Saturday 17 September 2011

First Look at Symbian Belle

Symbian Belle hands-on:

It is easy to write off Symbian when you look at videos of N9 running Meego or even the WP7 based Nokia phones which are expected to ship next year. Little did I know Symbian had something big in the works in the form of 'Belle'? The moment we realised the Symbian Belle leaked software for Nokia N8 was doing the rounds of various forums on the internet we had to try it.

So here is the first look of the improved User Interface (UI) of Symbian Belle. Please note that Near Field Communications (NFC) is not available in India and as a result I could not test it.

Pull-down Notifications Tab:

The first thing that struck me was the slick pull-down notification tab similar to Google’s Android. I guess if Apple’s iOS can ape Android, Symbian can too. But frankly I quite like the design of the Nokia one.

Six Homescreens:

I’m not a fan of too many homescreens. But for those who can't stop arranging everything on your phone in homescreens they might appreciate the six that Symbian Belle provides. You have more real estate now for all your icons. I wonder if you'd ever need the menu button again. Oh I almost forgot to mention, there is a dim background in the menu screen as well.

Better Customization Options:

I know you have been craving for this feature in Symbian^3 and Symbian Anna. Now you can move around your icons similar to the wobbly icons on iOS. Though it is very handy to move your icons around you cannot drag icons into folders directly which is a letdown.

Improved Search Integration:

It is like that famous jingle of vodafone the search button in Nokia follows you wherever you navigate on the phone. I totally approve this considering the fact that I have a lot of apps that I use and it is difficult finding a single app in the heap.


Loads of widgets are now available at your disposal. The one that caught my attention, however, was the new music player widget.


It is too soon to say how Symbian Belle's final build will function on the soon to be released Nokia 700 and Nokia 701. On the N8, I can say it looks good despite the fact that it borrows a lot of design cues from the other mobile operating systems.

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