Update: Plenty of videos added to the bottom of this article!
As we expected, Nokia just announced Symbian Belle, the successor to Symbian Anna, which as of right now is a whopping 5 days old and is still in the process of being rolled out to various territories. Back to Belle, the user interface gets numerous tweaks that many Google Android users will be familiar with. There’s a drop down menu bar you access by sliding your finger down from the top of the screen. There’s a back button that makes navigation easier. There’s even a widget that allows you to turn on/off things like Bluetooth/NFC/WiFi, just like the “Power Widget” in Android. Other “innovations” include a bump in the number of available homescreens from 3 to 6, and a lock screen that tells you how many missed calls and texts you have. Had we seen this in 2008, half the team would be be foaming at the mouth, but it’s 2011. Apple’s iOS 5 and the iPhone 5, Android Ice Cream Sandwich and the Samsung Nexus Prime, are both right around the corner.
Now on to the devices that will ship with Belle preinstalled: the Nokia 701, 700, and 600. Starting with the 701, you’re probably scratching your head right now and thinking isn’t this nothing more than the Nokia C7? Well, you’re right. It is the C7, but with some key differences. First up, the processor. It clocks in at 1 GHz processor. The 701 also has a 3.5 inch IPS LCD, not like the AMOLED found in the C7; it’s covered in Gorilla Glass, so dropping it isn’t going to be an issue. In the camera department there’s an 8 megapixel shooter with dual LED flash, and should you find someone with an NFC enabled handset, you’ll easily be able to share your photos. Pricing and availability? 290 EUR, comes out in Q3 of this year.
Next up is the 700, which Nokia is calling “the smallest smartphone in the world“. It weighs just 96 grams and has a body that measures 110 mm x 50.7 mm x 9.7 mm. Inside said body there’s 1 GHz processor, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, 5 megapixel camera, 3.2 inch AMOLED screen covered in Gorilla Glass, and … that’s it. It’s going to cost you 270 EUR when it comes out in Q3 of this year. Compared to the 701, it’s the same thing, but in a smaller package; just 20 EUR cheaper!
Finally there’s the 600, which Nokia is calling their “loudest smartphone to date“. For 180 EUR in Q3 of this year it packs a 1 GHz processor, NFC, 5 megapixel camera, and your typical WiFi/GPS/Bluetooth stack. That’s frankly a steal if you ask us. The screen measure 3.2 inches across, like the 700, but it doesn’t have Gorilla Glass. It’s also a bit chunky at 111 mm x 53 mm x 13 mm, but at least you’ll be able to listen to the radio without needing a pair of headphones plugged in to act as an antenna.
As for when Belle will come to current Symbian devices, Nokia issued the following statement: “Symbian Belle will be available from the fourth quarter onwards on the Nokia N8, Nokia E7, Nokia C7, Nokia E6, Nokia X7 and Nokia 500.”
Nokia 600 datasheet (PDF)
Nokia 700 datasheet (PDF)
Nokia 701 datasheet (PDF)