Camera shootout: Xperia T versus Nokia 808 Pureview

by XB on 26th September 2012

in Imaging, Xperia T

One of the headline features of the Sony Xperia T (LT30p) is its 13MP camera. In terms of pure megapixels, there’s not too many other camera smartphones which can match the Xperia T. However, Nokia’s 808 Pureview Symbian wonder has a 41MP sensor that uses oversampling to create some of the best pictures yet to come from a camera phone.

The bods at Pureview Club pitted both smartphones against each other with some interesting results. There’s no denying that the 808 Pureview comes out on top overall, but it’s not as night and day as you might have thought unless you start looking at the 100% crop comparisons. Both phones were shooting in 4:3 ratio and on automatic settings putting the Xperia T at 13MP resolution and the 808 Pureview in 8MP creative mode. See some of the comparison shots taken below (click for the full size images).

Nokia 808 Pureview (left) versus Xperia T (right)

Via Pureview Club.

Thanks Dacha!

  • Ambroos

    I’m a bit unsure. I don’t really zoom on my phone pics, I just post them to Facebook the way they are. I do think the color and lighting is better on the Xperia T, so I guess I’d pick the Xperia T.

    But, if you want to use your phone as your main camera (or just for print) you’re probably better off with the PureView 808. Or just a proper camera and an Xperia T for everything else :D

  • domiboy7

    nicely done. nuff said :) colors looks more “realistic” on the Xperia T

  • Denis Logelin

    why do they put such a small (sensor size) 13MP sensor in that phone? Even in these well-lit scenarios, it produces an awful lot of noise and the images don’t look sharp in closeups.
    I’m truly amazed with Sony handsets (got the Sola) but Sony has to recode their photoalgorithms! Apple uses Sony sensors too and these shots look fairly crisp and noisefree to me.

  • M Usman

    the pureview pictures are more sharp and better focused with more accurate colours in my opinion

  • Metallica

    sadly the Nokia 808 Pureview is better, i just hope the Xperia V’s camera is better than the T .. since they use sensor on lens technology ..

  • i actually love th xperia T pics more… though in the first pic the zoomed in quality seems a lil better in pureview… but if u actually zoom into the T the same extent as zoomed in pureview.. T looks nice… anyway.. both are amazing :)

  • domiboy7

    Both Are BadAss cameras To Be Honest :)

  • reptile64

    Who prints his photos nowadays?? hmmm a 3% of the population?? Most of us just upload them to the internet or save them on our PC’s..!
    No thanx Nokia, I will take the slim and beautiful Xperia !

  • my god the noise level from xperia T is god aweful, sony hasnt learn anyhting from the Xperia S. Atleast its at much higher MP so you can shrink it to down sample. Hopefully that get rid of some of the noise.

  • Lunkz

    I’m a Sony fanboy but the Nokia wins. Its sharper than the Sony, sry Sony, maybe less megapixel but bigger sensors and better lens.

  • M Usman

    what’s there to dislike about my comment. When I say something positive about Sony, I get a hundred thumbs up. When I say something negative or say the truth about Sony, I get a million thumbs down. I own an Xperia S don’t forget and would never trade it for a a Nokia handset ever in my life. At least be logical and give me a reply instead of being a coward and hitting the dislike button!

  • surethom

    Sony seems to over compress the photos on there phones.

    Its not megapixels we want its a larger sensor, when will sony realise this??

  • Mark dizz

    The depth of field on the pureview is wayyy better and the pics are sharper. But I am a Sony fan and would probably get the T. BUT if the pureview weren’t running symbian I’d be all over it. Heck I’d even take WP8 with that 41MP sensor!!!

  • sexy dog.

  • A more interesting comparison would be the Lumia 920 and the T- nobody would expect the Pureview to be bested.

  • HG

    I see lots of comments about the Xperia T having too much “noise”. What does a picture’s noise level imply?

  • JDM

    sensor on lens technology and camera sensor is completely different.

  • doubleo

    I didnt know one thumb down counted for “a million thumbs down”. Stop crying and worshiping likes on a blog site homie. Get a life.

  • lethalmemo

    I’m not being Sony fan or anything, but I think (except for the last photo, the jaguar one) Sony colors are more realistic and pleasant to look at. JUST MY OPINION.

  • rafi

    Sony xperia t provide good saturate hue compare cold saturate frm nokia. But nokia have a very good zooming quality.

  • Sony’s quality of photos are much more greater than the others, even if they carry a 41MP or any other!!! Sony Rules!!! 41MP vs 13MP…

  • thiru

    Sony s camera pictures look some real but pure view looks some mixed color

  • blackbird

    seems nokia did a hell of a job there. though i love sony.

  • aldevar

    i think it is not the sensor’s fault. other phone manufacturers use sony’s sensors’ like samsung and apple, but the quality of their photos and videos are great. maybe it is just sony’s software that over compress the photos that make them look poor compared to others


  • Kin

    Xperia T photo quality really, really sucks, not even better than Xperia S or the GS3;
    shown by the photo comparison below,
    Relly disappointed :(



    In good lighting (as in the sample pictures) both camera’s may seem to perform closely. The results change dramatically when shooting at night.

  • Well, in this case you don’t need to zoom to see the difference.

    808 is much better.

  • I agree :)

    That’s why i sold my 808 and going to buy xperia.

  • sonyTheTop

    Nokia 808 Pureview is better… however xperia T come to close even 13MP ……

  • PRo

    Yep Nokia 808 image quality is Nice, But the difference doesn’t seems of “41 VS 13” however…… Nokia looks Fail with 808, Waiting for 920 vs Xperia T

  • hammer

    Sorry folks, but Nokia blows out Sony out of water … level of detail and DoF on 808 is superb
    Xperias are well known with bad flash and saturated compressed pictures. I have one :(

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  • boosook

    Oh, come on! This comparison makes absolutely no sense! The 808 blows away EVERY smartphone, including the new Lumias, and most entry-level compact cameras.
    The pictures aren’t even close, even in good light you can see a
    tremendous difference if your eye is trained. The 808 pictures are clean
    and the highlights are never burnt out. The xperia T pictures show the typical problems in low dynamic range and noise that you get in EVERY smartphone-sized sensor.
    The dynamic range and low noise level of the 808 are unbelievable and are something that no other cameraphone could match, unless of course they use a sensor as big as the 808, which is not possible due to space limitations.
    So why compare apples with oranges?

  • M Usman

    clearly you missed my point. i’m not even going to bother to explain to you what I meant. try reading my comment again and see if you can see anything beyond the like button. it’s not a frickin riddle. lol

  • Andrei


  • s-emo

    It’s a
    large 41 MP sensor vs. a small 13 MP! What should one expect in terms of
    quality? PureView’s quality is definitely better in details although one can
    only see this when zooming. On the other hand, if you look for a balanced
    solution: a thin body, fast captures and a reasonable photo quality – the
    Xperia T is the winner. I think that Nokia made the 808 with big losses just to
    show it to the people and use it as an advertisement for their future PureView
    phones which will have inferior cameras (like Lumia 920) but still use the name

  • xperialover

    yes but it want make that diffrence if they put bigger lens it will allow more light to come and it wont need all this electronic crap which make like hdr, or ex-more which all they do i increase amount of noises especially in the night in to the picture 10g want make that difference it wont make salvation or much worse than samsung It can be reduce on the excess of plastic on the bottom of the phone bellow the illuminating bar which is useless as a matter of fact it does not increase stability of the wireless, 3g or hsdpa range much comparison to samsung gs3 -> lets dont correct nature by electronics allow it to show the beauty it self

  • xperialover

    sorry for not use punctuation !

  • lovebmw

    41MP? and its a 2.81 MB picture? something smells fishy here

  • arrowthefirst

    It is so stupid to compare these small cheap sensors… They are the best for takin photos of text and, probably, photos for phonebook or instagram.. And it is so stupid use 8-12 and even 41 megapixels there, because even FullHD is less than 2 megapixels.. Here the difference is in focal length and white balance, but it is not essential.

  • boosook

    The 41mp pureview uses pixel binning to produce 8mp images. The images you get with this technique have stunning detail, stunningly low noise and very high dynamic range. So, in conclusion you get 8mp images that are much better than 90% of the compact cameras out there.

  • boosook

    It’s clear that you don’t know how the 41mp pureview sensor works, and it’s clear that you have never looked closely at its results nor you have compared it to
    It’s also clear, if you call the 808 sensor “small cheap sensor”, that you don’t have the idea of how big the sensor is (much bigger than most compact cameras, and almost as big as many enthusiast compact or ILS cameras).
    The 41mp are used to create an 8mp image with very high quality.

  • gonogo

    Sony fan but 808 is a clear winner here…

  • Metallica

    which means the V’s camera is different than the T’s … and they said it will give better performance.

  • i wish sony xperia t had nokia 808 lens …

  • The Truth Must Be Said

    I swear that sony sucks…NOIS LIKE HELL in Xperia’s captured pictures unlike 808’s
    sony should have used the new sensor…..
    another disappointment from sony to its hardecore epic fans.
    To the fanboys and people with small brains … don’t quote my post… I have rights to post my opinions.

  • hlorri

    The 808 sensor is anything but small or cheap. It is larger than those in nearly ALL compact digital cameras, even “pro” compacts such as the Canon G10/G12. (Not quite in DSLR range, but close).

    As for the 41MP, you are missing the point. The “PureView” technology was developed precisely to combine these raw pixels into larger “super-pixels”, especially in the wide range of the zoom, while at the same time allowing you to zoom in to the “native” pixel resolution (cropped to 1:1 ratio between photo cell and image pixel).

    I have a 808 PureView, and for various stupid reasons (mainly because my workplace now requires MobileIron, not available for Symbian) I just got meself a Sony Xperia Ion. I did some sample shots – and while the Ion does a respectable job for a camera phone (especially considering the slimness), it is no match for the 808. The 808 is just leaps and bounds beyond anything else on the market today (and likely, for some time to come).

  • Ed

    There are many blind here or I drunk too much beer? In many pictures I see SONY on the first place . Sony also illustrates the sharp background.For example, tree bark. Or to be fair, you must enlarged size of the head of the dog (Nokia photo)with a photo program to be equally high as in the SONY picture . Then you will see the difference.Sorry for my English!

  • miki69

    Apple(s) is yet to be compared! :)

  • miki69

    you do realize those were 5MP images from 808?

  • miki69

    We all knew 808 would win, no question about it. If you’re camera geek, spending hours looking at 100% crops in search for “perfect pixel” then 808 is the ONLY way to go.

    Having N8 (and before that N86), I have decided NOT to buy 808, but to get Xperia T. Reason – versatility! Mobile phone should be so much more than just a camera. With Xperia T you get most of it:

    1. Amazing screen (both in size and resolution) vs nHD 640×360. Hello??? It’s 2013 (almost).
    2. Excellent browser (pretty close to desktop experience), good luck with that on Symbian (yes, even with Opera it sux)
    3. Loads of applications/games – try getting Angry Birds Space on Symbian or any new game, fat chance! Navigon navigation? No f*ucking way….
    4. Design: Xperia T is the most beautiful device I’ve seen in years, unlike chunky 808.
    5. Excellent camera in Xperia T (for most casual photographers) Most of the time I browse images full screen, not full size…

    The only gripe I have (coming from N8) is lack of Xenon flash. If Xperia T would have it, on my chart score would be 10/10.


  • Kin

    that’s right, they could just keep the same sensor and increase the aperture to improve images. I’m no physicist, but I don’t understand why they don’t just make the lens aperture the size of a quarter to improve exposure.

    Today’s smartphone apertures are F2, F2.4; it’s supposed to mean BIG aperture – it’s just BS (It’s probably like F8 on your dslr and you know you can only use F8 on a sunny, sunny day). , there’s always underexposure and the phone reacts by increasing shutter speed, causing these blurs as the sensor doesn’t have image stabilization.

  • miki69

    Totally agree with you guys. Sony need to give up on “industry smallest” 1.12microns pixel size sensors.Even N86 from 2009 has 1.75 microns. That’s the key. With larger sensor (physical dimension), larger photon size… you will get far less blurry images due to camera shake especially in low light. With small sensor even a tiny shake is a disaster.

    Bumping aperture value (f) is just not good enough, as it means you have more photo-sensitive cells, but still very small sensor pixel size – it’s kinda contradiction: on one side you want more light sensitive cells (to collect more light), on the other you have smaller pixel size (preventing you from collecting more light)……

    I have absolutely no doubts that Sony is using higt quality optics/lenses, and I do hope in near future to see some hybrids Xperia + Cybershot T series lens:)


  • miki69

    No, “sensor on” is related to screen layer (touch input). It has nothing to do with camera sensor which is SAME as in T/TX.


  • civichief

    compare the fur of the little dog on the Sony T and the 808,
    The 808 shows every single hair. The Sony T just white areas.

    The Sony camera is not bad, it is pretty good. But the 808 is just better.

  • civichief

    5 pixels are downsampled to get that one interpolated superpixel.

  • civichief

    that the sensor did not get enough light for catching a clean picture. The picture then shows darker dots that were not there in reality.

  • 808 performs best in 5mp mode.

  • they have their ups and downs

  • Quark Gluon

    I’m sorry but there’s a little mistake here. Numbers like f/2, f/2.4, f3.5 are not absolute arperture measurements, insted they are focal ratios (f-numbers). Actual aperture is measured by its diameter. And exposure is mainly affected by arperture size/diameter. So size does really matter. Little arperture, little light.

  • Jonathan K

    u really do not know what ur talking about

  • Jonathan K

    Nokia won the Camera Race HANDS DOWN thats my reply

  • Jonathan K

    R u blind??? the Flower Nokia wins. the beetle No light blindness on the top of the car like sony. and The Brick wall and blue door Sony looks fake how do u not c this. NOKIA got this one EASY

  • Jonathan K

    I own the Nokia and I tried to make myself believe that I wasted my money and to see that other cameras Beat my 808, I have looked at many shootouts and hands down MY NOKIA 808 always wins 5 out of 7 pics, I know I made a good choice Some are Blind. The Beetle pic Nokia wins because in the Sony pic the Glare ontop the car is killing me, The Dog pic, the Lines on the ground and more Visible in the 808. The Brick wall I honestly feel I am actually there in the Nokia Pics colors are more real. and the Flower pic. Sony makes the flower look kinda white. OPEN UR EYES. I made a great choice. Nokia always won the Camera Race. I had the N95 now the 808 waiting for BB10

  • M Usman

    thank you, exactly my thoughts. hopefully the sensors in the 2013 xperia range will be a lot better! since I know I’ll be getting the 2nd half flagship in october next year when I can upgrade my Xperia S

  • sceamgid

    if you use ctrl+mouse’s ball , you can see that diffrence isn’t big with same dimensions.

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