The Gadget Show UK Reviews the Nokia 808 PureView

| January 3, 2013 | 76 Replies

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 06.50.50In their Camera Phones episode, the Gadget Show (UK) includes the unequivocally best camera phone in the universe, The Nokia 808 PureView. I’ll be disappointed if the camera receives anything other than adulation.

They’re wondering which camera phone is able to fullfil your camera needs. Urgh, the 808? If not that, then the N8?

  • “41…yes 41MP camera.”
  • ‘Feels so much more like a camera than the other two”
  • “One thing this has that puts it in a class of its own is the flash” – “oh that is a good flash” Yes. Praise the xenon. “It’s a xenon flash. It’s the REAL Deal!” And the huge sensor.
  • “It also has Carl Zeiss – the quality claimed to be similar to a DSLR”
  • They found the resolution really low and poor.
  • Next was a high speed test.
  • “The Nokia produces some excellent 1080p footage, as you’d expect from its mammoth 41MP camera” Looks much better than the HTC with “stabilisation”
  • “There is no doubt that the Nokia’s camera is excellent, impressing us in tests”
  • “But it’s supposed to be a phone with a camera, than a camera on a phone and on that front it’s a bit of a let down. At the same price, you’re stuck on clunky Symbian” :/
  • If you want a snappy smartphone, stay clear of the Nokia :/

Erm. Lolwut.


“Which PHONE can fill your camera needs”

“The Nokia is the BEST camera phone”

“Stay away from the Nokia”

Odd conclusion. They disliked Symbian so much to ignore their own test conclusion. Well, let’s hope Nokia can shoe horn this into Lumia. Though I bet they’d still find something or another to complain about.

Cheers Grazy for the tip!


Category: Lumia, Nokia, PureView, Symbian

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]
  • tris1066

    Bit of a strange conclusion i agree, i guess Symbian is down to personal choice but for me the biggest letdown of the 808 was the poor screen, like a lot of people most of the snaps i took stayed on the phone, so i had this brilliant camera and was stuck with looking at my shots on a low res screen.

    • dss

      The screen is also down to personal choice..

      • Quantom

        Totally. I for one prefer to view photos on the computer because it makes more sense with the larger screen. The phone’s screen is my equivalent of a DSLR lcd screen – merely for checking clarity.

        Moreover, the smaller screen lets you get away with better battery life.

        Lastly is the brightness and readability. Nothing comes close to the amazing contrast of the 808’s CBD screen. Even at lowest brightness can be pretty blinding in the dark.

      • tris1066

        I guess thats true but if I could have the 920s screen with the 808camera tech id be much happier 🙂

    • Deep Space Bar

      explain to me…WHY do you need unnecessary Resolutions on a screen when the on symbian has been working fine….HD screens on a phone is a waste of hardware..since it kills battery the fastest ….pathetic

  • Janne

    Same old story, great camera let down by modern expectations for a smartphone, which Belle just can not meet. Browser/keyboard the biggest issues I think, plus overall lack of fluidity due to the Series 60 inherited GUI.

    That said, 808, such a great device! Historical – and not just because it is the last major Symbian release from Nokia. For psychological reasons, 808 and N9 will have special place in my heart, end of an era. For practical purposes, moving on.

    • dss

      What’s wrong with the browser again ?

      Also… I don’t see what more I can do on my iPhone 5 that I can’t do on the 808.

      Belle works fine for everyday tasks..

      .. not that slow..

      • Janne

        One of the most frequent things I do with a smartphone is browse the Internet, including typing on the Internet. Trust me, something that would take mere seconds on the Lumia, seems to take minutes on the 808. It is just a pain. The overall user experience is just clunky. You seem to have to be overly careful where you tap and how, there is no point in relying on “muscle memory” because the UX is not logical in that sense. It feels digital, instead of analog – in a bad way.

        I do agree the Belle browser renders quite well, I don’t think that is anymore the issue necessarily, if it was even before that. On Belle even swiping can be quite fluid in the right apps, until it for some reason isn’t at some moment. The overall user experience on Symbian is just not fluid, there are sudden delays and moments when it doesn’t respond as you’d expect far more than on other systems (and it does become apparent as I’ve sported Windows Phone, iOS, Android etc. devices too and still do have e.g. SGS2 in addition to my 808 and Lumias).

        Not to mention if one wonders into some menu or app not really updated recently and you stumble into a lot worse usability and user experience. The biggest gripe about Symbian on Nokia is that it is not consistent. You don’t really know what to expect from the UX unless you really get to know it intimately and learn to work around its quirks. I know I did this up until the N8 and E7 as my daily drivers. It is doable, even if I used N900 before the N8. Then I moved on to trying other Windows Phones and Androids and then Lumias, had an iPhone 4 briefly too, and it just became more and more of a pain when you felt how fluid the competition really is.

        I think this shows in the reviews too. The browser looks OK in the video, but the reality of using it in normal situations is far worse.

        • dss

          I just can’t justify giving away the functionality of the 808 for a more fluid UX/Internet browser.. sure .. its nice, but what happens when I want to take a photograph at night with flash, or zoom in at the stage at a concert.. or listen to my music in the car trough FM.. or having a stand by clock.. notification center.. watch and HD video clip over HDMI ..

          These things are important to me.. they are things that I do often, and enjoy having a device that can do all of that the way I like it.

          • Janne

            dss: You make a very good point in this reply, I have nothing against that – if those are your personal preferences I can see why 808 serves you.

            When I did a bit of comparison between the E7/N8 and SGS2 in the spring of 2011, the only areas where Nokia came ahead were the E7 keyboard, N8 camera (on different devices) and some unique software and connectivity features. It is true that Symbian was, and to an extent still is, very feature-rich compared to the competition. Sure the competition has come a long way, but the long legacy of Symbian does show.

            Unfortunately it shows in the bad places too.

            • dss

              It lacks in a lot of areas.. but all of that could have been fixed if Nokia knew what they were doing.. but we’ve been over this like 100 times.. so fcuk it.. its done now.

              So what I am trying to say is that Symbian is not much more a matter of personal choice, and what you are willing to make a sacrifice with.

              What gets me the most is the “blogosphere” and their continuous moaning about Symbian.. its just a bit too extreme. Some of them would make you believe that Symbian can’t even open the dialer these days.. its dishonest journalism, and I disapprove.

              They have been trying to tell me that Symbian sucks for.. well over 6 years now.. and I keep finding out that its serves me very well, every day… it does work, and even to this day it does certain things better than even iOS 6, which is considered by many as the benchmark in the business.

              • Janne


                What gets me the most is the “blogosphere” and their continuous moaning about Symbian.. its just a bit too extreme. Some of them would make you believe that Symbian can’t even open the dialer these days.. its dishonest journalism, and I disapprove.

                This is true.

                And, by the way, goes for Nokia as a whole in many ways. For whatever reason, the American-centric blogosphere/media has gotten Nokia into their teeths and the response still isn’t pretty to day. Just see, say, some writers on Forbes.

                • dss

                  You know the reason very well.. Nokia was the only thing between the US software cartel and their total domination of the mobile phone market .. Symbian had to go.. if Nokia went with.. oh well, just collateral.

                  But at least now Nokia is serving a purpose.. its helping Microsoft with their platform in a big way. I would say.. without Nokia .. Microsoft’s mobile efforts would be pretty much done by now. HTC simply doesn’t have the punch to get things moving.. but Nokia does.

                  • Ere oli aliarvostettu

                    Yes, that must be it. It must be a conspiracy. It’s not possible that Symbian was not good enough just because it doesn’t serve the needs of the masses.

                    People should have wanted to use multitasking instead of applications. People should have preferred USB OTG instead of a goof browser.

                  • Janne

                    I would have a much easier time believing in cartels if Symbian had been competitive and MeeGo hard been proven, but neither were that unfortunately.

                    I believe WP was a judgement call by Nokia. Some of what motivated it, can be read from the MuroPaketti story of MeeGo. Can I rule out evil motives? Of course not.

                    But I do, overall, believe that the reasons were somewhere around as MuroPaketti puts it.

                    Was it the right judgement call from Nokia? Q4 results tell all. 🙂

                    • nokiaman

                      He’s backkkkk……. I can’t believe this guy….( Yes, that must be it. It must be a conspiracy. It’s not possible that Symbian was not good enough just because it doesn’t serve the needs of the masses.

                      People should have wanted to use multitasking instead of applications. People should have preferred USB OTG instead of a goof browser.
                      ) It is about what you want not what the masses want …… tell me do you live your entire life according to what the masses say ? Is it about being part of them ? Can’t I be different and like SYMBIAN ? REMEMBER KIDDIES DONT BE LIKE THIS IDIOT AND MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS DON’T BE A SHEEP OR CLONE AND BLEAT ON ABOUT HOW YOU NEED AWESOME BROWSER AND THOUSANDS OF APPS …….. OR MAYBE I CAN EXPLAIN IT TO YOU LIKE THIS BAAA BAAAAA BAAAAAAAAAA !!!!!!!! SHEEP

      • Quantom

        Hey dss, what’s that theme you have on the 808?

        • dss
          • Tetlee

            Ouch, £6!! But I think I’m going to have to have it, a MeeGo theme is just too awsome to miss, another little piece of my favourite ever OS on my 808. Thanks for the heads-up, I’ll be downloading that next time I’m on the store.

    • nn

      Same old story, not that great camera let down by modern expectations for a smartphone, which WP just can not meet.


      • Janne

        I’d say Lumia 920 reception in the mainstream press is far better than that of the last Nokia Symbian flagships… Look, a review after review picks apart the UX on the 808. I have the 808 right here on my table. I can see why.

        I can also see why they praise the 808 camera. It is wonderful. I have been fighting people right here on MNB who have been dissing the 808 camera. I love it, it is great. Although I must add, at a recent darkish Christmas concert where people were standing and no support was available – I had my 808 and 920 with me and only usable photos came out of the 920. In fact, the 920 produced some really beautiful shots.

        Lumia 920 camera does have its negatives as well, but overall the reception on the tech-press has been positive. The biggest gripe they can usually come up with the phone is the size and number of apps, which to me is pretty telling. This is quite unlike the reception, say, N8 or 808 got in the technology press where the user experience was hated by many.

        • dss

          If you head over to Wpcentral you would think they are talking about the N97 …

          • Janne

            LOL. 🙂

            But (good) jokes aside, the reality of the N97 was quite… different.

        • nn

          And do you have any evidence that WP phones are getting better reviews on average than Symbian phones got so we can at least start talking about how much tech press reviews are relevant for sales success? Because by now you should know how often your anecdotal evidence is completely at odds with reality. I can supply my anecdotal evidence that shows the best reviewers can say about WP is that it’s “fresh” and “new”. Hell, even N9 got far better reviews from press than WP!

          • dss

            They are… the “blogs” like Microsoft a bit more than they do Nokia.. and since Symbian is out of the picture, now they don’t need to keep bashing Nokia in the same manner.

            And.. WP is actually liked by most.. once you use it.. its really easy to use, its pretty.. it works .. its stable .. well wp8 is another story..but you can’t really expect more from 1.0 software.

            • viipottaja

              Actually, in my case WP8 has been quite stable. Perhaps I am just lucky. 🙂

            • nn

              Well yes, those who get used to WP in the end get used to it. However, there are also those people who try it and throw it away, and then there are apparently large swaths of people who are refusing to even touch it.

              I can grant you there are few people who like WP very much. The problem is they are totally irrelevant minority.

          • Janne

            nn: N9 was indeed well received by the press. Why bring it up, it isn’t a Symbian device? And as you know I happen to think MeeGo might have worked out for Nokia. My beef is with Symbian and Nokia’s reluctance to let it go early enough. I’d love to have seen an N9 in 2007.

            And do you have any evidence that WP phones are getting better reviews on average than Symbian phones got so we can at least start talking about how much tech press reviews are relevant for sales success?

            No, I just have my personal perception vis-a-vis the English speaking Internet-enabled western world (and Finnish/Finland). I do think I pay attention enough to see the difference genuinely. Maybe the reception is different elsewhere, I don’t know, but this is how I see it for the western word.

            Now, market sucess. That indeed is something still left wanting. Even rave reviews don’t always make a product success.

            • swain

              I agree. They should have never created those crappy s60v5 phones

            • Sonny

              I find it strange that when everytime here is a post about symbian you are here commenting, trying to make if you are saying positive about symbian, but all you do is spread negative stuff.

              We get it you are WP fanboy geez

            • nn

              Not only your feeling of positive reviews somehow can’t increase sales, but your feeling of trashing reviews apparently can’t decrease sales. Interesting, isn’t it?

              So indeed, you are making it out of thin air. Your claim has as much validity as if I would assert that tech sites liked Symbian phones more than they like WP phones.

              I’m bringing N9/MeeGo because it was integral part of strategy and the primary OS Elop killed and replaced with WP. And it’s illustration of the fact that if your current favourite measure of success is praise on tech sites, then it’s just another metric on which the switch to WP yet again turned out to be for worse.

          • Mark

            “And do you have any evidence that WP phones are getting better reviews on average than Symbian phones”

            Sure. Every tech site on the planet! 🙂

            • nn

              On your planet, maybe, I can’t comment on that although I very much doubt it. But no way here on Earth.

  • Tak

    808’s screen looks good in practise.

    I have been demonstrating peoples vanity by showing them my wifes 808, when they are conversating about mobile phones: “it looks interesting, but the resolution is so much lower, than competitors…”. I ask so what and show them the 808 and ask them if they truly can see something unusable in the screen. Every time, they seem to be surprised, that a TV resolution was indeed quite good looking in 4″ screen after all. Not to mention colors, which is more difficult to put in numbers in marketing rhetoric.

    People also seem to be surprised, that Belle is versatile and fast, and the home screens look appealing and functional(compared to my iPhone 4s, which I also always demonstrate).

    • dss

      I use an iphone 5 and an 808 every day.. during normal everyday use you can’t notice the difference. You have to be looking really closely when reading text.. then you can see it. Also the iPhone 5 can fit more content (web page) on the screen because of the higher res.. which is nice, but not really essential.

      Both of them are great under direct sunlight.. the 808 is a bit better. Color reproduction is more accurate on the iphone.. punchier colors on the amoled.

      here there are side by side under direct sunlight

      • Ere oli aliarvostettu

        I could use more resolution for my iPhone 4S. I can actually see how text becomes unreadable because it lacks some resolution. However this is not a very common problem.

        • Matthias

          If you turn that “much needed” resolution increase to heightened component costs, increased processing power need and battery consumption, what would you sacrifice to make the resolution possible?

          • Ere oli aliarvostettu

            I think the resolution is fine while I could use more of it.

            Yes, I could use more but it’s not that important. It’s just that while people are saying that you can’t see the pixels in a retina display, that doesn’t mean no one would benefit from a better resolution.

            Fine is not great. That’s the difference.

  • qromodynmc

    I never understand why people complaining aboutt symbian.. Yeah maybe not to fluid (if you ask to me,better than most mid range android.) maybe not too fast(still better than android with similar hardware. And I just dont know man,it has support for real multitasking,the real feature for being smartphone in my opinion..

    • dss

      On similar hardware… nothing can do what Symbian does on Arm 11 with slow 512RAM .. I don’t even know if iOS 6 would be able to boot on that.. let alone run applications, a camera of that caliber.. or playback 1080p video…

      • qromodynmc

        Im sure other companies suprised when see 1080p video capture&playback on single core processor.

        • dss

          Not any single core.. we are talking about some ancient sh1t from 2003

          Sure.. all of that processing in the 808 is done by those two GPUs, but that is the beauty of Symbian, no ? Modularity…

          And still.. 1080p is running on a single core architecture from 10 years ago.

  • I sawa this the other night too. The Gadget Show is just a joke these days, I’m surprised it’s still going.

    • dss

      Well, they seem to think they are special enough to where you can’t see their stream here in the US…

  • Tweeted at them a couple of times, they changed the goal posts of the piece at the end. Turned camera shoot out to a SW comparison, wrote annoying !

  • Dr.Smart

    People should understand that for an OS, smoothness is not the only virtue. After all, you aren’t going to marry a girl just because she has a smoothly shaved nether region, are you? Competence like multi-tasking is more important for me.

    • Ere oli aliarvostettu

      No it’s not. Reliability is also very important and Symbian has been very unreliable in every device I have been actually using.

      When Nokia did the strategy change in 2011, I was thinking that they actually had some alternatives. Now after purchasing the 808, I finally understand that Symbian was doomed. It just can’t compete.

      • Dave

        Strangely, I’ve only had reliability problems on one Symbian device – the N73, and that was on the original operator branded firmware.

        Every device since then has been fine. No reliability problems, although I did break the USB port on one of the N8s.

        The 808 easily competes – its as smooth as my iPhone 4S, browsing is *better* on the 808 (Opera). Battery life is generally better, the screen is definitely better (more readable under a wider range of conditions).

        • dss

          Symbian has been very stable for me on both my N8 and the 808. The 808 has one major bug (HSPA reboots) and that is it.. I am not sure if Nokia will ever fix it, but other than that the phone is rock solid.

      • AreOut

        lol you are a proven troll not having 808 and most probably not Finnish just using that name for others to see that even finnish people prefer WP…moderators on this site should really clean your sh*t

    • viipottaja

      Well… 😛

  • swain

    It’s not they who always complaints, it’s Nokia who always leaves something to complaint about

    • Ere oli aliarvostettu

      Very true.

      Anyone remember when Apple had the “antennagate” back in 2010?

      The difference in that is that the user can actually ‘repair’ the antenna by using a protective cover/case/whatever on the iPhone 4.

      However it’s just impossible to fix Symbian.

      • dss

        Its impossible…? That thought seriously inhabited your body …

        Its software.. it can be “fixed” ..even if takes 3-4 years and countless hours.. its not impossible.

        • Ere oli aliarvostettu

          You didn’t understand.

          I can probably never get a fixed Symbian.

          However I can fix an iPhone 4 in a matter of minutes with a case/cover/something

          • Deep Space Bar

            N8 should of had a stand from years ago same with the E7 since their power ports are on the bottom / even battery silicon cases :/ WTF

  • D Harries

    If all our complaints are about software, that’s easy to fix isn’t it?

    The Nexus 7 I bought with Jelly Bean has just gone through “Project Butter” to make everything appear smoother

    • Ere oli aliarvostettu

      It should be but Nokia was never able to fix S60.

      Ten years.

      So, either Nokia engineers are incompetent and they never had a chance.

      Or Symbian was such a mess that it had never a chance.

      Apple killed Nokia by inventing the modern smartphone in 2007. They invented something so great Nokia never really caught up. One reason for that may the attitudes.

      There are actually still some old school Nokia fans claiming that the original iPhone was really nothing new. That’s just the reason for Nokia’s demise.

      Nokia was extremely arrogant, downplaying the iPhone and claiming how they are the best.

      At the end of the day Nokia realized that Symbian was a relic. At that time it was just too late.

      Apple and Google already had it all.

      • Dave

        God, how completely wrong can you be?

        Nokia could have fixed S60, but they were hampered by stupidly incompetent management. What proves this is that they did eventually “fix” it, as the version on the 808 is a totally different device in usage to what was first released on the 5800.

        Nokia had an App Store before the iPhone was even released. I posted at around that time that Nokia needed to sort out their store. Took them too bloody long to get that sorted.

        But then Symbian itself was never really broken, was it? The OS itself and functionality were fine. The issue was with the user interface.

        Also, the iPhone wasn’t that great – it still isn’t (I have one here, and much prefer the 808 that I also own).

        • Ere oli aliarvostettu

          So, Nokia could have fixed Symbian but they just did’t bother to and then you continue saying that it was actually not broken.

          What difference, for the user, does it make if the problem is actually in the UI if they just can’t make it work?

          It doesn’t matter if they had the first App Store.

          It doesn’t matter if they were missing “only” the management to make the software development to work. In the end they were not able to ship the best product and that’s all that matters.

          In the end iPhone outsold Symbian because it was better. That happened already in 2009. Long before Elop.


          Nokia should have dumped Symbian in 2007 in favor of an modern mobile OS.

      • Deep Space Bar

        it’s been fixed from a while back…. Elop is just a fool holding microsofts hand and kissing their asses

    • Dave

      Whats amazing about that is that my Nexus 7 still isn’t as smooth as the Playbook, despite having well over twice the processing power. Android is just plain clunky.

      • dss

        its that ugly VM … its a hack job.. I don’t like android one bit.

        On the other hand..It was a cool project before Google bought to distribute their ads.. now its just that.. and ad distributing platform.

  • Back in the day The Gadget Show tested the iPhone against the N95 – the N95 won, but the Apple fan boy presenter then gave the iPhone product of the year. (This was also the time the programme jumped the shark on a home made speed boat.)

    • Ere oli aliarvostettu

      A good choice.

      The iPhone was the first modern smartphone.

      • The N95 beats the iPhone in various ‘best smart phone’ tests and you still think the iPhone should win product of the year?

        Interesting mind you have there.

        • Ere oli aliarvostettu

          The iPhone changed everything.

          Some people just don’t get it.

          It started the real touch screen era with huge application libraries, services and user friendly user interfaces.

          Nokia was trying to deny this as long as they could and then it was just too late for them.

          • The iPhone was a decent product, but the N95 killed it, it had so many more features. There is more to a phone than touching a screen.

      • Dave

        No, the iPhone was *not* the first modern smartphone, unless you’re a revisionist idiot.

        • dss

          A lot of ignorant people actually do think that the iphone was the first smartphone… can’t really blame them.

  • Grazy

    A few weeks before xmas they did the Lumia 920 vs the iphone 5! It was the xmas special

  • dansus

    Strange they didnt use the 920 after all the camera hype.

    • Grazy

      they did the review for that a few weeks ago see link above

  • Dave

    Ah, the “Gadget Show”. Arguably the worst gadget related show ever seen.

    On one of their high end road bike reviews, they complained about the front braking on one bike not being up to spec. Which was down to their not having put the front wheel on the right way (it had disc brakes).

    They’re incompetent on that show and should be ignored.

    • Grazy

      I agree! although i thought it was nice to see the 808 get some air time! about 6 months too late!

      They had similar issues with the 920. Polly thought the low light proformance was due to the twin LED flash! Its annoying when they dont know what they are talking about!

      But only because i know a bit about Nokia devices! i wouldnt have known about that bike for example!

    • Tetlee

      Yeah, it’s a shame as the Gadget Show used to be good years ago, before they tried to do a Top Gear and start doing silly little game challenges like catapulting phones etc.

      Now it’s just silly and I can’t even watch it, Click! is like the The Gadget Show when it was good.