Unlocked Nokia PureView 808 Coming To The US For $699

Earlier this year, Nokia surprised everyone by unveiling the Nokia PureView 808 at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012 in Barcelona. This handset is the successor of the highly popular Nokia N8 smartphone. The Nokia PureView 808 sports a high-resolution 41 megapixel sensor with Carl Zeiss optics. You heard it right! This device has also received multiple awards, including Best Mobile Device at the MWC 2012 as well as the Best Imaging Innovation award from the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA). The Nokia 808 PureView is the first smartphone to feature Nokia’s award-winning PureView technology.

nokia pureview 808

Earlier, it was rumored that Nokia will not launch the amazing PureView 808 smartphone in the US. However, we have good news for the folks who were eagerly waiting to get this handset. Nokia recently announced the price and available of the PureView 808 for the customers living in the US. This handset will be available unlocked and unsubsidized through Amazon.

Apart from the 41 megapixel camera, the Nokia PureView features a 4 inch ClearBlack display, sporting a resolution of 360 x 640 pixels, 1.3 GHz processor, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA Connectivity, Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP, A-GPS, 1 GB ROM, 512 MB RAM, 16 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 32 GB expandable memory, up to 540 hrs of stand-by time, up to 6 hrs 50 mins of talk time and a 1400 mAh battery. Sadly, this handset runs on the Symbian Belle OS, instead of the Windows Phone 7.5 OS.

The Nokia PureView 808 will offer support for AT&T’s 3G network. However, there is no 3G support for T-Mobile customers. If you are planning to use this device on T-Mobile’s network, then you will have to manage with the 2G speeds. This handset is already available for purchase in most of the European and Asian markets. The Nokia PureView 808 will go on sale at Amazon for $699 starting this week.

The Technology Behind Nokia’s 808 PureView 41 Megapixel Sensor

As many of you no doubt know by now, Nokia has unveiled a new cameraphone which resolves up to 5 megapixels. The catch here is that the sensor can capture up to 41 megapixels of data. This is no doubt the largest sensor ever made on a consumer camera phone (or indeed, any camera phone ever), but what prompted the team that worked on this phone to put such a large sensor on it?

Nokia808

In a word, the answer is ‘zoom’. To implement optical zoom and keep a thin and light form factor on the phone was proving to be extremely difficult and well nigh impossible:-

We had been working for a long time (on) optical zooms and had learned the hard way how difficult it is to achieve good performance in smartphones. Their structure is very complex and hard to manufacture.

The answer came to Nokia, like all those genius answers of yore, in the dead of night. What if they could implement a large sensor on a phone, zoom digitally, and throw away the unneeded pixels (by a process called ‘oversampling’) to make an impressively high res image? The rest (about five years of work) is history, so to speak, as AllThingsD says:-

One of the key advantages is it lets you zoom in three or four times in either photos or video and still have a sharp image. The picture of the camera, here, for example, is taken from the same wide shot of the camera and its sensors. In videos, the technology allows one to zoom in close while still maintaining an HD resolution.

Another plus is that the camera uses so called “oversampling” to shrink the image while still making use of the information in the large number of pixels. Nokia said it can create a better 5-megapixel image by using the data in the seven extra pixels to inform which single pixel it uses.

Some sample pictures have been released by Nokia. While they do not hold a candle to the most basic dSLR in the market in terms of picture quality, they definitely beat the hell out of much of the competition.