Nokia 600, 700, and 701 announced, all running Symbian Belle and coming before the end of September
Remember how around the end of June there was a leak which brought us rough specs for four new Symbian smartphones? Well, since then, one of the devices on that list was already made official – the Nokia 500, which was the first handset to sport Nokia’s revised-yet-again naming system.
And today the other three phones on that list have officially seen the light of day, for Nokia decided to announce the 600, 700, and 701, alongside Symbian Belle, which they’ll all be running once they hit the streets.
Let’s start with that. All three smartphones are due out this quarter, meaning before the end of September. Now clearly only ‘select markets’ are getting them then, in pure Nokia fashion, but still – a bit more than a month between announcement and release? That’s something every Symbian/Nokia fan was dreaming about… back when there still were Nokia/Symbian fans out there.
Symbian Belle is coming a bit earlier than everyone expected, which may mean that Nokia has worked hard on getting it out as soon as possible, especially with the ‘great’ sales Symbian devices have had lately. After all, Symbian Anna has started going out as an update for the N8, C7, and so on just one week ago. Oh, and speaking of that – according to Nokia, older Symbian^3 and Symbian Anna devices will get updated to Belle “from the fourth quarter onwards”. Which, translated from Nokia-speak, probably means a limited release at the end of December, with a global rollout in the first quarter of 2012. But we’ll see. Anyway, the important thing here is that, as expected, older devices will be updated.
Symbian Belle itself brings the new(ish) UI that Symbian has desperately needed for so long in order to fend off critics. Ironically, this update comes after the platform has been killed by Nokia’s management and newfound Windows Phone ambitions.
There are now six homescreens, widgets can finally come in different sizes and now allow more interactivity, there’s a new notification menu that’s highly reminiscent of Android’s and that in iOS 5 (and adds toggle widgets to quickly switch things on and off), the application launcher has been updated with a new ‘Add to homescreen’ option as well as easier organization features, the status bar is finally thin and has redesigned icons, visual multitasking is also improved, there’s a new font, and a new lockscreen which displays missed call, messages, and email information. The bottom softkeys are gone, their place being taken by some icons: from right to left, Back/Exit, Custom 1, Custom 2, and Menu/Options. The Custom options can be whatever the app maker wants them to be, only one of those can show up, or neither. So there’s a bit more flexibility.
Apps have also gotten updates in Belle, most notably the browser and the music player. There’s also a new and improved software updater, and better NFC functions built-in. Here’s a video that quickly goes through the new features:
Now let’s see the phones. First up we have the Nokia 600, which is a music-oriented device. It comes with an internal FM radio (so no need to have headphones plugged in to use it), an FM transmitter, and what Nokia claims is its loudest speaker yet. It’s also got a 1 GHz processor, a 5 MP camera with 720p HD video recording, GPS, Wi-Fi, pentaband 3G, NFC, a 3.2-inch 640×360 touchscreen, microSD card support (with a 2 GB card in the sales package), and a 1200 mAh battery.
The Nokia 600 will be available in Black, Lime, White, and Pink for €180 before taxes and subsidies.
Next up, we have the Nokia 700. It’s the smallest smartphone ever according to Nokia, which is basing the claim on the handset’s volume of just 50cc. The Nokia 700 is made out of a combination of glass, aluminum, and plastics.
The Nokia 700 has a 3.2-inch 640×360 ClearBlack AMOLED touchscreen, a 5 MP camera with LED flash and 720p HD video recording, GPS, Wi-Fi, pentaband 3G, NFC, a 1 GHz processor, microSD card support (a 2 GB card is included), and a 1080 mAh battery. The Nokia 700 will become available in Cool Grey, Silver/White, Coral Red, Peacock Blue and Purple for €270 before taxes and subsidies, and may be the only one of the three phones announced today to be stocked by carriers in Western Europe.
The Nokia 701 is basically an updated C7, which keeps the overall form factor of its predecessor while adding a 1 GHz processor and what Nokia claims is the brightest screen on any smartphone in the world. The screen isn’t AMOLED, but a 3.5-inch 640×360 IPS LCD unit. Aside from these features, the 701 also has an FM transmitter and receiver, NFC support, an 8 MP camera with LED flash and 720p HD video recording, GPS, pentaband 3G, Wi-Fi, 8 GB of internal storage space as well as a microSD card slot, and a 1200 mAh battery.
The Nokia 701 will be out in Steel dark, Silver light, Amethyst violet and White. It will cost €290 before taxes and subsidies.