Camera: Pureview really works, but not always
One of the most discussed aspects of the Lumia 920 is undoubtedly its 'Pureview' camera. Earlier this year Nokia launched the Nokia 808 Pureview, a Symbian-based phone with a 41 megapixel sensor. It not only shot high-res photos, but it combined the pixel data in such a smart manner that it made very sharp and noise-free 5 and 8 MP photos. It was unsurpassed for a smartphone. However, aside from the fact that it ran on the already-obsolete Symbian OS, it was very large and heavy due to the large camera sensor and lense.
The Lumia 920 is also equipped with Pureview technology, but not the same sensor as in the 808, and instead has an 8.7 MP sensor. Pureview is basically Nokia's way of saying very high picture quality.
Nevertheless, the Pureview camera in the Lumia 920 is more than just marketing jargon. Nokia claims that the camera is mounted with a type of shock absorbers, which creates a typical of optical image stabilisation. This allows the camera to employ longer exposure times than other smartphones in low light situations, without the image getting blurry. This also works in practice. Most smartphones can't go lower than 1/13 to 1/17 of a second, but the Lumia 920 goes to 1/3 of a second without blurring. This only works with static or slow-moving objects, so it's not entirely the same as having a true light-sensitive sensor.
Since the Lumia 920 can keep its shutter open much longer than the competition, it performs better with poor light than not only the HTC 8X, but also much better than the Samsung Galaxy S III and iPhone 5. The picture below, taken in a dark hallway, illustrates this.
In good lighting conditions the Lumia 920 also takes great photos, but here it doesn't stand out quite as much from the competition. The photo quality of the Lumia 920 is in the top of its class and is generally better than that of many other high-end smartphones, but the differences are smaller in daylight than with little light.