nokia vs sony flagship handsetsWe’re all used to hearing about megapixels when it comes to camera technology, but how can we tell apart devices which offer roughly the same specs? Often it’s the quality of the sensor and behind the scenes processing which ultimately ends up determining just how crystal clear our smartphone pictures turn out. But judging quality is pretty much impossible in advance of making a purchase.

Well Marc over at the PureViewClub website has kindly put together a test, to help show us the differences between some of Nokia’s and Sony’s flagship devices. He’s put together a collection of sample shots from the Xperia S, recently released Xperia Z, Nokia N8, 808 Pureview, and Lumia 920. The 808 Pureview’s camera is set to just 12Mp, from the maximum of 41Mp, to keep the test fair.

The video goes through six different pictures taken with each of the five smartphones, followed by some 640×360 cropped images so that you can focus in on all the details, regardless of the camera’s maximum resolution. I recommended watching in 1080p.

Oddly the newer Xperia Z and Lumia 920 handsets appear quite blurry when you crop and zoom in on the picture, and these two also seem a little over saturated compared with some of the older Nokia smartphones. In my opinion the Nokia 808 looks the best overall, even at the lower resolutions. I’m pretty disappointed in the performance of the Xperia Z; I was expecting a bit more from this otherwise impressive handset.

It’s certainly an interesting comparison. If you want browse through the entire collection of stills, you can check out the full collection of images on flickr.