Nokia had been giving signals that something big was coming with regards to smartphone camera technology, but I don;t think anyone was expecting them to drop a 41 megapixel sensor into a smartphone to alleviate the problems associated with the compact lenses needed to fit a smartphone form factor.
The first phone to come packing such imaging prowess will be the Nokia 808 PureView that will be running Symbian and also sporting a 4″ 16:9 nHD (640 x 360 pixels) AMOLED screen, a 1.3GHz CPU, 512MB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory, but a Windows Phone is apparently in the works and Symian is still a good OS.
More important, however, is how the 808 will deal with photography – letting users choose to snap pictures in 3, 5, or 8 megapixels and using the PureView technology to condense the 41 megapixels down to that number, effectively taking digital zoom to the next level. The other option for users is to snap in full 38 megapixel glory as well – that is huge! You can really see the improvements in the technology, however, in lower lighting conditions, as even with the impressive Carl Zweis lenses on a number of smartphones (and also on the 808), the small lens only picks up a small mount of light, making the images a little grainy. By making the sensor bigger to pick up so many more pixels and then digitally work out the best one when shrunk down to 8 megapixels, the low light is much less of an issue.
Make no mistake, this is a revolution in pocket-sized digital photography and puts Nokia right back on the map.
Find out the best phones available right now in our 2012 UK Smartphone Guide