Nokia Belle released for loyal Symbian users

Nokia has begun pushing out Nokia Belle to existing Symbian handset owners, bringing phones like the N8, E7 and X7 up to speed with the far-improved upgrade to the OS. Distributed via Nokia Suite – it's too large for an OTA release, Nokia says - the new platform version consists of aesthetic and functional changes, including a boost to six homescreens now with more flexible shortcuts and widgets, along with 30fps HD video recording.

There's also a much tweaked and enhanced browser, as we saw on the Nokia 700, with increased support for in-page streaming video. A pull-down notifications menu borrows some of Android's style and throws in some quick-access shortcut toggles for things like wireless power, and the iconography is updated to the "squircle" style.

Altogether, it's the upgrade Symbian users have been waiting semi-patiently for, and something we wish Nokia had delivered two years ago. As it stands, although Nokia has been preloading Belle onto its recent Symbian devices for the past few months, it's arguably too late for the OS overall. Nokia's focus is resolutely on Windows Phone moving forward, with S40 for the entry-level and developing nations.

You'll need Nokia Suite v3.3 or above in order to install Nokia Belle, which you can find here. More details of what to expect in the video above, and in our Nokia 700 review. The update is available for the Nokia N8, Nokia E7, Nokia E6, Nokia X7, Nokia C6-01, Nokia C7 and Nokia Oro, with the Nokia 500 getting Belle "within the next few weeks."