You know everybody says the megapixel war is over? Nokia apparently didn't get the memo because its 808 PureView is the first cellphone to cram a 41-megapixel sensor into its chassis. Overkill? Hell freakin' yes and we're totally down with that!
Announced at Mobile World Conference, the Nokia 808 PureView is not a Windows Phone smartphone. It's a Nokia Belle OS (formerly called Symbian) device and its only reason to exist is to make all other camera phones look like garbage.
The 808 PureView has specs that include a 4-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display, 1.3GHz processor, 16GB of internal storage (with microSD expansion up to 32GB) and a battery life of 6.5 talk time hours over 3G. But who are we kidding? The real star is its camera.
The 41-megapixel Carl Zeiss lens might have enough megapixels to print out massive billboards, but Nokia says the purpose of such a camera sensor is not for that, but is mostly for oversampling pixels to make photos look even sharper.
How does the 808 PureView do that? Well, for every one pixel, it combines seven pixels together to create a "pure" pixel. Nokia claims that by doing this, it can "eliminate visual noise found on other mobile phone cameras" and "zoom in up to 3X without losing any of the details in your shot." Basically, using some fancy schmancy compression technology, the 808 PureView can create some really crisp five to eight megapixel photos with no artifacts.
When it's not prettying up all of those small photos with super detail, it can also shoot photos in 4:3 ratio at an effective 38-megapixels. Suck on this, Nikon D800.
Other benefits to the 808 PureView include ultra-low light shooting at apertures of f/2.0, faster shutter speeds and reduced camera shake.
In terms of video, the 808 PureView's no slouch. It shoots 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second and digital zoom that can go as high as 6X in 720p recording.
To see some "unretouched" photos taken with the 808 PureView and a technical PDF on all the inner workings of the technology, head on over to Nokia's blog below. Otherwise, check out the video that Nokia put together on the 808 PureView technology.
When will we see the thick clunker and how much will it cost? It should arrive in May for about $600. Nokia also said at its MWC press announcement that we should "see variations of PureView technology on other Nokia products moving forward." That's basically code for Windows Phone smartphones, for those who don't know how cozy the Finnish company is with Microsoft these days.
After today's impressive HTC One family of camera phones, the future of cellphone cameras look brighter than ever. I'm literally spazzing out right now over the PureView tech, not of the fat 808 phone design.