1. HeyCori's Avatar
    Nokia 808 PureView review | The Verge

    Final Score: 6.1

    from their software section

    The lack of easily accessible media controls is just the tip of a very large and very terrible iceberg of trouble that lies beneath the 808s Gorilla Glass screen. It used to be called Symbian, but nowadays even Nokia has grown embarrassed of the name and redubbed its latest version "Nokia Belle." Symbians sad demise from the worlds dominant mobile operating system to a tired punchline was mostly down to Nokias failure to properly transition the software from its keyboard-centric roots to a new touchscreen era. The N97 was the poster child of these misguided efforts, with the N8, E7 and every other subsequent device being hamstrung by the same persistent issues. The 808 PureView is, disappointingly, no different.

    If you thought the browser on the N8 was bad, just wait till you get your hands on the 808. The first time I visited The Verge on Nokias latest handset, it failed to render even the mobile version of our site properly and populated the page with lists of links and text. Subsequent attempts got me through to our usual desktop view, but the appropriate fonts were not loaded, line spacing was all over the place, and the site layout was basically busted. Adding insult to injury, all this ugly rendering was happening in what felt like slow motion.

    Actions like scrolling or pinch-to-zoom feel like requests youre filing with a clerk somewhere in a bureaucratic dystopia to be carried out at some indeterminate time in the future. Completing this slow-motion train wreck is the only thing worse than unresponsive operation: a complete crash of the entire phone. To achieve this ignoble feat, you just need to go to a content-rich site like The Verge, flip to landscape mode, and try to scroll around. Works every time. Or, if youre looking at it from the perspective of someone who actually wants to use the browser, it fails to work every time. Ive had plenty of opportunities to ponder perspectives and other deep and meaningful topics while swapping this handsets battery in and out. In short, the experience of using the web on the 808 PureView is so horrible as to force me to advise against it completely.

    In a fit of desperation, undoubtedly sparked by the 808s excellent camera, you might be thinking that its okay for your phone not to have a browser. If it makes calls and takes awesome pictures, what else do you need, right? Well, if youre truly capable of limiting yourself strictly to the phone dialer and the camera and gallery apps, that might just pan out as a potential usage scenario. Nokias done a fine job of keeping performance swift in those apps, whether youre capturing or reviewing images. But stray, even for a moment, into other activities and youll clash with an endless series of short loading windows.

    Nearly everything you do with the 808 PureView takes time to load. Try to open up the Nokia Store, loading... enter a picture gallery for the first time, loading... turn on a preloaded app like Microsofts OneNote, even more loading. There are pesky little delays, stutters, and pauses in animation everywhere you look.

    A great example of this is what happens when you unplug the phone from mass storage mode. It can take up to half a minute for your downloaded apps to refresh themselves and stop appearing as "Miscellaneous" links on the homescreen. The same goes for your image gallery, which, like those apps, needs to wait for the handsets storage to reset itself. The pervasive feeling of sluggishness in using this phone is so oppressive that it discourages you from trying new apps or exploring the various interface and widget options.

    The first two requirements of any mobile operating system are that it be responsive and stable. Nokia Belle fails on both counts, courtesy of the unqualified disaster that is its web browser and the constant stop-start nature of its interactions.

    Visually and under the hood, Belle is a major update to Symbian Anna, bringing Nokias abandonware close to its likely final look and feel. The past couple of years of Nokia trying to figure out touchscreens have resulted in a weird mashup of Harmattan and Android UI elements. The slide-down notifications tray is ripped straight out of Googles mobile OS, while the toggle icons at the top of it feature the same rounded square motif that was ubiquitous on the MeeGo-powered Nokia N9. Only problem is that the N9 was a delight for the senses because of its smooth and fluid operation, whereas the 808 PureView is the diametric opposite.

    A few other software foibles come to mind. Firstly, when typing in text, you cant simply press the Enter key to move on to the next field or confirm an entry. Youll usually need to pull the keyboard down in order to find the necessary onscreen prompt you must tap to continue. Secondly, the email client doesnt have a threaded conversation view. You can sort emails by subject, but that then takes precedence over date sorting and rearranges conversations alphabetically. And thirdly, I encountered a weird bug when answering calls with the phone locked. When concluding the call, I would see the homescreen displayed for a few seconds, not responding to any input, before the lockscreen comes back as before the call. It didnt happen after every call, but it was yet another dent in this operating systems already tattered reputation.
    06-25-2012 03:24 PM
  2. N8ter's Avatar
    PureView IS amazing.

    But the size of the camera model and what it makes the phones housing it look like, is NOT amazing at all.

    Instead of going PureView, you're better off getting a thin-as-**** smartphone and buying a super small compact point and shooter that is probably just as good as the PureView or better, anyways (I'm talking decent brands like Sony, not $20 digicams).
    06-27-2012 02:45 PM
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