Hamdhan who let us know earlier about the Belle Update for Nokia 500 (providing us screenshots too) shares his review of his experience with Nokia Belle on his Nokia 500 with MNB’s readers. I thought it would be very interesting given the lack of GPU on the thing and the dependency of S^3 to offload tasks on the GPU to execute certain tasks (which even on Nokia’s own videos appeared to lag). It’s good to hear that Belle apparently does NOT lag unlike apparently his experience with Anna.
Nokia 500 Review
After the update screen went through, I had my fingers crossed, and despite the screen saying “15 minutes remaining,” the update was finished in about 5 minutes.
Upon startup, there was a line of dots (….) which lighted up on after the other sort of like a loading bar and it was. After the loading came the usual language selection and Ovi suite options (“Create an Ovi Account” “I have an account” and of course “Later.”) after going through the Ovi suite options (literally took 10 seconds) my carrier had charged me about 0.45cents (USD cents) for the tips I had signed up on while I still had Symbian Anna on the device. Nokia suite was installing support software after the phone booted up and after 5 more minutes, I set the date, time and location and I was presented with the home screen. The standard home screen as on other Belle devices with the Flip clock, Ovi Social widget and 4 icons (Camera, contacts, Angry birds [oh yea!] and Maps) at the last widget’s position; at the bottom edge of the screen are menu, call and home screen options. The widgets take a few seconds to load but once they load they don’t lag. The second home screen has “Favorite contacts” widgets and 4 more icons (Messaging, Store, Calendar and Web), the third home screen has a Music player widget and the 4th home screen is blank for the user to customize. Unlike other Nokia/Symbian Belle devices, the Nokia 500 only has 4 home screens as opposed to 6.
The lock screen is similar to the Anna screen and is only redesigned. The Belle home screen allows usage of a background unlike Symbian Anna’s.
Now the menu: unlike Symbian Anna, the menu does not have an applications folder so everything is spread out on the home screen creating a mini mess. Luckily, there is an option to create a new folder in which to put your apps in.
In Symbian Anna, the keypad for ‘Call’ was not very user friendly as the ‘*’ and ‘#’ where not where they would be on a physical alphanumerical keypad, but on Belle, the keypad is identical to the physical one and very responsive.
While Symbian Anna lagged on the Nokia 500, Nokia Belle is very smooth. I don’t see any major changes with the camera on the 500 and the quality remains the same. There have been some rumors going around about the Nokia 500 getting HD video with the Belle update but these rumors are not true and the Nokia 500 remains with the usual 640p*313p video. While on Symbian Anna, there was no ‘Gallery’ icon but there is one on Symbian Belle and a separate ‘Videos’ icon is there too for easy access to downloaded videos (yes downloaded videos or those NOT taken with the phone’s camera).
The angry birds app is a hugely wanted app for the Nokia 500 and is very identical to the computer version. Actually, it IS the computer version in smaller scale. Symbian Belle still allows the user to kill unwanted applications running in the background by holding down the menu key and clicking the ‘X’ icon. Ovi maps on the device is version 3.06 as predicted and even if not version 3.08, it still gets the job done.
The settings menu is the same and nothing major there too. On Symbian Anna, the Nokia 500 has many themes for different colors but on Symbian/Nokia Belle, the 500 only has one “Nokia Evolve” theme which means the users have to download their own themes for personalization.
Overall, the icons seem a bit smaller especially on the home screen and this makes the phone look abit tiny which it is. The size was not brought out in Symbian Anna but in Belle we can see how small the screen on the phone is compared to devices like the E7, N8 and Nokia 701.
With Symbian Belle, the Nokia 500 is able to really show its 1Ghz processor at work and even if it might not be able to play (fancy) 3D games due to the lack of a OpenGL compatible GPU, it can still allow us to play OpenVG games such as “Asphalt 6: Adrenaline” and “Nuke Defender 3D” available from Ovi store.
Review by: Hamdhan
Note to readers: Screen protector is going to be replaced