Update 1 : It took some time but it is finally here! As at 25.09.2012
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(Nokia Belle Refresh updates comes in 2 mode – OTA or Nokia Suite. Nokia Suite update comes in a bigger file size. and Image source: http://worldofphones.net)
It has been almost 20 months since I got hold on Nokia’s 2010-2011 flagship smartphone – the Nokia N8 and over that 20 months, the smartphone have undergone 3 major firmware updates – the last update early this year (Nokia Belle) was major and that brought it somehow closer to other current smartphone in the market.
In the same duration of time, my Nokia N8 has power problems that had to be fixed twice this year (perhaps this is not the right gadget to play HD games – it is putting a lot of strain on the power related components). And when Nokia decided to ditch their battle-hardened Symbian OS for newbie Windows Phone OS last year, we did not really anticipate further upgrades to Symbian^3 OS that powered my Nokia N8 (I was anticipating a change to Android phone instead) but then they did – with Nokia Belle update which most thought would be the last major update before Nokia moves on to Windows Phone on a larger scale (even with Accenture still handling the development & support for Symbian).
And now it seems N8 is going to get another firmware update codenamed “Nokia Belle Refresh” which I think which will close some of the gaps and bugs in the earlier Nokia Belle update (this I think would be the last OS update for Symbian powered devices before Nokia focus it’s full attention on Windows Phone powered phones).
The Nokia Belle Refresh change log from My Nokia Blog:-
- Nokia Belle 111.040.1511
- Browser updated to 8.3 – Full HTML5 support, Offline services
- Nokia Maps Suite 3.09 – Use voice search for Maps & Drive, See photos on Map, Multipoint routing, Explore nearby places from Homescreen, Public transportation integrated with line information & departure times
- Nokia Social updated to 1.5 – Automatic linking to Facebook and Twitter, New Homescreen widgets, Improved performance, Renewed app layout
- N8 Specific imaging apps – Bi Screen, Colorize IT, PlayTo, Gallery Widget (photo wall)
- Ovi services renamed to Nokia services
- Improved Music Player – Refreshed “Now Playing” view, Lists are tabbed for easy access, and are swiped between
new Artist view, Play & Pause from pull down status bar (Status only, not toggles)
- New Widgets – Clock, analogue big, Clock, Mechanic, Clock, Text, Calendar, Agenda view, RSS Widget, Bookmark, Contact individual (social upgrades), Contact, group (group support upgrade), Music player – Medium, Weather now, Weather forecast, My location, Social widget, Facebook, Summary, Facebook, Twitter, Mobile Data Counter, Search, Email – New arrival, Gallery, Notes, Email – Detailed, Toggles (2G/3g, Offline, silent, BT, Cellular)
And apparently the update also includes a fix for flash video support (something that has irritated me for sometime now – flv files simply does not play well on N8). The update also has an all new web browser which seemed promising (but then again with the excellent Opera Mobile around, I am not sure whether this new browser will make any difference).
The existing Nokia Belle to be fair, has been impressive todate – it handles most of the multi-tasks well with a free (even with N8’s heavily watered down processing power) and well updated Ovi Maps which can be downloaded for free and without the need for any mobile data on the go and improved GUI wise, it can stand it’s own against Android powered phone. Nokia N8 already had a good design to start with (with anodised aluminium monocoque case, Gorilla Glass, AMOLED screen and yes, the 12MP camera with Carl Zeiss lens) and with Nokia Belle update, it just got better. But somehow, somewhere something was lacking with Symbian which may explains the move to Windows Phone (it’s app store was not the issue).
Symbian was definitely a powerful platform on its own. With the advent of other operating systems, it did lose a lot of steam, but it’s still chugging on with these updates.
One of the main problems was the limited app store, but besides that, the interface, the media and everything else was pretty promising. Symbian wasn’t too optimised though, and it did face a similar fate as Samsung’s Bada operating system.
As compared to frontrunners Google and Apple, it didn’t really impress that much and Nokia itself started looking at Windows Phone as its future premier operating system.
This latest firmware is yet to be rolled out in Malaysia so let’s keep the fingers crossed and hope that my ageing Nokia N8 does not go too outdated by the time new iPhone 5 comes out. Nokia N8 is still a damn good phone.
- Nokia Belle Refresh Rolling Out to Nokia N8, E7, C7, C6-01, X7 & Oro (thenokiablog.com)
- Belle Refresh starts to roll out for Symbian^3 smartphones (allaboutsymbian.com)
- Nokia ‘Belle Refresh’ Firmware Update Rolling Out Now (techie-buzz.com)
- New firmware 111.40.805 for Nokia N8 sighted on Navifirm (smartphoneweave.blogspot.com)
- Nokia tweaks Symbian phones with Belle Refresh (slashgear.com)
- Nokia Symbian phones beginning to get Belle Refresh update (mobilesyrup.com)