back to article Pure boffinry: We peek inside Nokia's miracle cameraphone

These days, “tech” means anything except technology. The word has become so debased that a group of marketing people talking about their ideas for websites are a “tech scene”. And hosting meetings for marketing people to talk about websites in London in 2013 actually makes you a “tech entrepreneur”. The concerns of real …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    or

    just buy an actual camera for heaven's sake.

    1. Eric Olson

      Re: or

      While I still use my old-fashioned flim SLR for photography once in a while, it, much like its younger DSLR siblings, is bulky, large, and requires more than just pants pockets to keep on you. What do you consider an "actual camera"?

      The compact digital cameras that mimic the old point-and-shoots aren't exactly head and shoulders above the Lumia 1020 on paper, and for good reason: for day-to-day photography (not just selfies in the bathroom mirror), smartphones have been destroying those $250 compacts. You (almost) always have your phone, so that quick pic at the bar or out on the lake (I'm a fisherman) is going to be handled by it. No need for a dedicated camera that is only slightly less limited than your phone (or more if being able to upload immediately is a major want/need).

      If you want to take artsy selfies, portraits suitable for hanging, landscapes, nature photography, action shots, or low-light shots, the DSLR is still the best bet, as it has swappable lenses, larger CMOS, and much better optics. But as I said above, the problem is the size and bulk that prevents everyday use, plus the much greater cost. At the same time, I know that some of the camera companies are trying out compact DSLR-type cameras, in hopes of carving out a niche between smartphone and prosumer photography. This could make such a job harder... or promote a very nice middle-of-the-road option for people to use in a point-and-shoot-sized body.

    2. Ben Hanson 1

      Re: or

      "just buy an actual camera for heaven's sake."

      Well if you're going to follow that line of reasoning, why not prefer a typewriter over a computer? Some of use are still impressed by ambitious engineering you know! It seems that the tech world is *drowning* in cynicism these days.

      Of course I do have one fly to insert into the ointment mind you. Meego version with real keyboard please!

    3. Richard 12 Silver badge
      Mushroom

      The best camera is the one you have with you

      If your Hasselblad or Nikon D600 is sat at home, you're not going to capture the photo of %MAJOR_EVENT%.

      For example, the reason we got so many videos of the Russian meteor is because so many drivers have cameras in their cars, and almost everyone has a smartphone with a camera.

      I don't think many people had time to run for their DSLR or broadcast-quality TV camera.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Windows

      Re: or

      @Chris N - >"or just buy an actual camera for heaven's sake."

      ================================

      The TFA just said that a comparable camera might cost you £20,000.

      1. Thomas Whipp

        Re: or

        ummm no... i don't think there was any suggestion that the Hassblad was comparable. in there same way that a Range Rover or Merc isn't comparable to a motorbike... they excel at different jobs in different environments.

        as someone with a D300s and full set of studio lights (and an Olympus XZ-1 for when i want something lighter) i am interested in this Nokia unit and will demo one when my current contact runs out.

    5. N13L5
      Pint

      Re: or

      Its not the buying of an "actual camera' thats the problem, its carrying it around.

      So now, if Nokia would just offer some choice in operating systems.

      I'd happily take a Ubuntu version of this phone.

      Monopoly abuser Microsoft with its straight jacket OS with the garishly colored tiles is just not an option.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: or

        Your loss then.

      2. Terry Barnes
        Stop

        Re: or

        "Monopoly abuser Microsoft with its straight jacket OS with the garishly colored tiles is just not an option."

        You're not concerned about Android owner Google's monopoly on search then?

        You can change the colour of the tiles and the size of them. Can you do that with icons on Android or iOS?

        I bought a Lumia last week - it's bloody great. The designers remembered that it's meant to be a phone first and a 'device' second. Windows Phone seems perfectly good - far more polished than Android. We've got 4 Android devices in this house and not one of them works 100% properly.

        I'm also seeing a lot of Lumias being fiddled with on trains and in pubs - there's a vocal group of commentators on here who despise them, the public seem to think otherwise.

    6. Psyx
      Stop

      Re: or

      "just buy an actual camera for heaven's sake."

      ...and carry it everywhere, every day. Because that's what mobile phone cameras are: They aren't 'cameras that you might have when you want them', but a product that you constantly have on you.

      You're kind of missing the point.

  2. Stoli89

    Stoli89

    An excellent article that finally captures the technical achievements behind this incredible smartphone. I suspect this article will become the simple hyperlink response to the army of trolls that have chosen to attack rather embrace this level of innovation.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not many true innovators

    Sadly there are not many companies like Nokia left, sadly many people conflate the impressive product design at Apple as true innovation whereas they are merely packaging existing technologies in a way that consumers find appealing.

    This is truly impressive stuff and I hope it helps turn Nokia around.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not many true innovators

      "This is truly impressive stuff and I hope it helps turn Nokia around."

      We'll see. But if Nokia want to make cameras, why don't they do that, instead of pushing water uphill with Windows Phone?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not many true innovators

        "But if Nokia want to make cameras, why don't they do that, instead of pushing water uphill with Windows Phone?"

        The dedicated camera market is dying. Integrated multifunction devices are the future.

        Nokia have jumped on board the fastest growing mobile OS platform - which has a larger eco system than the competition (e.g. over 90% of desktop PCs run Windows, and Microsoft just went from zero to 7.5% in the tablet market in 6 months). Windows Phone also has a number of technical advantages over the competition such as a far more secure underlying OS and inherently better performance. The only thing holding it back is application availability, and that is improving all the time...

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: "the fastest growing mobile OS platform"

          Inevitable xkcd reference

        2. Psyx
          Thumb Down

          Re: Not many true innovators

          "The dedicated camera market is dying. "

          No. The dedicated COMPACT camera market is decreasing because of mobiles. The dedicated low-mid range camcorder market is dying because compacts, DSLRs and phones can all do that.

          The dedicated mid to high end camera market is just fine.

    2. Anomalous Cowshed

      Re: Not many true innovators

      It's true, but why don't they employ a few more people dedicated to polishing their mobiles and making them glitter like the iphone, so as to attract consumers? The average consumer doesn't care about genuine technology and capability as much as about how good the thing looks, how cool it makes them look, and how apparently whizzo it seems.

      1. andy 45

        Re: Not many true innovators

        The iPhone hasnt really glittered to me for a few years now.

        It's basically stood still.

  4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    If it's easy *anyone* can do it.

    It's tough to push the limits and this thing does.

    Now if you could only dump Windows....

    But thumbs up for some serious technical trickery.

    1. sl1234

      your arrogance remarkable .

      without windows we wouldn't even here to talk about this phone, without windows Nokia may not exist to this point. Windows had powered personal computing since it appeared. windows had powered the world of business for decades. Without windows you may still living the age of caculus. Windows phone OS is the most smooth, modern, well designed the OS. That is to my opinion a million times better than the ulgy, slow, laggy android and another million times more interesting that the ishit.

      1. C 18
        Coat

        Re: your arrogance remarkable .

        >Without windows you may still living the age of caculus.

        Hmm, I'm trying to differentiate between 'ripping you a new one' or just ripping your pathetic rhetoric to shreds, let's see if it's possible to kill two birds with one stone...

        Integrate this, if you can...for a function f, operating on x, you'll find the upper limit of the 'age of caculus[sic]' to be infinity...

        <extra credit>

        if (X = windows) then

        x-win is NULL (and void?)

        (See;

        x = windows =>

        x - windows = 0

        x-windows = x - windows

        x-win is the preferred notation

        0 = NULL...

        So it's either MS Windows or X-Win... I'll get my coat, it's got the full set of Knuth's "The Art Of Computer Programming" in the numerous wheelbarrows hanging off the tails...

        </extra credit>

        1. C 18
          WTF?

          Re: your arrogance remarkable .

          Hmm...

          Slight sense of humour failure detected...

          I wonder which of the following people wish were true;

          1) Calculus is dead

          or

          2) Windows somehow replaced calculus

      2. envmod

        Re: your arrogance remarkable .

        NERD ALERT!

      3. heyrick Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: your arrogance remarkable .

        "Windows phone OS is the most smooth, modern, well designed the OS" - I think I just wet myself. Excuse me while I stop laughing...

        Smooth is hard to define, but I think a system that is capable of showing an error box and making the "ding!" at the right time is able to be called "smooth". When Windows is busy, the two can frequently be unsynchronised for the first ding! in a while. I guess separate processes draw the report window and play the sound, but it can be disconcerting to hear the ding! after I've dismissed the message.

        Modern? I guess Windows RT/Metro/Modern/Whatever is indeed "modern" if you define modern as looking like AOL in the late '90s. Maybe you weren't around then. I was, and I still remember those damn weird CompuServe email addresses.

        Well designed? As in pile everything into C:\Windows\System32 (etc), stuff all the settings into a huge monolithic settings file, and have FAT repair/recovery software that crashes if there are actual real faults in the disc structure (there's a reason I do most of my FAT repairs on a Linux box), to to mention in the day I made a few euros for myself fixing XP boxen that would bluescreen at start-up with UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME. In goes Hirren's CD, load the NTFS driver, run ntfschk, sorted. Why the hell couldn't XP have done that by itself?

        Or maybe you meant well designed as in the UI, not the OS itself. In which case I would say that it would be a really shitty deal to try to use a touch-specific OS like Android on a desktop machine with typical desktop machine interfaces (you can get by, for sure, but how does one "pinch" using a mouse?). Touch metaphors and BIG BUTTONS belong on smallish screen touch devices. Small icons and traditional input metaphors belong on traditional desktop devices. For some reason Microsoft are trying to mix all this up. Yuck.

        1. Craig "Spuddleziz" Smith

          Re: your arrogance remarkable .

          Sure there are some legacy issues with any Windows family OS, its partitioning/drive lettering scheme and its boot drive layout. Its a bit whacky to a Unix/Linux/BSD/Mac (okay Mac is technically BSD) guy but its what they built and it made sense at the time.

          I have said in the past it would be great to take the Win 8/Server2012 Kernel and rip out all of these legacy requirements (I suppose dropping 16bit support back in Windows 7 went some way to achieving this), this, I believe would create a lean mean OS fighting machine, make it extremely modular (ala Windows Emebedded) and put Hyper-V components on it. I think then you have a very different beast, upon which you can run any version of Windows/Linux but is a new genesis of Windows OS going forward.

          I find the Unix style FS layout more sensible yes, but there is a reasoning behind drive lettering that also make sense. There are arguments for and against.

          I am fairly sure NO ONE has ran into 0x5b boot errors on their mobiles, I mean please! If they have then their phone is likely borked.

          The Modern UI is a bit *stupid* on the desktop but absolutely makes sense in a mobile platform, information literally at your fingertips. This is quite a difficult thing to achieve on android, HTC came close with BlinkFeed on the One though.

          Now thats not to say there aren't faults with the platform, especially seeing as I dont even own a WinPho 8.x device YET.

          However, you seem to be arguing against WinPho 8 as a Desktop OS or am I missing the point?

          1. TheVogon Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: your arrogance remarkable .

            "it would be great to take the Win 8/Server2012 Kernel and rip out all of these legacy requirements "

            None of these things are in the kernel. Windows has a modern hybrid microkernel architecture, and the vast majority of functionality is via loadable modules..

            "make it extremely modular"

            It already is - see above.

            "put Hyper-V components on it."

            Erm no. Hyper-V runs below the kernel and is a true hypervisor. You run a kernel instance in your first VM to manage the system. Just like VMware does it. (Linux unfortunately can't escape the legacy monlithic kernel model, so has to run a hypervisor as part of the kernel.

            "I find the Unix style FS layout more sensible yes, but there is a reasoning behind drive lettering that also make sense"

            Drive letters are optional. And date from CPM, etc.

            1. Craig "Spuddleziz" Smith
              Facepalm

              Re: your arrogance remarkable .

              Yup I see my vast number of mistakes in that post, apologies! So in essence what I'm describing has already happened?

              I'm sure it still carries around quite a bit of legacy code though, despite their best efforts to remove it. You are in a better position than me to understand it so thanks for clearing it up for me. My point really was to say that MS should ditch the legacy portions completely in their next iteration, Hyper-V by default perhaps?

              I will start using 2012 more, I've made a switch to Mac OS X / Linux recently, purely because of the work I've been doing.

              I suppose drive lettering was a sensible option for users in CPM / DOS for simplicity instead of /dev/xxx and mounting. Correct me if I'm wrong, which I likely will be given my lack of sleep!

              Facepalm due to my stupidity...

        2. TeeCee Gold badge
          Mushroom

          Re: your arrogance remarkable .

          .... and have FAT repair/recovery software that crashes if there are actual real faults in the disc structure....

          If you do ever run into a recentish Win box that has its OS partition configured as FAT rather than NTFS, could you do me a favour? Find whoever built it it and tell them they're a fucking idiot.

          Thanks.

          1. Craig "Spuddleziz" Smith

            Re: your arrogance remarkable .

            Im pretty sure unless you go into "recovery tools" and run cmd, you cannot format a boot partition as FAT32/exFAT on anything => Vista. Don't hold me to that and unless you were doing an upgrade it would probably complain about the existence of any FAT type partition... just my $0.02

        3. TheVogon Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: your arrogance remarkable .

          "all the settings into a huge monolithic settings file"

          You must be thinking of Linux. Windows uses a database format for storing settings.

          "and have FAT repair/recovery software that crashes if there are actual real faults in the disc structure " - you have broken hardware - I have never in the last 15 years seen CHKDSK 'crash' ever, on many many recovery attempts.

          " made a few euros for myself fixing XP boxen that would bluescreen at start-up with UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME. In goes Hirren's CD, load the NTFS driver, run ntfschk, sorted. Why the hell couldn't XP have done that by itself?"

          It can - you just boot to the recovery console

          "For some reason Microsoft are trying to mix all this up. Yuck."

          They are ahead of the curve. It works great on touch screens.

      4. Terry Barnes

        Re: your arrogance remarkable .

        "without windows we wouldn't even here to talk about this phone"

        I'm sorry, what? I actually own a Lumia but I can't decipher your comment.

        The history of personal computing is not all about Windows. Other operating systems have come and gone and if Windows hadn't have been so successful another one would have. It's not true to say none of us would be commenting without Windows, it would be true to say that we would be commenting on OS/2 or Amiga OS or something Appley or something from DR or NeXT or BeOS or a hundred other choices. Hell, we could even be commenting away on an Oric Ionos running a Tangerine GUI.

        Think harder before typing...

    2. GitMeMyShootinIrons

      Re: If it's easy *anyone* can do it.

      Oh dear. Droid conformist fanboy time.....

      Innovation only happens when different things are tried. At the moment, as flawed as it might be, WinPho is a heck of a lot fresher than iOS or 'Droid and gives Nokia another differentiator against the Apple & Samsung corporate juggernauts.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    pureview 808?

    is this the same camera as in my pureview 808, 41mp sensor? looks like the same size...

    1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

      Re: pureview 808?

      Despite the headline spec similarities, there's no common part between the 808 and the 1020.

      The 808 has

      - a slightly larger sensor (1/1.2" rather than 1/1.5")

      but 1020 has:

      - a back-side illuminated sensor for better light gathering, lower noise.

      - a wider lens aperture ( f/2.2 rather than f/2.5 )

      - mechanical-optical stabilisation (808 uses software stabilisation for videos, and no stabilisation for stills)

      - a six-element lens for better overall image sharpness (808 is a five-element lens)

      The HAAC microphones are the same, I believe. The 808's fantastic sensor overshadowed its class-leading audio recording ability: subsequent Nokias used the same technology, in mono, but the 808 had true stereo recording.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: pureview 808?

        "subsequent Nokias used the same technology, in mono, but the 808 had true stereo recording."

        Newer Nokias can do Stereo recording too - there is a software update coming from Nokia to enable it.

      2. CyberAngel

        Re: pureview 808?

        that f/2.5 for the 808 is f/2.4 (or even slightly less)

        AND 1020 has stereo HAAC mics

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    congrats

    When I look at that schematic of the imaging unit, I can't help thinking that this is someone's blood, sweat and tears - and likely that someone is immensely proud of what they achieved.

    Well done, that man!

    1. David Black
      Headmaster

      Re: congrats

      There are quite a few women in that team too.

      1. Dr Lecter
        FAIL

        Re: congrats

        Move out the way the PC brigade has arrived!

  7. tony72

    Impressive

    When Nokia finally goes titsup.com, I hope this technology gets widely licensed, so that it will appear in phone platforms that anybody actually wants.

    1. Mark .

      Re: Impressive

      It already did, it's called an 808...

      (As an aside, it's interesting to note that whilst users of other platforms often say they wish Nokia hardware was available with their preferred OS, you never hear that of Apple's. Kind of says something about what those people think of their hardware.)

    2. Spearchucker Jones
      WTF?

      Re: Impressive

      If ever there's tech that deserves patent protection, then this is it.

    3. hellokingdom

      Re: Impressive

      That makes loads of sense... impressive!

  8. Ledswinger Silver badge

    "The concerns of real engineering innovators..."

    ...could be the extent to which a bunch of iffy application programmers using crap like Java, network admins, and parts bin hardware assemblers are claiming to be engineers, and then in turn looking down on people they consider inferior, in some form of self-aggrandising food chain.

    I've successfully programmed computer for the nations defence, but that doesn't make me an engineer. Just because others have purloined and debased the term "engineer", let's remember that amongst Reg readers we do have a small proportion of genuine, qualified and professionally recognised engineers, and they're not mere code monkeys like the rest of us.

    Respect to real engineers! Death to imposters!

    Yeah. That last bit really needs a Soviet style motivational poster to work properly, but the Reg can't even make the bloody icons work when you make a new post. And another thing, what happened to the icon overhaul? C'mon, Reg, I read your soddin' adverts, and that's as good as paying your salary! New icons NOW.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      Re: "The concerns of real engineering innovators..."

      There are adverts on El Reg?

      1. Antonymous Coward
        WTF?

        Re: "The concerns of real engineering innovators..."

        >There are adverts on El Reg?

        Yup. You're commenting on one right now.

  9. James 51 Silver badge

    And one of the first things elop did was kill r&d. It's hugely impressive but we won't more big leaps from nokia for some time.

  10. The humble print monkey

    Details forthe devil

    As some one who prints photographic exhibitions for a living, and uses a whole host of cameras for fun, I can say that this is one of the most exciting cameras I've seen. Potentially on a par with the shifts brought about by the Nikon D1 (professional press camera at a quarter of the cost of predecessors) the Canon 5D2 (full frame and hd video) or the red one.

    I was slightly gutted when there were no 808's available to buy when my iPhone took a dive. Now I'm looking forward to the imminent demise of my current pocket slab, hopefully around the time when the 1020 is available.

    A phone is a phone - I'm sure that the majority of the apps I use will be available on winphone, that the sound (talk) quality will be up to Nokia standard.

    But this camera looks to be a truly ground breaking belter of a pixel beast. Hope some one works out how to get it to dump raw footage, ala magic lantern.

    1. cambsukguy
      Thumb Up

      Re: Details forthe devil

      As someone with a 920 that talks to a Samsung S2 regularly, I can assure you the sound quality of Nokias is far superior - I have had to give the person a old Nokia that I can call for the longer calls. It might be the so-called noise-cancelling on Jelly Bean - which apparently can only be disabled once the call is connected - but it sounds like Darth Vader most of the time. Noise cancellation works beautifully on my WP, people don't even realise I am leaving a noisy cinema or bar or on the train.

      And, the camera, well, happy to have the best low-light, stabilised camera on any current phone be superseded by an even more amazing camera - obviously from Nokia too. Apple could never innovate something like it - or the audio system, all there hardware is mediocre, behind-the-times, perfect for the US/uninformed market basically.

  11. John Sanders

    It is a marvel of modern technology...

    It is just missing a popular OS so it turns from curiosity to object of desire.

  12. Robert E A Harvey

    here is an idea

    Just make the camera. Don't lumber us with a phone, just sell us the camera, the smallest, lightest, most capable pocket camera ever.

    1. The humble print monkey

      Re: here is an idea

      At £4-500, it would be likely to struggle to sell (and that's an optimistic - think sigma foveon cameras). Wrap it up in a phone OS of one flavour or another, and I suspect that many people will be happy to fork out a few hundred quid, and a monthly fee to get a "one device" that happens to be a cracking snapper.

      Interesting that Nokia don't want/ haven't needed to resort to any Zeiss/ Schneider/ type name drop marketing tricks - speaks volumes for their confidence.

      Really hope that this helps to shake up the current phone + camera markets.

    2. Tommy Pock

      Re: It is a marvel of modern technology...

      It doesn't need a popular OS; it needs its OS to be popular.

      It's amazing how many informed opinions there are on WP, considering how few people have actually used it.

      1. N13L5
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: It is a marvel of modern technology...

        For one thing, there is no reason to sponsor a known Monopoly abuser, who didn't spend a dime on fixing the glaring faults of WinCE for a decade, while they thought they had the market sewn up.

        For another, you can't customize windphone to look and work the way you want. Its impossible to get rid of the garishly colored tiles, impossible to adapt the functionality.

        And while some people say "its a phone" what apps could I possibly be missing" - a lot of the best apps on Android fix some annoyance with the phone, or with just about any detail you didn't like about Android. It can all be altered and mitigated. Not so with iron-fist Microsoft.

        Microsoft actively prevents it and coders don't bother on that platform in the first place.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It is a marvel of modern technology...

          And when i can put android or linux on my i-Device, then maybe nokia will change too.

        2. Squander Two

          "there is no reason to sponsor a known Monopoly abuser"

          If we're talking about whether Nokia can compete with Apple and Samsung, I honestly don't think this reason figures very highly in most users' buying decisions.

          > you can't customize windphone to look and work the way you want.

          You can move and resize all the tiles, you can grab functions from within apps and turn them into tiles, and you only include the tiles you want. That may not be quite enough customization for you, but it's wrong to say that it's no customization at all. And it's a lot more than on IOS.

          > Its impossible to get rid of the garishly colored tiles

          But you can pick one of the non-garish colours. It's impossible to get rid of the icons in IOS as well. Or Windows and OSX, come to that. I'm not experienced with Android, but I thought it used icons too. Are you actually using CLI on your phone?

        3. cambsukguy
          Thumb Down

          Re: It is a marvel of modern technology...

          Don't buy it then - some of us love a start screen that does something useful and doesn't drain the battery.

    3. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: It is a marvel of modern technology...

      There are more Windows Phone devices to be seen amongst the general public (okay, my local's beer garden) than the comments sections of The Reg would suggest. Of the other drinkers, some have still have trusty dumbphones, some have have Androids, some have had iPhones but now use Android devices, some are Apple loyalists... they all seem happy enough, and it seems a lot of people aren't too fussed about the OS.

      Other than the immature ecosystem and a distrust of MS (I know that one), why does WinPho get so much abuse?

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: It is a marvel of modern technology...

        "Other than the immature ecosystem and a distrust of MS (I know that one), why does WinPho get so much abuse?"

        Past experience with what MS has tried to pass off as phones.

    4. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: here is an idea

      > Don't lumber us with a phone, just sell us the camera, the smallest, lightest, most capable pocket camera ever.

      That would worry the likes of GoPro, but the market for such things is fairly limited.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: here is an idea

        "Don't lumber us with a phone, just sell us the camera, the smallest, lightest, most capable pocket camera ever."

        Just take the SIM out - job done.

    5. N13L5

      Re: here is an idea

      Great idea!

      A tiny cam w can clip to our hats, glasses, headphones, lapels etc.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: here is an idea

        Roll on Tekwars

    6. Squander Two
      WTF?

      Here's another idea.

      Just make the mini tablet. Don't lumber us with a phone; just sell the tablet -- the smallest, lightest, most capable handheld Web tablet ever.

      If Nokia had built a phone into the 770 and N800 and N810, the iPhone wouldn't have looked innovative and half the world would be using Meego by now. Well, maybe. Whatever, not integrating a phone definitely didn't work out.

      1. Mark .

        Re: Here's another idea.

        Also look at how much more of a success Symbian smartphones were than the Nokia N tablets (Symbian putting iphone sales to shame, and only the media and people who's only seen WAP phones thought the latter was innovative). Though having said that, the N900 was a Maemo phone, and didn't come anywhere near Symbian's success - but maybe it would have done better if it wasn't effectively a one-off product.

    7. Mark .

      Re: here is an idea

      But they just did - I mean, as long as the device still functions without a SIM in it (I know my old Nokia 5800 does, and this is commonly done with tablets), you can go ahead and do that? Possibly a version without the phone/modem bits may be cheaper or lighter, but that's about it.

  13. PaulR79

    Give it to me!

    I'm first and foremost a fan of technology and real innovation like this but I'm also a firm Android fan. However, I do own three Windows phones (2 run WP8) and like the simplicity at times. If it had a few things either improved vastly (keyboard, handling of multitasking) or redone completely I could see myself being stuck when it comes time for a new phone. The hardware of Android tends to be the latest in flagship models but for imaging they all lag behind things like this beauty.

    I said when I first used a Windows Phone 7 / 7.5 device that it had promise and I still feel that way. However, until and unless Microsoft push updates harder it will stay as a promising OS but not for me and that is where they need to go hard or go home. It wouldn't take a lot to get my full attention from Android but they just seem uninterested and seem to treat it like a curiosity as Apple do with Apple TV.

  14. Frank Bough

    Bullshit

    How much did Nokia pay for this extremely information light advertorial?

    Just show us some Nokia vs Apple vs Samsung photo side by sides and well judge which is best.

    A Nikon D800 is 36MP, what the hell are Nokia doing?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bullshit

      It's simple, if you don't have optical zoom you do it with cropping, duh!

      There's the review of the 808 (the predecessor to this), it is the best camera on any phone still and the 1020 should hopefully improve on it.

      Reviews from a proper camera review site:

      Nokia 808 (9/10)

      http://connect.dpreview.com/post/4388245494/nokia-808-pureview-review

      iPhone 5 (8/10)

      http://connect.dpreview.com/post/1343713337/apple-iphone-5-review

      Galaxy S4 (8/10)

      http://connect.dpreview.com/post/0586582857/samsung-galaxy-s4-camera-review

    2. graeme leggett

      Re: Bullshit

      I agree with an occasional comparison of picture quality with other phones.

      But "advertorial" - didn't read that way to me.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bullshit

      And Hasselblad do a 50mp one (although they say 200mp), so your point is?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bullshit

      Compare the pictures with the chinese Star N9599. Nominally 13Mp I believe, but with a 6Mp picture. Much less than £200!

  15. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Smacks of self congratulations

    If it is all that then fair enough, but this does not read like an unbiased article. It rather feels somewhat "sponsored".

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Smacks of self congratulations

      It doesn't feel sponsored, it feels like the writer actually cared about what they were writing about. Probably not very common so you can be forgiven the confusion, but to me the tone was of a writer genuinely blown away by the tech.

    2. PaulR79
      Stop

      Re: Smacks of self congratulations

      I'm with JDX on this. If it was sponsored it would be talking about the beauty of the phone, the magical screen and the roundness of the corners. Instead it talks about the technology behind the camera and how it required years of work to bring it all together without compromising on anything. I understand being jaded by years of small boosts to tech. and mistaking the genuinely pleasant surprise the author expresses but sponsored? No.

  17. Levente Szileszky

    Impressive. Now if you could get rid of that Windows crap...

    ...I'd immediately put your phones back on my shortlist.

  18. plrndl
    Linux

    Waste

    What a waste, putting that fabulous technology in a phone that no-one will buy.

    1. hellokingdom

      Re: Waste

      I'd buy it

      1. Squander Two

        Re: Waste

        I'm getting one as soon as my contract's up.

  19. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Sharper cats with bigger pawprint!

    whooopie!

  20. ebrelion

    If only Nokia have embraced a true OS like Android...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "If only Nokia have embraced a true OS like Android..."

      Android is a cut down OS compared to Windows Phone.

  21. Cornholio

    I hope to get one too...

    ...as they say, the very best camera is the one you have with you when you need it.

    Not fussed if I have Windows or Android, just so long as it all works nicely. And having seen a Nokia 920 in action, it seems to me that Windows Phone 8 does work nicely.

    Good article too, but pleeease, it's not a huge sensor. It's a 1/1.5" sensor. It's dwarfed by the APS-C one in my Pentax K-30.

    Huge number of pixels though! However, something like a Pentax 645D will give a similar number of pixels plus much better IQ. That really is more akin to a huge sensor, you see.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope to get one. Then

    Enhance 34 to 46.

    Pull back. Wait a minute. Go right. Stop.

    Enhance 57 to 19. Track 45 left. Stop.

    Enhance 15 to 23.

    Gimme a hard copy right there.

  23. Maharg

    Win 8 BS

    I don’t understand these comments that say ‘great phone, great camera, but they need to get rid of windows 8’, I have an android, I had a iPhone, I have played about on my girlfriends win 8 phone (not a euphemism) you know what I found, they are different, you know how much of an impact it had on me? None, this phone works this way, that phone works that way, really don’t care as long as it works.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Win 8 BS

      'you know what I found, they are different, you know how much of an impact it had on me? None, this phone gives data to the NSA this way, that phone gives data to the NSA that way, really don’t care as long as it gives data to the NSA.'

      there fixed it for ya!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Facepalm

        Re: Win 8 BS

        You seem to be implying that channelling data to the NSA is the unique preserve of Microsoft.

        Not sure if you noticed, but Apple and Google were in the NSA's Prism programme too. You may have noticed they both make phones too.

        But I am pretty sure their phones are ok, and only evil Microsoft phones are sending everything you do to the NSA.

  24. Big Van Vader

    I prefer the 920 where you get a white van with a mounted camera and professional photographer to follow you around and take the pictures for you :)

    I eagerly await more Nokia fake shots :)

  25. Oi/Yo

    true os?

    look i only use android but wth does that mean, "a true os like android"? this is the kind of bs we most definitely do *not* need. of all the reasons one may have to favor one product over another.... what do you tell people: i use x because that one runs a "true os"? BS! you'd be ashamed to even say it out loud.

    and i've heard the same shit for years, the one true editor.... the one true this and that. you people need help.

    i use android because i've had it up to here with microsoft pushing 3rd rate crap our way whilst singing its praises, only to deride it themselves once they have a new version to sell us.

    let's tell the truth: previous microsoft mobile os were crap. i owned 2 devices running windows ce and windows mobile, those two os had more problems than i could list here, i ended selling the devices within a month of buying them.

    after having gone thru that i'm never buying anything running a mobile microsoft os again, this is a choice not made because of the merits, or lack of, of their current mobile os. but because i wasted money, time and effort twice and this is the way i choose to protest my disappointment with their past performance.

    microsoft needs to learn to LISTEN TO THEIR USERS's complaints instead of buying usability studies every time they get told that their products are not good enough.

  26. Dr Lecter

    All it needs now...

    All it needs now is to be mounted in an android phone with a 1080p screen and other good specs and you've got a world beater!

  27. Craig "Spuddleziz" Smith

    I am most upset....

    ...no really I am, and not that anyone will care but heres why...

    Microsoft may be a most hated of a company, I'm now an Apple Macbook Pro / OS X user because I like it. Now past self would hate me for this decision, but I still need Windows and Linux VM's to do what I need to do. This is not something I need in the mobile space, most of us just need a phone that works. It needs to make and receive calls, allow us to access our social networking sites and emails, texts and such.

    Of course we also need access to the ubiquitous apps that now adorn our lives. Yes M$ are behind with their app ecosystem but damn they are *trying*. The OS is sublime, I have had MANY phones in my life, Symbian (every Nokia imaginable), Android (had a G1, now using an HTC One and a Galaxy Note 2 and have had loads of Androids in-between). Ive also been an iPhone user, and that is my most hated of phones from both a hardware and a software perspective.

    So whats the point to all this, well I STILL haven't owned a WinPho 7.x/8.x device. Purely because the hardware I want isnt available with the OS I want. Shockingly if HTC shipped a One with WinPho 8 I would have picked it over the Android version and I'm pretty sure if they made it, and with the right marketing push, it'll capture the market. I think they may just have that with the 1020.

    What gets right on my tits is the bashing of this rather wonderful OS. Its solid, built on a proven kernel and clearly the right direction for MS in the mobile space. Windows 8 is on the road to recovery, but I'd actually argue RT was a failure and they should have beefed up WinPho 8 for tablets and went down that route instead, no "split brain" TIKFAM/Desktop required. To the people who wouldn't buy it because of a hatred of WinCE/WinMobile. I totally get it, I've used HP Jornadas, HTC Tytn 2's the works (to be fair the Jornada was ahead of its time, if a bit useless), but, WinPho 8.x is NOT the much maligned OS of old. Try it for a week you may change your mind and don't be an arse about it when you are. Imagine its NOT an MS OS on it.

    Why is it soo terrible? If someone gives me a proper and reasoned explanation for it ruining their lives over the likes of Android or iOS I'm happy to listen. Until then I await delivery of my new Nokia 1020, which I will use instead of my Note 2, which I love by the way, but the 1020 is what I *want*.

    So thank you Nokia, thank you very much. You have made it back onto my "Must buy it NOW" list for the first time since the N93/N95 days.

    Summary: M$/WinPho Haters, Shut the F*CK UP

    </rant>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I am most upset....

      "What gets right on my tits is the bashing of this rather wonderful OS. Its solid, built on a proven kernel and clearly the right direction for MS in the mobile space."

      Eh. It's clearly a million times better than Windows Mobile but I'd hesitate to call it solid and stable and all that. I know several people with Windows Phones and they still have to reboot them every few days for a variety of reasons. Usually it's because the phone drops cell signal and "refuses" to pick it back up again. Sometimes it's because certain apps crash immediately every time you try to run them until you reboot. Sometimes the handsets will just reboot themselves for no obvious reason. I've seen all of this happen in person a number of times. Meanwhile I can't remember the last time I had to reboot my iPhone for any reason but I'm sure it's been months.

      1. Craig "Spuddleziz" Smith
        Thumb Up

        Re: I am most upset....

        I have to agree with you pon that point, however, the 4th iPhone 4s I have just gotten rid of, was a replacement sent by Orange. The thing was *terrible*. Rebooted at random, WiFi didnt work, BT didn't work, the thing was a shambles. Now to be fair the one it replaced was misplaced! But, I had issues with the original too, and it too was a replacement for a problematic 4!

        Now maybe I'm being a bit unfair to Apple (remember I'm a Macbook Pro user), but their hardware isn't really as good as it should be and I think they are rather stuck in the form factor and will really struggle to get out of it. iOS 7 looks terrible IMHO.

        My Androids have a lot of problems too. For example my Note 2 needs a reboot sometimes after moving from a 3.5g to a 3g cell and it cant quite figure out what to do and my HTC One registered me on the network 00000 the other day! So thats 2 supposedly stable and mature mobile OS' doing weird things when they shouldn't.

        I think we need to remember that WinPho 8.x is relatively young and these issues will be ironed out, but it is a fair point. Oh and before people start bashing me for my pro M$ stance I still don't own a WinPho handset, but I will be buying the 1020 and have played with a 920 extensively.

        It is the way forward, trust me! *BRAIN SHOUTS: BRACE, BRACE*

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I am most upset....

        " I know several people with Windows Phones and they still have to reboot them every few days for a variety of reasons"

        I think you are confusing WP with Android. We have several different WP phones in my household and reboots are never required. There was previously an issue on the Lumia 920 where it very occasionally rebooted itself, but that was fixed by an OTA update long ago.

        Android on the other hand consistently slows down and gets more glitchy after time until you reboot it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I am most upset....

          "Android on the other hand consistently slows down and gets more glitchy after time until you reboot it."

          Oh, Please! GMAB! Android does indeed get slower as you add a lot of apps over a period of a year or so. But never while running requiring a reboot. That's the purview of Windows OS on the desktop! I don't have any experience with WP and so don't comment on it. Perhaps you should do the same.

    2. SaiTan
      Thumb Up

      Re: I am most upset....

      Amazing comment. Registred to give my thumbs up!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is this garbage?

    "Most megapixel specifications on mobile phones are a lie ... That’s because the imaging units take one colour per pixel and then estimate the missing colours using Bayer interpolation ... "

    A "lie"?? Please. Even if they're single-color, they're still pixels. And digital cameras have been interpolating colors since their invention (except for Foveon sensors). If you were surprised to find this out, I would keep that to yourself. Don't broadcast your ignorance.

    And how is what Nokia is doing any different?? Are you saying that the color data in their 38 MP images isn't mostly interpolated too?

    If you knew anything about digital photography, you'd write something about the megapixel myth and why it does or doesn't apply to Nokia's new sensor. Consumers and journalists alike have been complaining about new cameras with their ever-increasing numbers of pixels, arguing that smaller pixels result in more noise and less dynamic range and ultimately worse photographs than if the sensors had less pixels. Witness how delighted everybody is with the new HTC phones that only have 4 MP sensors. How does Nokia's sensor figure in here, seeing as it has ~3x as many pixels as any other phone sensor on the market? Let's hear some actual analysis or investigation.

  29. Richard Neill

    Android port?

    So... when is the Android port coming? If Nokia could be persuaded to give enough info out for an unofficial port, I would certainly buy it and change the OS.

    1. Craig "Spuddleziz" Smith

      Re: Android port?

      Your "Android port" would not have the required drivers to make use of the hardware in the device. The article clearly stated that Nokia had to work with their hardware partners to get the PureView camera to talk to the GPU's and vice versa. Perhaps the guys at XDA could write their own port but you would be waiting a while (probably forever) given that there is no source to port.

      Just buy an Android phone if you want android, or better yet, if you like the handset, give WinPho a shot! It is actually pretty good, honest.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the OS

    For somebody who needs a decent camera with them all the time, I really don't see that it matters much whether this is running Windows, Android or iOS. Most people buying this will buy it because they need a top spec camera with the convenience of a phone. For most average users, they can do whatever they need to on any of those phone OSs. Reg readers with evangelical loyalty to their favoured OS are not average users, they're a pretty small market really.

    Nokia should get some credit for not just building 'me too' phones - they've gone out with some bold choices and some interesting tech and I hope it works out for them.

  31. Danny 5

    Sticking with Nokia

    I've switched back to Nokia when i got my Lumia 900 and i'm not likely to go back to another brand. I don't even get why so many people are anti winphone, as the Lumia phones are on par with any other brand. I personally love my phone and can't wait to get my hands on the 1020.

    We had a discussion recently about battery life and everyone seemed very impressed that i could go through nearly a full day, when my battery warning is on. I can make calls all day long, without it going down. I can't use WiFi, Bleutooth or GPS anymore, but basic functionality remains functional for many hours. I understand other phones cannot match that performance.

  32. Steve Evans

    "Similarly, if space is not a serious constraint, then every camera would use optical zoom."

    I would hope not!

    Even the most expensive optical zoom cannot compete with the image quality and "speed" of a prime lens.

    All that extra glass required for the zoom absorbs precious light and introduces distortion as the different light wavelengths (colours) are bent by slightly varying degrees. In fact quite a few elements in top end zoom lenses are there purely to try to correct this chromatic aberration.

    </camera geek>

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm normally pretty anti-patents these days. But I agree with you in this case. I guess Apple's just given patents a bad name.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    obsolete already

    Sorry....

    http://www.mirrorlessrumors.com/sony-did-it-they-will-soon-launch-a-lens-with-builtin-camera-smallest-mirrorless-camera-ever/

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