Samsung Galaxy Note II vs Nokia 808 PureView – #BOTF12 Round 1

After a brilliant close-call battle between the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the LG Optimus G, with the Optimus G ending up on top, we now turn to a different kind of a flagship battle. This involves a fight of innovation and fierce market disruption from two long time industry veterans. Yes, Samsung and Nokia have been in this game far too long to be considered irrelevant. While Samsung is at the top of its game right now, Nokia have been more or less lost it and even came out of the top 5 Smartphone manufacturers list in terms of shipments, but they are still fighting, and to show the world that they have still got a lot left in them, Nokia released the last Symbian flagship device this year, and it was a disruption. At the same time, Samsung continued its dominance with its own innovation flagship, a sequel to the one that stormed the world in its first version, the Galaxy Note. Yes, it is the innovation factor of these two companies at stake today, and the ones battling it out are the Samsung Galaxy Note II vs the Nokia 808 PureView.

Samsung Galaxy Note II vs Nokia 808 PureView

The Samsung Galaxy Note II is the successor to the extremely popular Galaxy Note. Let us call it the original Galaxy Note for the sake of this post. The Note II is a massive improvement over its predecessor, virtually in every way. Lets take a quick look at the highlights of this device –

  • 5.5 inch HD Super AMOLED display – RGB matrix and active digitiser
  • Supports an improved version of the original S Pen Stylus, with various software related enhancements
  • 1.6 Ghz Quad core Exynos processor
  • Currently runs Android 4.1.2 Jellybean, with various specific enhancements like Multi screen, Pop up play etc
  • 3100 mAH battery

Like we saw earlier, the Galaxy Note II vastly improves upon the original Galaxy Note, with a better display sporting the RGB type sub pixels, while being narrower and larger at the same time. It makes it comfortable to hold too, at least better than the original Galaxy Note. The internals too, have been souped to best the predecessor in a huge way. The 1.6 GHz quad core Exynos processor in the Note II is widely known to be one of the best performing ones to have come in a device. And to top it off, the digitiser and the stylus have been improved too, the newer version works very well with the software on the device that depends on it.

To talk about the innovation factor in Note II, it is based on the experiment that was the original Note. The Note is meant to bridge the gap between a smartphone and the tablet. Tablets start at 7 inches while Smartphones max out at 4 – 4.7 inches, but the Note II at 5.5 inches helps fill the space in between. While this was a mere experiment from Samsung, it turned out that people were actually ok with huge devices that let them consume more and more information the way they wanted it, in a large screen. But Samsung did not have a one trick pony, the Note was very creative too, with its brilliant Stylus and digitiser support, it allowed one to take notes and instantly draw something on their phones, while on the go. Talking of one trick ponies, we now come to what has been a legacy, and the end of it.

The Nokia 808 PureView is nothing but a “innovation flagship”. There is no better explanation or a title for it. While Nokia was busy moving away from all their legacy onto Windows Phone, they felt they needed to showcase their innovation quickly, quick enough to salvage some pride as the cash reserve and the stock prices were tumbling for the worse. Exactly an year after announcing that they are moving away from the legacy, especially Symbian, they showed the world, the last true Symbian flagship device, the Nokia 808 PureView. Lets quickly look at the highlights of this device –

  • World’s first 41 MP sensor with a size of 1/1.2″
  • 5 element Carl Zeiss optics
  • Oversampling technology enables stunning imagery at 100%
  • Lossless zooming in stills and video enabled by oversampling
  • 4 inch nHD 640×360 CBD AMOLED display

As you can see above, there is not much going for the Nokia 808 PureView besides its camera prowess. But the camera is what Nokia wanted to show and that’s why we are talking about it. The camera is undoubtedly the best smartphone camera you can ever find, and it bests every other cameraphone out there. It even rivals various point and shoot cameras and puts them to shame. Such is the power of the Nokia 808 PureView and it was definitely a market disruption, much like the Galaxy Note. Not a single smartphone has come close to its image quality till now, and the video and audio departments are no less impressive.

But when it comes to actual market reality, the 808 PureView did much better than what Nokia had expected but with very limited launch markets and a specs that are not as drool worthy of a 2012 device, it proved a tough sell. But in the end, Nokia established dominance in camera technology on smartphones. While the Galaxy Note II is a well rounded innovative device, the 808 remains a one trick pony but still a great proof of concept that has left endearing images in minds that Nokia has still got it when it comes to smartphone innovation.

So which innovation do you prefer? Vote away! –


The voting is over!

In yet another surprising battle, the Nokia 808 PureView has won it against the Samsung Galaxy Note II!

You can check the other battles and standings here.


Author: Bharadwaj Chandramouli

Bharadwaj is a content creator who has been obsessed with technology since the early days of smartphones. He loves talking about tech, is a fan of good design and photography. You can follow him on Twitter @gadgetbuff_ to know what he's upto!