On Monday 15th October, I updated my N8 to the Nokia Belle Refresh version (111.040.1511). I downloaded the 31 Mb update over-the-air (OTA), watched the phone reboot to apply the update and waited patiently for the process to complete. After the reboot, I installed the Social, Search, Calendar and Colorizit updates (6,180 Mb in total).
Nokia began to roll-out this update in late August 2012 but it only became available to Vodacom customers recently. This update must not be confused with Feature Pack 1 (FP1) or Feature Pack 2 (FP2) updates which are available for the latest Symbian devices such as the Nokia 808 PureView. Read the AAS and Daily Mobile articles to find out more about the Belle Refresh update.
Essentially, the Belle Refresh update is selected components of FP1 that can be installed on older Symbian devices such as the Nokia N8. The web browser is updated from version 188.8.131.52 to 184.108.40.206 and has better HTML5 support. A visit to http://html5test.com/ shows the browser now scores 272 (and 9 bonus points) out of 500. For comparison, Google Chrome (v21.0.1180.89 m) on a desktop PC scores 431 (and 13 bonus points). The medium-sized Music Player widget and the facelift to the Music Player app are also welcomed. Certain apps such as Nokia Car Mode, Big Screen, DLNA Play and Colorizit are now built-in to the OS. New widgets such as Photo Wall and Mobile Data Tracker I have enjoyed since March 2012 when I installed them from symbian-developers.net.
Will this be the last update the N8 is likely to receive? According to this article on the Nokia Developer website, the Symbian OS is in maintenance mode. This “announcement” caused quite a stir (just google symbian in maintenance mode), especially if you have recently purchased a Nokia 808 PureView. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) statistics for the 2nd quarter of 2012, Nokia smartphone sales declined in the past year to 6.6% of the market share. In addition, Symbian is down to 4.4% of market share according to the IDC, which is similar to Canalys’s figure of 4.1%.
My contract is up for renewal in December 2012 and I have begun the search for a new phone, and possibly a new operating system and a new ecosystem experience. The Nokia 808 PureView and the Nokia Lumia 920 are in the mix of smartphones to consider, but the success of Android and other vendors like Samsung are very hard to ignore.