I have had the Nokia 808 PureView with me for four weeks now. It runs the latest and last version of Nokia’s Belle OS. Before this, I had been away from Belle for many months. Using the 808 side-by-side the HTC One X has given me the opportunity to make some observations and draw some conclusions about the OS.
Belle FP2 Is Usable
The latest version of Belle OS is quite usable as a daily driver. Consider that millions of people use its less capable cousin, S40, on a daily basis and have nothing but praise for it, and its no surprise that I find Belle OS usable.
But that is where it ends. Once you pit it against the current iterations of Android and Windows Phone, it begins to look and feel stale. And that shouldn’t be a surprise. It just cannot quite hold its own against Android Jelly Bean, Windows Phone 8, or even the finely skinned version of Android ICS that the HTC One X runs.
We already know that apps for Belle fall behind what obtains on the leading platforms. In terms of inherent capabilities, Belle OS has no problems. It is still in the number of apps and the user interface that it still falls behind. It isn’t just as polished as the competition it is up against. And with feature pack 2 being the last update to Belle, the prospects of any further improvements are nil.
On the whole, there are features packed into Belle OS that the competition currently lacks or are poorer at. Belle does multi-tasking and app management nicely. If you need those features, Belle OS will work for you nicely. If those features are not absolutely a must, the lure towards competing platforms is irresistible. And inevitable.
Eventually, regardless of what happens, you will make the switch. Belle is a dead platform. All of Nokia’s new technology are going into Windows Phone, and ironically, Android and iOS. Nokia HERE, the new and improved maps service, wont be coming to Belle. WP8 gets it. Android, iOS and even the yet to be born Firefox OS will be supported.
Belle is end of the road. A brick wall.
If your Belle smartphone serves you well for now, that’s cool. But you must start looking forward to that switch. Resistance is futile. From this point on, nothing new is coming your way. While new apps are still being developed for the platform, it is not on the scale that makes it promising.
Some developers have walked. My favourite Bible app, Olive Tree, no longer supports Belle. WhatsApp is doing a fine job updating their app, but even that update is no longer through the Nokia Store, but via their own website. You get no update notifications.
Gradually, the Switch will happen and consume the platform. It is just a question of time. Resistance is futile. Whether you will be switching to Lumia, to some other WP8 devices, or to Android, you will switch. As I have. Yes, eventually, you will. Resistance is futile.