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This is another dialogue I had with a friend who asked me about my two weeks trial of Nokia XL.

My friend: Did you enjoy taking photos with the Nokia XL?

Me: Yes and no…

My friend: What do you mean?

Me: Well… I found the Nokia XL a nice phone with nice features but the camera was a bit disappointing…

My friend: Oh really, why?

Me: The Nokia XL is equipped with a point and shoot camera with very limited features that allows its users to snap photos without any ability to zoom in for details. I mean you can zoom in, but the quality of the picture once you zoom in is deteriorated…

My friend: Why?

Me: Because Nokia XL has 4x digital zoom.

My friend: What do that mean?

Me: In digital cameras, there are two features worth paying attention to when speaking about a zoom. These features are optical zoom and digital zoom. One of them is good and the second one is bad. Digital zoom is not really a zoom, in the strictest definition of the term. What digital zoom does is, it takes a central portion of the image and it enlarges it, and therefore it ‘simulate’ an optical zoom. In other words, the camera crops a portion of the image and then it enlarges it back to its normal size. In so doing, the image quality is lost forever.

My friend: So you mean to say that the Nokia XL is equipped with the bad zoom?

Me: Yepp… exactly.

My friend: What about other features?

Me: Well… the Nokia XL has different picture sizes that one can choose: These picture sizes are: 2592 x 1944; 2048 x 1536; 1920 x 1080; 1600 x 1200; 1280 x 760; 1280 x 720; 1024 x 768; 800 x 600; 640 x 480; 352 x 288; 320 x 240; and 176 x 144. I have never encountered so many options for picture sizes.

My friend: Which one did you choose?

Me: I chose the first option because with the first option I get the biggest picture with the highest resolution. You see I am a firm believer that more is better than less. Let me illustrate what I mean: If you have a big picture, you can always resize it to meet your expectations, right? But if you have a small picture, attempting to enlarge it will destroy it… So as a rule of thumb, I believe that taking a picture in the highest resolution possible and resizing it afterwards is much better than taking a great shot in low resolution and living in regrets afterwards…

My friend: I see… but what about storage and capacity? I mean, aren’t you afraid that you would run out of space by choosing the highest picture size?

Me: Yes and no. Running of out space is a problem I usually encounter when dealing with cameras and photos. With digital cameras, the number of photos remaining to be shot usually shows on the screen. This is the case of most digital cameras I used, but with the Nokia XL, I would shoot many photos and I would suddenly be taken aback when I receive the message that no more photos can be taken because no more storage space is available.

My friend: oh… What did you do about that?

Me: Nothing… Well… I couldn’t locate on the Nokia XL the delete button to remove any pictures… It could have been there, but I couldn’t locate it. I tried many times, searching for this option, but I couldn’t find it. So whenever I found myself running out of space, I would stop taking photos and simply enjoy the view…

My friend: That’s a good plan 😉

Me: Yes…

My friend: Is there something that you disliked greatly in this device?

Me: I mostly had time in the evenings after work to experiment with the device and you can say that I used it mostly in night photography. It took me a while to get used to it when taking photos at night. I kept getting blurred or out of focus photos. I thought at the beginning that my hands were shaking or that I wasn’t able to hold the device steadily for a few seconds, I realized afterwards that even with the use of a support, my photos at night would appear blurred. The trick with the Nokia XL is that you’d need to wait for a few seconds after taking the photo to move the device, if you move it right after taking the photo, the photo is blurred…

My friend: Ok… noted… So what did you like about the Nokia XL?

Me: The Nokia XL is a beautiful solid build phone, with a powerful battery that can last a full day on a single charge. It has two SIM cards. It comes with many games, that one can enjoy playing…

Here are useful technical features from the Nokia page:

  • “Photography
    • Main camera
      • Main camera sensor: 5 MP
      • Camera resolution: 2592 x 1944 pixels
      • Main camera focus type: Auto focus
      • Camera digital zoom: 4 x
      • Sensor size: 1/4 inch
      • Main camera f-number/aperture: f/2.8
      • Camera focal length: 32 mm
      • Camera minimum focus range: 50 cm
      • Camera image formats: JPEG
      • Flash type: LED flash
      • Flash operating range: 1.0 m
      • Flash modes: Off, Automatic, On
    • Main camera features
      • Main camera – other features: Auto and manual white balance, Active toolbar, Still image editor, Face recognition, Auto exposure, Center weighted auto exposure
      • Digital camera add-ons: Panorama lens
    • Image capturing
      • Capture modes: Panorama, Video, Still
      • Colour tone modes: Sepia, Solarize, Normal, Negative
      • White balance modes: Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Daylight, Automatic
      • Light sensitivity: Automatic, ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400
      • Photos viewed by: Album, Timeline
    • Secondary camera
      • Secondary camera resolution: 1600 x 1200 pixels
      • Secondary camera f-number/aperture: f/2.8
      • Secondary camera – other features: HD 2 MP wide angle, Video recording, Video call”

And here are some photos that I took with the Nokia XL:

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