THE LOW-DOWN: This Windows 8 smartphone differs from the pack in its extraordinary 41 megapixel camera. The sensor is larger than most phone cameras but still smaller than the average compact. The Zeiss lens has a wide-angle focal length of 26mm with internal image stabilisation. Nokia warn not to worry about the rattling sound, it is the stabiliser at work. By default the camera captures two images, one in full high resolution and the other resampled to the equivalent of about 5 megapixels. There are manual controls over ISO, shutter speed, exposure compensation and white balance, although we suspect most users will be content with full automatic.
LIKE: The image quality is of a higher order than any other smartphone camera. We shot a fixed subject with an Android, iPhone 5 and the Nokia, tripod mounted, and the difference in detail resolution, even comparing the Nokia’s scaled down image, is astonishing. For the first time in a phone camera digital zooming can be done without loss of image quality. Or you can zoom post-camera by simply cropping the big image.
DISLIKE: The lack of apps for the Windows 8 system.
VERDICT: The camera in this phone is revolutionary. DxO Labs rates it the second best camera in the business, beaten only by the earlier incarnation in the Nokia 808. However, the famous elephant in this case is the shortage of apps for the system and, in particular, the absence of the camera control apps for the newest cameras. And we could scarcely believe that Microsoft has blocked Dropbox, presumably to force customers to use MS Skydrive. Windows 8 is an excellent phone operating system but it struggles against Android and iPhone to attract application developers.