Real World Xenon Flash tests: Nokia 808 PureView and Nokia Lumia 1020

| September 9, 2013 | 45 Replies

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 18.12.39


Steve Litchfield takes a look at the Nokia 808 PureView’s Xenon prowess against the Nokia Lumia 1020.  The latter is of course sporting OIS which makes it great for handheld low light, no flash pics. But the 808 has a double capacitor xenon flash (double the strength of the 1020 apparently) and a slightly bigger sensor.

I’m interested how the 1020 looks in terms of low light club shots or people shots in general. From my N82, to N8 and trying out the 808, my friends have always been in disbelief that these low light moments were frozen in time by a phone.

Props to the 808 and that super powerful flash! The 1020 has a redesigned, flat xenon flash in order to keep the device slim (mer). The 1020 is the current flagbearer now for Nokia’s imaging and with that xenon, does infinitely better than the competition sporting LED.

It should be noted, of course, that even though the Lumia 1020 came off second best in this comparison when it came time to use the Xenon flash, its results will still be better than just about every other current smartphone on the market. The Galaxy S4 Zoom is about the only competitor that matters, and that comes with a full strength Xenon flash but a form factor that’s horrifically compromised. Even the new Sony Xperia Z1, despite a 20MP sensor and a degree of PureView oversampling/zoom, comes with a weedy LED flash and so would fail in these tests.

Even compared to the Nokia 808, the lake and path scenes, typical of low light shots out in the fresh air, are handled better by the Lumia 1020, with the OIS making sure that the photo is as crisp as possible and with admirable light gathering. Plus the PureView re-frameability. Yes, if you look at the finer details, there’s evidence of image processing but for almost all users, the overall effect will be superior to any other camera phone in the world.

However, credit where credit’s due, and the 2012 Nokia 808 PureView can still hold its head up high when it comes to indoor and Xenon-flash-lit shots. The 1020’s flash does work but it pales in comparison with the light produced from the 808’s Xenon bulb, as you can see above. Add in the larger sensor and bigger pixels on the 808, plus the immediate ‘raw’ PureView processing, and it remains, in my view, still the camera phone to beat for social occasions and events. (Not bad for an early 2012 hardware release running an OS which is widely considered to be outdated.)

Cheers Alvester for the tip!


Category: Nokia

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