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June 07, 2013

Nokia to Finally Deliver on the 41 Megapixel Camera in Next Windows Phone Flagship

We've been waiting for Nokia to deliver on its amazing 41 megapixel camera technology for some time now. Yes, there is the PureView 808 that does, in fact, offer the first iteration of the camera technology -- and we happen to have one of them -- but as a Symbian-based smartphone it is almost impossible to use. We do use it as a camera, but that isn't really the idea here. We want it all -- the 41 MP tech, the next generation Windows Phone OS, Nokia's industry leading image stabilization and low light capabilities and the Zeiss lens.

We're not being greedy in asking for this; we're merely demanding that Nokia delivers a truly state-of-the-art device. And hey, if Nokia can also deliver the infinite-focusing capabilities of Pelican Imaging (that Nokia recently invested in) then they will have achieved something that we believe is much more valuable than the collected camera gimmicks that a Samsung delivers on. Of course, you do need to have something of a desire to deliver great "images" rather than Facebook snapshots, but there are many of us out there who fall into this category. For Nokia it could -- and should -- be a real game changer.

Here is the good news for those of us who qualify as "image takers" rather than snapshot takers; there is a possible new Nokia smartphone -- the Nokia EOS (which may or may not mean anything branding-wise) -- in the works that may finally deliver on the PureView technology in its entirety, not as a derivative but as the full 41 MP system. Assuming Nokia will also deliver on industry-leading image stabilization and low light capabilities here as well, we can only HOPE such a beast actually exists and will become real.

All of this is, of course, just a rumor at this point in time. The rumors, as is usually the case, stem from "leaked" photos of smartphone case panels and assembled if non-working cases and displays. What do we mean by case panels? Take a look at the early leaked images presented below.

That yellow camera back begins to look suspiciously like it might be built to house the Nokia PureView 808 technology. More recent image leaks take us a step further in the evolutionary path, as the images below demonstrate.

These images show a cross between the Lumia 920 and the Pureview 808, and it is interesting to see the tapered ends of the case appear, a departure from the PureView 808 design. Here is the final image we'll share:

The image above could be showing the PureView 41 MP technology. We should note here that the PureView 808 actually provides a cover that slides over the lens (underneath the glass cover) when the camera is not in use. In the image above, the camera is either active or the cover is not present. In and of itself this doesn't mean anything; for all we know the above is simply a non-working mockup.

Is the Nokia EOS Real?

All in all however, the leaked images certainly suggest that Nokia has an advanced smartphone camera up its sleeve. We know the actual technology exists; in and of itself the 41 MP technology is highly sophisticated and handling and managing 41 MP of information is in fact a kind of big data project in and of itself. And it makes a great deal of sense for Nokia to get it out there sooner than later; no other vendor can make this happen any time soon as far as we know.

The big question is what will Microsoft be able to deliver should Nokia launch the new device before the summer is out (possibly in July per several rumors)? It would be truly unfortunate if Nokia finds itself in need of shipping with a Windows Phone release that is not the next really big release of Windows Phone. It would be a disaster if Nokia shipped the new device and found itself in the same situation it did between the Lumia 900 and 920 - recall that the 900 was not upgradable to Windows Phone 8! We surely hope that Microsoft is able to deliver for Nokia.

Finally, we hope the infinite focusing Pelican technology puts in an appearance as well, along with onboard camera application capabilities that can raise the bar for Nokia over its competitors. Remember, we are looking for a high end "images" capability; we simply do not care about snapshots. Nokia, of course, will need to serve both audiences, and for this it needs to rely on Microsoft delivering the next version of WP8 to do so.

Good luck, Nokia; we're rooting for the next generation to show up sooner than later.

A tip of the hat to www.gsmarena.com for the first four images above and to ViziLeaks (try it as a Twitter handle) for the final image.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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