PureView sensor size comparison (808 vs 920 vs N93 vs average phone)

| September 19, 2012 | 22 Replies

In the following pictures, you’ll see how the PureView sensors stack up against the competition.

The sensor in the 808 is the largest ever put in a mobile phone, as is larger than those found in the top end compact point and shoot cameras. The previous king of the sensor was another Nokia, the N8. In the picture above, you can see how big this sensor is in comparison to a generic camera phone.

Below, the 808 sensor next to the whole camera module of the 920.


This one brings back a few memories. The N93 has a long and large camera module due to the optical zoom (and also, sensor sizes had been gradually becoming more compact).

The long barrel is inserted horizontally on the phone so that the width is used and not the thickness of the phone, thus allowing more space.

Sensor size is very important in image quality. More pixels on a tiny sensor means not a lot of light per pixel. 808 uses both a large sensor, but also excess pixels (41mp sensor) for over sampling. PureView phase 2, found in the Nokia Lumia 920, focuses on the floating lens PureView phase 2 optical image stabilisation. Both are excellent compared to the competition, each with their own strengths.

Eventually, the expectation is for both PureView 1 and 2 to be combined into some SuperPureView Avengers mash up.


Cheers ‘Z.” for the tip!


Category: Lumia, Nokia, Windows Phone

About the Author ()

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]
  • john

    Jay, what brand is the video stabilizer you are using in your 808 stabilization video last week?


  • Silthice

    If Nokia have given another name instead of PureView phase 2.
    Nokia will have another tech brand to be tagged on the new phone.
    Like how Apple does in iPhone 5, although it just a lens but still they manage to highlight the sapphire lens.

    Eg: Nokia 999 PureImage = PureView tech + PureBright tech + PureStability tech

    Well that’s how Apple does their marketing.
    They highlight every single thing although they’re nothing actually.

    • Ujwal Soni

      Superb idea really… That would have put another feather in Nokia’s cap, without diluting the PureView brand..

      PureBright sounds nice..

      • Silthice

        well they still got time to rename it
        Lumia 920 PureBright~

      • Fz

        I agree to a point, it makes sense to have different brands for different tech. How ever they might combine what they have in 808 and Lumia 920 into one camera. What is it then, PureBrightView?

        According to Wikipedia 808’s camera is called “PureView Pro”, which makes it easier to combine names. I wish they would have differentiated L920’s camera by calling it “PurevView OIS” or something that sounds better but that would point out the tech is different while it’s still PureView. Maybe they still wanted to concentrate making PureView-brand more known.

        They have already “PureMotion” screen and “Pure-” sounds like a good name when it comes to images.

        • Silthice

          With now HTC copy everything Lumia does…
          Every single tech that available in Lumia is now crucial to be HIGHLIGHTED to differentiate or to give extra boost to Lumia series.

  • JGrove303

    Nokia doesn’t need to use marketing buzz terms for every little thing. PureView stands for, “That badass camera your trendy little phone doesn’t have” to anyone without. PureView stands for imaging excellence.

    What they need to do is SHOW THESE QUALITIES TO EVERYONE and talk about them in depth so everyone knows they’re missing out big if the don’t get a Nokia.

    • Silthice

      Till now Nokia still fail on doing that(“SHOW THESE QUALITIES TO EVERYONE and talk about them in depth”).
      Instead they come up with fake video and it’s kinda make the public trust towards Nokia become fragile.
      Plus, people have set their mind PureView is more on superPixel, loseless zoom and superb details (including low distortion, no vignetting, and high levels of resolved detail).
      So, it is better not to confuse to public with what they have learned about PureView but instead go for different name for different tech.

      • Canicalia Lamentoqua

        Sadly I have to agree. Fake video with big camera from van that was like saying “we can do anything we want to and you will have to buy it as you have no other choice”. It was like burning platform communicate.

        • Can you please just stop commenting? At least reply to me so i know you’re not automated spam.

          None of your comments make any sense. Your reply makes no sense. Could you just please, just go away if you are spam?

          It’s like you pick up sentences, string them together as a reply that makes no value to the topic being discussed.

          • sunnyvale

            I’ve seen you replying to this person before Jay. I don’t get it. It doesnt look like spam to me. Again you have seen more comments from him than what i have seen.

            what i see that doesnt make sense is the lack verb tense, like Tarzan or something 🙂

          • Canicalia Lamentoqua

            ? What? Seems to me everybody here are making comments. Perhaps my language is not perfect – please forgive me.

        • Silthice

          For me, there’s only one reason that I can come up with why Nokia fake the video, pic or whatever it is. Cause they want to make the ad available earlier before the phone introduction. Maybe by the time they’re making the ads, the phone camera software was not really stable or the OIS was not really working well that time. So they just use professional camera to shoot them. Sadly they should put the disclaimer.

  • Marc Aurel

    Just one point of clarification: the 1/1.2″ sensor on the 808 is not larger than all high end compact cameras, it’s just larger than most, which mainly use 1/1.7″ sensors. There are now many compacts with an APS-C class sensor such as the Canon G1 X and the Fujifilm X100. Sony just announced the Cyber-shot DSC-RX1, which has a monster Full Frame sensor.

    Some recently announced top-end compacts such as the Panasonic DMC-LX7 and Samsung EX2F also have very fast (wide aperture) F/1.4 lenses, which means that the despite smaller sensor the amount of light reaching the sensor is comparable to the 808.

  • Dave

    After reading, I still have no idea which is the N8 sensor and which is the 920 sensor… it doesn’t appear to be clear at all.

    • I agree………even after reading the comments………the comments do not discuss anything about camera modules anyways………I cannot see what is what

      • Gho2sH


  • Pingback: Nokia Lumia 920 vs 808 PureView sensor size comparison : Gadzets.Net | Know Your Gadget()

  • zlutor

    Wow, Hungarian forint is used as reference.
    jay, who is the author of the photos?