By now you should be intimately familiar with Nokia’s PureView prowess, which we’ve covered numerous times before. First introduced—at least on a wide-scale consumer smartphone level—in the company’s Lumia 920, the technology has changed our perceptions about what smartphone images should look like. It’s not about just cramming more megapixels onto a smaller sensor; with PureView, Nokia worked smarter, creating a technology that produces pictures that not only look excellent in everyday scenarios, but excel in low-light situations.
With the Lumia 928 for Verizon, the latest flagship in the Lumia line, Nokia kept that same incredible PureView technology and added a Xenon flash. Great got even greater. In short, Xenon provides more light when you need it. Theoretically that should mean more natural, well-lit images in situations such as a dark restaurant or outside at night. The brighter light also means being able to freeze action, and not simply emit light onto your subject.
Xenon isn’t a new addition to the Nokia brand, but in conjunction with the company’s 8.7-megapixel shooter, it promises to provide the best mobile shooting experience yet. That’s not the only area that makes the Lumia 928’s camera, or even the Lumia 920’s, so great. It’s an entire package, a sum of its parts compiled into one harmonious camera utopia.
Both the Lumia 920 and 928 have f2.0 aperture—one of the largest in the industry—which allows for more light to enter onto the sensor. Couple that with both the 920 and 928’s OIS and image processing capabilities, and you have arguably some of the best smartphone images out there. Not only that, Nokia has developed cameras with lenses that are separately encased in their own unit to compensate for your shaky hands.
“You can have a great sensor, lenses, algorithms and mechanics,” said Juha Alakarhu, head of Nokia’s imaging technologies. “But if you haven’t got them all working in harmony together, you’ll end up disappointed. It’s all about balance between the ingredients.”
Both of the devices feature the same sensors and PureView technologies, so we didn’t expect too much of a difference in everyday shots. But, with the addition of a Xenon flash, there should theoretically be a difference when the flashes are used. Can you tell? Like all of our tests, we’re reserving judgement in favor of community discussion. So, then, which one do you prefer?
As a note, we shot everything using Auto settings at the same resolution.