With the new Nokia 9 PureView, HMD Global has gone all-out by equipping its new flagship with a five-sensor main camera – a solution that should take image quality to the next level. The rest of the filling in the smartphone is also at the level of modern flagships. Whether the Nokia 9 PureView lives up to the high expectations you can find out in our review.
When developing the next flagship, HMD Global specialists decided to go as far as they could: the main camera of the Nokia 9 PureView does not consist of two or three photosensors. But of as many as five with a resolution of 12 MP. It is an attempt to revolutionize the world of mobile photography by achieving incredible dynamic range and accurate depth of field data.
The main camera became the main feature of this smartphone long before its release (thanks to leaks). Therefore practically no one spoke about the other characteristics, despite the fact that they are no less impressive. For $ 700, you get not the most powerful, but still very powerful Snapdragon 845, 6 gigabytes of RAM, and internal storage of 128 gigabytes. Also, the smartphone can hold 2 SIM cards, and has an LTE Cat modem. 16 and is made of aluminum (+ Gorilla Glass 5).
The smartphone is made in a standard design, the display is full and without a cutout. The novelty is produced in a single color Midnight Blue; the body is made of aluminum and covered with Gorilla Glass 5 on both sides. The design came out very durable, rather light (172 grams) and even received protection from dust and moisture according to the IP67 standard (up to 1 meter underwater, for up to 30 minutes).
From the front, the device looks restrained and even somewhat strict. But the metal frame definitely lends elegance to its appearance. The same concept is used for the design of the back panel, and thanks to the rounded edges, the device not only looks stylish but also fits well in the hand.
The disadvantage of using Gorilla Glass 5 on both sides is the high soiling of the glass coating and constant slippage. Only a protective case can save the situation, but Nokia does not produce such accessories for this model.
The back panel houses the main miracle of the Nokia 9 PureView: five cameras with Zeiss optics and a resolution of 12 MP. They do not protrude from the body, unlike the flash, but the smartphone still normally lies on a flat surface. A fingerprint scanner is built into the display.
The Nokia 9 PureView comes with 6GB LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB UFS 2.1 storage. After the first start-up, 113 gigabytes are available to the user, the rest of the space is occupied by the Android 9. There is no memory card slot, the tray can hold two nano sims. As befits a flagship smartphone, the Nokia 9 PureView supports Widevine L1 DRM.
According to the specifications of the smartphone, the USB Type-C port here is version 3.1 and supports OTG. Nevertheless, we could not get even close to the specified standard speed with the supplied cable: 42 MB / s is slightly faster than USB 2.0. There is no standard audio jack, but a corresponding adapter is included in the package.
Nokia 9 Pureview Software
Nokia 9 PureView belongs to the Android One program, which means that the operating system is pure Android 9 Pie without third-party and useless applications. From HMD Global, there is only a camera app that replaces the stock one from Google.
Android One smartphones receive OS updates for 2 years, and security patches for 3 years from the date of release. According to Nokia, the security patches will be updated consistently every month. However, in our review sample, the corresponding patch is dated February 2019, even though it is now April.
Wireless capabilities and navigation
NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, and LTE Cat. 16 – thanks to all this, the Nokia 9 PureView meets the unspoken standards of modern flagships. With support for a wide range of bands, your smartphone will have no problem connecting to networks anywhere in the world.
The Wi-Fi module supports 2.4 and 5 GHz networks and allows you to achieve high connection speeds. Paired with our Linksys EA8500 reference router, the transmission rate was 523 Mbps and the downstream speed was 638 Mbps. That is, in this case, Nokia 9 PureView is on par with modern flagships.
One smartphone, five cameras, perfect photos – this is how it should be, according to Nokia. On the back of the smartphone is a group of five cameras with Zeiss optics, a resolution of 12 MP, and an aperture of f / 1.82. They are all the same – no telephoto lenses, no wide-angle lenses.
Quality is the main characteristic that can be improved with an array of cameras. Three of which are monochrome (to improve dynamic range). When you press the shutter button, all five cameras take a picture at the same time, and software algorithms combine the received data and apply the selected effects. The output is one 12-megapixel HDR image. Videos can be recorded in 4K resolution at 30 fps. The front camera contains a 20-megapixel photo sensor and can shoot video with the same parameters as the main camera.
For professional photographers, the five-camera array also offers benefits. For example, you can shoot in RAW format, which makes editing such images on a PC much more convenient. In addition, the camera recognizes 1200 levels of depth. This not only allows you to take beautiful portraits with a blurred background. Also to change the focus on ready-made images in the Google Photos gallery.
Unfortunately, we cannot agree with Nokia’s words about the excellent quality of shooting. In the daytime (scenes 1 and 2), the shots are really good enough. But they are too colorful and look like photoshopped pictures due to too high a dynamic range (HDR cannot be turned off here). In scene # 1, image detail issues are particularly noticeable. Many competitors did much better under the same conditions and also demonstrate good results in night photography. Nokia 9 PureView, on the other hand, in the latter category is epic losing to its opponents, which can be seen on stage # 3. The algorithms got rid of noise to the maximum, which is why the image is somewhat blurry.
Another disadvantage is the camera application itself. Despite the fact that there are many settings and modes. The interface is slow. When switching between different modes, takes a few seconds. After the picture is taken, it does not appear in the gallery immediately, but this is understandable – after all, the device needs to combine information from five cameras into one picture and also leave the possibility of changing the focus.
How do different models shoot the same subject? Click (smartphone) or move the pointer (computer) over the desired fragment of the photo to meticulously examine it in the windows below. By clicking on any of them, the corresponding frame can be opened in full size.
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