The Nokia 808 Pureview runs the Nokia Belle operating system, which although lacking the familiar branding is essentially the latest version of Symbian. While it's undoubtedly the greatest version of Symbian yet - as shown through its more usable interface and improved multitasking - this operating system is essentially the handset's downfall.
The operating system bugged us from the get-go. Nokia's preset Belle theme offers five customisable home screens similar to Android, but completely lacking in the intuitiveness of Google's offering. Each home screen has been dressed in its own custom background, making the handset awkward to use and unnecessarily nostalgic, and we can't help but think this also was the reason behind the clunkiness in scrolling through screens. Sure, this can be customised, but it would take a while to get the display to your liking.
Another downfall of Belle is its lack of apps, especially when compared to IOS and Android. While it comes bundled with a bunch of Nokia apps such as Maps and Public Transport, you won't be able to find Spotify or Temple Run in the Nokia Store.
Performance and battery
A 1.3GHz single-core chip sits underneath the Nokia 808 Pureview's cumbersome hood, and it's certainly not the fastest on the market. We found multitasking proved a bit of a chore, and opening apps often left us staring at a swirling wheel for minutes on end.
The same has to be said for web browsing, too. The Nokia 808 Pureview struggled to load the most basic web sites, although once it did, they looked good on the Clearblack display. There's no support for Adobe Flash either, which might put off users after a media-hungry handset, which the Pureview's camera suggests this device is.
Thankfully, the battery proved more impressive than the handset's processor, lasting for well over a day of medium to high usage. Nokia also bundles a portable battery charger with the 808 Pureview, a nice touch you'd be hard pressed to find with many other smartphones.
The Nokia 808 Pureview is, without a doubt, the best cameraphone available on the market today. Its 41MP sensor proved to us that it's more than just a weighty novelty and truly managed to impress with its excellent picture quality and many settings.
If this review was of its camera alone, the Pureview 808 would score five out of five. However, overall, the device is let down by its underpowered processor and sluggish Nokia Belle software, which can make the handset both difficult and frustrating to use. While sort-of redeemed by its eye-catching design and excellent battery life, the failings of Symbian will probably be too much for most to overcome. µ
Mind-blowingly good camera, quirky design, great battery life.
Heavy, low-resolution screen, quite expensive at £500.
Nokia Belle and a single-core processor make for a sluggish experience.