Symbian/Nokia Belle not half bad

nokia-n8Well this is a pleasant surprise! I have had a Nokia N8 for a year now and my experience has been mixed to say the least. However, during this period, Nokia have continued to develop and release updates for it, and the OS it is running now is a far cry from the pile of steaming crud that it shipped with. The Symbian Anna update it received last year felt like an improvement, but ultimately the phone was still clunky to use with delays experienced all over the place, even when just opening photos and videos, and I found the portrait keyboard incredibly frustrating to use as the keys were too close for comfort.

However, yesterday my phone received the Symbian Belle update and so far it feels like a completely different phone. It was a little frustrating losing most of my settings, for instance I had to set up all my home screens again, and my email accounts. But it just feels so much snappier with photos and videos loading much quicker than before, and the annoying portrait keyboard has had a revamp with gaps between the keys so that adjacent keys do not get pressed so much.

So a dramatic improvement then, although the size of some of home screen widgets is a little annoying, for instance the new mail widget takes up half the screen, whereas before in Anna it was just a couple of lines. However you can have more home screens now (up from 3 to 6) but whereas before I had all my important widgets on one screen I now need to use two.

It’s just such a shame Nokia is abandoning Symbian as I feel they have made such good progress. I have read so many negative things about Windows Phone 7/7.5 that right now I would be happy to stick with Nokia (one reason is that I need rSAP support for the Bluetooth kit in my VW, which is not supported in WP7.x or many other phones either). What is confusing is that although Nokia have signed up to the Microsoft OS for future handsets, they are still planning new versions of Symbian, known as Carla and Donna, and even a new Symbian handset is due out, check out this article.

I think Nokia should be very careful about putting all their eggs in the Microsoft camp. If they do completely abandon Symbian they will lose a huge market for simpler non-smartphone type devices that are popular in the developing world as well people who, for whatever reason, do not want to go down the iPhone/Android route and also don’t want WP7.x. Symbian provides that additional choice that we will all lose if Nokia abandons it.

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2 Responses to Symbian/Nokia Belle not half bad

  1. Roos says:

    Having upgraded to Belle a few weeks ago I’m not entirely happy. My battery runs out of power very quickly, where with Anna it would last a day. The phone would auto switch from Wifi to 3G. I now have to do that manually. It won’t check mail when not in reach of Wifi. And I find it rather annoying that all pictures on Facebook are thumbnailsize in the list of updates and stay that way, even when you were to click on a picture, like you’d do when you wanted to comment. You have the option to inspect pictures but it still stays thumbnailsize. Am I the only one? If I want to see my friends pictures, I have to go online on a computer. It doesn’t make any difference if I use the default browser, Opera mobile/mini, Nokia social or the facebook app: pictures remain tiny.
    And my phone jams and freezes allot. And that message where your phone tells you that memory is full and that you’ve got to close applications. Had it all the time before Anna with other phones, never had the problem while with running Anna and now with Belle, it’s back. I’m seriously reconsidering of saying farewell to Nokia after 15 years unless they come up with an update for Belle.

  2. Hmm, I must admit I have had a few lockups/freezes, random reboots and bluetooth/wi-fi connection issues, usually requiring a reboot. But no more so than before, and I’ve not had the memory full error since upgrading. I still find it a bit slow starting up the camera, in many cases the moment is lost while waiting for the camera to start up, which is very annoying, and the kinetic scrolling is too sensitive, meaning that the contacts, emails, texts etc. all whizz off the screen far too quickly requiring you to scroll back.

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