Review: Nokia 808 PureView – Part 1 Hardware

Also in this Review:
Nokia 808 PureView – Part 2 Software
Nokia 808 PureView – Part 3 Camera
Nokia 808 PureView – Part 4 Audio, Recording and Conclusions

The Nokia 808 PureView is a unique phone, a landmark achievement in mobile technology and a multimedia powerhouse. It’s also, some suspect, the last phone Nokia will release running Symbian. That said, is it any good? By now, if you are reading this you will probably know that it has a 41MP camera which can produce excellent photographs. In fact, quite a few dedicated photography websites have reviewed it, so we can take it as read that the camera is good. In fact, quite a few of the mobile technology websites have focused on the camera so much so as to minimize or deny altogether the idea that this is also a communications device.

I have spent the last 2 weeks with my Micro-Sim in the phone using it as my main, device, turned on and in my pocket. This review won’t focus as much on the camera as others, but do you honestly need me to tell you it’s good? It comes in Red, White and Black. I had the black version for this review.

Basic Specs

  • 4″ curved Clear Black AMOLED screen with Gorilla Glass
  • 41MP Auto Focus camera with Xenon Flash
  • 1080P video recording with LED for night illumination
  • Nokia Belle Feature Pack 1
  • 1.3Ghz ARM 11 processor with 512MB RAM
  • 16MB on board memory
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • HDMI port for video-out connection (Type D)
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • WiFi b/g/n
  • Micro USB port for charging and data connection
  • Pentaband 3G world phone
  • Micro-SIM slot


The 808 purview is not, like the N9 and Lumia 800/900, made out of a uni-body shell. Nor is it like the N8, or 701 with metal. It’s plastic, with an unremarkable front design, an enlarged Nokia 601/600 or even 710. It has chunky sides and mores, a chunky top and bottom, and the back, which is curved, has a huge hump in it where the camera is. However, the curved back, 4″ screen size and key positioning make it comfortable to hold, despite the hump and the weight of it. It feels a very solid device, rugged, and you feel like if you drop it, you have confidence that it will be OK and continue through whatever you put it through.

The front has a 4″ AMOLED screen, complete with ClearBlack technology and Gorilla Glass. At the top is the earpiece and at the bottom, a single raised plastic button containing the menu, call and end/power keys. The screen is great to look at, bright and like the N9’s in two ways – one being that the edge is curved, though not as much as the N9’s, and the second being that you feel the feel like things are almost on the glass not under it. Without a doubt, it’s the best screen I’ve ever seen Symbian/Nokia Belle through, despite the fact resolution remains a paltry 640 by 360.

The top has a headphone jack, micro USB port and mini HDMI port. Sadly N8 users, the HDMI adapter that came with your phone won’t work in this one, and there isn’t one supplied in the box. The bottom has a whole for the microphone, as well as a small ridge to use to lift off the back cover.

The Left is bare and the right has the camera button, volume rocker and lock switch. One neat trick is that holding the lock switch for a few seconds will (usually) turn on the LED flashlight.

The back has the huge camera, on a raised hill, the crest of which is metal. It’s rounded, unlike the blocky N8. The hill contains the Xenon flash, a single LED light and the loudspeaker. At the other end there is a raised, rubbery bar and the phone rests on that and the camera hump at a slight angle. The camera itself is a little lower than the hump which is good as it means it’s less likely to get scratched, etc.

Inside is a place for a Nokia BV-4D battery, as well as Micro-Sim and SD card holders (under the battery so they are not hot-swappable). The case also houses the NFC chip and has 2 contacts just below the camera for this.

Overall, this is a solidly built phone which feels good in the hand but looks very unspectacular. The internals probably are the same, with pretty much every connectivity option know to man except LTE, but also low RAM and an unspectacular processor. However, specs don’t tell the story – in part 2 I’ll look at Nokia Belle and my experience as a user.


About bluechrism

I am a software developer with most professional experience in the Windows .Net realm and I'm currently a WPF developer with Starkey Labs. However, I have wanted for some time to start the mobile developer journey properly and being an N900 owner, this was to be in the realm of QT. Job hunting, moving to Minnesota and changing jobs put my plans on hold 6-12 months but things are starting to settle now, just as I'm getting sorted to start some things, Microsoft and Nokia merge. This blog is about my novice mobile development experiences and hopefully will end up complete with links to download some apps on various platforms, but obviously by the name, Sybian, Maemo/Meego and Windows Mobile. In other stuff, I am English, I support Everton FC, I have visited Glastonbury music festival 5 times and recommend it to anyone. I am married and my wife and i have a dog called Friday.
This entry was posted in Nokia, Reviews, Symbian and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Review: Nokia 808 PureView – Part 1 Hardware

  1. Pingback: Review: Nokia 808 PureView – Part 2 Software | The MicroNokia Developer

  2. Pingback: Review: Nokia 808 PureView – Part 3 Photography | The MicroNokia Developer

  3. Pingback: Review: Nokia 808 PureView part 4 – Audio, Recording and Conclusions | The MicroNokia Developer

  4. D.R.oosterveer says:

    waarom kan ik apps van TunEin op mijn nokia 808 zitten ?????

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s