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April 16, 2012

Walkthrough of Symbian Belle on Nokia N8

I know this seemed kind of late, but I just thought of writing a more in-depth review about the Symbian Belle on Nokia N8-00. As mentioned on our previous article, the update was made available to select Nokia handsets since February.

It is only recently that I had a chance to do this (not so many units to review), so I decided to go through with the update and might as well write something about it. This may also serve as a reference for Symbian Belle, especially after Nokia announced that their next flagship device, the Nokia PureView 808, will (unfortunately) run on Symbian.

The update was done through Nokia Suite and whole process only took under 30 minutes to be done with (minus the download time). After setting up the system time and date and logging in to my OVI account, we are greeted with the revamped home screen.

The first noticeable change is the addition of HTC like digital clock widget (big nod to HTC) which also doubles as a clock settings shortcut. Next is the smaller icon with an even smaller label. Down below is three static icons for app drawer, dialer and home screen options.

The Android-inspired pull down Notification bar display your unread messages, missed calls or connectivity status. It also houses 4 shortcuts (Mobile data, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Silent) or should I say switches to easily turn it on/off.

The three additional home screens to house Belle’s resizable widgets are also some of the new features of this upgraded UI. Speaking of UI, multi-tasking and switching to different home screen is smoother and snappier as compared to Anna. Another thing I noticed is that the Widgets and icons are no longer restricted to preset horizontal locations so you can move them to any part of your home screen.

The lock screen also got a minor facelift as it now show notifications. Accessing those notifications through the lock screen could have been a welcome addition, but it’s still missing.

One thing that I was really looking forward to be upgraded was the keyboard UI. I had the same hope when I first upgraded the N8-00 from its stock OS to Anna. But to no avail. It’s the same case for Belle. For someone that has fat finger like mine, it can really be a challenge to type with the current keyboard, especially on QWERTY portrait mode.

Even in landscape mode, I still find myself missing a key or two using this keyboard, but it is more comfortable than in portrait.

By now I have given all hope in this area. I just convinced myself that the small screen of the N8 is just not design for comfortable typing with fat fingers that I have. Good thing is that there are other keyboard options that users can use in situations like this.

It was mentioned that there are productivity software that comes with the Symbian Belle update,. But it is nowhere to be found on my phone. My guess is that the update varies from region to region. Therefore I am bit excited for the Microsoft Office Mobile on this device. As I mentioned on my previous post, handsets that didn’t come pre-installed with Symbian Belle, like the N8-00, still have to wait for a little while for this productive feature. I hope that this compensate for the lack of those added apps that should’ve been included with Belle.

With all the hype over Android and iOS, device manufacturers like Nokia (before partnering with Microsoft) and RIM have been pushed to the sidelines because their OS could not cope with the consumer’s current demands. However I have high respect for Symbian for having improved so much over the years that it now has some of the features that Android and iOS started. With regards to apps, the Ovi Store needs a lot of catching up to do now that the devs are flocking to other platforms. In terms of usability, Belle is very capable, but it’s more like an old-timer trying to adapt the styles of a younger generation. It’s starting to lose its identity in a sense. Overall, Symbian Belle has nothing groundbreaking to offer. Nokia is expecting Windows Phone OS to do that for them. But like a common beauty, Belle is one piece of OS that can still be admired.

Author’s Note: This article was meant to inform and not compare Symbian to any other smartphone OS.

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18 Responses to “Walkthrough of Symbian Belle on Nokia N8”

  1. jessa says:

    Symbian is a great OS with a mediocre ecosystem. It is very feature packed and doesn’t need high specs at all to run fast unlike Android.

  2. unggoy says:

    “but I just thought of writing a more in-depth review about the Symbian Belle on Nokia N8-00″

    in-depth review e ung camera di nyo naman pinakita kung ano na ang nangyari.

    ni-review nyo ba talaga ang belle sa N8? :)

    • unggoy says:

      “Just to clear things up, the “more in-depth” statement was meant to compare this post to our previous one (http://www.yugatech.com/software/symbian-belle-update-for-nokia-n8-e6-c7-etc-now-out/). And I must say that if that’s the argument, I was still able to fulfill the “more in-depth” line in some ways.”
      –sana inindicate nyo na ‘to in the first place pa lang. misleading.

      “I must agree that this is not the “most in-depth” review/walkthrough that you might have about Symbian Belle, I’ll give you that.”
      –humility. apir tayo dyan.

      “However, as much as possible we are promoting a friendly discussion in our site. Thus if you have valuable insights about a post, then by all means share it and hopefully without attacking anyone or anyone’s opinion in the process. I believe that differences in ideology/opinion doesn’t always have to result to a clash or argument.”
      –wala akong inaatake. feeling nyo lang bastos comment ko kasi tagalog.

      “Again, Thank you very much for your feedback. Without this, I will not know the things that I need to improve on as a writer. I hope that someday my posts will be appealing to your standards. Have a blessed day unggoy.”
      –gabi na pre.

  3. gherhald
    Twitter: gherhald
    says:

    Symbian Belle is the best Symbian OS of Nokia for me so far, looking for Nokia Carla and Donna soon :)

    Keep it up!

  4. charli3 says:

    tama si unggoy. in depth ba to sir ronnie? parang overview lang ah. ni hindi niyo sinama yung camera app which is the selling point of nokia N8. BTW, iba na ang UI ng camera app ng belle kesa anna. some users even said na mas better ang image quality after the belle update. also after the belle update, madaming apps ang naging incompatible, kasi for ANNA lang sila. actually madami pa na dapat isinama sa review na ito, sana hindi nio na lang sinabi na “in depth”.

  5. Ronnie says:

    Nakikibasa na lan ang dami niyo pa complain! Huwag niyo basahin kung ayaw niyo! Peste!

    • unggoy says:

      poser ka ba o si Ronnie ,the author, talaga?

      kung poser ka, nakakaawa ka naman. tigilan mo rugby pre.

      kung ikaw naman talaga ang authentic na Ronnie, nakakaawa ka pa rin. Naging writer ka pa.

      pero tingin ko tambay lang ‘to na nag-rugby. :)

  6. Name: says:

    I have a C6-01, and was able to update my unit after a day Symbian Belle was released. First impression was that it tried to cope up with Android by having the pull-down notification display. And yeah, you’re right, users are having a hard time using the qwerty keyboard (even having small fingers). With other features, I’m quite satisfied with it.

    Anyway, I like this version of Symbian compared to other old Symbian versions.

  7. H says:

    i like belle’s wifi switch. dati kahit i-turn off ko, panay pa rin ang scan nya and automatically connects to any available wifi. bilis maubos ng battery, di ko napansin.

  8. Star ng Pasko says:

    Question mga repapips na postpaid subscribers ng globe.

    Delayed ba mga software updates ng nokia phones sa kanila? parang sa ibang telcom abroad, prolema lagi delayed software updates. minsan inaabot na ng ilang bwan after nirelease ung official update pero di pa din available sa mga pasaway na telcom. ganun din ba sa globe? thanks!

  9. vkicks says:

    ang updates ng nokia priority na ang asia lalo na ang philippines, kaya nga di pa nalalagay sa mga blogs nakikita ko na updates pag lagi mo check un software updates, d ko alam bakit wala pa office suite 2 na update sa inyo pero sa akin meron na at sa ibang may symbian belle. next is feature pack 1 and 2, goodluck sa mga android fans manlait kayo ng manlait sa nokia din kayo nanggaling. un pulldown notification nga pala di sa android un. nang-gaya lang ang android. GALING UN SA NOKIA N900 diba? ginaya ng android un. sa maemo? so wag na kayo magalit nauna android mang gaya

  10. NemOry
    Twitter: NemOry
    says:

    Symbian can never compete with Android and iOS no more.

  11. Jibreel says:

    will some1 help me with my N8 kc im running now on Symbian Belle pero yung ‘split screen’ for messages and searching for contacts, etc. ay nawala…i switched to Belle since Feb pero lately ko lng napansin na wala na pala yung “split screen” which i had before sa Anna..
    Thanks for any help…!

    • Turonbulaong
      Twitter: TuronBulaong
      says:

      Hi Jibreel,

      I’d be glad to help you out on this but I’m having a hard time understanding what you meant by split screen. If you can send me a screenshot on twitter, that may help me visualize what you’re pertaining to.

      Regarding your phone’s response to opening messages on lock screen, it may be related to your RAM. Clearing the cache or deleting junk files may help. I’m pretty sure that there’s nothing wrong with your N8.

      Hope this helps.

  12. Jibreel says:

    also with Symbian Belle whenever I receieve SMS message at naka lock yung N8 fon ay matagal bago ma-open yung new message…but there are times na mabilis din or ok lang…so i don’t know wat is wrong with my N8…

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This article was written by Ronnie Bulaong, a special features contributor and correspondent for YugaTech. Follow him on Twitter @turonbulaong.

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