Could the Nokia 9 Pureview be the best camera phone of 2019?

The Nokia 9 Pureview has been leaked again in a promotional video – and it looks like the five camera array is on the way with more post-snapping credentials.

Tech site MySmartPrice is claiming a new video is a leaked promotional effort for the new phone, and it shows off a number of new features of the phone. (A still from the same video was tweeted by @Evleaks too, showing off the new camera setup).

The first thing highlighted by the video is that we’re definitely getting the penta-sensor set up, with enhanced low-light performance being a key element (10 times better than a ‘regular’ smartphone, whatever parent brand HMD Global considers that to be), and post-snap background blurring a possibility with Google Photos.

It’s clear that Nokia is going all-in on its relationship with Google as one of the key partners of the Android One initiative, as most of the video focuses on the benefits of that rather than really explaining what this camera will do.

In terms of specs, the leaked video claims that the Nokia 9 Pureview will have 6GB of RAM, a Snapdragon 845 CPU and 128GB of internal storage – with no note on whether there will be expansion through a microSD port.

There’s also Qi wireless charging listed, allowing you to ditch the wires, as well as an in-screen fingerprint scanner coming too. 

Snap unhappy

However, we want more information on the camera – the ability to take five photos at once, combined with the use of the Pureview name (something that used to denote the very best Nokia cameraphones) mean we could be seeing something that really steps things up in the smartphone snapping game.

  • Is Pureview really worth it? Our 2014 Nokia test

The key thing is what the brand does with the hardware though, as it’s fine to chuck on a few sensors but there needs to be some great post-processing software as well, like we’ve seen with the Google Pixel 3 or the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, otherwise the technical prowess of the camera will remain irrelevant.

In terms of the leaked video itself, it does have all the hallmarks of being genuine (not least because we believe that the launch of the new phone is imminent, so such a thing would be being created at this time) so it’s worth putting some stock in these rumors.

Whether the Nokia 9 Pureview, which claims an edge to edge display despite some pretty chunky bezels, will be a flagship winner this year, remains to be seen. If the brand can have some impact in the smartphone camera game, though, that would push other big players to improve as well – which will only benefit the user.

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Best Nikon camera 2019: 10 brilliant cameras from Nikon’s line-up

Camera heavyweight Nikon changed tack in recent years, choosing to focus more on its enthusiast and professional offerings and a little less on the novice side of the market. 

Because of this, its previous 1 system of mirrorless cameras has now been discontinued and its compact line has shrunk to a fraction of its former size. It still very much has a number of solutions for beginners and those with a little more shooting time under their belt, but it’s the prospect of one day using one of its more advanced models that entices many.

It’s the prospect of one day using one of its more advanced models that entices many.

The most advanced examples include a healthy assortment of full-frame DSLRs and its most recent Z6 and Z7 full-frame mirrorless cameras, both of which also sport full-frame sensors. Below this level are high-performing APS-C-based DSLRs that arrives at various price points, with just a scattering of entry-level DSLRs and more junior-level compacts in the remainder of its portfolio. Here’s what stands out the most.

Best Nikon cameras in 2019

Nikon’s previous 1 system never really made much of a mark on the mirrorless landscape, but its newer full-frame Z system has got off to a sterling start with the Z6 and Z7 (see below). 

We reckon the Z6 is hard to beat for the price, offering a great blend of features and performance that should keep both pros and enthusiasts happy. The 24.5MP full-frame sensor is capable of delivering excellent results, while the 273-point AF system (while not quite as sophisticated as the 693-point AF in the Sony A7 III) and 12fps burst shooting should mean you’ll never miss another shot. Handling is polished too, while the large and bright electronic viewfinder is a joy to use. Excellent.

  • Read our in-depth Nikon Z6 review

Much like the company’s D850 DSLR (below), the Z7’s ace card is that it manages to blend a high-resolution sensor with fast burst shooting and a fleshed-out 4K video recording option, making it versatile enough to be used for all kinds of applications. 

Key advantages over its D850 cousin include 493 phase-detect AF points that stretch right across 90% of the vertical and horizontal axes, together with 5-axis Vibration Reduction that can be used with all kinds of lenses. As we found in our review, handling is great and the 3.69-million dot viewfinder is a joy to use, while video quality is also very strong. 

Only a few native lenses have been developed so far, although you can use F-mount optics through an adapter, and while some may be put off by the presence of a single XQD card slot, this shouldn’t realistically be a deal-breaker when you consider just how much Nikon has managed to get right here. 

  • Read our in-depth Nikon Z7 review

Still arguably Nikon’s most desirable DSLR, the D850 is a robust, full-frame powerhouse that has proved to be smash among wedding, landscape, portrait and wildlife photographers among others. 

Its key highlights of a 45.7MP back-illuminated full-frame sensor, 7fps burst shooting, a 153-point AF system and 4K video recording are supported by a solid secondary set of specs, from the 1,840-shot battery life and dual cards slots (one being the speedy XQD type) right down to illuminated controls for the benefit of those working in darker conditions. 

Clunky SnapBridge functionality and slow live view autofocus speeds mean that it’s not quite a flawless performer, and it’s now somewhat overshadowed by the newer and flashier Z7 mirrorless camera, but for those after something a little more traditional the D850 remains a stellar option.

  • Read our in-depth Nikon D850 review

The company’s most junior DSLR blends a capable imaging core with a light body and a fuss-free interface, and delivers it all with modest price tag. While we don’t expect many extras at this level, we’re lucky enough to get a handful, including a 1,550-shot battery life that is significantly better than every other camera in its class.

Compatibility with decades’ worth of F-mount lenses and a 24.2MP sensor that loses its anti-aliasing filter to better capture fine details sweeten the deal further, although the lack of built-in sensor cleaning is a shame. The fact that there’s no touchscreen may also displease those used to jabbing away at their phones and tablets, although on such an affordable model, it’s easy to understand Nikon’s decision to go without this.

  • Read our in-depth Nikon D3500 review

With its 51-point AF system and video recording topping out at Full HD quality, the D750 may be looking a little dated next to some of its newer rivals. That said, it was always intended as a more compact, lighter and more affordable full-frame solution to the likes of the D800 series, and if you’re not fussed about 4K video there’s much to love.

The sensor delivers great dynamic range and noise control, while the AF system delivers a wonderful performance against static and moving subjects alike, continuing to work well when lighting conditions worsen. The viewfinder is nice and large while the 3.2in LCD screen tilts to help you shoot from all kinds of positions, and while the body is smaller than other full-frame cameras, this has no adverse effect on handling. 

Supported by a respectable 6.5fps burst mode, two card slots, Wi-Fi and excellent in-camera Raw processing, the D750 would serve well as a primary body, but is also a logical choice as a backup to a camera like the D850 or Z7. 

  • Read our in-depth Nikon D750 review

While Nikon’s D500 may appear to have a few advantages over the D7500 on paper, the fact that this newer model borrows many key features from its sibling and costs significantly less makes it a better proposition overall. 

Crafted with the sports, action and general outdoors shooter in mind, the D7500 uses the same 20.9MP DX-format sensor as the D500, and also pinches its 180k-pixel metering sensor, with 8fps burst shooting, 4K video and a robust, weather-sealed body as further highlights. 

The focusing system isn’t quite as advanced as the 153-point systems seen in other Nikon models, but we still found it to be a commendable performer in our review, while images also impressed. Some may prefer an additional card slot as the body has only been designed with one of these, but this is very much a nicety rather than an essential feature. 

  • Read our in-depth Nikon D7500 review

The grand master in Nikon’s current DSLR lineup, the D5 is pretty much as good as it gets with regards to speed and response for the action-shooting photographer. 

It trounces its Canon EOS-1D X Mark II rival for battery life and autofocus points, and it boasts a higher-resolution LCD screen too, all inside a lighter body that has a 20.8MP full-frame sensor at its heart. While some fine-tweaks to its 4K video functionality would be welcome, the sports and action photographer benefits from excellent autofocus tracking, low image noise levels at higher sensitivities and a body that appears to be able to withstand whatever abuse you want to throw its way. 

Competition from the likes of the Sony A9 means it’s not necessarily the only model you should consider at this level, but it’s definitely one for the shortlist if speed is more important to you than outright resolution.

  • Read our in-depth Nikon D5 review

Nikon’s D5300 recently blew out the candles on its fifth birthday cake, which is quite an age for a DSLR of any level, let alone one in a fast-moving category like the entry-level DSLR. But, despite being updated by the D5500 and subsequent D5600, it makes the list because it’s still a highly credible option for those getting into photography, with a feature-set that rivals newer models at the same price point. 

While it may not benefit from the very latest sensor technology, the lack of an anti-aliasing filter in front of the 24MP APS-C sensor found here means that it records masses of fine details, while the 39-point AF system is more comprehensive than we would expect. The 3.2in vari-angle LCD is also larger than the entry-level norm too, flipping all the way around the face the front for easier selfies and group shots. 

The presence of both Wi-Fi and GPS makes it a logical choice for the travelling photographer, although the lack of a touchscreen is a notable disadvantage in an age where the feature is now expected as standard. Still, as we found in our review, it delivers where it matters the most, with reassuringly good image quality.

  • Read our in-depth Nikon D5300 review

We had mixed feelings about Nikon’s recent P1000 superzoom camera, with its monstrous 125x optical zoom presenting just about as many challenges as advantages. So it’s the more affordable and considerably smaller P900 that probably deserves consideration if high-zoom photography is your thing.

With a slightly more sensible 83x optical zoom range providing a focal range equivalent to 24-2000mm in 35mm terms, the camera is easier to work with at its telephoto extremes, with effective Dual Detect VR on hand to stabilise compositions and an autofocus system to works well in bright light. 

The lack of a touchscreen does show its age somewhat, although this was also omitted from the P1000 and it’s arguably less of a priority on a camera likely of this sort. It’s a shame there’s no Raw capture too, but full manual control over exposure does at least give you the flexibility to get it right in camera for ready-to-use results.

  • Read our in-depth Nikon Coolpix P900 review

Nikon’s flagship waterproof compact manages to partner its well-rounded spec sheet with a design that’s thankfully a lot more sober that what we normally find in this category of camera. 

Built around a 16MP back-illuminated sensor and 24-120mm (equivalent) lens, its rugged credentials include 30m/100ft waterproofing and 2.4m/7.9ft shock-proofing, with a GPS system, compass and an altimeter alongside. 

The further bonus of 4K video capture also means that it competes well with models like the Olympus Tough TG-5 and Panasonic FT7, although we would have loved to see it pack Raw shooting so allow users to hone their masterpieces later on.

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Trump ‘considering’ formal US ban on Huawei and ZTE

Huawei’s struggle to convince the US that it is not a threat to national security could take a turn for the worse should President Donald Trump elect to issue an executive order that would effectively ban operators in the country from using the Chinese manufacturer’s equipment.

Reuters reports that such an order has been under consideration for more than eight months but could be formally enacted this month.

It is said the order would not name Huawei or its compatriot ZTE by name but would give the US Department of Commerce scope to ban any supplier it suspects of being a threat to national security.

Huawei in the US

The US has long been suspicious of Huawei, claiming the company aids Chinese state-surveillance. Huawei has repeatedly denied such allegations and although it is effectively been frozen out of the race to supply major US carriers, it is an important partner for several smaller US networks because its products are cheaper.

Huawei even has a representative on the board of the Rural Wireless Association (RAW), which represents operators with fewer than 100,000 subscribers and is concerned about the potential impact of such a ban.

It is thought that a quarter of RWA members use kit made by Huawei or ZTE and that the cost of removing and replacing the equipment could be as high as $1 billion. There is no news on whether compensation would be offered to help with the transition.

Despite these apparent hostilities, Huawei has never given up hope of cracking the US market, telling the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that any ban would give other nations the lead in 5G development.

A filing noted that Huawei generates 60 per cent of its revenue outside China and that it sells products to more than 500 operators in 170 countries without issue – including the US.

Should it continue to be frozen out of the US market, it says that prices will rise, harming consumers and harming innovation. Ultimately, it claims, this could delay 5G rollout and hand the momentum to global rivals like China.

EE, O2, Vodafone and Three are all customers in the UK but other counties are becoming increasingly wary of Chinese influence on telecommunications infrastructure. This includes Australia, which has introduced a formal ban and the Czech Republic.

  • Here are the best mobile phone deals for January 2019

New Facebook Messenger ‘dark mode’ currently being tested in select countries

Glancing at Messenger first thing in the morning can feel a little like being woken up with a flashbang, particularly if your smartphone has an especially bright screen. 

However, that problem could soon be a thing of the past, with noted app-teardown expert Jane Manchun Wong revealing on Twitter that the Android version of Facebook’s popular messaging application is currently testing its upcoming ‘dark mode’, as reported by Android Police.

The catch? The test is currently only available to select users in certain countries – neither Facebook nor Wong have indicated which regions have access, though based on TechRadar testing it didn’t include the US or Australia at time of writing.

According to Wong, users with access to Messenger’s new dark mode can find a toggle for the setting within the app’s ‘Me’ section. 

Of course, as the new mode is only in its testing phase, it’s far from complete – an in-app ‘work in progress’ message from Facebook reportedly states that “While we put the finishing touches on dark mode, it won’t appear everywhere in Messenger.”

The dark mode test comes shortly after a recent minimalistic UI makeover, which saw Messenger reduce its number of tabs and refine some of its clunkier design aspects. 

It’s unclear when Messenger’s dark mode will roll out to more territories, but we’ll keep you posted when it does.

  • Facebook Messenger to introduce new ‘delete sent messages’ feature

Lexus LC 500: a vision of the future, with one exception

It’s rare that we see a concept car make it to full production with minimal changes, but with the Lexus LC 500 – on the exterior at least – things are different. It’s an almost carbon copy of the futuristic LF-LC Concept, and that means it looks absolutely fantastic.

With prices starting at $92,200 (£75,595) the future certainly doesn’t come cheap, but walking up to the LC 500 and sliding into the driving seat does soften the blow.

That said, considering the price tag, the Lexus LC 500 is lacking in one area – in-car tech. While on the outside it still looks like a futuristic concept car, the infotainment feels like a bit of a blast from the past.

However, with a naturally aspirated V8 under your right foot you won’t need a heap of tech to keep you entertained.

A glimpse of the future

As is already probably clear, the Lexus LC 500 looks stunning. It’s cutting edge design, powerful, low stance and sizeble 21-inch wheels ensures it’s a head turner as it rolls down the street.

The door handles are flush with body, and pop open like tiny wings when you unlock the car, allowing you to open up the large door.

There’s a cheekily hidden small spoiler too, which automatically deploys at speeds above 50mph, providing additional stability – although you’ll find a button in the cockpit to open it at lower speeds if you wish.

Under the hood we had a 5 liter, naturally aspirated V8, which means not turbo or supercharger and thus no lag in acceleration when you put your foot down, plus it makes a great sound. 

It’s connected to a 10-speed automatic transmission which allows you to glide along with very little effort, however a manual gear select can be adopted using the paddle shifts located just behind the steering wheel.

Lexus also offers the LC 500 as a hybrid, with a 3.5 liter V6 combined with an electric motor for more efficient and environmentally-friendly driving.

Lexus LC 500

The body of the LC 500 is a mix of carbon fiber and lightweight aluminium, keeping the weight of the vehicle down, with a core frame made from ultra-high tensile strength steel.

While this sporty coupe may look like a two seater, it actually comes with two rear seats as well, although legroom is at a premium, so rear passengers are best kept to young children (ISOFIX points are included).

The front seats are comfortable, and the cabin is spacious and as well as being heated, the front seats are also air cooled – which is a great feature during hot summers. It’s one of the features I miss the most when going back to my car.

There’s a surprising amount of storage space in the trunk too, ensuring you can take the LC 500 on holiday with more than just an overnight bag to your name.

Lexus LC 500 exterior design gallery

Take a look at the tech

The Lexus LC 500 isn’t exactly lacking in tech, but the way its implemented now feels dated – especially when you consider its futuristic exterior. 

We’re now accustomed to seeing touchscreens in our vehicles – and the fact there isn’t one here is a little alien.

The sizable 10.25-inch main display also feels like it’s set back too far which, in part, is a subtle hint that you shouldn’t be reaching your finger towards it, but I’ll admit more than once I went to tap the screen before remembering it wouldn’t work.

Instead, there’s a laptop-like touchpad located in front of the gear shift, which allows you to navigate around the interface, and you press the pad in to make a selection.

At times I found it rather fiddly, and the arrow occasionally jumped around a little, making it difficult to get to a particular menu in an efficient manner.

Lexus LC 500

There are physical controls for climate and volume though, so they at least can be easily managed while driving, but the touchpad does not lend itself well to ‘eyes on the road’ control.

However, once you get to where you need on the interface, the features are great. The satellite navigation imagery does look a little out of date when held against the like of Google Maps and Apple Maps on our smartphones, but it’s accurate and the traffic updates are on point.

Navigation instructions are also relayed to the (optional) color HUD (heads up display) which is projected onto the windscreen in the eye-line of the driver – giving you key information without having to take your eyes off the road.

The HUD also provides your current speed, direction of travel and lane detection notification. It’s a useful addition and one I used frequently on every drive.

You’ll also find an 8-inch TFT display in lieu of an instrument cluster, which can display a range of information other than your speed and fuel level including trip details, mpg (miles per gallon) and more.

Lexus LC 500 interior gallery

The LC 500 comes packed with a range of sensors which can detect the current speed limit and offer adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, automatic high beam lights when driving on unlit roads at night and sway warning.

There’s a rear camera which is engaged when reversing, making parking the wide-hipped LC 500 easier, as well as parking sensors all around the vehicle ensuring you don’t hit any obstacles which may be hidden from your view.

The Lexus LC 500 I was driving also had the optional extra of the 13-speaker Mark Levinson stereo installed and it sounds fantastic. 

Those who need access to power will find a couple of USB ports hidden beneath the center armrest, which are handy for topping up your phone on long drives.

There’s not a lack of tech then, but the LC 500 lacks the futuristic control we’d expect from a car with such bold exterior styling.

However, you do get superb, head-turning looks, a fantastic sounding and performing engine, comfortable ride and tech that works (once you’ve grappled with the controls), making the Lexus LC 500 a seriously cool coupe.

  • John McCann is getting behind the wheel to give you an alternative look at the wealth of cars – and the tech inside them – available today. From super-fast sports cars to tech-packed hatchbacks, he’ll take you through a range of makes, models, power and price tags in his regular TR Drives column.