updated 09:35 am EDT, Wed August 24, 2011
Nokia adds first three Symbian Belle devices
In sync with its earlier teaser, Nokia on Wednesday brought out its first three devices based on Symbian Belle. The 600, 700, and 701 all get a much improved home with six screens (up from three), more flexible widget shapes, and an Android-style notification bar. NFC support is a common thread and lets the phones not just take on mobile payments but now pair up with Bluetooth devices that recognize it just by getting close, such as the Play 360 speaker or the new Essence headset.
Each of the phones has its own distinct feature. The 600 is intended for group listening or for those for whom their phone might be the radio. It combines one of the loudest speakers on a phone with an FM radio that also has its own built-in antenna, letting owners play out without needing headphones or external speakers. Even as an entry-level phone with a 3.2-inch display, it still has a 640x360 screen resolution, a five-megapixel camera (without autofocus) capable of 720p video, 2GB of built-in storage, and a 1GHz processor with modern graphics.
The 700, in turn, is Nokia's smallest ever and supposedly the smallest slate-shaped smartphone in the world after factoring in its iPhone 4-like 9.7mm profile and overall footprint. Many of its features are similar, although it uses an AMOLED screen and touts a high amount of green materials.
Moving to the 701 gets the most advanced phone in a design similar to the older C7. It packs a similar 3.5-inch AMOLED display along with a 1GHz processor, the eight-megapixel non-autofocus rear camera from the X7, and a front facing camera. Nokia gives it 8GB of built-in storage and still supplies a microSDHC slot for more.
All three new phones are due before the end of the summer. Symbian Belle is coming to all existing devices that shipped with at least Symbian^3 or Symbian Anna, but Nokia didn't outline when either preloaded devices or upgrades would arrive. The firm did promise that Symbian updates would keep coming through at least 2012, even with the shift to Windows Phone.
Top to bottom: 600, 700, 701