Google’s Pixel 8 has recently taken the spotlight, primarily due to its camera features, presented as something new and refreshing in the world of smartphone photography. I don’t want to bash Pixel 8 since I find it to be a good smartphone, with hardware and software specs I’d love to see on the latest Nokia devices. However, Pixel 8’s ‘Best Take’ feature is something the Nokia imaging team developed and introduced some 10 years ago, or more, with the ‘Smart Shoot’ lens. This feature was integrated into the camera app, providing the same ability to its users.
I’ve discussed this before, but something interesting is happening here. As collective memory shortens due to the rapid turnover of technological developments, people are starting to forget some features that were announced about 10 years ago. Nowadays, in just a decade, the progress in the smartphone industry can be enormous.
If you’re thinking about the only true camera invention in the past 10 years, you might say it’s the periscopic camera system. I would agree with you. However, we’d both be wrong. Periscopic cameras were apparently developed some 20 years ago, and according to the internet, Sharp was the first to bring 2X optical zoom with its 902 model. Nokia went a bit further with the N93i in 2007, which had a 3.2 MP camera, 3x optical zoom, and digital video stabilization.
Nevertheless, I’m not sure if those devices featured folded camera lens elements. According to Damian Dinning, the person who ran Nokia’s imaging team that created all the camera wonders of the Nokia world, Nokia was developing a handset that featured folded optics for 3x optical zoom. If the market quality was high enough, the device would have come to market around 2008/9. Instead, the imaging team took another route and gave the Nokia 808 PureView to the world. Shame we’ll never get a chance of seeing that device.
This is completely new information for me, and I always wonder how many more interesting devices Nokia was developing. Once Dean Pattrick revealed that ex-Nokians had a Facebook group where they would often talk about unreleased devices and share images of them. He said it would be a gold mine for us bloggers to access. I say I’d like to dig some gold from that mine since Nokia was ahead of the entire industry just 10 to 15 years ago, and things that were in the making are not supposed to stay uncovered.