Nokia has finally rolled out the long awaited firmware update sequel to Symbian Anna. Dubbed “Nokia Belle”, the new firmware has been made available for the Symbian^3 range of smartphones, including the E6, N8, E7, X7, C6-01, and now 500.
I had been using an unofficial version of Belle on my E7 for sometime before the update. As such, I could not update via the standard process. It had to be done manually. After a couple of failed attempts, I finally got it done and my E7 was smart bang up to date.
It is sufficient to say that Belle transforms the user interface of your Symbian^3 smartphone into something similar to what obtains on the N9. You can check out the two referenced links for more about Nokia Belle.
In summary, Belle brings the following: free-form, resizable, live widgets; more homescreens (now 6); improved status bar; modernised navigation; informative lock screen; Visual multitasking; and an improved web browser, amongst other benefits.
Unfortunately, this official update also comes with some bugs, including the following:
- When typing SMS, the character counter is missing
- No visual email notifications
- Wi-fi disconnects or goes dormant occasionally
- Upload/sharing of photos/videos from Galleria is no longer available
I am not sure how all these were left out of the new firmware, but there you are. In addition, there were a few times that tapping shortcuts on the homescreen didn’t yield a response – all shortcuts.
After the update to Belle, certain apps have updates waiting in the Nokia store. Be careful how you update.
For example, I had an issue with the IM for nokia (Chat) app. This app lets me use Yahoo Messenger on my Symbian^3 devices.
An update was available for this app, and I simply hit the update button. On restarting the phone after the update, I found that the chat app simply didn’t load any more.
Eventually, I decided to uninstall it. However, instead of uninstalling from inside the Settings menu, I simply tapped and held the app icon and selected “Delete” to uninstall. Wrong move.
To cut a long story short, I eventually had to go to the Settings menu to uninstall – and guess what, found two Chat apps under installed files. Apparently, the update had been installed side-by-side the older app, instead as a replacement.
Anyway, I uninstalled both, then went back to Nokia Store to re-install the IM For Nokia (Chat) app. After that, it worked smoothly and with a new sleeker widget too.
Nokia Belle is an excellent upgrade to Anna. It transforms any Symbian^3 smartphone into a totally different device. If you haven’t upgraded your device, I recommend that you do in the shortest possible time. In spite of the bugs I mentioned, it is a worthy upgrade.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.