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MWC 2012: Nokia Announces 41 Megapixel Symbian Smartphone

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Nokia says anyone can take professional looking photographs with the PureView 808

Nokia has unveiled a smartphone with a 41 megapixel camera at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona – and the bizarre superphone runs a version of Nokia’s doomed operating system, Symbian.

The Nokia PureView 808 will run a variation of Symbian mobile operating system, which Nokia is understood to be abandoning in the next few years. It also has sophisticated image handling, so users can get the most out of the huge number of pixels available in images captured by the phone.

Suitable for anyone

The new smartphone has a high resolution 41 megapixel sensor, Carl Zeiss optics and pixel oversampling technology. Standard resolution pictures such as two, five or eight megapixel images can be zoomed in on without a loss in clarity while high resolution pictures, (38 megapixels maximum) can be captured, zoomed, reframed, cropped and resized afterwards to reveal previously unseen level of details.

Nokia says that the phone has “superior” low-light performance, which means that it is possible for anyone to take professional looking photos in any conditions and that images can be condensed to share via email, MMS and social networks. The camera is also capable of capturing and recording full 1080p HD video recording.

Sound quality is improved through the use of Nokia Rich Recording, which apparently records audio at CD-levels of quality, something previously only possible with external microphones.

“Nokia PureView imaging technology sets a new industry standard by whatever measure you use,” said Jo Harlow, executive vice president of Nokia Smart Devices.  “People will inevitably focus on the 41 megapixel sensor, but the real quantum leap is how the pixels are used to deliver breath-taking image quality at any resolution and the freedom it provides to choose the story you want to tell.”

Belle Amie

Photos can be stored on the phone’s 16GB internal memory, which can be expanded by up to 48GB via an external MicroSD memory card. The device is not yest available of course, but will come in red, black and white varieties and has a four-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen which is protected by Gorilla Glass. Connectivity options are provided in the form of GPS, Bluetooth, W-Fi and Near Field Communication (NFC) support.

The phone is powered by Nokia Belle, which is interesting considering that Nokia was heavily rumoured to be releasing just one more Symbian device before turning its full attention to Windows Phone for both its smartphones and its feature phones. Nokia had pledged to support Symbian until at least 2016, but some commentators had suggested that it should abandon the platform sooner rather than later.

Nokia has launched a number of Windows Phone smartphones, including the recently announced Lumia 610 and the soon-to-be-released Lumia 900, since it agreed a strategic partnership with Microsoft in February last year.

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