Early Samples from NeoWin show Nokia Lumia Photos looking better than HTC One. PureView FTW!

| February 22, 2013 | 61 Replies

Screen Shot 2013-02-22 at 10.13.00


After all that hyping, what it comes down to is actual performance, no? Nokia has not only one but two PureView beasts, with the latter in the 808 often being considered the big daddy of all camera phones, it’s also great to see the 920 flying the flag proudly for Nokia too.

In Neowin’s samples are accompanied by the following comment. The picture above is from the last comment.

  • The Lumia 920 here appears to display more contrast than the HTC One, although the One does display relatively acceptable dynamic range
  • Again it looks like the Lumia 920 (top) has taken the better photo, as it has more vibrant colors with less grain.
  • This is a true low-light test of the Lumia 920 vs HTC One, with the shots being taken in a dark environment around 9 PM. The Lumia 920 is not only sharper in the image it produces, but it’s also brighter and clearer.

These aren’t rigorous camera sample tests yet, but it bodes well that if the 920 can do this now, then HTC, Please do fear what is coming at MWC from Nokia. Your Notion that more megapixel is a myth is simply misdirection away from what Nokia has achieved in oversampling PV1.

PureView is about pushing and tackling the boundaries in mobile imaging. Scoff some might at PureView but it performs and that’s what matters. When Nokia talks imaging, they’re not about the fluff. They’re about the performance. When Nokia talks about OIS, they talk about the whole floating lens which time and time bests competitors in low light. When Nokia talks about Megapixels not being the important thing, they brought us 41 MILLION and said that’s not even what matters here. On paper Nokia intrigues but on results is where Nokia wows because they deliver.

Now, let’s have the next PureView handset in an even more beautiful new Nokia Lumia handset eh?



Category: Lumia, Nokia

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  • Zhi

    The Lumia also captures the image in 8MP as opposed to the HTC’s 4MP, so when scaled down, will the Lumia’s photos be even better?

    • If this is what the 920 does, I feel sorry for HTC when someone compares the camera to the 808.

      Good try on their behalf though. But they really shouldn’t have insulted PureView/808/Nokia at all, completely disregarding what Nokia’s been achieving over the past few years.

      • Michael Faro-Tusino

        I got comparisons last night at the same event these were taken. I had the One, 920, 808, Nexus 4 and iPhone5. The post will go up on Sunday (only free chance ) but the One doesn’t do a bad job.

        I even have a recording taken with the live band 😉

      • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

        Actually 808’s Symbian is an insult for people wanting to use a modern smartphone OS.

        You sure can take some incredible pictures with the 808. I know, I have one.

        Unfortunately 808 is severely limited by Symbian OS and the camera software has several flaws making it less usable.

        If I would pick a modern smartphone, I would probably buy HTC if the other choice would be 808. But on the other hand it’s not the only choice and 920 seems to be lot better than that HTC.

        • Dave

          Oh ffs, what sort of view do you have of the world? Its very skewed.

          The 808 is not an insult for anyone wanting to use a “modern smartphone”. It browses the web as fast as my 4S, twitter, facebook, etc. all work fine on it.

          Symbian itself doesn’t place any restrictions, and your comment of the camera software having flaws is hilarious – its by far and away the best of any stock camera application on *any* phone, its flexible and can give stunning results.

          • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

            I live in a world where we have modern smartphones and not those representing the skewed past trying to exist today.

            You clearly don’t know what you ar talking about if you think it’s that fast.

            Symbian has a very poor application support. Yes, someone might say that it’s because Symbian is no longer that OS Nokia is pushing. It doesn’t matter. The reason is irrelevant for an OS like Symbian. No enough applications. That’s what’s what matters.

            Stock camera application? Sure, but so what? The competition has better ones available. The huge selection of alternatives are not available. Symbian just fails on that.

            And the rest of the flaws?

            • correct

              You’re being an obvious troll now. That the 808 has big flaws is irrelevant in this case. We’re specifically talking about camera performance, and the fact that the 808 typically blows away the quality of other phones in terms of photos and video.

              • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

                I’m talking about real world camera performance.

                Can’t sell phones without that.

                I guess some fans really have a skewed view of the world just because they are fans.

                It’s the real world performance that matters. Looking at specs and numbers ruined Nokia once. And now people want that to happen again? Incredible!

                • correct

                  808 real world performance is VERY VERY good. Not in all cases, but in most cases.

                  Really, why troll?

                  • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

                    Really, why are you trying to claim something like that when I’m really pointing out the flaws in 808?

                    It was claimed to make P&S cameras obsolete. Now when it can’t stand against those or even make the iPhone obsolete in every situation, why would you say something like that?

                    It’s very good, but it has some serious flaws.

                    And now you are trying to say that people can’t talk about those?


        • GordonH

          I told you to stop using your employees search engine. Use google once in a while. Here’s a link for you to understand a bit more on what a modern mobile OS should be about…
          In fact Symbian has a very modern approach.

          and logically it was Meego (a full Linux distro on a mobile) that was dumped for technically weak WinCE. And don’t tell me WinCE was good, even MS dumped it for a better WinNT.

          • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

            You believe in the Symbian religion.


        • AreOut

          “You sure can take some incredible pictures with the 808. I know, I have one.”

          and where it is?

          I call on moderator of this site (if there is any) to IP ban this troll if possible..actually anyone with silly finnish name, its easy to recognize 🙂

          • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

            So, you want to silence anyone who finds some flaws from those “miracle devices” manufactured by Nokia?

            Sorry to say this.

            808 is not a miracle device. While you can take some nice photos with it, it has lots of flaws.

            Where is your proof? Apparently that doesn’t exist.

            • pleep

              i wonder what he means by a miracle device. if by any chance it’s innovation, then is a 41MP not a miracle? surely nokia wasn’t hoping to ride on its 808 to save the company. I totally believe that you haven’t used an 808. I don’t believe you have one. What flaws are you talking about? You might mean the interface which is not as easy to use and navigate. But really dude. It even tackled away some of the best point-and-shoot cameras out there.

              The only probably flaw is the lack of apps. But 808’s imaging technology is miles ahead the competition, if you mean those other manufacturers who have “miracle devices” running on multiple cores (BUT STILL LAGS AND IS NOT CONSISTENTLY SMOOTH WHEN YOU SWIPE).

              Stop trolling. Jiffy away.

              • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

                Just show me the setting for exposure time.

                There is none in 808.

                You can have that for a very cheap P&S. You can have that for the iPhone. It’s just a basic feature.

                That’s just one example, but it’s actually a huge flaw.

                So, stop tolling.

      • correct

        Yes I agree.

    • Another thing; from what I heard about the HTC One it only takes 4MP pics in 4:3 mode, when you set it at 16:9 the resolution goes down to 3.4MP. The 920 has the 8.7MP sensor making both 4:3 and 16:9 possible at 8MP.

      • correct

        Ouch, that’s even worse. The typically flaw of switching aspect ratios on most phones, but the 920 doesn’t have that problem.

  • jjkj

    Liked to read this article. I was waiting for such a comparison.

  • toto

    Maybe Nokia should licence PureView, they’ll make more money out of it than with their phones.
    Like, having PureView in other phones brands that actually… sell.

    • How about no?

    • b4b4.4l1

      Hell NO…!!

    • jiipee

      That could be part of plan B that Siilasmaa was hinting.

      • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

        Where did he hint about that?

        Actually licensing the PureView for companies who know how to sell reasonable amounts of modern smartphones, could be, eh, smart.

        After all, Nokia has never sold lots of modern smartphones. They were always failing on that area.

        Licensing the technology could be a good option. Leading manufacturers like Apple and Samsung might not be interested but then again, someone smaller could be.

        • correct

          Sorry, but now you reveal yourself to be a troll in this scenario. Licensing Pureview is not a good idea at all. These are major innovations, and they should remain in-house.

          • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista


            You seem to be a fanboy.

            It’s some nice tech but if it’s really the core competence, then I guess Nokia is done.

            It’s not that special.

            It’s just a new implementation of something that was done long before Nokia did it.

  • MF

    It’s clear that Nokia knows photography while HTC is just an amateur albeit one with a loud mouth and a propensity for idle boasting. Their antics are getting annoying and I hope they will just go away with tail between their legs after MWC.

    • correct


  • capedonut

    I think the HTC looked pretty sharp in the two first photos. In the last one I liked the lumia more. Wonder how slim the next Nokia camera phone will be. It’s a big deal to a lot of people

  • Peter L

    Exposure time? ISO?

  • Pingback: What are you expecting from Nokia’s new devices at MWC? EOS/Catwalk/PureView? :) : My Nokia Blog()

  • Wasn’t it last MWC where HTC were completely overshadowed by the 808.
    In fairness HTC had done some good stuff with camera in the One X, but it was a huge mistake to announce it just before Nokia stunned the mobile world with 41MP on a smartphone camera.

    • Deaconclgi

      Exactly, lets see if history repeats itself this year.

      I hope Nokia surprises us.

  • b4b4.4l1

    Anyone(brands) who tried to compete with NOKIA cameraphones(808,920,N8) will get nothing but SHAME. The FAME is all with NOKIA cameraphones.

  • Hui

    HTC One showed its strength in backlight shots, but obviously lost in the night shot

  • Grendell

    HTC loses to the Lumia 920. HTC one seems to come up with decent photos though and they should be commended or at least finally welcomed out of the potato field and into some serious company. What I find scary is… That HTC took very acceptable pictures. Even us Nokia fans seem to think so. So which technology will make it to lower price points as the imaging war moves forward?

  • Carbontubby

    Without EXIF info it would be hard to really tell the difference between HTC and Nokia’s camera tech. If both photos were taken at similar ISO settings, f-stops and shutter times, and the Lumia’s looks superior with less noise and more detail, then HTC has failed.

    • Viipottaja

      I see your point but then one can reasonably argue that it is a part of the camera’s performance to “intelligently” pic those settings for best/most pleasing/useful results for the typical end user. 🙂

    • Dave

      Aperture on neither can be changed, but it would still be nice to see ISO and shutter times.

    • Vineet

      This might not help as much. Even if 920 takes better pics DUE to longer exposure times, the whole point of OIS *was* to enable this. Other phones cannot expose for as long because it would then look like a blurry mess.

      OIS = longer exposure time. The whole point was to elongate shutter times

      • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

        Actually that’s not true.

        There is an app for that so iPhone can.

        This is very hard for some Nokia fans to understand but it’s really quite possible.

        • Vineet

          I think you misunderstood. No app or software tweak can enable OIS which is a hardware feature.

          You can bump up the exposure time on other phones/cameras but you will end up with a blurry mess because either the subject will move or your hands will.

          OIS can compensate for this and hence always take longer exposed pics (keep shutter open for longer) than other phones.

          So to say that 920 only has a better photo due to longer shutter time is disingenuous as the competitors cannot actually match that exposure without blurring.

          It’s like suggesting a Ferrari is faster than a Honda *only* because it has a larger, faster, more powerful engine. Well….duh.

        • correct

          Stop trolling. It’s impossible for an app to enable the hardware stabilization the 920 has on an iPhone. Like Vineet said, having longer exposure on the iPhone will result in blurry shots.

          • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

            You both fail to understand this.

            It’s just a feature almost every human has.

            The 920 takes the picture in a 1/3 second when the phone is not shaking.

            Now this app checks if the phone is not shaking for a 1/4 or a 1/3 second. Most of the humans have those brief moments when their hands are not shaking and that app just captures those. They don’t actually take that much time to happen.

            You haven’t tried it so you don’t understand.

            So yes, there is an app for that.

            • correct

              Sorry, try again. The 920 will take a photo regardless of whether or not your hand is shaking. That’s the point of the optical stabilization.

              There are also some pro camera apps for the 808 and 920, that far extend their capabilities beyond the default camera app settings.

              So despite the fact the iPhone has apps to extend it’s camera capabilities, so do the 808 and 920.

              Your criticism of both the 808 and 920 is just trolling at this point.

              • correct

                You had a fair point which I agreed with that the 808 in auto is not amazing; manual settings have to be adjusted for best quality, but that’s just like many pro or near-pro cameras.

                The 920’s auto mode is quite good though, and the 808’s auto mode is pretty good too. Yes they have their flaws but the iPhone’s auto mode isn’t perfect either.

                As to the subject of apps, you are sort of defeating your own argument.

                According to you, most people simply want good pics in auto mode. Therefore, most people won’t bother to go searching for special apps that extend the camera’s capability. Usually only enthusiasts or photographers are willing to do that.

                I’ve never in my life met an average iPhone user who was using a 3rd party camera app, only enthusiasts and photographers.

                All the average iPhone users I’ve met have simply used the stock Iphone camera app. Therefore it is only fair to compare iPhone and 920 and 808 stock for stock for stock.

                • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

                  The auto settings for the 808 are just that. So auto that you can’t even disable the xenon flash and make the device to remember that it was disable. That’s a serious flaw and that feature has been ruining my pictures several time. Why? Try taking pictures from animals who are afraid of the xenon flash. Just forgetting to check that setting in auto mode and a second later they are gone.

                  Another major flaw in 808, compared to the iPhone and probably to the HTC is the time to take the picture. I’m not talking about the time when it’s possible to take the next picture. I’m talking about the time after the picture is taken counting from the moment when the user presses the button that takes the picture.

                  On 808 that time is so long, that it makes it very hard to take great pictures of kids and small animals who are moving a lot. This may not seem to be a big deal to those people who just shoot pictures and don’t care about the best moment, but for a serious photographer it may be a huge issue. This feature has ruined massive amounts of photos for me. The 808 capturing the moment just too late after i have pressed the button.

                  This is not a problem for someone who has all the time in the world and remembers to check all the setting before taking a shot.

                  That’s also one reason why I don’t use 808 as ofter as someone might think I would. It’s just too unreliable for certain tasks.

              • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

                920 may have those applications, but I have never seen 808 having any application allowing several features serious photographers need.

                There has been no control for exposure time. No uncompressed pictures and so on. It’s possible that 808 doesn’t have applications with those features.

                For example, I haven’t seen an application allowing you to take those nice night shots with a reasonable exposure time while at the same time preventing the shakes.

                Unfortunately I’m not the one who is trolling. It’s those people who claim that 808 has all those features available.

            • Vineet

              No there is no app for that. Link me to this “app for that”.

              What you describe is nothing like what the 920 provides.

              Yes, the 808 is not perfect by any means.

  • Francis

    This is purely low light comparison, which 920 is in better position.

    Hope to to see daylight photo comparison soon to see the actual winner.

    Some rumours said HTC’s Camera is from Canon, if this is true than we will see real fight in near future !

    • Viipottaja

      So winning in low light is not “actually” winning? 😀

      Oh well, at least Charlie is.

      • Francis

        Daylight photography is my major shot and it is most important. Night shot i prefer natural scene. Dark i got Xenon for my 808. 920 is not good for me due to no xenon flash too, beside WPcrap.

        • Jyrki Sukula ottaa voiton Ramskista

          I saw one guy using the 808 for taking pictures from a sky full of stars.

          People do say that long exposure is crap and you really should have a xenon flash.

          I bet those pictures turned out to be something really great if you don’t like overexposed pictures.

    • correct

      What are you talking about? Two of the shots in the comparison are day-time shots, if you follow the link. They were taken during the day, and the 920 beat the One in those shots as well.

  • Keith too

    The HTC One took a good pic in the middle set but it lost a lot of detail on the last one and totally botched the first one. Obviously they have some work to do yet.

  • Madratz

    Based solely on these 2 images up top, I prefer the HTC’s image. Sorry but I believe it renders the truer atmosphere of that place and time. In trying to make images brighter on the 920, Nokia seems to make low light images coming out looking artificial. Almost as artificial as the over saturated images coming out of the iPhone 4 camera, God forbid!! But of course, its no match for a down sampled image coming out of an 8|0|8..

    • Keith too

      Holy frack, you defintely need glasses. Do you need see the missing detail and fuzziness of the HTC version.

  • viktor von d.

    the sad things is that htc was dissing the 808 pureview and not the 920. frakking clowns. now matter how good their approach is it can only come close to the 8mp cameras performance and even there with some limitations because of the limited number of zooming,less data. but will probably shine in daylight photos taking simple pictures. anyways all that fuss was for nothing, it still can’t beat nokia in the imaging department and that optical stabilization of theirs seems to be a gimmick as there are no spring mounted cameras. only software aided by the gyroscope. but i got to give it to them, they made a very desirable looking phone

  • correct

    I agree with you Jay, HTC really does need to fear what’s coming from Nokia at MWC.

  • Doug

    Hate to say it, but the fact is that the 920 does a terrible job dealing with any kind of light bulb. Brake lights get this completely overdone bright red, and as seen in this case, all the lights look unreal. The HTC shot the, I think, much more natural and correct looking photo in terms of colors.