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Nokia 9 PureView announced: This science-fiction phone is for photo fiends

The wait for it has been long, but now that the Nokia 9 PureView is here, there's a lot to like. 

Published onFebruary 24, 2019

Today HMD Global announced the Nokia 9 PureView, a premier device that targets photography enthusiasts. The device has been rumored for months and now that it’s finally here, there’s a lot to like.

Don’t miss: Nokia 9 PureView hands-on: Five cameras aim for mobile magic

The Nokia 9 PureView’s titular feature is a five-camera array on the back that was designed with help from Light, Carl ZEISS, and Qualcomm. HMD Global says it designed the phone to appeal to the world’s most passionate photographers and help them create the best possible images. That’s not all that sets this flagship apart from the competition. The Nokia 9 also boasts an attractive design, powerful specs, and the newest version of Android.

The Nokia 9 PureView stands at the top of the company’s totem pole for good reason.

Nokia 9 back end on a wooden table

Modern materials, modern design

HMD Global didn’t take any chances with the Nokia 9 PureView’s hardware. It treads the line followed by most modern smartphones in that it’s made from a mix of metal and glass. HMD Global says the series-6000 aluminum frame has been anodized, and curved Gorilla Glass covers the front and the back. The Nokia 9 only comes in blue.

Nokia 9 screen

The display measures 5.99 inches across diagonally. It’s an OLED panel with a Quad HD+ resolution. It adopts an under-the-glass fingerprint reader, the latest trend in the mobile world. There’s no notch. The 18:9 screen stretches nearly from top to bottom and features curved corners that match the curvature of the device itself.

A USB-C port is located on the bottom but, unfortunately, there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack here.

Nokia 9 bottom charging jack

The phone carries an IP67 rating for protection against dust and water. It can sit in up to 1m of water for up to 30 minutes.

Power for the people

HMD Global opted for the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor in the Nokia 9 PureView. This is the processor used in many premium phones of 2018. The premium phones of 2019 are expected to mostly use the Snapdragon 855, so why is the Nokia 9 PureView shipping with slightly older silicon?

Nokia 9 five cameras

HMD said it has been working on the phone for some time and needed to select the processor during the early stages of design. The Snapdragon 855 wasn’t ready when the Nokia 9 PureView was conceived, thus the phone uses Qualcomm’s previous-generation processor. While this might disappoint some, the 845 still offers a hefty punch and is backed by 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of fixed storage, which has become the de-facto configuration for many flagships of late.

Also read: Nokia 9 specs: 2018 flagship power in 2019?

Cat.-16 LTE will give the Nokia 9 PureView plenty of 4G connection potential. HMD Global hasn’t shared which LTE bands the phone supports, but given the planned distribution in at least Europe and North America, good support is to be expected. The latest Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS connectivity is also on board.

Nokia 9 blue back side

A 3,320mAh battery should provide all-day power or close to it. The device also supports rapid charging as well as wireless charging — another table-stakes feature for the modern flagship.

The Nokia 9 PureView runs Android 9 Pie and is an Android One phone, with HMD Global’s commitment to system and security updates.

Nokia 9 PureView camera a team effort

As previously mentioned, the Nokia 9 PureView has five cameras on the rear. All five cameras have Carl ZEISS optics and 12MP sensors. Two of the sensors capture full-color photos, while the other three are monochrome sensors that aid depth, contrast, and exposure.

Nokia 9 zeiss cameras

HMD Global tapped Light to help with computational photography. Light contributed technology from its Lux Capacitor image processing chipset and multi-lens L16 camera to help the Nokia 9 PureView’s five cameras work together as one. HMD was able to do this by tapping into the Snapdragon 845’s image signal processor.

All the images captured with the Nokia 9 PureView are taken in HDR, include 12MP of depth information, and are saved as RAW/DNG files. This gives photographers unprecedented power to edit pictures after the fact. Not only does the Nokia 9 create images with adjustable exposure, but many degrees of adjustable bokeh as well. To put this in perspective, most smartphone cameras with a two-camera array capture 1MP of depth information. The Nokia 9 PureView has 1,200 layers of depth data, or twelve times as much.

Nokia 9 held in hand

The Nokia 9 PureView comes pre-loaded with Google Lens, Google Photos, and Adobe Lightroom for searching, storing, and editing images.

Nokia 9 PureView pricing and availability

HMD Global said the phone is considered a “limited edition” device. The company would not provide any specific numbers, but manufacturing for the Nokia 9 will not be open-ended. That means a set number will be made and that’s all.

Nokia 9 PureView will be sold in Europe for 599 euros. In North America, it’s available now via Best Buy. Normally the price would be $699 but at the moment the price has been lowered by $150 to $549 (with an activation today) or $599 (with an activation later).

Besides the high-end Nokia 9 PureView, HMD also introduced several new budget phones – read more about the Nokia 1 Plus, Nokia 3.2, Nokia 4.1 and the Nokia 210 feature phone here.

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