Nokia’s 808 PureView is the N8 successor we dreamt of
Last Wednesday, Nokia India held a reviewer’s workshop in Mumbai to introduce us to the Nokia 808 PureView officially. Boy, I had never been more excited to get my first hand on for a device!
Before starting with my thoughts on 808 PureView, I should speak of my love for the Nokia N8 first. The Nokia N8 has been my trusted companion for over an year and a half now, from the day it was launched in India. Within a week of my trial of the N8, I knew I had to get one. It had the perfect looks, the best camera complemented by a stellar set of multimedia features along with Nokia’s best & biggest Symbian release till date. Ever since the Nokia N85 days, I have come to love & use Nokia’s multimedia features like FM Transmitter, TV Out & DLNA support on a more than regular basis. So any device without these features was a complete no-no for me. The N8 brought another feature I have come to use & love now, HDMI out with HD video playback. And although people complain that it runs Symbian, in over a year & a half’s use, I have never found it to be a shortcoming of any sorts. To help matters, Nokia released 2 major software upgrades in Symbian Anna & Nokia Belle to bring the 2010 N8 right up to the 2012 standards. Yes, people complain that even Belle is no match for Android & iOS, but I humbly disagree. I am more than satisfied with Symbian on Nokia Belle.
The Nokia N8 was announced way back in April 2010, after which a lot of advancement & development has taken place, which found its way to newer Nokia phones. Now this is not to say that the Nokia N8 is obsolete in any way today, hell I still use it as my primary device today. But after a year and a half, it has been sometime since I started waiting for a successor of the N8. Naturally, I wanted the N8 successor to include all these advancements in a single package so that I could get the best of everything that Nokia has to offer! And I am happy to say that Nokia did not disappoint when they gave us the Nokia 808 PureView. Everything good that Nokia has released hardware wise has been included in the Nokia 808 PureView. It is going to be very difficult to find a fault with the new camera flagship, and I am not even going to try.
After the N8 had been announced in April 2010, later that year at the Nokia World, Nokia introduced as to a better version of their AMOLED displays – Clear Black Display (CBD). I will not go into explaining what the CBD is good at, but having experienced it with the Nokia E7 & the Lumia 800, I wanted my next device to have the CBD. It really improves the visibility in sunlight, and offers crisp better blacks all over.
Another improvement I wanted in my next device was a Bigger Screen. After the N8, Nokia released two 4” Symbian devices – E7 & X7. I had a chance to use both the devices, and after using the 4” screens, N8 did seem small. Due to the widescreen resolution adopted by Nokia, a Symbian 3.5” offers a smaller width than say the 3.5” iPhone. Something where a 4” screen would offer a major usability enhancement. One of the only few aspects where I feel Symbian is in need of major improvement is the onscreen keyboard which feels a bit cramped on the nHD 3.5″ screen, so you can imagine how much I would be looking forward to a 4″ screen.
Despite still being a developing technology, Nokia has already shown what the Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled phones are capable off with their Tap to Share file support as well as some really really sexy NFC capable accessories. Although I doubt I’ll get to use it much, but I definitely wanted my next device to be NFC capable.
Torch. Yes, LED flash based Torch. This is one underrated feature which has proven to be of such great use so often that I actually miss having this feature on the N8. But a LED flash is no match for Xenon flash. So asking for a LED flash in a camera phone is certainly not what the photography lover in me wanted. The only upside to the LED flash over the Xenon flash is flash support while recording videos and torch capability. After the N8 was launched, we wanted Nokia to offer a Xenon + LED flash combo in the next flagship, solving the need for flash in every situation. I honestly did not expect them to actually provide this dual flash solution in the N8 successor. Am happy to say that I have been proven wrong.
Removable battery. Symbian is one of the only few platforms which offers a battery life that does not make you have to carry the charger everywhere you go. But when it comes to being a Camera flagship, there can never be enough battery. Normally, all you would have to do is pop out the battery & replace it with a backup. But with the N8, Nokia decided to go with a non-removable battery to offer a sleeker device. Although this gave the device better looks, it meant unless you carry a portable charging solution, you were only limited to a single battery cycle at a go. Fortunately, Nokia has changed their plans for the Nokia 808 PureView and we now have the option to pop up the dead battery and replace it with a backup battery to get the camera up & running again.
Processor, RAM and Phone Memory. I did not want a quad core device with 2 GB RAM and the bragging rights. But it was clear that the N8 internals had started to show their age. Any new device would have to better the N8 in all these specs. With the Nokia 808 PureView, Nokia has ensured that the processor speed or shortage of RAM will not be an issue for the users.
As far as Symbian goes, Not only was I more than impressed with Nokia Belle, but I am actually surprised to see the efforts Nokia has put in for the Feature Pack 1 update. If this is anything to go by, I can’t wait to see what Feature Pack 2 will bring along with the Calra & Donna updates down the line. At the event, I was again told by Vesa Jutila that Nokia is definitely going to support Symbian till 2016 atleast, if not more.
The only change in the Nokia 808 PureView I am skeptical about is the material used for the body. With the metal body of the Nokia N8, it was able to live through brutal drops & rugged use. Now I have already made it clear that I am no fan of the PolyCarbonate bodies on the Nokia Lumia devices. PolyCarbonate is very soft and gets bumped even with the slightest fall. Now how well does the Nokia 808 PureView perform can only be ascertained when I get to trial it and give it a rough go.
I wanted something which combined everything the Nokia N8 was good at, along with these new features & advancements. What I got was the Nokia 808 PureView. Bigger & better screen, Better Camera, NFC, Dual Flash technology, Removable Battery, Faster Processor, Bigger RAM & Phone Memory. I honestly could not have asked for anything more. Well done Nokia. I am definitely upgrading my N8 with the Nokia 808 PureView.
You can check out my thoughts of the Nokia 808 PureView from the event along with a preview Hands On below -