Back in January 2011 I did pretty big Symbian^3 review as it was a big step up the evolution ladder for Symbian. Today I want to do the same kind of review to Belle, because it is more of a revolution than an evolution of Symbian.
Why am I calling it a revolution? Because Nokia finally got rid of many of the perks that were holding Symbian back. The bottom toolbar can now host 4 buttons instead of the traditional Menu and Back buttons, while Qt apps can have even more. That means the menus got simplified all over the OS and you can now do more with less taps.
Symbian just got a new pull-down status bar a-la Android, which is a good thing. The new status bar is not as tall as the old one was and leaves more room for applications. Considering that Qt applications use the same status bar, you can not hardly tell the difference between a Qt app and a native app.
Besides showing notifications for new messages, missed calls, missed reminders, mobile network and WiFi network, the new status area has 4 non configurable shortcuts for turning on and off mobile data, WiFi, Bluetooth and silent mode.
The unlock screen appears when the phone is locked and you press the menu or unlock key, and shows you the time and your missed events, like messages, calls and the upcoming calendar events. Of course the phone can be locked using the knob too(if your model has one). The unlock screen now supports background images, and uses the one from the last visited homescreen.