Vivo ZEISS Imaging Lab, and what’s up with Nokia Mobile?

When Nokia Mobile rekindled its relationship with Germany’s ZEISS in 2017, there were high hopes for next-generation imaging technology for future Nokia smartphones. Four years later, we have yet to see what came out of that partnership other than the ZEISS logo on Nokia smartphones, and some software smarts that didn’t quite reach the expectations of many — especially with a brand such as Nokia.

Yes, the Nokia 9 PureView has some tricks up its sleeves. At the same time, it was bugged with many problems from the start, making it quite impossible for many to prefer it over the ocean of Android flagship smartphones. Not to mention, the Penta-lens system was actually developed by a third-party partner, Light, which has since moved on from its smartphone imaging endeavor.

As with ZEISS, the recent Nokia 8.3’s camera definitely sounds great on paper. But judging from a couple of Marin’s videos, the quality is still just as inferior as with any other Android smartphone. Anyway, you can read our review of the Nokia 8.3 5G here.

While the main camera is performing rather well in all light conditions, the wide-angle camera is also quite decent, the 2MP depth camera for bokeh effect (something you can also achieve using a wide-angle), and the 2MP macro is useless and just filling up spaces for the quad-camera marketing.

Anyway, many got used to seeing ZEISS exclusively on Nokia devices so no wonder people were surprised when ZEISS announced a partnership with Sony Mobile with the launch of the Xperia 1 II. Sony is ZEISS’s long-time partner for its range of cameras and lenses, so it’s expected that Sony will have the same treatment for its smartphones. Nokia Mobile’s, Juho Sarvikas, later acknowledged the partnership on Twitter. Good for him.

This week is quite a shock for Nokia fans, as ZEISS added Vivo to its list of partners. Adding insult to the injury, Vivo managed to do something Nokia Mobile hasn’t done four years after its rekindled partnership with ZEISS, a Vivo ZEISS Imaging Lab – a joint R&D program focused on developing innovative solutions for mobile imaging technology. The program will oversee the joint development and co-engineering of optical components for future Vivo flagships.

Vivo even managed to drop a Vivo ZEISS Master Photography campaign to start with. This has never happened with Nokia before, a brand which makes sure they keep everything exclusive for the sake of a unique mobile experience for its users. But, the difference between Nokia Mobile and the old Nokia company is huge and it is maybe not fair to expect the same standard Nokia used to keep from a small Finnish startup company. On the other hand, Nokia Mobile could have invested a bit more in photography and maybe elevate the partnership with ZEISS to another level over the years.

So what’s up Nokia Mobile? Are we going to see some ZEISS Vario Tessar imaging technology in future Nokia phones?