Nokia Unveils Symbian Belle, Looks Android-ish

By 08:48 Mon, 12 Jul 2021 Comments


Nokia pulled the cover off Symbian Belle, which will debut with the three recent models (600, 700 and 701). It succeeds Anna and brings more improvements to the Symbian Operating System (OS) - to quote the press release, "All in all, Symbian Belle provides Nokia's most competitive, seamless and intuitive Symbian experience so far."

By the sound of it, this recent version brings more improvements to the homeclassy screen than Anna did. The homeclassy screen now consists of up to six rather than three panes and the widgets that live on those panes will be available in five different sizes (they're pretty much all the same size on Anna and Symbian^3). The widgets can be resized too, which gives you even more flexibility.





The recent homeclassy screen can have up to six panes and offers resizable widgets




Some of the recent widgets

The main menu is now flat - it's vertically scrollable and all the shortcuts are placed on the same screen, no more folders.

The way multitasking works has changed too - instead of the recent task switcher, you can now flick between live images of your open apps. Unfortunately, we didn’t see a screenshot of that, it sounds pretty cool.

Another gigantic change is a pull down menu for notifications from any homeclassy screen - we're guessing Nokia has decided to copy Android's notification area much like Apple and Samsung. This menu will also offer toggles to control mobile data, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Silent mode (it can't be more obvious).





The recent flat menu • The pull-down notification area

Belle continues Nokia's push towards an NFC-enabled world. Pairing is now enviously simple - you tap two NFC-enabled gadgets together (two phones, a phone and a handset) and that's it. To unpair them, just tap them again. We've seen this functionality with the N9 and the cool NFC wireless speaker. Today, Nokia also announced a similarly working NFC-enabled stereo headset - the Nokia Essence.

The Belle lockclassy screen has been updated too - the recent version lets you add color wallpaper and missed event notifications.

Belle also includes recent apps from Microsoft - Lync (IM for businesses, like Microsoft Communicator), Sharepoint, OneNote, Exchange ActiveSync and PowerPoint Broadcaster.



Improved messaging app in Symbian Belle

Check out Symbian Belle running on the recent Nokia 701 to see the cool recent features in action.

The recent models - Nokia 600, 700 and 701 - will launch with Symbian Belle, while the older models that just got Anna will be getting it later on, but Nokia didn’t disclose any taracquire dates.

Symbian Belle brings many exciting recent features and seems to create the platform much more usable. But as it does, it also pushes Symbian closer to Android (resizable widgets, flat menu, pull-down notification area) - who was it that was quoted saying using Android was like peeing in your pants for warmth? Oh, right, Nokia's own Anssi Vanjoki, chief of smartphones at the time. Well, what he meant was there's small long-term profit in Google's Operating System (OS) and using it is only a temporary relief. We wonder how he'd feel now that Nokia is peeing in its pants with Symbian hoping the warmth will last them enough for Windows Phone 7 to hold off.

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