Symbian Belle update for the N8

On 7th February 2012, Nokia began to roll-out the Symbian Belle (i.e. Nokia Belle) update for current Symbian^3 Anna devices like the Nokia N8. The update is not available over-the-air (OTA) due to its size and complexity. Hence, you will need to download and install this update via PC using Nokia Suite. Click here to find out more about the Nokia Belle update and how to begin the update process.

To find out if Nokia Belle is available for your N8, type *#0000# on your phone to obtain its product code. The product code for Nokia N8 devices distributed by Vodacom (South Africa) is 059D2N9. Then, click here (and here) to determine if Nokia have released the firmware update for your device (version 111.030). Currently, Nokia Belle is waiting for Vodacom to approve the update for the Nokia C6-01, C7-00 and E6-00. Unfortunately, Nokia are still finalising the update for the N8. In the past, Vodacom took 21 days to approve the Symbian Anna update which Nokia released on 18 August 2011 for 059D2N9, but only became available for download on the 8 September 2011. In short, just keep checking the Nokia availability website for the status to change from “Software Under Creation” to “Waiting for approval” for product code 059D2N9, then wait an additional 3 weeks or so for Vodacom to give Nokia the approval to release the update via the Nokia update servers.

Nokia Belle offers an all-new look, more homescreens (up to 6), new widgets and easier personalisation. The menus are clearer, the screen transitions are smoother and pull-down notifications help you stay up-to-date. There’s also a new status bar, a new tool bar, new Nokia Maps, improved video recording, web browsing and more. The Nokia Belle update consists of an update for your phone’s operating system and depending on model and market, some mandatory application updates could be automatically installed as well. All other optional app updates are offered via the normal software update app after Nokia Belle has been installed.

As mentioned earlier, the Belle update is complex. All apps installed on your phone’s internal (C:) memory are wiped. During the update, the contents of your phone’s mass memory (E:) and memory card (F:), such as photos and videos, are safe and won’t be touched during the update. Any miscellaneous files are copied to E:\Nokia_Belle for preservation during the update procedure.

To prepare for the Belle update, click here to download and install the latest version of Nokia Suite (v3.3.86) on your PC. Nokia Suite is not yet available for Mac users. To minimize the time to update your phone to Nokia Belle with Nokia Suite, make sure you’ve chosen the option “Automatically download software updates” in Tools…Options.

You may want to check if your favourite apps will work with Nokia Belle. Hence, it is highly recommended that you visit Nokia Store before the update via a PC and:

  • Click on “Set device” or “Change” at the top left of the screen
  • Select your device and press “OK”
  • Select Nokia Belle and press “OK”
  • The apps you now see are compatible with Nokia Belle.

Click here for a list of apps and games that are currently not compatible with the Belle update. In addition, I would recommend you backup your music collection stored on the phone. Start Nokia Suite and select the Music icon in the taskbar, then

  • Copy your music from the phone to PC by first selecting your phone’s Music Library, then selecting “All Artists” and finally opening the Tools menu and selecting “Copy to Computer”
  • Wait until all music files have successfully transferred.

Finally, if you use Mail For Exchange, make sure your contacts and calendar entries are synced (i.e. up to date) with your server. Furthermore, Nokia Maps is automatically upgraded from v3.06 to v3.08. If you don’t like v3.08, you may want to stick with Symbian Anna. Check out this forum for more info.

Before Nokia Suite begins the Belle update, it will automatically back up your contacts, messages, calendar, tasks, notes, bookmarks, web feeds, landmarks and the predictive text dictionary. Nokia Suite then wipes your phone’s internal (C:) disk before installing the Nokia Belle OS, which is a 300 Mb download from the Nokia update servers. You may have to enter your phone’s SIM card PIN on re-boot, then Nokia Suite restores your backed-up data (contacts, messages etc.).

Since Nokia Belle is a major update, it is not possible to back up and restore all content stored in your phone’s internal memory (C:). Hence, the update will remove any “Comes With Music”, “Nokia Music (Unlimited)”, and other DRM music licenses from your phone as well as certain apps that are not provided by Nokia directly.

After the update, you will need to re-configure/re-license the following on your phone:

  • The date, time and region (else the Nokia Store app fails to run),
  • Ringtones and wallpapers,
  • Up to six homescreens,
  • Any WiFi access points,
  • All Bluetooth devices (headsets etc.)
  • Mail for Exchange account,
  • Other email accounts (e.g. GMail etc.), and
  • DRM protected music either online or using your PC.

With regard to Mail for Exchange users, delete all existing device contacts when re-creating the Mail for Exchange account in order to avoid duplicated contact entries. Your calendar entries are re-synced from the server back to your phone. Then, you will need to re-install and re-configure all your favourite apps you previously downloaded from the Nokia Store. Follow the instructions mentioned previously to check app compatibility with Belle.

Nokia will provide the following Microsoft Apps (depending on the country) as an OTA download within the next few weeks:

  • Microsoft® Lync™ 2010 Mobile,
  • Microsoft® PowerPoint® Broadcast,
  • Microsoft® OneNote™ and
  • Microsoft® Document Connection.

There are going to be many glitches with the Belle update. For example, users who have updated are already complaining that Belle does not play FLV files (workaround is to convert to MP4 format). When playing videos, you cannot adjust the volume using the touchscreen.

Don’t touch your phone during the update procedure, even if it asks for region settings etc. Just enter your SIM card PIN if asked. The offical Nokia Belle FAQ can be found here. If the update goes wrong and the phone doesn’t start, you may want to check out this website for help.

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2 Responses to Symbian Belle update for the N8

  1. n8fan says:

    UPDATE: The status of Belle for product code 059D2N9 (Vodacom N8) has changed to “Waiting for approval”. This means Vodacom should currently be testing the Belle update. It should take about 3 weeks for Vodacom to give Nokia the go-ahead to make Belle available for download.

    • Elroc says:

      Got a reply from Vodacom Support via twitter that they have finished testing. Not availble on Update yet, but should be soon now.

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