All About Nokia Belle - 1: Short history & Back to business

Although for some it might seem a bit odd to concentrate on Nokia Belle, Nokia´s 808 PureView provides us with a very good reason since it will run on Feature Pack 1. This latest update of Nokia Belle has already been launched on the Nokia 700, 701 en 603. We got the last one just a few day ago, so that gives us a nice view on what Nokia Belle Feature Pack 1 is all about.

Some may already feel completely comfortable with this OS. But for others – coming from another platform – it will be a new experience. We thought it would be a good idea to write a general introduction to Nokia Belle Feature Pack 1. For those who had some experience in the past, and for those who never even touched a Nokia smartphone in their life. So here's our introduction to Nokia's newest version of it's classic platform. We hope you will like it!

Short history
Nokia Belle used to be Symbian, not very long ago the most important OS for smartphones. Symbian originally came from Psion’s EPOC operating system. The consortium leading Symbian consisted of all important smartphone producers, so practically all smartphones in the beginning of this century ran on one of many versions of the Symbian platform.

After a while more and more companies left the building: Symbian was not yet ready for the touchscreen devices the market demanded. Apple and especially Google overtook in just a few years time. Only Nokia is working with the classic OS which is currently being maintained by Accenture, the firm that has developed it into Nokia Belle.

Against all odds, since Nokia's CEO Stephen Elop (in his famous memo) decided that Symbian was "a burning platform" that couldn't be saved. Nokia changed course radically and chose for  Microsoft's Windows Phone to base their new ecosystem on.

For Symbian, Elop predicted a gradual fade-out and there was no future at all for the third platform Nokia invested in, MeeGo. Meanwhile Nokia is working slowly on its recovery with the Lumia-series, selling at least 3 million of the Lumia 900 in the United States for the last three months. That success is of huge importance, but still a lot of users don't like to see MeeGo abandoned and Symbian more or less forgotten.

Back to business
Nevertheless, a treasure came washed ashore from the burning platform. The huge impact of the announcement of Nokia's 808 PureView must have come as a surprise to many - even inside Nokia - and has put the spotlight on Nokia Belle again, maybe even stronger than ever.

The 808 PureView will launch with the latest version Feature Pack 1, and that's why we're so curious about it. Like I said, our experience with it is based on playing around with the Nokia 603 for a few days now, and with an updated version of Nokia´s E7 smartphone.

Seeing the 808 PureView for the first time we noticed a subtle phenomena we saw again in the 603: if you swype through the home screens, you notice a visual “cross fade” in the background pictures. And however subtle, it looks a lot better than in previous versions.

Also, you can still see the background picture when you open the apps menu – in the background, so to say. It might not be very shocking or "new", but it's showing Nokia Belle has become very touchscreen friendly. Here's our first, short meeting with the Nokia 808 PureView in Barcelona during the Mobile World Congress.

Thanks to the upgrade to Feature Pack 1, the Nokia 603 has been overclocked from 1GHZ to 1,3GHz. Those aren't shocking figures (single core sounds "classic" as well by now), but this OS doesn't need a dual core processor (or more). The 808 PureView has a 1,3 GHz processor as well, but judging from the short video shot in Barcelona of the menu we can conclude it will operate faster and smoother than the 603 does.

All About Nokia Belle Part 2: Apps & Widgets
All About Nokia Belle Part 3