In early October a new software update was released for the Nokia 808 PureView that brought imaging enhancements and other new features to the award-winning camera phone.
At the time, I wrote that the imaging experience on the 808 PureView was already ‘pretty fantastic’ and I did wonder what else could be done to really improve things.
So, now that I have had the software update installed for a couple of days, what are my impressions of the changes?
Tweaks and additions
Many existing users of the 808 PureView will be pleased to know that this isn’t a radical transformation of the user interface. No one will find themselves lost or unsure of what to do following the update.
Instead there are subtle tweaks and useful additions that, when combined, add up to make an appreciable difference.
I suspect that some people may not immediately notice the new enhancements and then, one day, stumble upon something they couldn’t do before and go ‘Great, that’s really useful!’
One of these eureka moments struck me when I was looking through the images in the gallery.
I knew that you could now view the photos in grid mode when the phone is held in landscape but I had forgotten that a batch delete function had been introduced.
I saw the familiar dustbin icon in the corner as I scrolled through the image grid and I was immediately able to delete several photos that I no longer wanted to keep.
As you can imagine, it was much, much quicker than deleting one image at a time.
One new feature that most 808 PureView owners will be able to spot relatively easily is the photo information screen.
Tapping anywhere on the screen to bring up the menu options when you are looking at a photo will bring up the number of megapixels that were used to take the image.
If you then tap the megapixel count, more photo information will appear:
- File name
- File size
- Exposure time
- White balance setting
- Date and time it was taken
- Location (if connected)
- Image histogram
As many owners of the Nokia 808 PureView are serious photographers (or at least people who take their photography seriously) showing all this information will be a real bonus for them.
What I liked the most was that you could press the ‘Location’ field and you were then taken to Nokia Maps to see where the photo was taken.
The main widget I have on my primary 808 PureView homescreen is the photo gallery, which magically rotates several images in an attractive collage.
Again, it is a subtle change but this widget has also been updated. Directly from the widget on your homescreen, you can now open up a photo and have full access to the suite of editing and sharing options.
From accessing one photo on the widget you can now also swipe through the rest of the photos in your gallery.
One other notable change to the imaging experience is that within the camera’s Creative mode options, there is now a reset button for you to quickly switch back to the default settings.
As I mentioned previously, this is another feature that dedicated amateur photographers will be extremely grateful for.
This software update also included some extra features on top of the imaging enhancements.
The browser was updated with greater support for HTML5 and the keyboard has been speeded up and made more responsive.
Most striking though is the addition of a new app called Car Mode. This gives drivers easy access to phone calls and contacts, Nokia Drive and the music functions of the Nokia 808 PureView.
In Car Mode, everything has been given oversized buttons and the menu layouts have been simplified so it only requires a quick glance to see where you need to press.
It’s a simple idea that will make a big difference for drivers.
Funnily enough that is also how I would describe this software update. It has many simple tweaks that have made a big difference. It has resulted in a wonderful camera phone getting even better.