Nokia ruled the camera space in mobile for years, and it wasn’t just from the debut of PureView branded phones. From as far back as 2002, Nokia has been a leader in delivering some of the most capable smartphone cameras ever. Nokia’s Cameraphone champs ruled across a space of 11 years. Have a walk with us down memory lane.
Let’s have a look at Nokia’s top cameraphone champs.
The Nokia 7650 was a slider phone and the first Nokia smartphone running Symbian OS. If memory serves us right, it was also the first phone with a camera in Europe. The Nokia 7650 was a game-changer in many ways. Every other phone just looked lame at the time. You know, if you didn’t have the 7650, you didn’t have a camera on your phone. It was a hit in the market.
The Nokia N90 was a clamshell device that could shift shape. It was a legendary cameraphone and camcorder. You could use it for photography in two key modes: turn and twist for photographs, as well as open and twist for video and photos.
Nokia N93 / N93i
Among Nokia’s cameraphone champs, the Nokia N93 was legendary. It was renowned most for producing DVD-grade video. Its swivel form factor made it especially well suited to video recording too. It was the most advanced camera phone of its time. Like all Nokia smartphones of the time, the N93 and N93i ran Symbian OS.
The Nokia N95 was the best cameraphone in its day. Packing a healthy 5 megapixel digital camera with Carl Zeiss optics and flash, it beat the competition nicely. Plus, it even outsold the iPhone back then.
The N82 changed the cameraphone game with its advanced camera and xenon flash (a rarity till date among cameraphones). When it hit the market, it upset the N95 to take over as the best camera phone of the day.
N86 8MP (2009)
The N86 was Nokia’s first camera phone to have an 8 megapixel sensor and dual LED flash. It also had an autofocus assist light. Add a Carl Zeiss optics and a mechanical shutter, and we had a cameraphone champ in our hands.
The beautifully crafted aluminum-shelled Nokia N8 – with its 12 megapixel camera and xenon flash and Carl Zeiss optics – was a hit when it hit the streets in 2010. It also had the largest camera sensor ever in a cameraphone. It had the most pre-orders ever of a Nokia phone and had sold almost 4 million units as at end of 2010. It was also Nokia’s first Symbian^3 OS device.
808 Pureview (2012)
Still acclaimed by many as the best cameraphone ever produced by Nokia, the 41-megapixel 808 was the first phone to feature Nokia’s PureView technology.
It wasn’t about the huge megapixel count. It was about what the camera did with it – employing a process called oversampling to produce higher definition and light sensitivity, and enabling lossless zoom. The 808’s sensor was even larger than that of the N8, and also was the largest ever in a cameraphone in its time.
Sadly, it was also Nokia’s last Symbian-powered smartphone.
Lumia 1020 (2013)
The Lumia 1020 was the Windows Phone twin of the Nokia 808 PureView. Like its predecessor, it has a 41 megapixel camera and Xenon flash, but also packed optical image stabilization (OIS). The Lumia 1020 had a much more powerful processor and was faster on the draw than the 808 PureView. Some Symbian fans will contest it, but the experts say that the 1020 pipped the 808 and became the most powerful cameraphone when it arrived.