Someone in Nokia’s Vietnam offices is about to get in a whole lot of trouble. Apparently a website that wasn’t supposed to go live accidentally did, and said website announced that Symbian Belle was going to be available for Symbian Anna users starting on the 8th of February. Note that we’ve already known for a while now that Belle would come out in February, we just didn’t have an exact date. The update requires that you connect your device to a computer, which is a minor niggle, but there are worse things in life. For those unfamiliar with Belle, it’s the latest version of Symbian, and it does a fabulous job at ripping off the best parts of Android. The most obvious form of flattery is a direct copy of the pull down notification bar that’s been in Android since the first version of the operating system shipped back in 2008. To be fair though, everyone copies from everyone these days, and when we played with Belle last year we came away incredibly impressed at just how user friendly Symbian had become. Seriously, if Nokia launched Belle back in 2008 or 2009 then the company might not be in the mess that they’re currently facing.
If you’re in the market for a Symbian device and can’t be swayed to something running Android, then we recommend you pickup either the Nokia N8 or the E7. Both are considered to be the company’s flagship Symbian devices, with the N8 having the best camera in any smartphone out on the market today (including the iPhone 4S), and the E7 with an ultra crisp screen and more than usable hardware QWERTY keyboard.
Still, we if you really want to buy a smartphone then we suggest you wait until Mobile World Congress next month. There we’re going to see the latest and greatest, and something tells us that affordable smartphones will be a running theme throughout the show.