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Nokia 808 PureView has 41-megapixel camera in official pics

Nokia's upped the image stakes significantly, with a 41-megapixel camera built into the 808 PureView. But it runs Symbian?

Joe Svetlik
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The new Nokia 808 PureView boasts a ridiculous 41-megapixel camera. Considering 12-megapixels is standard on high-end smart phones, 41 really is quite the step up. More of a leap, really.

And it's not a one-off. This morning at MWC, Nokia announced it'll introduce the same technologies into other phones in the future. This could potentially usher in a whole new generation of camera phones.

But what does the 41-megapixel sensor actually mean when you use it? Well you have the option of snapping at different resolutions. You can take standard 5- or 8-megapixel snaps and blow them up to a ridiculous size, if you want to frame them for your wall. The maximum resolution you can shoot at is 38 megapixels -- do so, and you can zoom in for amazing detail that you would've missed on a standard resolution shot.

Snap a street scene, and you can get close enough to read the print on a newspaper. Nokia claims 7 pixels of information are condensed into 1 pixel, allowing you to zoom in for this level of detail.

A huge sensor is of course no use without a decent lens, so thankfully the 808 Pureview has Carl Zeiss optics on board.

We'll have to wait for a full review to see if Nokia's claims hold up, but it'll be interesting to see if this is a true game changer.

The PureView runs Symbian Belle, and while that may seem a bit of a surprise, Nokia has made clear that it's just the first phone to use this tech, and that it'll roll out to other handsets soon. I expect we're likely to see a Windows Phone equivalent pretty soon.

There's 512MB of RAM, and 16GB of storage you can expand using a microSD. And you'll need to, if you're snapping 38-megapixel pictures. The PureView can record videos at 1080p HD, and it features Nokia Rich Recording for CD-like sound quality without the need for external microphones. Dolby Digital Plus is also on board for 5.1 surround sound.

The phone will be on sale in May for €450 (£380). Is this the start of a new era of camera phones? Or is Nokia just playing the numbers game? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, or over on Facebook -- and check out Rich's hands-on video below.

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