What’s in a video? Why we think Nokia is teasing a new PureView Windows Phone.

Tell us your secrets, O fair maiden!

WP Central

This morning we awoke to yet-another Nokia video, teasing us that things are about to change. You have to give the Finnish company credit—even as Samsung is unveiling their new flagship phone, they know how to keep “Nokia” in the news.

Many people were befuddled at the short clip, which shows a woman with carefree abandon riding a bicycle down a road, mugging for the camera. It’s whimsical, cute and frankly it makes little sense for a smartphone ad...

That’s the case if you’re looking for a clue in the video, like the numbnuts at IT World who think it’s the “worst “ teaser ever.

But what if the video itself is the clue?

While everyone is busy looking at straps, items in the background, etc., they all missed the obvious fact: this was shot on a smartphone. Not only was it shot on a smartphone, but it was most likely shot on the Lumia ‘Phi’, which is expected to be revealed one week from today.

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The big deal of course is that that presumably someone else is riding the bike and the image is, for the most part, steady. We dare say if you tried the same, your video would be a little more nauseating due to all the motion present. The lighting is also impressive as it is notoriously difficult to shoot subjects who are back-lit.

Yes folks, we think Nokia teasing a new camera feature here, maybe even a PureView type camera.

Last week, we raised the question What is PureView? We argued that it was not so much about a 41MP camera sensor but the “technology” behind it, including the highly touted ‘oversampling’ feature, which allows you to shoot extremely sharp and gorgeous photos even at 5MP.

Part of our argument was that we did not see Windows Phone 8 supporting the necessary chipsets for a 41MP sensor, not to mention the notion of a chunky smartphone may not sell very well (despite how awesome it is).

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Instead we suggested that Nokia may do a lower resolution camera (20MP?) with the same PureView software as found on the 808. That was partially in response to Nokia themselves teasing the PureView on Lumia in a Tweet.

Combined with the video and a tip that WPDownUnder received from a “reliable” source on the matter, we think that indeed the ‘Phi’ will feature a high-end Carl-Zeiss camera with PureView technology in it. Did we also mention that Nokia teased the original 808 back in February via video as well? So there is some precedence here.

That video was your first look at what it can do. Thoughts?

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Daniel, do you think that Pureview technology will become a standard for all high range Lumias? Or will there be a specific "Lumia Pureview" which is separate from a different high end Lumia?
    Personally, i think it should just come standard. it would make the Lumia line so much more attractive
  • While it would be great to get it, wouldnt size be a factor? I mean great hardware comes with size doesn't it?
  • Thats relative :) harware from 10 years ago today is 1cm thin. Look at thw surface and similar pc or ultrabook from a few years ago... Hardwae is changing. So i think pureview is today smaller, why not this is Nokia
  • Sound logical and the probable truth.
  • Brilliant!
  • New camera feature? Likely. Lumia Pureview? I'm not sold.
  • I am
  • I'll be surprised if it isn't PureView.  Not shocked or apalled but just surprised.  Especially given this video and all and that it was shot on a phone more than likely.  My thought was that in a twist of things, we might see a video shot that's more stable and 1080p and that was what was going to change.  Also, she might look less like she's going to wreck the bike.  I wonder if that was done in one take or if she crashed a couple of times. :)
  • Actually, I think the risk of a crash under a controlled scenario like this is fairly insignificant. She appears to be riding slow, about 8 mph I'd say based on her cadence, and she takes her eyes off the road for no more than 8 seconds or so at a time. On a fairly straight and uncluttered path, she could easily do this ride over and over again without any error.
  • LOL look at my cool pureview phone oww I crasheddddd over the handlebars.
  • She looks perfectly comfortable and in control of the bike.  Cycling is actually pretty easy.... You should try it sometime.   :-P If done with any regularity it's amazing how comfortable you can be on a bike.  Control and handling skills are learned and reinforced over time until it becomes second nature.  (though in all fairness and honesty, even very experienced riders can have an unexpected crash every now and then... stuff happens.)
  • Someone should tell those boneheads that they've got their date backwards...it's 09.05.2012, not 05.09.2012.  Stupid yourapeeins.
  • In europe it will be the 05.09 the 09.05 is already past :)
  • Euro-centric
  • This is wrong only for Americans.
  • What's the logic in month.day.year? Fortunately we yourapenises, and most of the rest of the world except US,  undestand that day<month<year.
  • Come on, this time it's the americans who have it the weird way around ;-)
    Because d < m < y.  Putting it into this order is so much more logical than mixing it, isn't it? ;-)
  • I thought we Americans used m/d/y because we say dates like September 5th, 2012 and then have it 9/5/12 cuz of the way we say it. But I agree that d/m/y is much more logical. Just my two cent ignorance though.
  • Consider me weird, but I think the best way to present a date is year/month/day with whatever punctation you want.
    20120905 for example. I like naming my files this way, because... chronological is also "alphabetical." Going from largest, least specific date unit to smallest. And you can continue on into time... 2012. - We get some news! Only it's 1400 Swede time, so it's like, 0700 or 0800 here in the US?
  • That's interesting. Allow me to imitate you. :)
  • It is also the military way to present it....
  • Isn't America the ONLY country to have their dates the wrong way around?
  • it is taken with a smartphone camera. But as a photographer i say it is something new! Because a video is taken 30frames per sec. And this light on the girl is realy realy realy good despite the sun in the background and the container in the background changing the available light the girl is in every sec well lit. i think to 99% this is the new pureview but not 41mpx. Video at this resolution i think is only possible... Wait. On a wp8 with 1gb ram and a dual core cpu ;) nokia phi
  • They used the same font as in 808 PureView ad. Chances of it being a Lumia Pureview are highly likely. Plus they used same kind of background as in scenic nature type.
  • I never seen them or anyone else hyping up the Pureviews video features. Just the photo features. *shrug*
  • You weren't paying enough attention then. That's how Nokia teased the original PureView back in February before it was announced.
  • Mind.
  • Blown.
  • I think this is very plausible. Nokia is definitely going to be looking to differentiate itself from the other device makers and platforms. Windows Phone 8 is nice, but if it's just the "910", it's more of the same old thing. I think having the PureView technology would set them apart... it solves a major criticism of the current Lumia models, and it puts Nokia ahead of the curve on video and imaging. Regardless, I'm excitied to be there for the announcement! :)
  • As long as the camera is not underwhelming it is :)
  • Lol numbuts.
  • So a theory...the wave is a trig function...circle and then a line going down....aka a circle with a vertical line...aka phi
  • +1
  • Someone else had mentioned in an earlier article that Phi was the 21st letter of the greek alphabet, the video is 21 seconds long. Along with your wave theory I think we have a strong argument.
    Nokia Phi with a Pureview 21MP sensor, you heard it here first folks.
  • Oooh, this is my favourite theory so far. Yes, Google search confirms - Phi is the 21st letter of the Greek alphabet. Video 21 seconds long. Hmmm.
  • The "PureView" technology is not the only thing revolutionary about the 808 PureView: the Rich Recording feature also blows the competition out of the water when it comes to audio recording quality. Here's an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ur6La-ucGxM It's very likely that this technology will also make its way to the new Nokia WPs, and this video could be hinting towards that.
  • hey guys, I think I have just another clue. Phi is a letter in the greek alphabet (phi=Φ) and it is actually the 21st letter. I think that the "21" is definitely not a coincidence.. 
    see for yourselves
    Do you also remember the Lumia Purelambda? lambda is actually the 11th letter in the greek alphabet. 
    makes sense right?
  • That is odd...breaking out the tinfoil hat now.
  • Blown.
  • Awesome I was waiting for you to finish that thought haha
  • I get phi and lambda...but explain the 808
  • i think phi and lambda are just codenames... just like lumia 800 was nokia sea ray
  • Makes sense to me! Notice also that the video is 21 seconds!
    Edit: Just noticed nano beat me to it.
  • If this is not right, then this is a major coincidence.
  • I just responded with something similar to an earlier post before reading all the other comments.
  • I think at the end she will just crash and die because she is not using Nokia Drive for navigation.
  • Rofl
  • I can just see Elop in some bike shorts riding and filming this, LOL
  • Eww but I still lol'd
  • My take.. that is how Nokia is going to introduce WP8 with Pureview on Sep 5th. They will show this video and complete this by showing another guy shooting this video on his Lumia WP8 with Pureview. Pretty awesome. isn't it?
  • Hey Dan it must be hard sitting on all this information because of those nasty nda's. I love a good tease though.
  • God's honest truth: I'm not under any NDA nor do I have any special access to Microsoft/Nokia plans. Connections and off-the-record? Sometimes. But nothing in any official capacity.
  • @Daniel: I think this video is shot with an 800. While riding a bike its quite easy for a decent bike rider to hold the camera quite still and you can still see the obvious shakiness of an unstabilized camera. I have shot similar footage while on a snowboard with an 800 filming another snowboarder and the steadiness of the camera looks comparable. If you film with a stabilizer on a bike it is much more stable... certainly since they drive quite slow. Also the resolution is a dead giveaway this is not shot with pureview, it is only 720 and the quality is oke, just like the video camera of the 800. If Nokia wants to make a teaser than they are not that dumb to show the final result with "only" 720p if the camera is capable of doing 1080p. The sentence after 5/9/2012 everything will change tells you that this type of footage will become much more stable and better and higher quality (on par with HD handycam) with Nokia's new Lumia line with PureView.
  • Implying that this footage is the old and shows what is possible with todays smartphones. Than on the 5th they will show the same clip of a variation on it but then shot with the new Lumia PureView phones in 1080p with stabilizers and a crisp image.
  • WP will get pure view we have to be patient until Sep 5th... Which is taking forever to come!
  • Maybe we're still looking at this all wrong and what it really means is this: Video editing on the device :O
  • +1
  • ok lets not just look at the possibility of the camera but what else can we see in the video.
    COLOURS!!!  and lots of the same ones
    White - bike plus lots of the background objects are white
    Red- dress
    Magenta - cardigan
    Blue - Shoes
    Yellow - Handbag
    Black - lots of the background objects are black.
    More conspiracy theory than anythin else but the seem to have only used those colours in the clip, this sugests to me the colour spectrum of the phones being announce as well as all the camera teasers that people hve mentioned above.
  • Word on the street is that the phone being used to film this was filming from a boat and the camera zoom in is so good it makes it look like it right next to the girl
  • As a Finnish native, I'd swear the video was shot here, which means it's not shot from a boat:
    In the background is the bridge connecting Mustikkamaa to Korkeasaari Zoo. The area used to be a port where I was a stevedore for years, and watched the landscape quite a few times. :)
    Carry on...
  • I was fully prepared to pass on the 1st wave of WP8, but if Nokia puts the PureView on one with AT&T, I'm putting the Lumia 900 on Craigslist. I'd be cool with my L900. There's some stuff with WP8 that would be nice, but a PureView camera would make it a done deal. I'll have to dig into my Surface tablet fund.
  • +1...I better start thinking of a way to convince my wife to let me drop several hundred dollars on a new phone, when my 900 is perfectly fine. :-)
  • So if we are going by this video Nokia's next great camera phone will record 720p videos in Okeyish quality?
    I hope this rumor is wrong
  • A beautiful lady riding a bike and everyone just commenting on the camera....what a bunch of nerds ;)
  • I hope for the best, but if Nokia only delivers a Lumia 920, 820, and 720 with the same hardware as everyone else, they're going to be in a world of hurt mindshare wise.  They MUST have something that sets them apart besides apps.  I just hope that they don't set a high expectation, which is what they have done, and underwhelm.  My next phone WP will be based on camera.  HTC will come to compete I hope as well.
  • Get over the helmet issue folks.  "Professional Driver on closed course - Do Not Attempt."  ;-)
  • if the person taking the video is holding a transparent nokia phone...