers just 100,000 apps. It may sound like a lot but compare it to the 500,000+ on offer by both Apple and Android, and it pales into insignificance. The Nokia Store also counts every song, video and wallpaper added by its users. However, you’ll still get access to the likes of Fruit Slicer and Angry Birds, although they are not free, and will cost you a pound or two.


Texting is another disappointment, thanks to the odd onscreen keyboard. There’s no autocorrect and we found ourselves constantly mis-typing. The position of the buttons is strange – with the return and backspace keys at the bottom – but if you’re used to Symbian maybe this won’t be a problem.


Setting up email was also not a happy experience – we typed in our details for Gmail but couldn’t synch – instead a connection error message kept popping up. We tried to find a Gmail app in the Nokia Store but none was forthcoming.


However, battery life is impressive, especially considering how much has to be powered. We managed to snap hundreds of photos and a bit of video before needing to recharge. And in use as a phone, the handset lasted for more than a day before we had to charge it up. If you’re not playing music or streaming video you might just squeeze two days out of a full battery.


Sound and vision

Media fans do have the benefit of some decent onboard media apps. The video and music players are not fancy, but do their job well – it is possible to play music in the background while doing something else, such as browsing the web. You will need to use the bundled earphones though, as any others we tried resulted in an ‘accessory not supported’ message popping up.


You can use the YouTube app to stream video, and the sharpness of the 4in screen is impressive – it’s not quite up there with that of the Samsung Galaxy S III or HTC One X, but nevertheless films looked good, with vibrant colours. Viewing angles were also excellent, should you wish to share with a friend, and there is a bright setting for using outside in sunlight.


Our conclusion

If you’re a fan of Symbian, you’ll probably not mind its odd quirks and clunkiness, but the dearth of decent apps is a real issue. However, no one can deny that the 808 Pureview’s 41-megapixel snapper beats any of its rivals hands down – so for anyone looking for an excellent camera on their phone, and who can overlook its chunky chassis and clunky OS, this is definitely a phone worth taking a look at.


Nokia 808 Pureview Specification

Type of device


Operating System

Symbian Belle





Form factor

Candy bar


Touch Screen

Processor speed




Graphic chipset



February 2012


Coming Soon


Screen size

4 inches

Screen type




Display type

16.7 million




Internal storage


Memory card slot




41 megapixels

Secondary camera


Special camera features

Xenon flash, Auto-focus, focus modes, shooting modes, face detection


3.5mm Jack


Music player


Audio recording




FM Radio description

Stereo FM radio


Video recording


Video player

H.264 (base profile, main profile, high profile), MPEG-4, VC-1, Sorenson Spark, Real video 10

Video calling


Video streaming


Additional Features




Yes and downloadable

Voice control


Voice dailing



Support for up to 48GB with an external microSD memory card

































Colors (Standard)


Handsfree speaker phone


Customisable ringtones


What's in the box





Up to 465 hours (GSM) and up to 540 hours (WCDMA)


Up to 660 minutes (GSM) and up to 390 minutes (WCDMA)

Battery life multimedia



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By Simon Thomas on 19th July, 2012

Tags: Nokia Pure ViewNokia Pureview 808

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