YouTube channel WillItBeatNokia is on it again. His latest attempt (well, the one we just recently found out) is to compare the camera on the Nokia 808 PureView with the more modern Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. The result is not something we expected.
Released back in 2012, the Nokia 808 PureView is the last Nokia flagship with Symbian OS before the company jumped on board the Windows Phone OS – which eventually killed its smartphone business. The Nokia 808 PureView has been the standard of a good camera phone until the Nokia Lumia 1020 takeover in 2013. Even so, it remains one of the greatest achievements of the smartphone industry – even today.
WillItBeatNokia YouTube channel (you guys should check him out) did a great camera comparison with the Nokia 808 PureView and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra.
Camera specs rundown below:
Nokia 808 PureView
41MP (1.4um pixel size)
4x lossless zoom (pixel oversampling)
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
108MP (0.8um pixel size) with OIS
48MP, 4x optical zoom, OIS
We won’t go into details with the comparison (we will embed the video below), but we will definitely give insight to the interesting parts of the video comparison. Note that both smartphones use different technologies. Nokia employs pixel oversampling on the Nokia 808 PureView, while Samsung uses pixel binning on Galaxy S20 Ultra’s 108MP camera. In fact, the Nokia 808 PureView has 65.85% more resolution than the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra (resolution calculated before the demosaicing or debayering process).
The pixel oversampling is somehow similar to pixel binning. It combines many pixels to create a single (super) pixel. However, it scales or downsamples the output after the demosaicing process.
The pixel binning, on the other hand, combines the photosite sensor values as they’re read from the sensor to create a single (super) pixel, before sending the output for the demosaicing or debayering process. That means the more recent 48MP and higher megapixel sensors don’t actually output the megapixel they advertised. 48MP is really just 12MP, 64MP is just 16MP, and the overhyped 108MP is only 27MP.
There is a total of three tests for both devices, each divided into different parts – lowlight, daylight, and different crop factors. On the first test, we can clearly see how advanced the image processing on the Galaxy S20 Ultra. It has better color reproduction, and good white balance while the 808 PureView opts for warmer tones and saturated colors that are not good to look at. However, if you look more closely, the 8MP output from the 808 PureView is actually more detailed than the 12MP output on Galaxy S20 Ultra. As seen on the flower below.
In the next comparison, the photos were cropped 2x and it’s quite amazing how the 5P lens on the Nokia 808 PureView retains the detail on the building. Yes, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is sharper, but the Nokia 808 PureView opted for a more natural organic look, with almost no artificial sharpening.
The pancake is also more appetizing on the Nokia 808 PureView. I mean, just look at the brown burn marks on the pancake. I think this is mostly because warmer tones look better on foods.
The next photo is a 2x digital zoom of a crane. As you can see, the output on the Galaxy S20 Ultra shows a lot of haloing around the crane tower and turntable. While it is free from noise, the detail is just horrible compared to the Nokia 808 PureView. You can also clearly see the brand “LIEBHERR” written on the glass of the crane cab, whilst it is almost unrecognizable on the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
This next photo is taken in low light scene, with automatic mode – 8MP for the 808 PureView, and 12MP on the Galaxy S20 Ultra. This again shows how good the current image processing on smartphones. The output on the Galaxy S20 Ultra has more controlled highlights than the 808 PureView and overall has better and pleasing color. This is subjected though.
The final photo that we are going to show you really pushed the two smartphones to their limits. 4x digital zoom, in low light. This is where the big pixel size on the Nokia 808 PureView really shines. Yes, both outputs are noisy, but at least the photo on the Nokia 808 PureView resolved more detail and almost no color noise, while the Samsung is just blurry mess, and noisy – I think this is because of the high ISO.
Down below, you can take a loot at some additional comparison shots.
So it seems that 8 years after its release, the 808 PureView can still be competitive in some camera scenarios. Of course, it’s mostly unusable as a smartphone, because of the discontinued OS, unless calling and SMS is all you do.
What do you think about this camera comparison? Tell us down below. 🙂