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.
Creator of MobilityArena, foremost mobile phone reviewer, historian, tech blogger, Yomi has been in web and mobile since 2001, and has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android and iOS operating systems.