I was eager to see how well the Nokia 808 PureView performs in the audio department. Music is a key need of mine and I absolutely love to have it pumped out heavily. Well, what I did was pit the 808 against the HTC One X and the BlackBerry PlayBook.
While the PlayBook isn’t marketed with any audio gimmick, it has become the benchmark device for comparing audio quality here at MOBILITY. And so far, it has trounced EVERY mobile that has been pitted against it. HTC markets the One X as a BeatsAudio device, yet it is so left in the dust by the PlayBook that it is almost unbelievable.
First up, we played the same track on the One X and then the 808 via the built-in loudspeakers on each device. There was no competition. The 808 was so much better both in terms of output volume and quality that everyone who witnessed the demonstration had their jaws dropping. The 808 is much louder and fuller. HTC just seem unable to produce loudspeakers that don’t sound tinny and muted. Oh, well.
Next, the 808 went up against the PlayBook and came out in good standing. The 808’s speakers produce louder audio than the PlayBook does, but as far as we can tell, the tablet edges out the Nokia flagship narrowly in the audio quality department. That’s saying something, considering that the PlayBook has trashed every other device that I have pitted against it.
I wish I could say that Nokia included a superb set of earphones with the 808, but both in terms of physical build and output, the supplied headset disappoints a bit. I was expecting something of the same quality as came with the N8 years ago. As such, unless you have a better set or are willing to go buy, average music quality via the supplied ones is what you are stuck with. Average is not bad, but this is a flagship, and of course, I am spoilt.
Play Over FM Radio
Besides listening to music via the built-in loudspeaker and earphones, the option to broadcast over an FM channel is there. That is good for those drives when I want my full music library available, or even a party setting with family and friends.
The FM Transmitter works well. It pumps the music with adequate volume and quality. There’s a lot of bass in the output, so if you love music that you can both hear and feel, you’re covered.
Does the Nokia 808 PureView meet up to expectations in terms of audio output? Yes. However, if you prefer earphones, please do yourself a favour and go get a decent pair.