GSM Arena compares Nokia 808 PureView against Samsung Galaxy Camera

| January 17, 2013 | 73 Replies

gsmGSM Arena have put the Nokia 808 PureView head to head against the Samsung Galaxy Camera (the SGSIII sans phone + camera shoved in)


GC:  128.7 x 70.8 x 19.1 mm, 300g (I wonder if other reviews complain about this)

808: 123.9 x 60.2 x 13.9, 169g.

The sensor in the 808 is 3 and a half times the size of that found in the heftier Galaxy Camera.



GC is good. But as GSM Arena notes, it’s bigger than some Micro four thirds cameras and just as pricey.  Though with Android apps and WiFi-3G upload, it’s good for social photographers.

I just can’t wait for the 808 level imaging to reach the masses if Nokia ever manages to get it into Lumia. Possibly with some OIS assistance too :p

Cheers Peter L and Alvester  for the tip!




Category: Nokia, 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]
  • Alvester
  • Ujwal Soni


  • jiipee

    Hurry up Nokia, you need to get the true Pureview out fast!

    • Leo oli aliarvostettu

      Have you found out how much the sensor of the 808 costs? That could be a serious problem for Nokia because they are used to save money on components.

      I had a thought about the 808 and the size of the device. If they really used 5 years to build the device, it could be that they never assumed that phones would become this thin. Resulting those humps we have seen. Maybe Nokia really assumed that phones would remain really thick and they could use huge sensors/OIS/whatever.

      Some people say that the hump is uncomfortable when you have the phone in your pocket. Some say it’s almost impossible to feel the hump and it’s just plain stupid to complain about it. I don’t really say anything about that because I don’t use my 808 as a mobile phone.

      • Heikki Niininen

        Actually they developed the Pureview technology approximately five years. The development of the actual phone (808) took about one year. So I think they knew that thin is the trend now but the size of the sensor couldn’t allow it to be thinner. Or at least if they wanted to keep the image quality what was the original idea.

        I own the device and it doesn’t feel uncomfortable in pocket even if I don’t have huge pockets f. ex. in my favorite jeans.

      • Sonny

        Here we go! Once again a very nice thread how a symbian phone beats the crap out of the best android can do and still you find some negative stuff to say about it.

        Can you just comfirm that what is the name of the manufacturer who makes the 808? Oh yes its Nokia! For bloody sake you make if it was made by samsung or htc! We get it you hate symbian but you dont have to point it oit everytime symbian is doing beter yhen the lumia’s.

        Oh lastly i wonder what you would say if it was a lumia 808 in this comparison! Probably be praising tge shit out of it


        • Leo oli aliarvostettu


          Negative? I didn’t say anything negative about the 808.

          Huge sensors cost more money. That’s not anything negative. That’s just a fact.

          If you didn’t understand, I was saying that one reason for not having a Lumia phone with a sensor of the 808 just may be the price. Huge sensors cost lots of money and Nokia is usually cutting costs by getting less expensive components.

          What does that mean? It means that the price of the sensor may be an obstacle for getting a PureView Pro for a Lumia phone. It may not prevent it but Nokia likes to cut costs even when the users suffer.

          I know you guys are hyper sensitive because you feel people betrayed Nokia by not wanting to buy too many expensive Symbian phones in 2010 and after that time. Please, just let it be and enjoy your phone. No one prevents you from using your phone and enjoying it. Really.

          Well. What if is was Lumia phone with the sensor of the 808 in this review? Maybe I would have said that they did pick the expensive sensor. But at the moment they didn’t.


          • Sonny

            The fact is you come out saying you dont use the 808 as a mobile phone basically says you hate symbian so much you do t want to use it.
            FFS symbian is still a very capable os if you dont believe me go check the comment section in that gsmarena thread.

            The other thing is alot of people say hey ive typed this using my s3 or note2 like if such a hard thing to achieve so here you go

            typed this on my thrusty old n8!

            • Leo oli aliarvostettu


              I want to use the best tools for the right job. So, basically you say that I hate something I use for taking pictures but not for something else?

              I bet you don’t hate your car/chair/balcony/whatever while you don’t sleep on it. You probably sleep on your bed.

              I want to have phone with features 808 can’t provide. Even the iPhone is not for everyone while it’s a very popular phone. There is no single phone that’s best for everyone.

              People like to tell what tool they use for doing something. That’s just human. That’s how people show how they are a part of some group.

              There are several issues about mobile phones. That’s best for me. What’s best for some particular use. What’s popular for some people. What is selling and what’s not. How companies will fail and succeed with mobile phones. All those are different matters.

              Oh yes, one more thing. You didn’t do it, but some people just love it. They don’t agree with the way someone lives or talks about something. That’s why you may see someone complaining about wrong opinions or writing too much. They are usually those people who can’t articulate their opinions and they hate to see when someone else does.

              It’s great to see how you tell us what you think.


              • RVM

                well iPhone isn’t bad, but Nokia 808 is much better and more potent smartphone

                • Leo oli aliarvostettu

                  It sure is if you need the features 808 provides.

        • Tetlee

          Hey, Symbian haters can hate. The 808 will always be the daddy!

          • Leo oli aliarvostettu

            Sorry, you don’t get it.

            Honesty is not hating.

            • Tetlee

              I was referring to Sonny’s comment in general rather than your own TBH.

      • dss

        Ok.. they need to figure out how to make the Phase 1 system work on Windows NT first, and then they will give the Lumia device.

        My guess is early 2014.. we will have several compromises like the 920 in between.

  • Ruben

    another win for the beast 808!

  • Gaurav

    Proud owner of 808 pureview….it’s simple awesome and unbeatable…

    • dss

      Its nice to know that you are holding a technological breakthrough in your hand.. and that no other phone can even comes close to it.

      • Gaurav


  • Amit Rox

    proud to have one 😀

  • stylinred

    its a shame they stuck to 8mpx and didn’t use the other settings to zoom in further and even stated that 2x was the max possible zoom at one point

    and shame they didn’t adjust the manual settings for a better low light shots

    otherwise nice review

    • Leo oli aliarvostettu

      There is no setting for exposure time. Without that you have to take several pictures before you get it right.

      • utopium

        Or you can just take a picture, check the settings (exposure time is displayed in the photo on FP2) and calculate which ISO to use to obtain a sharper image. Yes, Nokia should have made a shutter time setting, that is one of the important things which is missing on 808. They say it has no sense as the aperture is fixed, but I think they could have done it easily.

        • Leo oli aliarvostettu

          Maybe the camera designer is incompetent if one of them is really saying that?

          In reality iPhone has a fixed aperture and I can get an app with exposure time settings. That’s really useful.

          Taking a picture, checking the quality and taking another picture is not very handy. You can easily miss a moment if you do that. Not very useful.

          Well. I guess it’s not a problem for those guys carrying around a small tripod and never having only a little time to get the shot. Some people here seem to be doing that.

      • stylinred

        you can manipulate your shutter speed up to 2.7 seconds

        • stylinred

          forcing the nd filter to be on and lowering the iso increases the time the shutters open

        • Leo oli aliarvostettu

          Using the ISO setting is not same as having a setting for exposure.

          I still don’t understand why didn’t they add exposure setting. Well. Maybe supporting that feature with Symbian was no longer possible because haha Symbian is a mess haha?

          • Dave

            From what Damian Dinning has said, they considered it, but decided against offering proper exposure control.

            Still, I’ve managed to get some cracking light trails shots (ND filter on, ISO 50, on a tripod over a motorway), and just managed to get some great shots of a slightly frozen boating lake by bumping up the ISO and resting the phone on a park bench 🙂

            ps Aspects of Symbian are a mess, but the camera is definitely not one of them.

            • Leo oli aliarvostettu


              I don’t believe they just decided it’s not something people would like to have. Or if they did, those guys don’t understand what is a good camera.

              Yes, it’s possible to get great pictures by using ISO values and other settings, but it’s lots of work.

              Camera is hardware but just maybe they didn’t have time to write drivers for exposure setting. Developing for Symbian is extremely hard and you probably can’t use Qt for something like that. Just because Qt has to implement it with Symbian API’s anyway and that’s horror.

              • Dave

                You’re being obtuse on purpose; it really was just a business decision to not offer the option.

                Being a decent camera is what the 808 does better than any other phone, and it also does a much better job of it than 99% of dedicated compacts as well – you have to go to a bridge camera before you can better the 808s all round ability.

                • Leo oli aliarvostettu

                  They say it was just a business decision.

                  The camera is great but it’s not very easy to use. It’s for advanced users and there is nothing wrong with that. But because it’s for advanced users, it’s really strange they didn’t add exposure control. That’s why I doubt they are telling the truth about that.

                  I know several people who just want to take pictures and not to mess with settings. I wouldn’t recommend 808 for those people because it’s not that convenient to use in every situation.

                  It’s also a phone that doesn’t have all those applications most of the other phones have. Applications are very important.

                  One again I repeat that I bought the 808 because it’s a great tool. Unfortunately it’s not superior in every aspect. For some people this seems to be hard to understand.

                  There is no single camera phone that would be the best option for everyone.

                • mirco

                  That simply is not true. Not 99% of the dedicated compacts are worse. And how do you define a bridge camera? The clasical definition is a big camera with a non interchangeable lense with large zoom (often). Those cams are not better than compacts, usually.

                  The 808 delivers great results that give many cheap and moderate priced cams a run. However, with dedicated cameras you can get a wider zoom range, you can get more control over parameters, you can get longer battery life, you can get raw images, you can get faster and even overal better lenses, you most often get OIS… If you just compare 100% crops of pictures of the 808 with images from several cameras up to DSLRs then you miss many points and aspects of photography.

                  There was a comparism between the 808 and the Lumix Lx3 (or maybe Lx5… doesn’t matter). The Lumix features a great lens from leica, all possible controls like exposure time, aperture, focus, iso etc., a good OIS and the options to get raw files from the camera. Some pictures of the 808 might look better than the out of the box pictures of the Lx3/5 (crops again…) but you miss the point what you can do with it. This is true even more when you go to DSLRs (or ther smaller full frame companions)…

                  It is a tool… replacing top end dedicated cameras is out of reach for this tool.

  • D Harries

    Some one tip me off on how to get the best indoor/evening shot. Automatic mode? Change the ISO? I’ve left it on creative mode.

    • gudnuf4u

      For Indoor/evening shoots, you can use the night function mode or pump up the ISO in Creative Mode …if it still a bit dark you can also pump up the Exposure (+EV) to maybe +0.7 accordingly

      • D Harries

        Will try….

  • belle and jolla beat lumia 920

    i am 808pv owner, may consider second 808pv for my other half

    • D Harries

      Why not get Lumia 920 as a complimentary phone. Different kind of pureview. I sure would like some of those nice things like cinemagraph. It’s only software.

      High contrast screen mode in bright sunlight too. Just a software thing?

      • arts

        Now you are just trolling.

        • D Harries

          I have an 808 as well

          • arts

            Just pulling your leg. :p look at the guys name?

    • dss

      I am getting a 2nd 808 for sure… probably a red one

  • JPDVM2014

    I cannot wait for a Lumia with an 808 sensor. Hell, I would take the 808 form factor and just put WP8 on it. I want that camera!!

  • Ron

    if Nokia could release a Lumia blending 808’s sensor with L920’s OIS, low light and add some optical zoom in it, it could take over even most of the DSLRs out there. A perfect camera-phone for anyone.

    • Luisito

      MMM… right now???… My bet is that we won’t see a Lumia with a 41 Mpx sensor, there’re limits on the hardware (that right now) Windows Phone support, maybe over a future updates wee will see such thing, if you ask me wee will see something with:

      a.- a slimmed version of the N8 12 MPx sensor to be used in a unibody shell (with 920’s PV tech).
      b.- a bulkier device with a 20 MPx (max supported by the Qualcomm chipsets, of course I don{t know the new ones – 800, 600 series) sensor and PV pro(808) + PV phase(920).

      Another scenario (but a far, far, faarrrr one) is that MS has finally give something to Nokia and let them to play with the core code to find a way to play around and get a 808 Windows Phone (but a far, far, far, faarrrr, farrrrrrrrr one…)

      • Ron

        Yeah.. it’s unlikely to see such a handset has been released by Nokia in a year or two… but it WOULD be cool to have such a handset. Maybe have to wait 2+ more years for that but it still will be appreciated. Better late than never.

      • vvd

        there is no hardware restriction in wp8 that stops nokia from releasing a 808 type device. and nokia has access to the wp code

        • Luisito

          Windows Phone is tied to what the Qualcomm SoC, and up to date, there are not SoC that can handled the gian, enormous amount of data that the PV Pro mode need, in just few miliseconds, of course there is the thing of the bad ass fast crunching numbers DSP needed too… I’m no telling in a future update of the whole S4 platform it can be done, or that the Nokia engineers can find a way to do the magic posible, but right now, my bet is a no go for a 808 Lumia…

          • mirco

            And you want to tell me that the SoC of the 808 is capable to do the pureview trick?

            The calculations are done on a DSP and this is independent of the SoC and the OS.

            • Luisito

              Right… And Qualcomm chipsets are not known to be customizable ones… the 808 don’t use a SoC as a one, it follow more a PC board desing, CPU + Chipset + Anything else separated, not into one. Think about it as a whole assembly to do the trick…

              FUN thing, last year you could always hear the “You need a dual core with more than 1 ghz to do decent 1080p videos”, then came this little beast and with a CPU 3 (or Four) generarions old, and ta-da better than expecte 1080p vids

              • Leo oli aliarvostettu

                Actually the quality of the 808’s 1080p video is not that great. Some zooming, flashing lights and panning will result excessive frame drops.

                But, dual cores for a 1080p video? Are you saying they use CPU for processing the video? Really?

              • mirco

                They for sure use a SoC… please show me a picture to prove your claims.

    • Dave

      Optical zoom in a mobile is (currently) a non-starter. Thats been stated repeatedly by the 808 team, and is the main reason behind the massive sensor in the 808.

      As it is, within its current parameters, the 808 can approach DSLR levels of clarity.

      And the 808 is very definitely the perfect camera phone. Nothing comes close.

  • dss

    Bigger pixels (after oversampling), better optics.. the results not surprising at all. Also the jpeg processing on the 808 is much better than the android device..

    It really gives you a good perspective on what Nokia actually achieved with the 808… just look at the size difference between the two. The Galaxy Camera looks like a big waste of materials compared to the 808.

    Moral of the story.. when you are buying a camera don’t look at the megapixel count, look at the size of the sensor/pixels and the optics.

    • PhilK

      I love my Pureview, but ever since I started shooting film, I’m less and less impressed with its image quality.
      I have a 1948 TLR that shoots a million times sharper and clearer. And I got it for $2 on ebay.

      • dss

        Its a smartphone.. 🙂 There are hundreds of cameras that can produce a better image than the 808, but non of them have a Skype client, or a web browser..

      • Quantom

        Even more so how horrible any other phone’s camera would look like. After all the 808 is still better than them on many levels.

      • Leo oli aliarvostettu

        You can get pretty great pictures with the 808 but it was extremely overhyped at the time it was released. Just check some MNB articles from the spring 2012.

        Let’s take few examples.

        “Once the people discover that pureview is as good or better than the point and shoot nobody will buy P&S anymore.”

        “I imagine Apple are already working on this.”

        “In daylight with full wide-angle/maximum oversampling there is no visual noise in 5mp images, yet the detail is far higher than previous devices.”

        “we’ve always been told by apologists of bad phone cameras that no phone camera can ever rival a DSLR for reasons a, b, c etc.”

        “It’s just a pity Elop killed this phone before it’s even released. Symbian had quite a few years of life left in it.”

        “If the images produced are already this stunning, what more if big lens DSLRs can be made out of this technology, then probably it would be amazing.”

        Yes, you can really take great pictures with the 808.

        • Leo oli aliarvostettu

          It should have been “Let’s take few examples mostly from the comments.”

        • dss

          Your troll level is way underhyped..

          • Leo oli aliarvostettu

            It’s a great compliment if you feel that way.

            It’s usually the hard core fans who start yelling how objectivity is trolling.

            • RIM

              You must have some mental illness

              • Leo oli aliarvostettu


                Are you a medical student or what kind of qualifications do you have for making such a statement?

                Perhaps you are just bitter because of the collapse of Nokia?

                You know, that happened because of bad products. Not because of my actions. Just let it go and enjoy your life.


        • Dave

          You state that the 808 was overhyped, but it wasn’t.

          The camera really is very, very good – it is close to DSLR levels of clarity.

          You do seem somewhat confused.

          • Leo oli aliarvostettu

            Yes it was.

            Let me explain.

            Yes, you can get some really nice pictures if you have enough light and timing is not a problem.

            While it’s possible to take close to DSLR level pictures, there are several issues making the 808 less powerfull device.

            It’s awfully slow compared to a DSLR. Zooming makes PureView less effective and you lose the PureView if you zoom enough.

            It lacks settings.

            In the end of the day you get less great pictures with the 808. This is not an issue for most people here because people reading MNB seem to carry around a tripod, never take pictures where you don’t have too much time to fiddle with the settings and these people have lots of patience for experimenting. For example with the ISO settings.

            Don’t get me wrong. I bought 808 because it’s a great device and I really like some of the features it has. But in my opinion it was overhyped because it really can’t deliver all that people thought it would.

    • Quantom

      Well said, it’s amazing that something so small fits in a larger sensor and takes better pictures than a dedicated camera. The galaxy camera is almost an insult to injury. Their S3 was crap at taking pictures, and now when they focus completely on the camera, they still fail to beat a smartphone.

  • torcida

    Galaxy Camera is crap!!!!
    808 is still really amazing!!!!!!

  • MKnowles

    my goodness those shots from the GC are horrible. Pretty sure my 5800xm took better pictures than that.

  • Asme

    download both video sample at 720P and try to read cars license plate by playin frame by frame and guess what? while it was very easy read them with the 808 video, I just couldn’t read none from the Galaxy Camera on. Try it yourself.
    I don’t how professionnal photographer call this bus but…

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