Groundbreaking PureView camera technology
We admit that we paid the bulk of our attention in the review to the camera on the Nokia 808 PureView, because we were mesmerized by what the 41MP module is capable of. As a phone the handset functions as good as it gets with Symbian, especially if you have some experience with this mobile OS, then your basics will be covered, otherwise the learning curve might be steep.
Superb video and audio recording
The Nokia 808 PureView is the best cameraphone out there, but you'll have to be willing to forgo the simplicity, function and comfort of competing smartphones if you intend to own it. You also have to be seriously imaging-obsessed to handle this as your daily driver. While Nokia has made some effort to make image sharing painless, these features are still limited, with constrained options and an OS that often collapses under the weight of even moderate demands.
Fantastic call quality
Make no mistake, we love this phone. The price means that we can't really give it a higher score, as it's enormously expensive. But, that doesn't change the fact that we think the 808 is a lovely handset, with one of the most remarkable cameras we've ever seen. It's a technological triumph, and a photographic one too. It's also a decent phone, music player and media system. Really, aside from a slightly limp app market and that price, it's got it all.
Impressive looking camera
Nokia's 808 PureView is best described as a camera with a phone in it. A 41-megapixel camera to be precise. Though its imaging capabilities certainly sound impressive, the 808 PureView's Symbian software will determine whether or not it becomes a success.
Best HD video capture on a phone
We have two conclusions, one for current Symbian users and one for anyone coming from an alternate OS.
For Symbian users happy with their experiences so far and intent on getting the best camera phone out there, the Nokia 808 PureView will be a dream come true. We really can't over-emphasise how impressed we were with its camera. Get it - it's literally a no brainer.
The original N8 was Nokia's attempt at a smartphone flagship that also delivered incredible picture quality; now, with Windows Phone as the company's primary focus, the 808 PureView can be Nokia's megapixel mistress, providing photographic titillation for those not onboard the Microsoft train.
Great for media
The PureView 808 comes with a price tag of 33,899, which is a little too steep for the handset, especially with competitors in the Android-powered gang (Xperia S, HTC One X) in the same range. They might not able to offer the same kind of camera functionality and quality, but they do offer better options in terms of overall usability. Beats Audio on the One X is a little better in comparison to Dolby and the 12MP camera on the Xperia S is quite good too.
Impressive processor speed
The Samsung Wave III feels like a quality smartphone in the hand and it has plenty of clever stuff going on. The build is impressive, and we like the big, bright, responsive screen. We begin to see how Bada could rival the best smartphone ecosystems out there. But to do so it will have to become excellent and win the battle of hearts and minds to take customers away from the current market leaders. It's a tall order, and Samsung has work to do in the UK to make it work.
Excellent Super AMOLED display
The Samsung Wave is an excellent test bed for Samsung's new smartphone platform. With TouchWiz 3.0 lending a strong hand, bada shows great promise. The hardware design is elegant and modern, and the display is outstanding. The biggest obstacle for the Samsung Wave is the new OS that needs not only to be fortified but elevated by a strong app store and a thriving development community that Apple and Google are so enjoying.
Slick and responsive
Let's be clear: the Samsung Wave 3 is a very classy piece of work. It's fast and responsive and has a great screen, it's easy to use and personalise, and it looks rather lovely. If that's what you look for in a phone and wouldn't know an app from a hole in the ground then you could do much worse than the Wave 3.
But when we put the phone down and walked away, we found ourselves scratching our heads about what the point is of the Wave 3 -- or more specifically, of its Bada software.
Excellent laid-out keyboard
Currently, the Samsung Stratosphere is your only choice if you want a Verizon 4G LTE smartphone with a physical QWERTY keyboard. We like Super AMOLED display, though we wish it were the "Plus" version, and the 5-row keyboard has a nice layout and is great to use, but can feel like it is sticking when trying to open and close it. The only real issue we had with the device is with the 4G connection drops, which are also present on the Samsung Droid Charge as well.
A good phone
There were few surprises in our assessment of the Stratosphere, if any. It's meant to be a budget offering on Verizon's LTE lineup, and certainly includes specs indicative of that fact. However, we still couldn't shake the idea that this is little more than an LTE-enhanced version of a device from the Galaxy S era, with just a few minor improvements in UI and performance. It's still a good phone, but it's more or less a rehash of a handset that's already 15 months old.
Full QWERTY keyboard
This device represents a unique choice, as all good smartphones should. Again, this is the only 4G LTE device on the market with a full QWERTY keyboard on it, and itâ??s the second of two Samsung smartphones on the market today running on that same network. This device is neither the most powerful nor the most sleek device in any category, but it DOES have a keyboard.
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