AAS: PureView Shoot Out Round 2, Nokia 808 PureView vs Nokia Lumia 920 PR1.1

| January 2, 2013 | 81 Replies




Steve Litchfield compares the two heavy hitters in imaging right now, the Nokia 808 PureView and the Nokia Lumia 920 with the PR1.1 update that includes some imaging improvements.


The 808 PureView is still of course the unabashed winner in 6 out of 8 tests and Steve likens it to coming second to Usain Bolt. You might still be better compared to many other smartphones, except of course the incredible Nokia 808 PureView. The images on the 920 do look great, but when you zoom in and inspect pixel for pixel, the quality from the 808 is just astonishing. It shocks me still, to this day when I zoom in to picture perfect images from my 808. It’s also a jaw dropper moment for folks that read the 41mp label, especially for those that think that’s useless on a phone until they see themselves holding a menu, me taking a picture and being able to later zoom in to the naked-eye unreadable fineprint.

I do wonder sometimes when Nokia will bother to bring Xenon to WP Lumia. Even that on its own would be markedly better for low light close up people pics. Or even N8 grade imaging to WP. Make a set of slim WPs, but give users a choice if they want something fatter because it’s worth the bulk.

Here’s to PureView V3 πŸ˜€



Category: Lumia, Nokia, PureView

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  • proflex3

    Lumia 920 camera is shit. It produces noise even on daylight photos.
    808 is far better !

    • Janne

      808 is the better camera (excluding video stabilization and low-light stabilization thanks to OIS) of course, but that doesn’t mean Lumia 920 camera is ****. In the segment of 8 MP mainstream, bumpless cameraphones it competes well. 808 is in another segment.

      • Spede oli aliarvostettu


        It’s strange to see how people don’t understand these two devices are designed for very different segments.

        It’s not possible to get one phone best for all purposes.

        • dss

          Its strange how the 920 is bigger, heavier, and it takes more room in your hand and pocket compared to the 808.. but its still considered smaller than the 808 because it doesn’t have a hump.. and somehow those dimensions are.. “mainstream” ..

          • Janne

            Pockets usually stretch/span sideways better than outwards. Trust me, I have a hard time fitting my 808 in its official silicone cover to my pocket while the 920 in its official silicone cover just slides in. 808 fits, sure, but it is hard to place it there and get it out, extra juggling.

            The problem: the bump.

            • Viipottaja

              Either you have too skinny jeans for your own good (hipster!! :P) or too big a… err.. never mind! πŸ˜€

              • Janne

                You have always been the resident pervert. πŸ™‚

          • Janne

            Also, the 808 uses its bulk for a large sensor/optics mobile camera. 920 uses it for screen, wireless charging, stabilization and such things. Clearly they are in a different segment and thus the results differ.

            Why are we fighting amongst Nokia devices anyway? What fans are we…

          • Had to compare the two just to see where both devices stand, volume wise they are near identical with 95cc for the 808 and 99cc for the 920. The reason why the 920 is considered ‘smaller’ lies in the specs it carries in its chassis. A larger screen, a larger battery and general specs that are equal to similarly sized phones.

            And as Janne said, wider is easier to handle than thicker. To a certain point of course.

      • proflex3

        I compared with iPhone 5. Apple’s camera makes more detailed photos with lower noise level in daylight. Of course in low light nokia’s camera is better , but most of time we do shots in good lighting conditions.

        • Dave

          Maybe you do shots in good lighting most of the time, so you rarely go out at night, or head out when its raining or overcast? But just because you do doesn’t mean most people do.

        • capedonut

          yeah, but that is partly because most cameras suck in low light conditions

        • torcida

          iP5 makes daily shoots with noise, oversaturated colors… No chance against 808!

        • zinrc

          U apple fanboy IPhone 5 is a piece of junk.
          Its map is a garbage and now they going to build phone from TSMC the phone will be peice of garbage. Dont even compare camera with Lumia 920.

    • joseph

      although using different platforms, both the 808 aand the 920 are great. but i think it would be better if Nokia would put out a phone with a 41MP camera (for daylight shots) WITH the Floating Lens technology for nightshots.

  • dss

    In low light all you have to do is bump up the iso on the 808 and it will give a better results. In all other conditions.. no contest.

    Sometimes even the DR works fine.. which I think is the weakest link in the phase 1 system

    Noise levels are kept very, very low.. its incredible.. the file size is about 700 kb.

    happy 2013

    • javier

      wow, that’s an amazing DR! has the lightness curve been tweaked?

      • dss

        No.. raw jpeg from the phone

  • 124573

    4 Every nokia fans to lumia 820 in this site please

    vote 4 lumia 820 against Xperia Ion …vote vote vote

  • Spede oli aliarvostettu

    Are Nokia fans really trying to yell that an old model is going to save Nokia?

    • Dave

      No, they’re just complaining that the new pureview isn’t anything like as good as the old pureview.

      • That is the price to pay for naming something different the same. Pureview in the 808 is something completely different compared to PV in the 920. Guess some people are miffed because of the diluted value of the PV brand.

        The 808 is the better camera, period. Does that make the 920 a bad one? In direct comparison maybe, but both cameras have different areas in which they excel.

        • Dave

          The big problem for the 920 is that it can only better its mainstream competition under very specific circumstances (ie. low light shots where the target does not move). Otherwise it is no better than an iPhone 4S/5 or SGS3.

          So no, it is not really a good camera – ffs, its not even as good the 2 year old Nokia N8.

          • Spede oli aliarvostettu

            The 808 has this huge problem.

            It’s not so easy to use. I can use it, yes.

            Symbian pretty much ruins it as far as mass markets are considered.

            Nokia needs to sell mobile phones. Easy to use mobile phones.

            • AreOut

              what’s so hard to use with 808? I know some computer illiterate people that use 808 without any problem, using phone/apps/camera even multitasking on it! You really really don’t sound like an 808 user.

              • Ere oli aliarvostettu

                Only mostly everything.

                Some people think that WP is too easy to use.


          • Considering physical size and the components that make up the N8’s lens I’m not surprised it is still the better camera.

            When looking solely at stil photography the 920 does leave a lot to be desired. Although it isn’t that bad that it should ‘suck’, it is merely not living up to the hype that surrounded it.

            The part I do find interesting is video capture. That is considerably better under all conditions when looking at the competition. It is also one department where the N8 perhaps will lose out, but I haven’t got any straight comparison.

            Sometimes I think we have come to expect too much from the tiny sensors that are in phones. Devices like the 808 or N8 come with much larer sensors (at a price) and will always be the better devices compared to devices that are smaller or have smaller lens assemblies.

            Every phone camera (sans 808) is only good for the quick snap where you aren’t carrying a dedicated device. If you want print media quality images you aren’t going to get that from any phone, or atleast good images that is.

        • Tetlee

          I agree, it was silly calling it the same and will only add to confusion down the road. Now if and when Nokia do make a proper Pureview Lumia people will be unsure if it’s infact the 920 image stabilizing or actual 808 style Pureview.
          The tech of the 920 is more about image stabilizing than anything else, the low light performance is just taking advantage of the fact this allows for higher ISO while making it easier to get shots.
          The 808 CAN even match the 920 in low light, but it just requires changes to ISO(around 800 or higher) which is moving away from most users who just point and click.

        • burningIdea

          Yup, you can try as much as you can to call a tangerine an orange, but end of the day when the consumers taste it they know the difference.

  • mohamed
    • dss

      I still don’t get the frenzy around this… I would never apply any of that on my 808 images.. why ruin a good quality photograph with shitty effects ? This is a great way to hide the poor quality most smartphones provide.. just slap some color to it, resize down to 600×400, and.. great.. you made you car look like it was around in the 60s!

      • scorpion

        you clearly dont get it
        its not about the effects. there better apps for that on all platforms
        the correct answer is about the community. and there is a huge community on instagram sharing pics.

      • Dave

        I agree, and I hate the faux retro look in anything from instagram … “hey, woot, we can make our crappy iPhone or galaxy pictures look like they were taken with a crappy 110 film with the cheapest possible lens”. Great for people who think they’re trendy or with the in crowd.

        I do actually have an instagram account, thought it best to have a browse ages back. And god, is it bad. Next to nothing worth looking at.

  • qromodynmc

    808 is still the king.. I dont care its symbian or not,great phone.

    • Janne

      Of course it is imaging king. How could it not be? Nobody, not even Nokia, has yet to release anything comparable spec-wise on the market.

    • RVM

      Well, actually Symbian on 808 is much more usable (as a smartphone) than WP7.5 on Lumia 800 (i had L800 and still have 88).

      • scorpion

        nah symbian just sucks
        i have the 808 and there are plenty of bugs. i have lost the count on how many times this thing has rebooted. most of them are from the data bug.
        the marketplace is a graveyard
        the new keyboard doesnt works with many apps making it worthless and swype has stopped working. great timing
        the browser is crap. opera is a bit better but compare it with the browsers on the other os and its awful
        no video calls on skype and no notifications
        no calls on viber
        crap games
        nokia social is laughable. the scrolling is hideous
        and many more

        symbian is good if you want a phone to make calls. other than that is an relic of os that had to die and nokia to move on to better things.

        • Dave

          The data bug is hardware. Switch off HSDPA and it is fine, or send it in to Nokia for the hardware fix. So that is a hardware issue, not a software bug.

          Opera is easily as good as Chrome on my Nexus 7.
          Swype was only ever really a beta.
          Use fMobi instead of nokias social, is easily as good as the iOS official facebook client (which has occasions of being completely useless)
          Facebook sharing on FP2 is leagues ahead of that on iOS
          Tweetian is one of the best twitter clients regardless of platform

          Sure, the app store isn’t great, but then the iOS store is full of complete and utter rubbish, as is the Play Store.

          I have an iPhone 4S and a Nexus 7 to compare to the 808, and unless you’re a complete and utter retard with learning difficulties who refuses to grow up, the 808 is as easy to use and as good in daily usage as any of the competition.

          • Spede oli aliarvostettu

            808 really is “as good in daily usage as any of the competition.” But only if you don’t mind 808 freezing more often, lacking applications and having lots of problems.

            I wouldn’t use 808 as my mobile phone while I use it sometimes because of the camera.

            Claiming that the App Store is crappy/whatever because there are lots of rubbish is like claiming the internet is crap because there are lots of crappy pages.

            Most Symbian phones are claimed to have defective hardware.

            • Dave

              I haven’t had the 808 freeze once, or have any reliability problems. So please, stop making up unfounded claims about it not being reliable.

              App discovery on the Nokia store is dire, but then the same can be said of the Apple and Android stores.

              I’m claiming that the Apple and Android stores are crappy due to having used them for years, and I don’t quite hate them, but don’t see why people are so enamoured by them. Yes, there are some good apps in the stores, but the same can be said of the Nokia store.

              • Spede oli aliarvostettu

                I’ve had plenty of reliability problems with the 808. I’ve had to remove the battery to make it function. I’ve had the camera application to stop responding to any touchscreen actions.

                It’s really strange how some Nokia fans seem to have those amazing magic phones without any problems ever.

                I have actually used the 808 and it’s not very reliable. What are the odds that every last Symbian phone I have been using in the last 10 years has been defective? That has been the explanation from Nokia fans. It’s always a hardware problem and not a flaw in Symbian. That’s really hard to believe.

                About the applications. It’s possible to get some applications for Android and iPhone.

                • AreOut

                  lol you don’t have to remove battery to restart it, just shows that you don’t even possess that phone…

                  • Ere oli aliarvostettu

                    Are you suggesting that it can’t be restarted that way?

                    • AreOut

                      … of course not, “don’t have to be” doesn’t mean “could not be”, just keep trollin’

              • Tetlee

                Me neither. My 808 has been rock solid, not a single lock up and I’d go so far as to say it’s been the most reliable phone I’ve owned so far.

                The only thing lacking is the latest and greatest apps, that doesn’t bother me as pretty much everything you could possibly need, including some fantastic games(thanks mainly to 10ton) is already catered for.

                And as for people not being able to fit it in their pockets, yet they can fit the 920, I’m puzzled!

                • Spede oli aliarvostettu

                  How about your old E-series phone? Never had any problems with it?

          • scorpion

            i know its a hardware bug and a huge one. that doesnt change anything. it makes the ux even worst on the 808.

            opera is good as chrome on nexus 7?
            are you high? lol

            swype was working fine beta or not on all my symbian phones so who cares. the fact is that they stopped supporting it because symbian is dead.

            tweetian is not bad but compare it othe twitter apps on other os and its just a basic app. no notifications kills it for me too.

            yeah there many crap apps on the other app stores (as there are the 99% of the symbian apps) but there great ones too so stop this bullshit trying to downplay the other stores because the symbian one is awful

            i have many phones because of my job and i can compare it with all the high end phones and
            as i said as a daily driver the 808 is awful
            except you are going to use it as a camera or a gps. for the other stuff stay clear from this pos of os.

            • Dave

              Yes, it does change things – a simple disabling of HSDPA (which makes little difference in data speeds anyway) sorts it out.

              Yes, Opera *is* as good as Chrome, which personally I tend to dislike – it wastes way too much screen real estate and does a lousy job of being standards compliant.

              Beta. very important word. It tends to mean little or no official support.

              Yes, the Symbian store is dreadful. But be reasonable, 99% of stuff in both Android and iOS stores is also dreadful.

              Same thing here, I work at a telco and have access to plenty of phones. The 808 stands up well, and a few colleagues have also taken the plunge and gone the 808 route.

              The 808 is reliable, has a good UX, it is not a PoS. If you knew what you were talking about, you wouldn’t be coming out with such idiotic fud.

              • scorpion

                So disabling hsdpa is your solution? lol
                Great ux tip

                I can’t take you seriously when you are saying that the browsing experience on the 808 with opera is as good as the one on a nexus. You clearly haven’t used it or you just saying crap just to justify your point. Either way people know what awful the browsing experience is on a 808. Opera or stock browser.

                Beta doesn’t mean no support but maybe you are right because we are talking about a dead is so you can’t expect developers to care about it. They didn’t care years ago why Change now.

                the app stores are full of crap apps but there many excellent ones so not having them contributes to the bad experience when someone uses an 808.

                and lets Not talk about the quality of the existing Symbian apps. 99% of them have missing features if you compare them with the apps on other stores.

                As for games…. What games lol

                Symbian is crap as a daily driver. What holds many users here trying to defend it is not the software but nokia’s hardware which is top notch.

      • dss

        It is.. I actually prefer it to iOS, which a lot of people prefer over WP..

  • twig

    Both are great phones Rather than argue about it, get both. Share photos between the two using Bluetooth and be happy. But never,never put “precious” 808 into your pocket with keys and sand,etc. “precious” belongs in a special hard case with Nokia lense cover on it also…..and say “I love you” to it now and then. My white 808 gets along fine with my 920.

    • Viipottaja

      Exactly. WOOT WOOT Nokia for making two FANTASTIC cameras for phones!

  • Francis

    IMO, Nokia should:

    1. put at least 16Mpix in this 920,
    2. let go the wireless charging (to reduce weight),
    3. give us choice to turn off the low light shooting, and
    4. choice to reduced sensitivity of touch which is useless in tropical country (i understand finally been implemented in PR1.1),

    and that may convinced more people to buy 920, even with WP8 on it.

    BTW, very interesting reviews from Tomi Ahonen regarding Nokia’s WP strategy after two(2) years in execution.

    • Spede oli aliarvostettu

      Yes, wireless charging is not that interesting before it’s cheap and very common.

      It seems that Tomi Ahonen is twisting the facts once again. Oh well, there is lots of material for Nokia fans. Some of them don’t seem to care if the news are fabricated or not.

      • Francis

        Please enlighten me how he twisting the facts in this article !?

        Prove by facts and data like Tomi did, and not bluffing please.

        • Spede oli aliarvostettu

          Let’s start with this one.

          “This is bigger than problems British Airways witnessed with the catastrophy at Terminal 5 opening, or BP saw with the Oil Spill, or Exxon saw with the tanker fiasco of the Exxon Valdez”

          Exxon Valdez, really?

          • Francis

            Please give figure to prove he is wrong. Don’t ask question.

            • Spede oli aliarvostettu

              “When this strategy was announced, Nokia had 29% market share on its own operating systems.”

              Nokia hardly had 29% market share when the new strategy was announced. They had 29% in Q4 2010 but there is no evidence that Nokia had 29% in Q1 2011 when the new strategy was announced.

              That number is either fabricated or Tomi Ahonen is twisting the facts by assuming that Nokia’s market share didn’t change from Q4 to Q1.

              • Francis

                I think Tomi used Q4 2010 as reference point as the WP strategy was announced in 11 Feb 2011. Hence, the result of Q1 2011 already been affected by the annoucement and can not be used as Nokia Market share before WP.

                • Spede oli aliarvostettu

                  That’s possible.

                  However Tomi claimed that Nokia had market share of 29% when the strategy change was made.

                  He did not say that it was the market share of the Q4.

                  So, that’s not correct.

                  • Francis

                    So what is the correct figure to prove he is wrong ?

                    • Spede oli aliarvostettu

                      That correct number is unknown. He just made it up for Q1.

                      Or do you suggest that any number can be claimed and if someone questions it, the person questioning the number should provide the correct answer?

                      I bet Tomi should be able to tell how he got that number for the moment of the strategy change.

                • Viipottaja

                  I doubt Q1 _shipments_ were much affected though.

                  • Noki

                    they were not, as we all know, the brute impact came in Q2, and Q3.

                    • Viipottaja

                      Sure, especially by -53% QoQ in Q2 in China (with channel clearing etc. impacting it as well; in Q3 China all devices volumes actually bounced back 40%).

                      But, even the Q1 11 smartphone numbers were -14% QoQ by volume (-30% for all devices in Europe) and -19% by value (-33% for all devices in Europe).

                      In Q3 smart devices volume actually stabilized QoQ.

    • Tetlee

      Did the wireless charging really add much to the weight? All of the Palm Pre’s and the Pixi were with wireless charging and they weren’t big or heavy phones.

      • Francis

        Most likely yes, due to the ferrous component (steel & copper) for magnetic inductive charging system.

        • Viipottaja

          Still, its just one part in the equation and I suspect there are more significant reasons for the weight, most importantly the sturdier than usual internal board and frame structure. Plus the big glass and polycarb body. πŸ™‚ Anyway, it all adds up and yes, removing wireless charging would reduce the weight a few grams for sure.

          • Noki

            “sturdier than usual internal board and frame structure”
            +++1 it really looks very sturdy. and we saw the videos proving it was..
            think we saw the charging antenna somewhere and it did not looked that heavy

          • Francis

            Seem your point is valid too after reviewing back the assembly photo. The body seem very rigid. Anyway, for me this wireless charging is useless and waste of energy.

            • Anders81

              I appreciate the wireless charging a lot. I have the “night stand” on my office table, fatboy next to bed and JBL in the living room. Needless to say I never need to plug in, except when driving and using navigation for a long time.

              • Noki

                I think the main advantage is the reassurance you get that you wont destroy your usb port from to much use, as I did with my N900 πŸ™
                as for inconvenience its good but not mind-blowing amazing.
                example if you get a phone call with low battery you will have to plug it directly any way.

                • Anders81

                  The point in my case is whenever I need the phone it is never in low battery. I get up, fully charged, I leave work fully charged, that’s pretty much my weekday routine.

                  • Noki

                    hummm nice point, I kinda do the same with my devices perceptually connected to the usb port were ever I am. But I do see the point, AKA if some one would offer me an n9 cover with the charging antenna I would not mind πŸ˜‰

  • Francis

    Huh.. Pureview club said big update for 808 just been delivered !

  • JGrove303

    The Lumia 920 weighs what it does doe to the sum of it’s parts. Ditching wireless charging wouldn’t save much weight. The OIS camera package, the extra breadboard support structure, 4.5″ IPS panel, the Gorilla Glass (v1) covering the front, the 2.0Ah LiPo battery, the 3 HAAC mics, the Ceramic Zirconium buttons and trim strip, the aluminum insert at the USB input and the thick polycarbonate shell all contribute to its weight. And with its weight is a robust build quality that will withstand a hell of a lot of punishment and a long operation life.

    I’d much rather have a 185g phone that doesn’t need protection than a 133g pussy of a device that needs a case that makes it even larger than the 920.

  • dss

    It will make perfect sense.. but I hope its not true

    • Anders81

      You should check what wpcentral has to say about this brainfart.

  • shallow ocean shoal

    808 bigger sensor. 920 bigger device due to a stabilization mechanism: 920 better low light and video without a tripod.

    We get it. Ad nauseum. We get it.

    C’mon guys, time for YOU to innovate in your comparisons.

    We get it.

  • Hexanderi

    I’ve had L920 for a month now and I’m very satisfied but still anxious the get the PR1.1 for sharpness.
    What people seem to forget is that with OIS the video recording (for me the most important thing) is incredibly good. For me it evens the score for not so PV still performance. I would never go symbian again once I got rid of it.

  • Hexanderi

    I’ve had L920 for a month now and I’m very satisfied but still anxious to get the PR1.1 for sharpness.
    What people seem to forget is that with OIS the video recording (for me the most important thing) is incredibly good. For me it evens the score for not so PV still performance. I would never go symbian again once I got rid of it.