Layman’s take on Symbian Belle-A big walkthrough

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Once I got hold on Symbian Belle on my Nokia N8 then it was kind of due to bring a Layman’s Take style big walkthrough of Symbian Belle. Though still one needs to understand that the firmware, I am using on my phone is a leaked and half baked one, so there might be major changes afterwards.

What is Symbian Belle?

The latest firmware update to Symbian^3 devices, Symbian Belle, is what Symbian^3 PR3.0 was supposed to be. A kind of rename for understanding of n00bs rather than confusing them with various version numbers. Its something that seems to be influenced from Android itself (Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, IceCream Sandwitch, Honeycomb ….).

Symbian Belle is the first Symbian^3 update that is supposed to bring major UI changes throughout the Symbian^3 lineup. It will change many Symbian UI paradigms and also the way, we know Symbian till now. A true modernization of Symbian without alienating existing user habits.

Is Symbian Belle the last stop for Symbian^3?

While developers and insiders were already aware of it, Nokia has confirmed officially that despite of the fact that Company is moving toward Windows Phones, Symbian Belle will not be the last update to Symbian platform.

We already seen glimpses of Symbian^4 back in Feb 2010, which though definitely feels outdated now, but still there been lots of references to Symbian^4 in Symbian bugzilla since then and so hard to deny the fact that Symbian^4 will be the next step.

Sure, it will have a new name like Anna or Belle and also there are no exact ideas that what features it’ll bring on board as many of the Symbian^4 changes are already being incorporated into Symbian Belle itself. But there is a big hope.


Now, let’s go through new features of Symbian Belle …

1. New Lock screen

We have seen some changes in the Lock Screen with Symbian Anna itself, when we got notifications on lock screen, but Symbian Belle takes it a step further. Not only there are cosmetic changes in Clock, which feels like 3D now, you see a glossy and colorful lock screen rather than old black one.

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Yes! the standby screen will still stay black (first screenshot) without any mention of signals, battery, bluetooth, data connection etc, but that is totally understandable as queries all those values takes precious battery life that sure would have been unnecessary in standby.

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Promise delivered, Nokia N8 gets CAF\30 FPS and much more via Betalabs Update

As I wrote in last post that Monday will see one more update specifically for Nokia N8 Camera, the good news just got in. You can download the update from Nokia BetaLabs right now via the following link

http://betalabs.nokia.com/apps/camera-update

Beta Labs Update Still Capture Viewfinder Beta Labs Update Video Capture Viewfinder

But its just not the Continuous Auto-Focus (CAF) and 30 fps recording than earlier 25fps, but Damian and team have aimed for many other request and delivered about each. Like some of the highly requested features were as follows:

  • Ability to record video at closer distances (Macro Video Recording)
  • Smoother video of moving subjects or when panning
  • Faster access to scene modes, especially close-up mode
  • Exposure control in video
  • Viewfinder grid not effected by scene modes, camera exit/reopening
  • Smoother zoom
  • Settings accessed through one control point
  • Red-eye reduction performance improvements

And its good to hear that all of the requests are fulfilled and delivered by a new Camera App via Betalabs (1.64mb in size). You can find the details at the official blog post.

Beta Labs Update Still Capture Flash SettingsBeta Labs Update Video Capture Scenes

Beta Labs Update Video Capture with Grid ViewfinderBeta Labs Update Video Capture Settings    

Cheers.. and big thanks to @phonedaz

Note: Its applicable only after Symbian Anna update

Laymans take on Nokia E7-BIG overview from a Nokia N8 user

Its been quite a while now, since I had Nokia E7-00 in my hands (Thanks to awesome people at Womworld/Nokia) and I was intentionally delaying the post till now as wished to start the review only after getting used to it in real life terms. So, after around 2 weeks, this is the right time.


Nokia E7-00: The box

The another blue box and by putting Nokia N8’s box (on the left in picture) in side, I am already clarifying that the whole review will keep the Nokia N8 experience in mind. A perspective that most of you wished to listen.

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While this time, the box is smaller on horizontal scale than already small Nokia N8 box, it’s a bit thicker. Also in place of dark and elegant engraving like Nokia N8\ Nokia N900, Nokia chosen the colorful ways to show off the feature that makes the difference, the HW QWERTY.

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Do not wait, No Symbian^3 PR2.0 in 2011 Q1

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Update 2: Thanks to our beloved @phonedaz (Damian Dining, the man behind awesome N8 camera), we have got some more updates on PR2.0 and this time it doesn’t look that bad, as I wrote in first go.PhoneDaz2

Phone

Though still no dates apart from the usual “early”, but we can believe on words of him for sure.

Phonedaz3

He also didn’t went for holding his opinions on Split Qwerty and Browser that seems more necessary for Symbian users than any kind of “radical UI changes” as of now. He confirmed that both of those most wanted features are a must part of next coming update that is coming before May/ June.

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More software update love for Nokia N8-MobilBox Pro and DAB Radio

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Yes! I am not talking about PR1.1, its something new that appeared on my Nokia N8 by today only.

swupdate n8

We know a little about DAB update as it first appeared with video subtitle support update back in Janaury 2011, but that time it was not available for Indian Nokia N8 units like mine. But this time looks like it got released worldwide finally.

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Firmware update PR1.1 for Nokia N8 is live on Navifirm – Change log (Video preview included)

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Update: Official firmware update is already up. If not received yet, then you can download it via navifirm. For Indian Dark Gray version, size is 154 mb. I can upload if anyone needs that.

Update: Thanks to @N8ws, we have found a quick video of Nokia N8 running the new firmware, check it at the end of post.

Update: It seems that Nokia has removed this particular firmware from their servers or denied the access. Its showing but not there anymore. Either out for release or access removed.There are some tweets saying that Indian Product code 0599255 got the new firmware, but mine is the same and HAVEN’T got it yet neither Navifirm showing it in product external.

Finally what we all were waiting for and I even reported in my last posts is about to appear anytime soon. Navifirm started showing PR 1.1 as 13.015 firmware version. Though its only scandinavia and still in only quality assurance mode, but it means that PR1.1 is finally coming, may be tomorrow.

“NAVIFIRM is used for downloading Nokia firmware images, obtaining lists of product codes, and finding the right product code for your phone. NAVIFIRM downloads all this straight from Nokia’s servers so you don’t have to wait for people to post data packages and lists of product codes.”

You can download navifirm from here

Note: Who don’t know about it Scandinavia is a region in northern Europe that includes Denmark and two of the Scandinavian Peninsula’s countries, Norway and Sweden, even include Finland and Island as per our prompt reader Hese 🙂

firmwareupdate

The change log

  • New features: landscape dialer, search for music, pictures and etc with new split input interface (cool), cached web pages with forward and backword buttons, configuration of view for functions,(grid and list), navigation using address from contact book
  • Bug fixes: WLAN search, the functionality of not saving the message for SMS, keyboard …
  • Touch responsiveness: people should have receive with yesterdays’ update
  • stability and minor improvement in mail setup etc
  • They also seem to have cured the Nokia N8 reset fiasco, but who will try it first?

And if we believe Alex68 from @MyNokiaBlog, who provided this change log, then the official release date is January 21, 2011 at earliest unlikely before it.

For people who missed the download and wanna try it before, here goes the download links

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Apps update 1.0 for Nokia N8 – Change log

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After long wait without much awaited firmware update PR1.1, finally mid-January actually seen an update for Symbian^3 phones, though it happened to only a small Apps update 1.0 like earlier phone apps update been here.

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As you can see that the update is only around 1 mb and after installing, it promises the similar things as was in case of phone apps update. Improvement in applications stability.

Followings are the changes that been noticed till now: