Nokia 9 Pureview Hands-On Review: Get Over Your Trypophobia

by Jamie Inocian  February 25, 2019

Spending Time with Nokia’s Penta-Cam Flagship

There’s absolutely no use denying that part of most people’s consideration when checking out a new smartphone, especially when it’s a flagship, is its ability to take photos. We’ve been seeing three cameras on some of the more popular options with the Samsung Galaxy A9 holding the record for having its quad camera array. That’s when the folks at HMD Global said: “Hold my beer” and began teasing us with the Nokia 9 Pureview and its five camera array.

It was a bit of a wait but we’ve finally gotten our hands on it and, well, if you have trypophobia you might want to face your fears for this hands-on.

Nokia Attention to Detail at Work

Say what you will about Nokia phones but you can’t deny the fact that their devices¬†are well put together. Whether it be their Android Go devices to their previous flagship devices, their attention to detail is uncanny. They were known for building the tank that was the Nokia 5110 after all.

The Nokia 9 Pureview is absolutely gorgeous with the really sleek lines and it feels great in the hand too. Despite the number of cameras on the phone, there is no camera bump to speak of so it will lay flat on the table.

It is slightly slippery and it should go without saying that its a bit fingerprint magnet. Those minute flaws are forgivable and it’s good to know that HMD Global still makes devices worthy of the legendary brand’s pedigree.

They did kill the headphone jack on the Nokia 9 Pureview though.

Display Worthy of the Cameras Snaps?

The Nokia 9 Pureview has a 6-inch Pureview POLED display at QHD+ resolution with support for HDR10. The “Pureview” marketing lingo basically means that we’re getting really good reproduction out of the panel so we can appreciate the photos we take this phone more. We’ll have to see how it really have to see how it holds up when we review the phone some time in the future but so far, so good.

We’ve been talking about the cameras a fair bit but let’s dive right into the nitty-gritty.

5 Cams? Is It a Little Too Much?

As mentioned, it has a penta-camera setup. That’s five cameras arranged in such a way that it should give people with trypophobia goosebumps every time the phone is flipped over.

There are two RGB sensors that work in tandem with three monochrome ones. All of them are at 12-megapixels and equipped with Zeiss optics. HMD Global worked with Light (whom you might know for that 16 camera devices making its rounds on the web a few years back) and Qualcomm to make sure you get the best out of this setup.

From what we understand, all of them fire when you push the shutter button on your phone at different exposures to give you a hell of a lot of dynamic range; that’s 12 stops for those of you who are photography buffs. We weren’t able to pull the photos from the demo unit they had at the experience center but they looked pretty darn good. We can’t wait to spend more time with this phone so we can play around with the penta-cams more.

The greater majority of people will most likely use the Nokia 9 like a point-and-shoot but if you like to delve into the cameras Pro Modes, you’ll be happy to know that they’ve enhanced it as well.

You can shoot long exposures at up to 10 seconds to caputre light trails if you’re into urban night photography. You can also shoot in RAW to really give your photos a pop in post via Adobe Lightroom, which is already pre-installed on the Nokia 9 Pureview.

Last Gen Innards

Under the hood of the phone is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage. We know it’s not the 855 but Nokia was in talks with Qualcomm so that the phone had enough oomph to process the photos but also give you a smooth all-around experience.

The Nokia 9 runs on Android Pie under the Android One initiative, which means it’s one of the first phones to get dibs on updates and there is a guarantee that it will receive updates for at least 3 years; plus points for that.

Providing precious juice to the device is a 3320mAh battery with support for QuickCbarge 3.0 and 10w Wireless charging. The battery capacity is a bit of a red flag but we’ll reserve judgment for our full review.

The Nokia 9 Pureview is priced at $699 or roughly around Php 36,400. We’re hoping that the local arm prices this device near this price point (or lower) if or when it reaches our store shelves. If they do, we think that it’ll be a solid option for folks who are big on mobile photography and willing to get over their phobia.

Nokia 9 Pureview Specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor
  • Qualcomm Adreno 630 graphics unit
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 6-inch QHD PureDisplay POLED display, Corning Gorilla Glass 5, HDR10 support
  • 128GB of expandable storage, up to 256GB via microSD
  • Penta rear camera: 5x 12-megapixel f/1.8 Zeiss cameras (2x RGB and 3x monochrome) + ToF camera with LED flash, full manual control, PDAF
  • 20-megapixel f/1.8 front camera with TetraCell pixel binning
  • Dual SIM
  • 4G, LTE
  • In-display Fingerprint sensor
  • USB Type-C
  • IP67 certification
  • Nokia OZO Audio
  • 3320mAh battery with Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 and 10W wireless charging
  • Android 9.0 Pie (Android One)

Comments (4)

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    Battery capacity is a let-down but everything else are impressive. Phone has a big display and hi-res. I dont think it will last until night time on a single full charge. Lets wait and see.

    Last year, i thought it was just an inside joke among manufactures, who could get the most number of camera sensors, but here we are. What next?

    This is really interesting but I’ve got trypophobia (still having goosebumps while reading the article) and that just turned me off. I wish they could position the cameras in a better way or have different shapes or something to make it look better for people like me.