We go hands-on the five-camera array of the Nokia 9 PureView.
The PureView series by Nokia set a benchmark on mobile photography, offering some of the best images taken on a smartphone. The PureView series makes a comeback with the Nokia 9, which gives you a five-lens camera that might induce trypophobia to some users.
The Nokia 9 PureView has a glass back and front with a polished side that holds it together. It’s an impressive design, though the wide design means it’s a little hard to grab on to especially when taking images. The glossy exterior is also a fingerprint magnet, so better have it in a case or else you’d be wiping most of the time.
I love how the cameras are flushed inside the body of the Nokia 9 PureView, unlike other smartphones where the lens would be protruding outside its body. It’s a minor design change, but something I would prefer.
There are volume buttons on the right side along with the power switch, while there’s the USB-C port at the bottom for charging and data transfers. Unfortunately, the Nokia 9 PureView has also ditched the 3.5 mm headphone jack.
The Nokia 9 PureView comes with a 5.99-inch, HDR10-compatible, OLED display. There’s the 2880-by-1440 pixel resolution that offers a more saturated look. While others go for more balanced tones, the vivid colors, and bright screen are the highlight for the Nokia 9 PureView’s display. There’s no notch, and the small bezels on the top house the front-facing camera.
The smartphone has a built-in fingerprint sensor but is a pain to work with. After enrolling my fingerprints it barely recognized it after several tries, sometimes telling me to press harder before it will work. I’m not sure if this was a problem on my test unit, but apparently other users have experienced the same thing. You can try Face Unlock which works faster, but even the smartphone will tell you it’s a less secure way of authentication.
The Nokia 9 PureView is powered by a Snapdragon 845 CPU with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. It supports dual SIM and is even rated IP67, so it’s completely dust and water resistant. Running Android 9 Pie and part of the Android One program, expect the usual bells and whistles that come with stock Android. This also means that the Nokia 9 PureView keeps getting better over time, thanks to the regular security patches and major software updates that you will get as part of the Android One program.
But the camera, of course, is the best thing about the Nokia 9 PureView. While other companies made dual, triple and even quad-camera phones, the Nokia 9 PureView went with five. All of these cameras 12-megapixels, all having an f/1.8 aperture. There are two RGB sensors along with three monochrome sensors, which all shoot simultaneously. Each shot will be combined to capture more range in terms of color and depth.
Resulting images are somewhat impressive, though not the output we expected. There are more details in dark images, where at times you can still see shadows. It takes decent shots that’s for sure, but we were actually more impressed with the black and white photos it took.
The camera lets you save images in DNG (RAW), so you have more control in editing your photos in apps like Lightroom (even the Nokia 9 PureView recommends using it). It’s clear that the Nokia 9 PureView is serious about photography, and while it won’t be the top choice, it’s definitely on the list.
The Nokia 9 PureView has a 3,320 mAh battery and is sufficient enough to deliver a day’s worth of usage, though that may vary. On a busy day where I’d be constantly be sending emails and making calls, I’d be looking for the charger even before the day ends. Thankfully the Nokia 9 PureView supports wireless charging and fast charging.
Price and Conclusion
The Nokia 9 PureView may probably have not achieved its ambitious photography goals, but it’s close to it. The 2,299 AED price doesn’t exactly make it midrange, but for its features, the smartphone delivers – if you can forgive its flaws.
+ Excellent five-lens camera
+ Android One
– The fingerprint scanner is hit and miss
– Wide glossy body isn’t always a joy to hold
Final Rating 3.5/5