The Nokia 9 Pureview is one of a kind flagship device made by HMD Global in collaboration with Qualcomm and Light Co. The hardware and software utilized for this device is simply unique which allows it to perform extraordinarily well but eventually became the reason for its current state. The overclocked SD845 processor, the utilization of additional processing chip by Light Co and the fusion algorithm work in unison to create an image unlike any other device before. Launched in 2019 , the images taken by Nokia 9 Pureview, primarily day time images are capable to compete with even the most recent flagship camera. With Light Co departing away from the mobile segment, the Nokia 9 Pureview was left without the support it needed as the camera needs additional stability. This eventually compromised the Android 11 update and HMD Global offered compensation for Nokia 9 Pureview owners by allowing them to buy selected device at half price. This offer which was slated to end in March 2022 ,for some unknown reason was taken off much earlier. In most market, the device offered was the Nokia XR20 5G. Having experience with the Nokia X20 5G, I was initially reluctant to purchase a similar device just to compensate for the Nokia 9 Pureview. Eventually, I did gave in and was lucky that I could use the voucher code which was generated in December 2021 to purchase a Nokia XR20 5G at half price.
Nokiapower user have already made an extensive and solid review of the Nokia XR20 5G previously so in this article, the aim is to assess the camera performance of both these devices. In essence, the Nokia XR20 5G is not a camera centric device but it offers much more than the Nokia 9 Pureview. This device is built like a tank ,that even its body feels like it is already in a protective case. The larger battery along with a capable hardware makes the Nokia XR20 5G a compelling package. But this is no where near what the Nokia 9 Pureview offers in terms of imaging. The Nokia 9 Pureview is a niche device, made for photographers. With a focus on imaging, the output is simply breathtaking especially when it works as intended.
The fusion allows the 12MP sensor to produce crisp image with low noise, amazing HDR and rich details and the RAW capture is simply among the best on a Nokia device. As mentioned earlier, the Nokia 9 Pureviee requires tremendous amount of processing to achieve the above which became an issue. Camera app crashing, stuttering ,failures to save images taken and slow processing speed has shun regular users away. In fact, the Nokia 9 Pureview is only able to perform well in the presence of light, pun intended. In the presence of enough lighting, the camera is able to capture using all 5 sensors with up to 5 different exposures which is equivalent to a minimum of 60MP and up to 300MP worth of data, fused to produce a rich 12 MP capture unlike any other device.
The following are some samples of the images to better understand what both devices can do.
In both the examples above, the Nokia XR20 5G images are brighter with good HDR. The images from Nokia 9 Pureview is sharper though it was a cloudy day with better depth and color reproduction which is closest to the actual scene.
The close up images also shows similar results with the Nokia 9 Pureview having better separation ,details and color reproduction. But the Nokia XR20 5G doesn’t disappoint here as the results are not that far off from the photo centric Nokia 9 Pureview.
More samples here in my video for viewers to decide which they prefer.
The Nokia 9 Pureview is one of a kind device out there and its unique penta setup might be the last one we see unless HMD Global plans to revisit this solution in future with better hardware and having input from the previous Pureview engineers. But with that said, if you have to chose only one device to bring along anywhere , it has to be the Nokia XR20 5G with its above average camera performance,solid built, solid battery life and a more stable camera software.
For those keen to explore the details at pixel levels do follow me on twitter at DrNokia (@theoriginal086) / Twitter or Nokiapurist (@nokiapurist) / Twitter, another great fan of Nokia. Happy Eid to those celebrating and stay tuned for more.