Cnet’s Nokia 808 PureView comparison vs iPhone 4S (Take 1)

| June 13, 2012 | 94 Replies

Here’s CNet’s comparison of the Nokia 808 PureView against the iPhone 4S.

The 808 PureView was set to 8MP (PureView) mode, so the 808 gains in oversampling and creation of super pixels whilst not totally embarrassing the iPhone with the 38mp mode in brighter conditions. This will show and prove at least that pixel for pixel, the Nokia 808 PureView is delivering performance and isn’t just gimmick. Superpixels are in action.

Clearly there is no comparison. Though they have got used to the warmer, more saturated iPhone colours and seem to favour its images. It is noted however that the 808 does have a more pronounced ‘bokeh’ effect. Looking at the 100% crop, they note the 808 being sharper. How it might freak them out to see the 38MP version.

In low light, the 808 produces better images again, but they complain about the cool tones.

Here are my own results, after playing with the 808 for a few hours. It is unnatural for a phone to be doing that.

The last test is HDR which is built in to the iPhone but you’d have to use an app on the 808, thus the 808 immediately loses.

Overall, the argument of whether the Nokia 808 PureView is able to beat the Apple iPhone 4S’ camera boils down to individual preferences. The Nokia 808 PureView delivers sharper and less grainy images, which is great if you print out a lot of your photos. The iPhone 4S delivers better colors and has the added advantage of an HDR mode.

Let’s look at that more closely shall we?

  • The argument of whether Nokia 808 PureView is able to beat the iPhone’s camera DOES indeed boil down to personal preferences. If you prefer to look at camera comparisons with your eyes shut, that’s your personal preference. What a load of tosh. Set the camera to vivid if you want these magical saturated colours. I admit, the 808 does have a cooler tone than normal, but to make such a statement where you judge the camera quality on the colours ignoring the fact that the 808 is producing sharper images, more detail, clearer bokeh, low noise in pretty awesome dynamic range without the use of HDR…well. People are growing to prefer warmer, more saturated colours – perhaps there should be a pop up the first time you use 808 to ask you if you want this.
  • Perhaps which is producing pictures of your preference is a better choice of words. Some people prefer overprocessed, oversaturated, warmer, noisier pictures. Even I sometimes like the more vivid warmer tones on occasion when i’m shooting with my own cameras (vs the natural colours seen). In terms of better camera, then no, there is no room at all for ‘personal preference’ here.
  • Low light with flash will decimate iPhone 4S and the next iPhone
  • Lets zoom in a bit shall we? I wonder how that looks on an iPhone 4S

I always say credit where credit is due. iPhone 4S does have a pretty great camera. Indeed it is true that whether 808 or iPhone 4S is for you depends on personal preferences. If however, camera should matter most, then it should take absolutely no time in the world to decide to go with the 808. If you have other needs etc, preferences for games/apps, I’d of course recommend the iPhone. But when the category being judged is imaging, then no it does not come down to personal preference which camera is better. Looking with your eyes you can see what’s better.

Let’s take some words from Gizmodo shall we?

That camera is damn good – made compact cameras and maybe even bridge cameras obsolete”

How about Engadget?

 ”New Benchmark for Mobile Imaging”

Sorry Cnet. But no worries! People have already been giving feedback (some comments a little too harsh, a little too rude and unnecessary) and they’re redoing this test.

After taking stock of all the feedback, we acknowledge that our assertions should have been more conclusive when pointing out the differences between the two phones’ photo quality. We will be shooting a new round of photos complete with comments from both our phone and camera reviewers. Thanks for all the feedback, and look out for our updated gallery coming soo

We are not just angry blind fans of Nokia that want 808 to win in tests it doesn’t deserve. We have seen proof of what PureView does. As have others, to the point that even Gizmodo, known Nokia critics have changed their tone and accept that PureView is no gimmick. We just want that fair recognition of what Nokia has achieved here, eh? :).

We can wait for places like GSMArena to hopefully take the camera for a proper spin. I think Gizmodo and Engadget could show it off too. dpreview – well that would be cream on the crop – to be tested purely as a camera :).



Category: Nokia, Symbian

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Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]