In typical Nokia fashion the 808 Pureview is a superbly-fashioned slice of hardware. While it eschews that cold comforting aluminium shell of the N8, it remains a solid and sturdy device. It is plastic but trust me when I say it is tough. Unlike other similarly-priced devices, the 808 PureView is not slim by any stretch of the imagination. Even when ignoring the stunning camera hump, it remains one of the more hefty devices on the market. The device screams quality, even with the housing for the SIM and microSD cards, the latter unfortunately not hot-swappable by virtue of being beneath the 1400 mAh battery. With phones today coming out with batteries greater than 2000 mAh, the capacity of the 808 PureView’s battery now seems low by comparison. The device was frugal, however, and even as a self-confessed battery-killer, I was comfortably getting to the end of a second day before requiring a recharge.
The front face is dominated by a 4″ 640×360 AMOLED display layered with Nokia’s Clear Black Display technology. With photography being billed as the primary function of this device, a great screen was imperative. While the resolution will displease many, it is a superb display in every other respect – bright, accurate colours, great contrast and stunning visibility even in our harsh South African sunlight.
The 808 PureView also promises to be the fastest Symbian device to date, with a 1.3 GHz processor ticking things along, dedicated graphics, and 512 MB RAM. The device has 16GB mass memory and support for up to 32GB microSD cards. It is fitted with the latest array of chips and sensor, with support for Near Field Communication (NFC), yet more future-proofing.
Nokia has also included one of its finest speakers of recent times, surpassing the quality of the N8 and putting to shame the likes of Samsung Galaxy S III as well as its own Lumia 800 and 900 devices. Sound in general was of great quality, whether through the loud speaker, in call quality, or via the earpiece.
Whatever the argument to be made against Nokia on the software front, its hardware expertise is still very much unquestioned.