ByLinky Johnson 2019-04-19 651
It could have been so beautiful, the Nokia 9 PureView. Visually it is too, no question about it. Even the sharp and by far brightest display in a smartphone make it an eye-catcher. That Nokia is using a previous year's processor is infuriating, but at least a little squeezing the price. The innovative five-time camera snaps handsome photos during the day, at night the shots are distorted. The big problem, however, is the enormous storage time – more than ten seconds are unacceptable to today's standards.
With the Nokia 9 PureView, HMD Global, licensee and manufacturer of the new Nokia smartphones, is revisiting an old tradition. With devices such as N95, 808 PureView, Lumia 1020 PureView and Lumia 950 XL, Nokia has enriched the history of photo smartphones. Now the Finns are once again venting the big serve when it comes to mobile phone camera: The Nokia 9 PureView is the first smartphone with a coherent set to be used as well as five cameras, all with lenses from the German manufacturer Carl Zeiss. Does Nokia return to the Olympus of the lace smartphone cameras? The lab test gives the disappointing answer.
Before it comes to the cameras, it's worth taking a look at the design. This looks futuristic: At the back, the Nokia 9 PureView carries seven circular openings – one in the middle, around six more. Five of them are cameras, in another hides the LED flash, in the seventh a "Time of Flight" camera (used at Nokia for better autofocus). Looking only at the number of cameras on the back, the Nokia 9 even outperforms the Samsung Galaxy S10 (three cameras at the back) and the Huawei P30 Pro (four). The back is made of glass, the frame is made of high-quality aluminium.
The 6-inch screen may no longer make a splash at today's size dimensions, but thanks to QHD Plus resolution (2880) very sharp OLED panel does just that. At 1069 Candela per square metre, the Nokia 9 is currently the smartphone with the most luminous display. For comparison: The iPhone XS Max only comes to 730 Candela and also S10 Plus (1000 Candela) and P30 Pro (920 Candela) are below the maximum brightness. The contrast is also very high at 131,480:1, so black is really black and white is real white. As bold as the colours are, at 90.3 per cent, colour fidelity is not at the elite level. The iPhone XS Max, for example, comes in at 97.5 percent.
What is surprising at first glance: Unlike Samsung, for example, these are not cameras with different focal lengths. Instead, the same camera types are installed multiple times: A monochrome camera (black and white) with 12-megapixel resolution and aperture f/1.8 is present three times in the circular camera area at the back. why? They capture more light than the traditional RGB sensors. Of course, they are also available twice as a 12-megapixel color camera (also aperture f/1.8). You have to do without camera trends such as an ultra-wide-angle lens, as well as a tele zoom with a dopplete magnification.
At first the camera construct seems completely crazy, but the Nokia engineers thought something about it. All cameras shoot their photos at the same time, but each use different settings for exposure and white balance – as usual with HDR shots. If the lighting conditions and the movement of the object make it possible, the Nokia 9 also shoots four photos in a row with all five cameras. Depending on the setting, the camera system provides either 60 megapixels of photographic data (5x12 megapixels) or even 240 megapixels when exposed to multiple times. Intelligent algorithms then put the different images together optimally. At least in theory.
COMPUTER BILD has tried out the Nokia 9 camera for a long time and had it compete against the good Galaxy S10 Plus camera. The lens composite provided good detailed photos with stronger contrasts than Samsung. But the Nokia camera does not have the edge in all areas, had major problems with some counterlight photographs, for example in buildings in front of bright sunshine. Also, some details seem a bit more exuberant and, in low light, no brighter than the competition with strong image noise. At dusk or in night shots, the camera team reaches its limits surprisingly early.
When triggered, the Nokia camera is fast on its way. What is unusual, however, is the fact that the camera software is still ten to twenty seconds busy optimizing the images. Meanwhile, you can already see a first rough version of the image, but it is only after the processing has been completed that the full quality unfolds in terms of sharpness and dynamism. An absolute nerve killer and, in today's pace age, a disastrous solution. A software update is intended to at least alleviate the problems somewhat.
More impressive than the image quality are the depth of field effects. Due to the many shifted lenses, each image contains such precise information about the placement in the room that you can use the Gdepth function in Google Photos to place the sharpness or depth blur on any level in the image. The highlight: This can happen retrospectively, so the image composition can be changed after the recording. In the test, that actually worked in an impressive way. If you want, you can back up the images in RAW format without compression losses and edit them on your phone in the Adobe Lightroom app. As an option, thanks to the special monochrome sensors, the Nokia 9 is designed to deliver high-quality black-and-white images, similar to the Huawei P20 Pro in the past.
To edit so much camera data, the Nokia 9 has 845 in addition to the normal Qualcomm processor Snapdragon – that's just last year's chip – a special coprocessor for image processing. The Nokia also uses the graphics chips to calculate the depth of field data. This complex system was developed in collaboration with US start-up Light, which attracted attention in 2018 with the Light L16 multi-sensor camera and now contributes the coprocessor. The rest of the technology corresponds to what is expected of an upper-class android: 128 gigabye internal memory – without expansion due to the missing memory card compartment.
Add to that 6 gigabytes of memory, a fingerprint sensor built into the display and a (less secure) front camera with 20 megapixels and simple facial recognition. The battery has a capacity of 3320 millihours – that's comparatively little. That's why the Nokia 9 slams after eleven hours and 16 minutes when used intensively. That is too little! After all, the flagship can be loaded quickly and wirelessly via USB Type C with Quick Charge 3.0. The Nokia 9 swallows two nano-SIM cards (dual-SIM) and comes from the factory with Android 9 Pie. Of course, Nokias update promises of three years promise include security updates and two years of updates to the latest Android platform. The Nokia 9 would thus receive Android 10 Q and 2021 Android 11.
The Nokia 9 PureView is available in Germany. You have to put 649 euros on the table for that. However, the market price falls after a short time, a little patience is worthwhile. The delivery: In the packaging, next to the luxury smartphone, there is a charger, a connection cable, a Bluetooth headset, a USB Type-C adapter on headphone clinch and the mandatory "tool" for the SIM card shaft.
Foldable phones like the Galaxy Fold, a fresh 21:9 design from Sony (Xperia 10), the first smartphone with sounding display like the LG G8 and the new overachiever Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: Especially when smartphones seemed to get boring, the smartphone spring shows Innovative and exciting in 2019. We haven't had anything like this for a long time! In the first impression, the Nokia 9 PureView does not cut a bad figure, but the camera intelligence has something to learn until the photos made up of the five cameras really convince in all everyday situations.
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