Here’s the thing, Nokia, once reigning champion of the mobile domain, is in decline. Sure they’re doing well enough in the small scale, low-budget sector, but let’s face it, as smartphones go; they’re at the bottom of the barrel, which at the moment no one's scraping. So, what can they do? Aside from selling bits and pieces of their holdings (I mean their luxury handset division Vertu) and signing up with Microsoft to develop products, they also decided to launch a slew of low-budget devices (Asha Series) and one overpriced high-end camera phone. Enter the PureView 808, the N8 killer (?). 

So what does a company, seemingly in Dire Straits, hope to achieve by focusing on a product, that took five years in the making? Perhaps a slight rebuttal to their declining shares, to assure their now scant fans that they’re still very much in the game. Will they succeed with this? The answer is a resounding ‘No’.

Believe me, I and many others like me have been ardent fans of the Finnish company for years, prior to the Android and iOS revolution, of course. There was a time when Symbian could do no wrong. Then again, the lack of choices didn’t help. They were the first in the smartphone game, but sadly have evolved too slowly to follow their previous impact on the mobile community. 

The decision to go the Windows Phone route might not have been the best one either. In the long run, it could bear sweet fruit for the company, but they’ve got to make sure they’re still in the game till then. Had they chosen Android, well, in a perfect world, it would have been a great partnership. Imagining a Nokia N800 with a ClearBlack display, speedy processor, fantastic build quality, Nokia Drive and maps, and PureView camera tech is a mobile lover's wet dream. But it will never come to pass. 

The PureView 808 has, most assuredly, a great camera and it’s only fitting that it take the title away from its predecessor, the N8 as best camera phone, yet. But the camera, although a big asset in this snap happy age, is only a small part of the mobile experience. Symbian Belle, as an OS, still does not compete with the likes of Android and or iOS. Clinging to its apron strings, Nokia will go no place fast. Windows Phone, on the other hand, does offer quite a bit more in terms of user experience, although lacking in customization. That too, unfortunately will not prove to be a quick fix solution to Nokia’s ailing stock figures. 

gigantic 41 megapixels sensor

Not enough to save them…

They do however, have one ace in the hole, a PureView-enabled Windows Phone, that is already rumoured to be in the works. However, so keep in mind, it’s still not a device we’ve seen yet, so at the moment, Nokia still needs something big to get them out of the pit they’re in. The announcement of a Windows 8-enabled tablet will surely affect the company’s shares in a positive way. I’m sure of that. But the PureView 808 will still only be considered a minor stop gap between the then and the now. 

People want more than just a camera and GPS device. Symbian has been unable to offer that even with it going Open Source and the various iterations leading up to Belle. Adding power house processing speed to the OS will do it no good, no one ever said that the platform was sluggish, in general. It’s just not user friendly, that’s all. Work on that and you’ve got something. With a price tag of Rs. 33,899, Nokia has overpriced the value of the device. The Xperia S with a 12MP camera, can offer a little more in terms of user experience and tons of apps, customization options and more at the same price. For a little more, the HTC One X could also provide you superb video and image quality and overall experience. None might fare well in a camera standoff, but like I said, it isn’t always about that. 

Someone told me recently after being shown a few pictures from the device; these are great, but… I’m not really WOWED, by them. Sure that was one perspective and in my opinion, as far as camera phones go, it really doesn’t get any better than this. The S III, Xperia S and iPhone 4S are all worthy competitors but, picking up from where the N8 left off, the 808 is a brilliant camera phone, emphasis on the word ‘camera’. And that ladies and gentlemen, is all it will ever be.  

Good luck Nokia, I’m rooting for you, but till you get your act together I don’t see myself as a customer again for some time, PureView or not. 

Publish date: June 18, 2012 8:55 am| Modified date: December 18, 2013 10:32 pm

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