Its been only 4 days since when we first experienced the official Nokia Belle update on our 1st generation Symbian^3 and Symbian Anna devices, and I’m sure most of you would be asking for a comparison of both these firmwares. So i decided to come up with a screenshot comparison of the official firmwares, namely the Symbian Anna and the Nokia (Symbian) Belle.
- So lets start with the Home screens :-
So the above given image shows the homescreens of both the firmwares.You can clearly see that there are some big changes that have been done in the homescreen of Belle. When you first install the Belle update on your phone, you’ll see a big digital clock on the first screen (not like the one given in the image above), and some icons on the bottom of the screen. Many system widgets such as clock has been changed and shifted to the top notification bar for saving the screen’s space. And the bottom bar which in Anna had ‘Options” & “Call” has also been completely changed to a menu icon on the left of the bar, a call icon in the middle and an options icon on the right of the bottom bar in Belle. And Nokia Belle also adds you with 3 extra homescreens, total 6 homescreens whereas Anna has only 3.
- Notification Handling :-
The notification bar given on the top of the screen showing operator name, battery and signal strength is actually a pull-down notification pane which gives all your notifications such as, missed calls, messages, data network, etc all at one place. See what happens when you pulls it down from the top of the screen in the images below.
This pull down notification also gives you 4 one-touch control buttons of Mobile data switch, WiFi On/Off Button, Bluetooth button and the Silent button. This notification pane separates the notifications from the working screen in Belle, whereas previously in Anna, these notifications when tapping on them, occupies the screen space for showing them. Though this makes it a bit Androidish.
- The Menu :-
The Menu have been significantly changed in Nokia Belle. Previously in Anna, we had folders like ‘Applications’, ‘Office’, etc in which all our apps used to save, but now in Belle, we have a flat menu with a long list of apps and without any folders. Though, you can still create folders and move some apps in them if you want.
The notification bar at the top has been cropped for saving the screen space. Image given below will show you, how much improvements have been done for saving the overall space of the screen.
The bar at the bottom of the screen has completely changed and as I said earlier, and now, we have icons in place of the “Options” menu and “Exit”.
- The Browser :-
The Browser in the Nokia Belle has also been improved. The web page opening speed and full webpage handling has also been significantly improved in the browser of Nokia Belle. I did a Html5test of the two browser, and obtained these results (see above given picture). The left one in the picture is the browser of Nokia Belle and the right one is of Symbian Anna. As you can see, the Nokia Belle’s browser got 157 points with 7 bonus points, while the Anna’s browser managed to get only 101 with no bonus points. The versions number of the browser is changed from v.7.3.x.x (Anna) to v.7.4.x.x (Belle).
- The Videos and Video Player :-
The Videos section is also included among the tones of improvements that have been done in the Nokia Belle update. Previously in Anna, the videos section shows ‘Last watched’, ‘Captured’, ‘Other Videos’ and ‘Store’. Whereas in Belle, all these options are removed except the ‘Store’ . When you tap on the videos icon on the menu of Belle, it will give you the complete list of videos that are present in the phone’s (mass) memory as shown in the picture above. You can download the videos directly from the Nokia Store by tapping on the web like button given on the top of the screen.
Apart from that, the video player of Nokia Belle has also been changed (see picture below).
There are UI changes that have been done in the video player as well to match the UI of Nokia Belle.
- The Music Player :-
The Music PLayer has been changed to v.17.0.16 in the Nokia Belle.
More space have been provided in the upper part of the screen and buttons like ‘Repeat’ and ‘Shuffle’ are also being added in the bottom bar of the player. The Music player in Nokia Belle also supports Nokia N9 like ‘Swipe to change the track’. With this functionality, user can change the track to the next of it with just swiping the finger on the screen.
- The Gallery :-
The Gallery is also a part where you will observe changes in Nokia Belle. Previously in Symbian Anna, Gallery shows all the pictures stored in phone’s (mass) memory along with all the videos, and some you people don’t like it at all. Now in Nokia Belle, gallery only shows all of your photos and NO VIDEOS. Take a look at the screenshot given below.
Screen space have been saved from the bottom. That ‘Share’ button in Symbian Anna have been shifted in the bottom bar of the gallery in Belle, and we also have the ‘Slideshow’ button on it as well. The bottom bar has been made transparent to add the beauty in the UI. The browsing in the gallery is really very smooth, almost like floating screen (you’ll see this floating in most part of the UI in Belle).
Also some nice gestures have been added, like when you open any image, it’ll ‘wipe in’ on the screen and vice versa.
Apart from this, you’ll also see changes in the UI when you open up any picture (see image above).
- The File Manager :-
The System File manager has not changed much from that of the Anna’s file manager, but its somehow good than the previous one. No kinetic scrolling though, i was expecting this feature to come in Belle.
So, that’s all I covered up from this new firmware comparison. There are surely more changes that have also been done in the UI of Nokia Belle, some of the system applications have also been changed to match the UI of Belle, but these are the things i think most of you usually looks for in any firmware. I know my post i somewhat late, but i was out of my town and couldn’t write this up in time.
I also did a hands-on the official Nokia belle update on my phone (N8), check it out here- http://youtu.be/Ee-1WDF55yk
Hope you enjoyed it!