MNB Reader Stories: Nokia 500 Nokia Belle review

| February 16, 2012 | 37 Replies

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


Category: Nokia, Reviews, Symbian

About the Author ()

This account is for the stories readers from MNB submit to tips(at)mynokiablog(dot)com as ready to publish articles. Email tips(at)mynokiablog(dot)com if you have a Nokia related story you've written that you'd want to share with MNB's readers. For more information, check out Tips/Guides/Rules for commenting:
  • Mushfiq

    Doing a good job lay . . . I see variety in ur site now . There is somethin for everybody nokia . Tats great . Keep up . . .

  • lordstar

    Good review, just wanted to whare that the belle update didn’t give the latest version of Nokia Social, the one with the notification widgets for facebook and twitter.

    Any idea where to get it?

    • Anup

      Nokia Store – search for the ‘Social Networking Client’.

      • Jill

        Its not there !!

        • Hamdhan

          You can get it from 3rd part. Just do a google search for: “Nokia Social Symbian Belle”

    • Hamdhan

      hmm, I guess I missed that point.

  • migo

    That’s good to read, when the 500 shaves another $50 off on the carriers here it’ll actually be possible to recommend for people not too concerned with smartphone features.

    • Gst

      Nokia 500 has smartphone features like proper multi-tasking,flash 10.0 support in browser,bluetooth transfer,mass storage mode by default,that even high end wp7 does not have it.

      • migo

        Proper multitasking means your battery dies in 1 hour when you leave maps running in the background, it’s stupid that people list flash as a selling point, I have a flash blocker add on in firefox so I don’t see it on my desktop, why the hell would anyone want it on mobile? I used bluetooth file transfer once, and that was to test the feature. Like FFC, its absence really isn’t a big deal.

        Only USB Mass Storage mode is a valid feature advantage for the 500. It doesn’t have a GPU, it’s not going to be able to run a lot of the already small software library for Symbian as a result. As such, it’s a good phone only for people who want to make phone calls and send text messages.

        • nagato009

          dont underestimate the 500.its really a multi tasking smartphone.its not good only in texting

  • Hamdhan

    Nokia 500 does not yet have WhatsApp. But you can get it from thirdparty means.

    • Hamdhan

      Update: Now available via ovi suite [whatsapp]

  • Cristi

    I have some problem updating my nokia 500….
    the nokia suite froze when the first image posted in the article appear, the one with “Preparing to install”.
    Last time it stayed like that for over an hour…

    What could be the problem? 🙁


    • migo

      My 5230 could do an OTA update, maybe try that way instead if it works for an Anna – Belle update?

  • Bharat

    Can we add widgets to homescreen and does the above notification bar comes below as shown in images

    • ndeep4318

      yea it can

  • T110

    La actualización de Symbian Belle incluye un error en el funcionamiento del GPS… no envía datos NMEA para ser utilizados por otras aplicaciones si no activas el A-GPS.

    Si utilizas aplicaciones que precisen de esos datos lo notarás… si eres de los que se quedan en Nokia Maps no te darás cuenta.

    Y lo mismo para otras muchas aplicaciones… tu decides si actualizas o no.

  • Hey can you tell how is battery life after you upgraded to Belle?
    How much battery backup do you get?
    Do you use GPRS/EDGE? if use so how much time the battery lasts?
    I am planning to buy this cell so can you tell me this 🙂 thanks!

    • ndeep4318

      i use 3.5g mode lasts about 1 to 1.5 days on heavy use

  • himank

    i have nokia 500.. right now it has symbian anna os..nd wen i try to update to says that all your features are up to date and there are no recent updates..plzzz help.. ???

    • Raju

      I cant get graphic motion games like asphalt6…can you suggest me to solve this problem

    • Raju

      I cant get graphic motion games like asphalt6…can you suggest me to solve this problem…kewpie
      Lowbattery backup..

  • Mao hero( Cambodia )

    I have a nokia 500 symbian belle, when install HD game ( asphalt 6, toy tank…) It’s can install but not play or run, by it have GPU for run, what is GPU? Can I can install or not? Please help me, thank you

  • suman poudel

    i was fucked with nokia belle on my nokia 500. It doesnt support the application such as fring, skype etc. How can i manage it? nokia 500 anna show the batree percent but belle doesnt show it how can i fix these prob..?

    • ndeep4318

      don’t troll 500 supports all skype fring whatsapp etc and for battery get battery monitor from store . It shows %

  • shawn

    I dont think nokia 500 is a gaming phone

  • manuprasad

    its not support google maps and the battery gauge is not there

    • ndeep4318

      common dude open from internal browser . Switch wi-fi and mobile data and download install launch . Leave wifi on otherwise it will close

    • ndeep4318

      comeon dude open from internal browser . Switch wi-fi and mobile data and download install launch . Leave wifi on otherwise it will close

  • Ritika

    Hi, I upgraded my nokia 500 to belle and it’s working smoothly after that but I’m unable to take screenshots of whatsapp like before. Can u please help me out here

    • ndeep4318

      download quicksnaps from store

  • Matt

    Hi,successfully install gmxt on nokia 500 belle but the resolution is too wide when the phone is horizontal can u please help me out here

  • Akash Gupta

    I want 6 homescreens on my nokia 500 belle help….

    • sanjundev

      you can download dual homescreen software . It have 6 homescreenns

  • sanju mewada

    google maps isn’t working in my nokia 500 symbian belle..

    Plz help me.

  • Kariyappa

    Nokia 500 that i am using needs great improvement. It does not support most of the user friendly softwares. It is really annoying to see all other low priced nokia phones support these softwares.

    This may be one of the reason why people are moving to other brands. Nokia should do something in this regard to retain their retail customers.

    Kariyappa N C

  • vengadesh

    hi frnds i have decided to by this phone so plz help me its worth or bad then samsung plz tell.