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Nokia 9 PureView hands-on: a high five for lovers of photography
Nokia 9 PureView MWC Hardware review 4 min read 1 Comment

Nokia 9 PureView hands-on: a high five for lovers of photography

HMD Global did not give up the stage of the Mobile World Congress, unveiling four smartphones and a new member of its feature phone family. The Nokia 9 is undoubtedly the head of the family, especially in terms of photography. Here are our first impressions directly from Barcelona!

Is five cameras enough to win in this market?

The main feature is obvious. F ive ZEISS lenses integrated into the body that take computational photography to another level. HMD Global thus manages to surpass Samsung and Huawei for the number of cameras in a smartphone. But what about the quality of the shots? During the event, the brand showed some photos taken with the Nokia 9 PureView full of detail but, as always, we will have to wait for the final review to test this unusual camera setup.

The photo compartment includes three monochrome sensors and two RGBs, one of which is a telephoto lens, one a wide-angle and one dedicated to the depth of field. The five cameras, all 12 MP, 1.25 micron and 28mm focal length, work together simultaneously to offer a single, detailed shot. The images are captured in RAW format so that they can be easily modified later by the smartphone using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

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Here is the army of ZEISS lenses that don't protrude from the body in any way! / © AndroidPIT

Image processing and one-shot creation are possible with the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ mobile platform that reorganizes tasks across ISPs, DSPs, GPUs and CPUs. Definitely a team effort!

Now, from the manual settings of the camera app, you can also set the shutter speed up to 10s as well as adjust the other parameters. During our brief test, the camera app was slow to switch between modes. This is a pre-production unit, let's be clear, but the delay was particularly pronounced.

Secundated by the army of sensors on the back, there's a selfie camera that shots at 20MP.

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The monochrome mode in action. / © AndroidPIT

P-OLED display and angular body

On the front of the Nokia 9 is a 5.99-inch P-OLED screen with a resolution of 1440 x 2880 pixels in an 18:9 format. The Nokia 9's PureDisplay supports HDR10 for vivid colors and sharp details. The fingerprint reader is located underneath the display. You can also unlock the smartphone through the iris scanner through Face Unlock 2D. HMD Global renounces the notch, both traditional and drip.

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The power button and volume control on the right. / © AndroidPIT

The Nokia 9 PureView offers a 155 x 75 x 75 x 8.0mm e172g body weight and is made of aluminum and glass. Needless to say, the back is a fingerprint magnet! The smartphone sits well in my hand even though I found it a bit too "angular", despite the smoother lines compared to the Nokia 8 Sirocco. HMD Global has decided to get rid of the headphone jack but an adapter comes in the box. To protect the device from water and dust we find the IP67 certification.

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The 5.99-inch P-OLED screen / © AndroidPIT

Not Qualcomm's lastest Snapdragon

The smartphone is not powered by the latest Qualcomm processor but by the previous version, the Snapdragon 845. It's not the latest addition to the line but should be able to offer good performance. The Nokia 9 PureView launches on the market with a price tag of $699, higher than that of the new Mi 9, and for this price, I think you can expect the latest Snapdragon 855. The included 6GB of RAM and 128GB UFS 2.1 internal storage should ensure a smooth user experience.

As we are now accustomed to with HMD Global, the Nokia 9 ships with Android Pie and with a clean interface. The brand, during the press conference, highlighted its commitment to distributing software updates, a hot topic in the Android world where not all manufacturers can keep up.

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The Nokia 9 PureView features a 3,320 mAh battery. / © AndroidPIT

The 3,320 mAh battery can be charged using Fast Charging technology (18W, 12V/1.5A, 9V/2A,
5V/3A).

Nokia 9 PureView technical specifications

Dimensions: 155 x 75 x 8 mm
Weight: 172 g
Battery size: 3320 mAh
Screen size: 5.99 in
Display technology: POLED
Front camera: 20 megapixels
Rear camera: 12 megapixels
Flashlight: Dual-LED
Android version: 9 - Pie
RAM: 6 GB
Internal storage: 128 GB
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0

Early Verdict

The Nokia 9 PureView stands out from the crowd with its five cameras on the back promising a much improved photographic experience. For the rest, newcomer HMD Global decided to pass on the latest Qualcomm processor but that should not limit its overall performance. Considering the price of $699 and the current competition, it could have been part of the package.

Will the unusual and innovative rear camera make a difference and capturing the attention of the market? The challenge, with Xiaomi, Honor and Huawei around, won't be easy.

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