Hands-on testing of Nokia Lumia 920 shows Nokia didn't need to lie about PureView performance

Hands-on testing of Nokia Lumia 920 shows Nokia didn't need to lie about PureView performance

Summary: Nokia made their big Windows Phone 8 announcement last week and unfortunately they deceived people with their video and still image ads for the Lumia 920. The Verge went out with Nokia to show that the Lumia 920 truly does have a great camera and there was no need to deceive people.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Nokia, Windows
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Hands-on testing of Nokia Lumia 920 shows Nokia didn't need to lie about PureView performance

There are several different teams that work on launch events and unfortunately the marketing folks at Nokia put a serious damper on the engineering highlights of the new Nokia Lumia 920 when it lied about videos and still images that were advertised as being taken by the Lumia 920. They were taken by professional cameras, reportedly as a "demonstration" of what was possible with the Lumia 920. My friend Dieter Bohn at The Verge was able to go out to the New York Central Park site with Nokia and a Lumia 920 to capture photos with the device in an attempt to recreate the still photos taken in low light conditions.

As is clearly shown in The Verge article, the Nokia Lumia 920 does indeed capture solid photos in low light conditions and turns our still images better than any other current high end smartphone (not counting the amazing Nokia 808 PureView of course). They were not able to test out the video image stabilization functionality as this is reportedly not yet ready even in the Lumia 920 prototype Nokia has on hand. It seems that it is not only Microsoft that has lots of work to do on the software before release of Windows Phone 8 devices.

Nokia needs to win big here with these new Windows Phone 8 devices and starting off by deceiving people with their PureView technology is not a good way to start. Nokia issued an apology for the video and another for the still pictures, but it is tough to recover from such a PR disaster. At least Microsoft isn't ready to release Windows Phone 8 anytime soon so Nokia will have at least six weeks to change the discussion and divert attention for this gaffe.

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Topics: Mobility, Nokia, Windows

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64 comments
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  • careful of wording

    Matt, among mobile bloggers, I respect you the most, but I have to disagree part of your claim in this one,

    "when it lied about videos and still images that were advertised as being taken by the Lumia 920"

    Please check the facts. Nokia put up a teaser video or an ads video that demonstrates the OIS features that will be applied in the upcoming Lumia 920. That's is all. End of story. The still pictures are similar thing.

    Nokia didn't in any case say the video was shot by L920, or any part of it was. Or even suggesting it was. It is an ads, as we all know about ads. It can be shot in means, or even edited, refined, beautified by software tools before putting into an ads. In most cases they do. Lets say, there is Sony camcorder commercial, they demonstrate that its great news features. Do we expect the part of the video to shot by actually a Sony camcorder? Answer is NO.

    So far we are clear right?

    Until, those guys in the verge looks at the video on slow mo, (do they do this all the time? hm.), and find out it is not shot buy the L920. They wrote it out, using the words: like lie, fake.... And the whole web find something they are waiting for. and ...

    I have been calling the verge writers assholes. They have been always like that.

    Now Matt, I want to hear your opinions. Thanks.
    jk_10
    • Come on now, I am a Nokia fan too, but let's be real

      I am as much of a Nokia fan as anything, but do you think posting videos and images in promotions for the Lumia 920 would ever be considered by ANYONE not be from the Lumia 920. When do you see promotions that "simulate" what the advertised phone may be capable of? It is clearly false advertising and everyone knows it, otherwise Nokia wouldn't have had to issue a couple apologies.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • Agreed But

        They all do this.

        A great example is my McDonald's burger always looks better on TV. Do they use real burgers to shoot their commercials?

        Nokia's mistake was, it didn't edit the video well enough. Lets face it, everyone would have dismissed this commercial as propaganda until they saw it with their own eyes if not for bad editing.
        rwalrond
        • Here in Canada

          All food commercials advertised MUST be of the ACTUAL food product. ;p just something that it made me think of haha. If you see a food commercial in Canada, your meal COULD have looked like the Ad if the people making your food weren't in a rush and slapped it all together.
          harley22x
          • Yes real food, but not looking like the ones you get from

            the drive up window. A very carefully made to perfectly photograph one. Everyone knows it and everyone is ok with it because they know it doesn't change what it tastes like. Just like the nokia ad being shot with a professional camera. Everyone with a brain knows it and it doesn't change the fact that the nokia camera will work like that.
            Johnny Vegas
        • Yes -- real burgers

          Not to hijack this thread, but yes, McDonald's does use real burgers.
          http://youtu.be/oSd0keSj2W8
          ral613@...
        • Yes, they do use real hamburgers.

          I just saw a piece on TV about how they photograph their burgers.

          Everything in the photo is the same as you can buy. HOWEVER, the burger is hand cooked, the bun has never been squished by being wrapped, and the condiments are all placed on the edge of the meat closest to the camera.

          It was actually quite interesting to watch.
          msalzberg
      • Nokia's Lie???

        I agree with "jk_10" on this one! This really seems blown out of proportion big time. Can't believe theirs this much press about this.
        Renagade313
        • No such thing as bad publicity...

          so Nokia may even benefit as a result of the extra publicity, especially since they can prove that the claims are indeed true about the camera's capabilities.
          wp7mango
        • Good for Nokia taking responsibility for an ad agency goof.

          Yes, you can tell it's a slow news weekend if this makes headlines.

          Nokia should get praised for taking responsibility for the goof-up on the part of their ad agency. They could've just disclaimed knowledge and thrown the agency under the bus for not including a disclaimer, like Apple and others are often forced to do in their ads.
          kevindarling
          • So you're okay with the fact

            That Nokia got caught lying? I realize the Microsoft Fanboys, are Okay with Microsoft's constant lies (smokes by Windows Phone anyone?) But now it extends to Nokia? You Fanboys, and Trolls are a silly lot.
            Troll Hunter J
          • You are way off base, ALL APPLE ADS SIMULATE

            actual product screens, so do all other phone ads including Android. Just because someone didn't put the disclamer in the ad doesn't change the fact that you can never go by what is shown in any ad for any product.

            If you do go by what an ad shows, you must be disappointed by a lot of products from info commericals also.
            rmark@...
          • Proof the great Lumia 920 camera!!!!!!!!!!

            Silly lot but here the Nokia Lumia 920 proves itself against the top Smartphones on the market

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFhhBJ1URCg&list=PLCBK5c-aJiRG89wTheBIoyMZ6szPISj4s&index=1&feature=plpp_video
            Randy Williams
      • When do you see promotions that "simulate"...

        How about all the time? Just about any ad for a thing with a screen says "screen images simulated".
        Joe Acerbic
      • Sorry, Matt. I foundmentally disagree.

        First, I am not a Nokia fan. I never in my life used one Nokia product, but recently I look at Nokia Lumia phones with great interest. Regardless, if I don't think the verge's act hugely distorted the truth, I wouldn't say it.

        You haven't convinced me that those OIS promotional material has anything different meaning than any other products. Promotion, or Ads, as most of them called it, follow a common standard. I can't see those materials violate any common rules or practices in advertising. You call that false advertising without convincing fact.

        You say, come on, if they provide material like that, everybody would think that was shot by L920. First, as a business practice, they are allowed to do so. Second, Nokia and everyone must be aware that people will ask, this is obvious reasoning. Third, the video was made by before final product is ready for action. Fourth, the video as we know now didn't noticeable change what the product is capable of. And Fifth, can everyone provide evidences that other imaging products' promotional material all (or most) are shot using the exact product?

        As to why Nokia apologize, I think it is irrelevant to the question. Its like in the court, you say, if you are not guilty, why you apologize? irrelevant.

        I not sure if Nokia thought about using L920 to shot the video (image), but I think they shouldn't. Common practice is people don't. No matter how good smartphone camera is, it hard to reach the advertising level. If they did think about, L920 is not in the state to shot a video that reflects its final performance.

        Matt, I would agree with you if Nokia in any situation claimed, or suggested they are shot by L920.
        jk_10
        • One more thing I want to add...

          You say everyone would believe the video (image) were shot by L920. I don't disagree. For someone who knows nothing about Nokia Pureview, they probably don't. For most people what have seen Pureview on Nokia 808, most would. However, if this is for a Samsung smartphone or HTC smartphone, people mostly wouldn't directly think the video was hot by the phone, because they know those phones are not able to do that. In Nokia's case, because Nokia routinely do that with 808. That leads people to believe this has to be the case.

          Lets be clear, Nokia do that to show 808 Pureview technology that's their choice. They are not required to do so. No one, not Nokia, not Samsung, not HTC are required to do so. Just because Nokia has amazing product, we have to use a different standard? If they don't we call them lying, faking? Why Micheal Jordan has always to use one hand dunk to win. He is lying/faking when he uses two hands just like everyone?
          jk_10
        • It ad clearly implies it was in fact shot from the phone

          When the ad shows two people riding bicycles the switches to the perspective of the one "holding the phone" It is means to say "this is what the video from our phone will look like. It's like the Microsoft/Nokia Fanboys that believe the cheap crap camera in the current Lumia phones is good enough to replace a DSLR, and they do think that. It speaks volumes of their allegiance to Microsoft. When they promote a phone that does not work as advertized, as the best phone ever. The Lumia 900 is such a Piece of sh!t, Nokia had to pay people to accept them. Nokia has also learned Microsoft deceptive Marketing. Thy count phones shipped, which means if the phone doesn't boot, it is still counted as a shipped unit. The Slaves in India, making $0.35 a day, aren't responsible, neither are the Chinese Engineers that designed the phone. It's the cheap scumbags in Redmond, that speced the phone be built in India, for cost reasons only. Yes Syeve Ballmer is calling the shots at Nokia, Elop is just a mouthpiece.
          Troll Hunter J
      • Would that include something like Siri?

        Is that false advertising, as I really can't belive that Siri sounds as good on the little speaker in the phone as it comes across in ALL of Apple's TV ads.

        Sometime things just don't translate 1 to 1 on TV as it does in person, so the need for simulation is required.
        William Farrel
        • No Todd/palmsolo

          You're talking about something completely different. Editing one for time, but actually using the service, is different than using a $3,500 camera, with a Professional lens. There is no way the $3.25 lens in the cheap crap Nokia "Metrosexual" phone, is anywhere near as good as a Canon "L" series, or Nikon "Pro" lens. The Lenses in question cost several time what the phone sells for retail.
          Troll Hunter J
      • First they didnt lie, second everyone with a brain knew the video

        was being shot by someone driving along behind the guy on the bike with a professional camera like every other commercial. That doesn't mean what they showed doesn't accurately reflect real world performance of the 920 camera capabilities.
        Johnny Vegas