Nokia 808 PureView: Best camera ever in a phone is not enough to buoy sinking Symbian

Nokia 808 PureView: Best camera ever in a phone is not enough to buoy sinking Symbian

Summary: Nokia has reigned in camera phone technology over the years and the 808 PureView demonstrates the pinnacle of their imaging success. However, the camera is partnered with a dead OS that holds it back, especially with a price of $699 before tax and shipping.

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I used to be a die hard Nokia and Symbian fan, I wrote the Nokia Experts site for two years, and was regularly one of the few voices in the U.S. talking about and defending the innovations and benefits of the Symbian OS. After using the Nokia 808 PureView for the last week, I have to say it is time for me to throw in the towel and give up on Symbian. It's a real shame too since the 808 PureView is the absolute BEST camera phone available today. However, if I can't reliably receive my email, struggle to browse websites, and be forced to give up apps I use every day on other platforms then there is no way I can justify the nearly $800 ($699 plus $70 in tax) for me to purchase this from Amazon.

A couple of years ago I picked up and orange Nokia N8 and was still using it for my travel camera. However, after my recent zipline video was corrupted and lost I realized that other smartphones come close in the camera department for most of the pics I take so back in the drawer it went. I was considering the Nokia 808 PureView and found the camera to be FANTASTIC. I almost put one in my shopping cart based on the camera alone, but realized I can save a ton of money and just pick up a dedicated digital camera if capturing photos is my main reason to use one. Nokia killed Symbian and I am not impressed with its current performance so I am moving one. You can check out some product photos and several photos I took with the 808 PureView in my image gallery. I had to resize the photos for ZDNet, but check out the links below to other reviews that show the camera in all its glory.


  Image Gallery: Check out several photos of the Nokia 808 PureView and a few taken with the phone.   Image Gallery: 808 PureView retail package   Image Gallery: Close up of the camera  

In the box and first impressions

Nokia sent the evaluation 808 PureView in a large box loaded with accessories in a very cool Golla GenMob camera and tablet bag that I may just have to pick up in the future. Inside the bag they included a flexible tripod (mount didn't fit together so I couldn't test it), Nokia micro HDMI cable, Nokia DC-16 pink charger stick, and Nokia 808 hard cover. I was disappointed to see Nokia move to micro HDMI since the N8 came with a mini HDMI cable/adapter and it is likely that the few people buying the 808 PureView are current N8 owners who will not appreciate having to buy another adapter.

The Nokia 808 PureView comes in a traditional Nokia blue case and after I pulled it out I immediately had memories of the Nokia N97 in my hand. The size of the 808 and the back felt similar. It is a very thick and chunky device, but is very well constructed and feels rock solid. I like the matte white finish and the use of volume, camera, and lock buttons on the right side. There is no power button as the end button is used to turn it on and off. Not really a modern design, but you are making the tradeoff for the huge camera.

Specifications

Specifications for the Nokia 808 PureView include the following:

  • 1.3 GHz ARM 11 processor
  • 4 inch AMOLED (360x640 pixels) Nokia ClearBlack display
  • Symbian Belle OS
  • Limited to just 14.4 Mbps HSDPA on AT&T and T-Mobile
  • 512 MB RAM, 1 GB ROM, and 16GB internal
  • microSD card slot for memory expansion
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • NFC
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS
  • FM transmitter
  • 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
  • 41 megapixel camera (38 megapixel effective) with both a Xenon and LED flash, Carl Zeiss optics included
  • VGA front facing camera /li>
  • DLNA and HDMI out with adaptor
  • 1400 mAh removable battery
  • Dimensions: 4.9 x 2.37 x 0.55 inches and 6 ounces

The back camera is impressive, but that's really it for the Nokia 808 PureView. All the other hardware specifications are dated. With all carrier smartphones now supporting HSPA+ and LTE, it's sad to see a device in 2012 limited to a theoretical 14.4 Mbps with a fairly low resolution display. I do like the FM transmitter (Nokia has done this for years) and sure wish other manufacturers would include this functionality.

Hardware - Overall

As I wrote in my first impressions, the 808 PureView is not a small device and is quite chunky in the hand. The huge camera module protrudes out from the back, but then the back curves in so it actually feels comfortable in your hand. The front display looks fine, but after using HD resolution displays I cannot go back to something like this as a daily driver. It is actually sad that photos taken with the 808 PureView cannot be thoroughly enjoyed on the phone itself and look better on competing smartphones. There is a VGA front facing camera, but I am not sure what software there is to make good use of it. There is a single long button below the display for send, end, and menu/app launcher. Pressing and holding the end (red) button turns the phone on and off.

There is nothing on the left or bottom of the phone while the 3.5mm headphone jack, microUSB port, and microHDMI ports are found on the top. The volume button, lock switch, and camera capture button are found on the right side. Like Windows Phone, you can press and hold the camera capture button to launch the camera application.

Hardware - Camera

The 41 megapixel camera dominates the upper back with a Gorilla glass cover piece over the lens. I like seeing both LED and Xenon flash modules so you can use the 808 PureView as a flashlight, use LED for recording video, and also get fantastic indoor shots with the Xenon flash. You don't even need a separate app for the flashlight, you simply hold down the lock switch to toggle it on.

The sample pics in my image gallery don't do the 808 PureView justice so make sure to check out the reviews linked below from All About Symbian and this Flickr site with sample photos. Nokia has always ruled the camera arena and the PureView is the ultimate in camera phone technology. I generally just take photos of my family and don't shoot a lot of landscapes or other subjects really required for such a high end camera. I am not a professional photographer, but I do like a fine camera and the results keep pulling me back to considering the 808 PureView.

Software: Symbian Belle

Belle is the latest version of Symbian and comes preloaded on the Nokia 808 PureView. Actually, when I first turned on the 808 a software update was pushed to it. Symbian Belle reminds me a lot of Gingerbread Android with home screens and widgets, custom folders in the launcher, and slide-down shade for notifications and wireless controls. It is not terrible, but it is definitely not as slick as Android, iOS, or Windows Phone today.

Gravity is a must have application on the 808 PureView and honestly if this application wasn't around then I would have no hesitation in dropping it on the spot. Gravity gives you a solid Twitter and Facebook experience in one slick application. Other apps I have use regularly and find essential include Nokia Maps, email, Spotify, and the web browser. However, I am so used to Android apps that a MUCH longer list of apps is missing and frustrated me every time I tried to use the 808 PureView daily. These essential apps include:

  • Good web browser like Chrome
  • Flipboard
  • YouVersion Bible
  • Kobo, Kindle, or B&N Nook app
  • Wunderlist
  • Evernote
  • USAA and American Express
  • TripIt Pro
  • Starbucks card app

There are also a LOT more games and apps I use on a less frequent basis that I am now spoiled with having on my Android devices so too many compromises would have to be made to use the 808 PureView.

Experiences and thoughts on the Nokia 808 PureView

The Nokia 808 PureView is currently available for $699 from Amazon. If it was priced at $450 or lower then I would likely pick one up, but I just cannot justify have a great camera that makes calls for over $700. I am sure that Symbian die hards will argue that the app story isn't that bad, but it really is and with no real future for Symbian there is not much incentive for developers to continue building apps. If the Nokia 808 PureView launched with MeeGo then I might reconsider since MeeGo at least has a slicker UI and better browser with a pretty good assortment of modern apps. I understand that Nokia started working on PureView many years ago and that is what forced it to launch on Symbian, but it will likely be a very niche product.

Nokia has stated a few times that their PureView technology will be coming to other platforms and given that they are only actively supporting Windows Phone moving forward we can expect a Windows Phone PureView sometime in the future. Since my wife is a die hard Windows Phone fan and loves to take photos a WP PureView device will be a perfect upgrade for her Nokia Lumia 710 that has a lame camera on it. I appreciate what Nokia has done with the PureView camera, but the 808 is priced too high for a one trick pony.

Reviews of the Nokia 808 PureView

While I enjoyed using the camera, I did not enjoy using the 808 as a phone and thus am limiting my coverage of all the fine details since there are Symbian fans out there that already did a much better job. If you are seriously interested in purchasing this phone, then I highly recommend you check out the continuing coverage at All About Symbian and these other few reviews:

UPDATE: I just ordered my own 808 PureView

Who do I think I am fooling? How could I play with the BEST camera phone ever available and pass it up? I just placed my order for my own black PureView that arrives tomorrow. I'll follow up next week with a more detailed post on why I had a change of heart and let you know how Symbian Belle FP1 is working out for me.

Topics: Mobility, Mobile OS, Nokia, Reviews, Smartphones

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30 comments
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  • it's a smartcam...

    I have been mesmerized by the Nokia 808 PureView since I laid my eyes on it on february 27 during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. My love for the device grew deeper after "discovering" the Rich Recording it offers - a perfect sound quality in video recording, even under the loudest of circumstances.

    And yes, it runs on the newest version of Symbian, Nokia Belle, which is not as rich and versatile as iOS or Ice Cream Sandwich. I know, I've been writing reviews about smartphones for more than ten years now.

    But in the case of the Nokia 808 PureView, it's a different story. All prestigious websites are missing the point it seems. It is much more a "smartcam" than a smartphone. It's the only compact camera with a mature and complete OS. The only cam you can make phonecalls with, or send textmessages, check your e-mail, surf the web - and also: instantly share your pictures using your cell pone network, WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, Gmail, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, what not (ah yes, Instagram is not on the list yet, oh well...). The only cam that supports tons of applications as well.

    Reviewers from even the most cynical websites are blown away by the quality the 41MP camerasensor offers. Blown away by the quality of rich recording. And yet - like you - everybody is complaining about the OS. Show me any (!) camera with a complete OS like Nokia Belle Feature Pack 1, and/or all the sharing possibilities the Nokia 808 Pureview offers and it will silence me forever. It's simply not out there.

    Show me a smartphone that will make pics and vids that are at least as good as those of the Nokia 808 PureView (including the perfect sound quality). It doesn't exist, I'm sure since I've tested every recent smartphone for the last few years. The quality the Nokia 808 PureView offers is simply astonishing, in some cases equal to DSLR according to many very critical tests.

    I've written a blog about the subject here: http://pureviewclub.com/2012/2570. Reviewers seem to be more than willing to sacrifice a revolutionary technological innovation because of a touchscreen OS that is not the most recent for sure, but still gets a lot done - more than enough for many users even - and kind of puts any other camera's OS to shame.

    The Nokia 808 PureView is the worst possible reason you could ever think of to throw in the towel where Nokia and Symbian are concerned. I gave up on Symbian about a year ago, but I'm totally convinced of Nokia Belle in this device. The Nokia 808 PureView will be a future landmark in technological evolution. Are you seriously going to leave this one in your drawer as well? If so, do me a favor and send it to me, including all the stuff it came with (and the Golla bag, thank you).

    Marc Wielaert
    www.pureviewclub.com
    PureViewClub
    • Thanks for the comments. I agree, but price is too high right now.

      I agree that the 808 PureView is a fantastic camera that can make calls. However, it costs me nearly $800 to get one and for the photos I take that is just too much. If I was a serious photographer then it is likely I would buy the 808 since I can "get by" with Symbian Belle. If it drops to sub-$500 in the next couple of months with no other PureView phone in sight then I may end up getting one for Christmas.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • the price argument....

        Hi Matthew, thanks for your reation and good you mention the price argument once again.

        The price differences are ridiculous at the moment. I've kept track of them in the beginning (http://pureviewclub.com/2012/852). They seem to go all the way - except down. That's what you get when a device is hyped, demand is high and supply is low.

        But your reaction kind of changes the perspective, if I read it correctly. It has changed from Symbian being unable to work with, to the price level you believe is too high. That is quite something else right?

        As for Symbian: the Nokia 808 PureView will deliver your email just as good as your Android or iOS phone, no doubt. If you need better browsing, download Opera Mobile or Mini - you know that as well I guess, since you promote Gravity (and rightly so, since "social" is still way too weak on this OS). And yes: you will miss apps. I miss some apps on the Nokia 808 PureView as well.

        But Symbian in it's latest version is still - like I wrote - a mature OS. You can't find anything like it on any other camera. And you have noticed I think of the Nokia 808 PureView much more as a smartcam than a smartphone. And I really believe that's another change of perspective that's important.

        Of course, since it has "Nokia" on it, people will think of this device as a smartphone. And it's no competition for the big guns at this moment, not on Symbian. But watch the enormous attention it is getting worldwide with hardly any campaign, none at all compared to the amount Nokia spent on promoting the Lumia 900 in the US.

        Than you might start to wonder if people really care about lots of apps, or if they are getting all so excited by a brilliant new camera technique running on an OS they've never seen in a cam in the first place. So again, what's the real issue here: the platform? Or the price?

        Kind regards,

        Marc Wielaert
        www.pureviewclub.com
        PureViewClub
      • Price seems to be right...

        I was in holiday when this became available in Finland. Now, when I'm back, it has been sold out in all retailers. And all seem to have some sort of waiting list - meaning seems I need to wait mine for an other month or so.

        So, seems that for some people the price seems to be just right. I would be happy to get mine cheaper of cause, but anyhow ready to pay this around 600€ price tag as well.

        As I travel a lot, I always need to carry at least 2 phones with me - one with local prepaid 3G SIM and one with my regular SIM. To be able to combine great point and shoot camera to my second phone is a great convenience I'm ready to pay for!
        Petri_
    • Bias on Nokia Belle FP1

      Alas! Some people, no matter how much you reason to them and present objective factual evidence, will never accept Nokia Belle FP1. It is simply a case like Pavlov's dogs : they have been brainwashed and pre-conditioned by Android, iOS and almost everything else.

      Let them be. There are a lot of other open minded reviewers out there who are not quick to bash what is "foreign" to them.

      People fear what they don't understand and hate what they can't conquer.
      - Andrew Smith
      ysucit@...
    • I don`t know what is the problem?!

      If you want a mobile phone (smartphone) for:
      great games - choose Samsung Galaxy S3 or iPhone
      stunning internet browsing experience - choose SGS3, iPhone, HTC One X
      long life battery - choose Nokia X1 or something like this
      huge screen - choose samsung galaxy note
      great photo/video experience - choose 808 pureview
      match the device to your personal needs!!!

      You cant have each and every function in one device.
      graham.neumann
      • PS

        What is more. Do you always carry your heavy bag with DSLR? Do you always have it ready to shoot? How much time do you need to take this out of your bag and take a photo? Do you have it in the reataurant, on the beach, in the cinema, in the bus, in the car, in the park, riding a bike, running? Thats why 808 and N8 were created. TO CATCH THE MOMENT in the best possible quality.
        graham.neumann
        • Agree.

          I've wanted to buy a great camera but every time I ask someone who has a DSLR how they like it, they say don't buy one, it's a pain to carry all that stuff. My Nokia White 808 comes Monday and no I've seen the comparisons of iphones and Sammies and they suck compared to the 808. Its also a fantastic video camera the author failed to report on and the supreme audio recorder, again this article is a fail on. If this is a review, then where's the info.? As a professional musician, the recording ability is better than some of the recording studio's I've been in. Symbian has some great music apps(aupeo) that you can't find on Apple or Android that put our U.S. radio stations to shame. As a Windows Mango user, the only thing bad about Symbian is it reminds me of Apple and Androids outdated OS's.
          doggiebites
  • Yup, a smartcam

    Interesting comments, that worried me a bit at first, as I'm about to take delivery of an N8 today (N808 isn't available here yet). I've spent hours and hours reading reviews, as I'm looking for a replacement of my very old Motorola. Because I'm not really into social networking, don't have a overwhelming desire for semi-permanent intravenous interweb connection, I distilled my needs down to a device with a very good camera, that can also take/receive calls and SMS. Everything else is either a bonus (e.g., the FM transmitter, maps) or an unnecessary distraction (social networking, games).
    I was concerned about the prospect of buying something with a dying OS, but rationalised that it didn't matter, as long as the thing met my other needs.
    I even looked at the possiblility of just buying another cheap, crappy cellphone and a cheap, 12MP compact camera to complement my 'real' camera, but the point is while I'm not welded to my cellphone, it's usually close at hand, and available. The nett cost was NZ$499, so even if I bought a camera of around that price, I'd still have to fork out another couple of hundred to replace my cellphone, which threw a total spazz yesterday, taking 3(!) hours to even get its act together enough to begin charging. Oh - my SpousalUnit just phoned - the courier's just delivered a parcel... wonder what that could be....?
    I think that had the N808 been available, I would have considered that instead of the N8.
    viffer781
    • Gutted

      I have been a Nokia Smartphone user since I bought a 7650 about 10/11 years ago.
      Symbian is very dated, however I was looking forward to the 808 with its 1.3ghz processor & 512mb RAM which is double what the N8 is, and it copes. Yes 'copes' as it does struggle at times but I feel the spec on the 808 is perfect for running Belle. A lot of app makers out there gave up on symbian a long time ago which is a shame but the important apps are there for it and lets be honest, a lot of these apps that are not on symbian are gimicks that we do not need. Im sure more could of been done with this OS for the 808 to make it a bit more appealing to others but unfortunately it wasnt. I was still excited for this phone but being in the UK the only way I can get one is by buying a sim free which Im not prepared to do as my contract with Vodafone is up and I can get a free phone but since all the UK networks are refusing to stock the 808 it looks like Im regretfully having to move to something new which will most likely be the Galexy S3 or the HTC One X which for me this is a step backwards :-(
      Z82
  • I love Nokia Belle

    I myself love it BECAUSE it runs Nokia Belle!

    It’s super personalisable (change background, theme, ringtone and so much more), it’s more personalizable than any other OS.

    It also has great multi-tasking, an OS that works super fluid even on crappy hardware.

    It has all the great features like bluetooth file transfer, HDMI and USB-on-the-go (that most other OS don’t have).

    It also has a great app store. Not as big as Android or iOS app store but it has all you need covered.

    Since Belle it also looks modern, like Android.

    And I could keep going on… In my opinion, Symbian is the best OS out there. All it needs is better specs (720p screen, multi-core CPU, 1GB RAM or more…) and some might need more apps (or better: want). That’s all.

    So please, stop bashing Symbian. There is no reason.

    iPhone is THE phone right? Can it send pictures or music via bluetooth? No. Can you change the battery? No. Can you change theme? Not that I know of, and if it’s possible, it’s not as easy as on Symbian. Do you have HDMI and USB-on-the-go on your iPhone? No.

    Yes the iPhone has more apps. 1 advantage over Symbian. Symbian has a whole list of things that are present (or better) on Symbian that are not present (or not as good) on other OS’s…

    I love Symbian. I don’t ever want another OS (unless maybe MeeGo). So if my Nokia 808 ever dies, I’ll just buy a new 808 on Symbian, until there’s not one left.

    That’s my opinion. I’m open to others’s.

    Greetings.
    patchanka3000
    • patchanka3000 - wake up

      right .. nokia symbian 808 is the best now ...
      so good that its shares are selling better than google n apple ...
      so good that its traditional european base falls below 50%
      so good that south asia customer base keeps going south
      so good that share is JUNK status
      so good that no one needs to buy it ..
      GarryLsw
      • Yo, Garry, we're talking about a device, not a stock

        Ever try to take a picture with a stock? Yeah, not happening.
        When it comes down to your personal device, do you really care about a company's business portfolio? Nokia's business troubles are at extreme odds with the quality of its devices, by any objective measure. Nokia gets beat up by analysts, but analysts have nothing to say about what quality you need in what aspects for your personal device. I believe Marc nailed it: This is a smart cam - and hands-down the best device for people who want highest quality video and photography on the spot, for the reasons stated. I have an X7 with Belle, and it performs fine and has the apps and email I need. And please understand, I also use a Gallaxy S II, iPhone and iPad, and several Windows Phones due to working in a mobile lab. Granted, Symbian is the distant 4th platform for app makers, but you can get most things that matter.
        And let's not sell Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive short! Put them up against Windows or Google, and you have a superior GPS/Navigation experience.
        $700 is $700, but if you're looking for the ultimate creative visual experience with the on-board ability to manipulate and move your imagery, your device has arrived.

        - Jim Brady
        Jim Brady
      • Re; so good that share is JUNK status

        The reason for that is that Elop had this "burning platform" speech to kill of Symbian and Meego, both much too prematurely.
        Within a couple of weeks of that announcement, Nokia's share value went down to less than half. From Euro 8.40 to under Euro 4.-
        Today it is valued at under Euro 1.60, thanks to the latest blow from making Nokia WP7 ONLY, and the news that WP7 is NOT getting more than one upgrade, thereby obsoleting Lumia 900 after only a few month on the market.
        Nokia's WP7 phones does not sell with a profit ! They are a dead LOSS !
        The only income Nokia still have is from Symbian phones, dumb phones, and some from the Meego N8. The Meego phones are very restricted to a few small markets thanks to Elops WP only insanity.

        Yeah wake up to the big Elop problem.
        hkommedal
      • It's the phone we're talking abt

        What's your point? We're talking about buying a phone, not stocks. Moreover, while iOS devices are not hardy (my iPad is going in for repair 2x in 1yr), I'm fully confident of nokia's durability. Even if Nokia closes down, there's no fear I need to send the phone for repairs.
        upt0wngal
    • YES!!

      Totally agree with your comments! I keep telling everyone the same thing! I love Nokia Belle! I'm also seriously thinking about buying a red 808 as a spare phone (using the white 808 since 8 Jun) now so I can prolong my Belle experience as much as possible.

      2 features I want to add to what u've mentioned is 1) offline maps (I used them while on holiday in USA, HK n Malaysia b4 (I'm from Singapore). I don't believe there's any other OS that has FREE offline voice navigation in 80 over countries. and everyone knows how costly data roaming is...

      2) Nokia Situations app. I love how my phone auto switches to a soft profile when it detects I'm in office, turns on silent mode during calendar meeting events, turns on power saving n only ring for selected callers while i'm sleeping, etc. THIS is what u call a smartphone!!
      upt0wngal
  • Most flexible smartcam/ phone

    I must admit that I''ve never really used an Adroid or iOS device in a long run, because they just don't address my taste and needs. I'm using a Lumia 800 but I often quarrel with the restrictions of the OS.

    I've found all my needs fulfilled by Symbian S60 3rd Edition already, Symbian Anna did so either, so it was a logical move to Nokia Belle FP1 for me. And besides the great camera in the Nokia 808 Pureview I see myself reconfirmed that my choice of Symbian was right.
    Just take this device with you on holiday:
    preload all the Maps you need,
    set up a vpn voip client to your FritzBox at home to make calls for free over public hotspots,
    get a second battery for relatively small money and just stay in contact while you take absolutely stunning pictures of your trip.
    Nokia Belle won't dissapoint you on your trip, while you'll struggle with Androids navigation possibilites, battery and camera performance.
    And do you really want to carry an Laptop with you just because you can't put memory cards in your iPhone or use usb-on-the-go to save your pictures?
    When you got home again, just connect your Nokia Belle FP1 device with a standard mini-hdmi cable to any HD TV and enjoy your great pictures and videos from holiday. And you won't even miss a call, sms or email.
    Nokia Belle FP1 is so much more flexible than iOS and WP, it offers all the basic apps you really need on a smartphone and it handles multitasking so much more better and battery friendly than Android.

    In my opinion the Nokia 808 Pureview is by far the best Smartphone at the moment because it runs Nokia/ Symbian Belle and not only because of the camera.
    Kallisticker
    • Teary-eyed and Sad...

      yeah...I think Belle is good.Really just sad to kiss the OS goodbye as it is Nokia's last bid to the OS...(Teary eyed here,really)808 is great even though the web browser has only Adobe Flashlite 4 but it also works on HTML5,and the latter will be the next step in Internet browsing...The photos and videos it takes is insane(in a good way!). Nicely done,nicely done! iOS and Android we're the successors of the new mobile phone technology but Symbian and Nokia were the first to invade that market in a worldwide scale,I think so...Go Nokia 808!
      aarondaveCA
  • Flash

    I , and I suspect a lot of ordinary folk on the street, don't give a fig about what OS a phone has there are drawbacks with them all; the worst one of course being no further development of Symbian , this isn't a good marketing ploy.

    I just want a camera phone with a Xenon flash as my attempts at getting photos in poorly lit places have been lamentable. LED flashes are generally just a waste of time. And then along came the HTC 1X with an F2 lens , another way round the low light problem in clubs and dance halls where I take most of my pics but don't want to take a "proper" camera with me.

    I was about to get one when the 808 came along and i thought I had died and gone to heaven; but alasa no !!!!! Z82 said "all the UK networks are refusing to stock the 808"
    I hadn't heard this before , is it correct ? Much as I'd like one i won't wait around for ever
    .
    mike.gordon@...
  • Yes, FEATURE phones, enough of "everything" phones! You go Nokia!

    I admit, I am an IT purist and I DO believe we are wasting valuable technology and resources putting them into the hands of stupid people who want entertainment first and cure for cancer some time later. That is the grain of salt with which you should take my point of view.

    First of all I loled at your list of everyday "essential apps". Really? :) I have 0 essential everyday apps. Calling and text messages are the only essential ones in a phone, but wait, they're not apps, they're why we have phones in the first place! I do use my phone to check emails and go ask google a question from time to time, but that's not paramount, as I am almost always near computers (much like any modern human living in a city). Unless you're too lazy to walk over to your pc from the kitchen, or like sending emails from the washroom, it's not really a necessity. Let alone real time updating social networking crap popping up in little balloons on your home screen. That's just spam and illusion of life. But then again, you're the person who admits playing lots of games on their phone and I don't even have one single game on my computer - we will never understand each other.

    I find the dead Symbian perfectly sufficient for my needs and even over the top (there ARE apps for Facebook, Twitter, all possible messengers, Skype, etc. - just not hundreds of each kind). Customisations are endless, developed by 3rd parties, if you care to. I do change default ringtones and wallpapers, but hardly go beyond that - I don't care. The really useful apps in my mind are Maps and calculator - those that really have a function, not just a novelty. I love Nokia phones. I currently have E73 - it has more functionality than I will ever need or use (I have 70% of it turned off to get loooong battery life). But back to the topic.

    I find the idea of a camera that can also make calls AWESOME. Furthermore, Nokia should move in this direction further - make niche phones. Funny how people above in the comments judge a phone or OS by the stock of the manufacturer. Nokia shares and Symbian are not sucha straightforward connection. Okay... Walmart stock is really up and, say, Bang & Olufsen - not so much. So, I guess, based on that information, you, my simple-minded American friend, will go and by a stereo system from Walmart to blast your country twang through, right? :)

    You know, if my heart was really in it, I'd go ahead and open a new cellphone company that would have entirely different principle behind the model line offered. Today all companies make "everything" phones - they're almost identical in form and function and the price (crappiness of the components) is the only difference in their whole "lineup". Example:

    Phone #1: super expensive screen, super huge, CPU comparable to what was in your desktop 3 years ago (and that's just a phone!), camera like a mofo, costs like a car, battery lasts 1,5 half - thank you very much. For you, celebs and show-offs!
    Phone #2: same thing as phone 1, but we saved some money on the screen and CPU is slightly retarded, so Android will lag, battery still lasts 1,5 hrs with all the features enabled (like they always are by default), but you're a "price conscious customer" (poor), so this is the phone for you!
    Phone #3: same thing as phone 1, but we saved some more money - crappy washed up (but still huge) screen, awesome fuzzy pictures camera, slow CPU, but we packed the phone with so many social networking that you can knock yourself out (during that 1,5 hours that you battery will last). You are a student and this is an ideal phone for you.

    Here's what a real lineup should look like:

    Phone 1: Businessman's phone (stocks, news, email, all the possible GSM bands in the world, support for 2 SIM cards, full QWERTY - think Blackberry, but better)
    Phone 2: Rugged working man/tough guy/extreme sportsman's phone (rubberised, indestructible, battery lasts a week)
    Phone 3: Photography enthusiast's phone (think Nokia 808)
    Phone 4: Socialite's phone (HUGE screen of unspeakable clarity and colourfulness, and on it - blobs, blobs, blobs from Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, etc., etc., etc. - Think Paris Hilton and Matthew Miller)

    If the phones serve their purpose (role) well (both on the hardware and on the software side), who cares what OS drives them? Construction guy does not want Twitter updates - he wants 1 week battery time and water/dust proof! Make phones for people/trades/occupations/lifestyles, not for incomes and you will be laughing at Apple and their stocks.

    I believe in the future this will be the case. Cell phone industry (and car industry, hopefully) will step away from unified design and look-alike phones. Just like watch industry: there are Swiss chronometers, and rubber G-shock gym watches. Nobody tries to cram both into the same watch.
    V1nt