During our city tour of San Diego today, the folks from Qualcomm lent us a number of Snapdragon-powered devices we can use to take photos and upload to a Flickr account. One of the devices they handed out was the Nokia Lumia 920.
We’ve had our hands-on with the Lumia 920 and 820 earlier this month (see here) during the Windows 8 launch in Manila but this time we’re now more interested in the PureView technology implemented in the 920.
After a whole morning’s worth of shots, we’ve finally come to an initial conclusion as to how good is the 920 in the photography department.
What we notiecd is that the Lumia 920 takes photos much faster than the previous Lumia devices and focusing is more accurate. Low light performance is where the Lumia 920 gets some very noticeable improvements. The old Lumia handsets would immediately show image degradation (noise) when there’s not enough ambient light on the subject. The Lumia 920 does it pretty nicely — there’s significant noise reduction and image integrity is intact.
What we noticed though is that in conditions that there is enough ambient light, the image quality is very good but not really outstanding as what we’ve seen in the Nokia 808 (actually, in most shots, it’s noticeably less impressive.)
Photos taken by the Lumia 920 can easily be compared as almost equal that of the iPhone 5 or the Galaxy S3 when lighting conditions are optimal.
I guess our disappointment here lies on the fact that we were super-impressed with the camera performance of the Nokia 808 that we were expecting the same insane level of image quality (on any lighting condition) from the Lumia 920.
In the first place, the reputation of the PureView Technology is at stake here. Maybe, we were just expecting too much here; maybe we were just wowed by PureView that the standard has been raised with the introduction of that technology.
Where we think the Lumia 920 was shortchanged was with the “pixel oversampling” technique used in the Nokia 808 that’s no longer employed in the 920. But we already know that since they first announced and shared details about what “PureView” technology is all about.
Nokia Lumia 920 specs:
4.5″ 720p display PureMotionHD+ @ 1280×768 pixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 1.5GHz dual-core, Krait processor
Adreno 225 GPU
32GB internal storage
8MP rear camera, LED flash
1080p video recording
2,000mAh Li-Ion battery
Windows Phone 8
In any case, it’s still a step up. However, we’ll have to say that the Nokia 808 will retain that title (as The One with the Awesomest camera) and continue to carry the promise of “PureView” technology in future Nokia handsets.