All about the Nokia ladies: Anna, Belle, Carla & Donna   Leave a comment

For anyone not sure who the ladies are that I’m referring to, let me introduce you. Anna, Belle, Carla & Donna are all names given to the software versions of the Symbian operating system. As Belle will be available as a software update shortly, I’ve decided that the time is ripe for a short summary of what all the ladies have to offer.


Anna has been available as a software update locally for months now and is available for all Nokia smartphones which initially launched with Symbian^3 like the Nokia N8, C7 & E7. Further more the Nokia 500, E6 & C6-01 should all come out of the box loaded with Symbian Anna so you should be good to go. Unfortunately it is not available for any other smartphones including the N97, N97 Mini, C6, C5-03 which all run an older version of Symbian OS.

GSM Arena has done a full review of Symbian Anna, but for those of you who don’t want to read the entire thing: Below is an extract from their conclusion:

Symbian hasn’t seen any groundbreaking changes in its recent history and Anna isn’t one either – like the jump from ^1 to ^3, it’s an incremental update that improves things but leaves some rough edges untouched.

Don’t get us wrong – Anna is the best that Symbian has to offer right now (until Belle arrives anyway) and people with an N8, a C7, C6-01 or E7 should update as soon as possible – the browser alone is a good enough reason.

N8 owners have a special incentive too – with Anna installed, they can apply the camera update and enjoy 30fps videos with continuous autofocus (and a slightly better UI). Let’s face it, people bought the N8s chiefly for its camera, so Nokia continuing to improve it is commendable. We’ve covered that in another post.

Still, the number of things left that need changing is much longer than the list of things that have changed. On the other hand, after Nokia announced they’ll be focusing on Windows Phone 7, we were worried about Symbian’s future.

It turns out those worries were unfounded – with Anna out now and Belle just around the corner (and there are 1GHz Symbian devices out too), Symbian seems more alive now than it was a year ago.


According to GSM Arena Nokia Belle is just what the doctor ordered. They start their review of the update by stating: “It’s been a regular one on of our list of Cons that Symbian is lagging behind Android and iOS in user experience, but that’s about to change.

That’s good news for owners of the Nokia N8, E7, E6, X7, C6-01, C7 & 500 which will all be getting the upgrade from Anna. The Nokia 700 ships with Belle so if any of your friends have one you can take a first hand look.

Symbian Belle or rather Nokia Belle (as its now called after Nokia recently handed development of Symbian over to Accenture) is the first real shakeup of the operating system from it’s Symbian^3 origins. The upgrade brings quite a number of changes to the OS and after upgrading your phone, it will feel almost brand new. has published a nice illustrated review of the changes in Belle, but again I have summarized it for the lazier readers out there:

  • Free-form, differently-sized, live widgets: widgets like the clock, email, music player, favourite contacts and the calendar have been redesigned and now come in five different sizes and rearranged to create a completely personalised set of screens. There are also new ‘Toggle’ widgets for tasks like switching on Bluetooth and changing profiles.
  • More homescreens: with Symbian Belle the maximum number of homescreens rises from three to six, so now you can have absolutely everything close at hand.
  • Improved status bar: the status bar sports a modern, flat look and incorporates a pull down notifications tab that incorporates common settings and notification of incoming messages, missed calls and the rest.
  • Modernised navigation: the navigation and options bar at the bottom of the screen sports a modern, new look, similar to that first seen on the Nokia N9.
  • New apps: a new suite of powerful business apps from Microsoft includes Lync (IM for businesses, like Microsoft Communicator), Sharepoint, OneNote, Exchange ActiveSync and PowerPoint Broadcaster.
  • Informative lock screen: the lock screen now tells you about missed calls, messages in your inbox and more, so you can check your phone at a glance. You can now also add a coloured wallpaper to your lock screen.
  • NFC devices: With Symbian Belle, Near-Field Communications (NFC) is now deeply integrated into the operating system, so you can share pictures, connect with accessories, and check-in – all with just a tap.
  • Visual multitasking: Now you can flick between larger live images of your open apps to see what’s going on at a glance and move quickly between your apps.

Nokia has confirmed that Belle will be arriving in February so the wait is almost over. All of the devices mentioned above should also come with Belle preloaded out of the box from March onward, if not sooner. On a side note: devices like the Nokia 603 an 701 which has not been released locally yet, will also obviously launch with Belle.

If the reception of Belle is as positive as reviewers seem to think it will be, it could create quite a bit of momentum for Nokia. It has the potential to go some way in ensuring that people stay loyal to the brand, moving to Nokia’s Windows Phone based devices as time goes on.


First of all, everything from here on in has all it’s info based in rumour land, more or less. More with regards to Donna and less with regards to Carla. Lets start with the bad news. According to GSM Arena Carla is reserved for smartphones with a 1GHz processor or higher. That means neither the N8, C6-01, C7, E7, E6 or X7 will get the update. All the 3 digit smartphones like the 500, 603, 700 & 701 however will.

It is rumoured to offer the following:

  • More Meego like user interface (Source:
  • New browser
  • New widgets (again)
  • New NFC capabilities
  • Dolby Surround audio enhancement

Carla’s rumoured ETA is late 2012, but early 2013 seems just as likely.


The rumour mill with regards to Donna is still in its infancy with the only details being that it will feature on dual-core processor based smartphones. One would expect Donna to make her appearance by the end of 2013 or maybe early 2014, but at this early stage it’s purely speculation. Finally Nokia is only scheduled to discontinue Symbian in 2016, so there might even be an “E-type” after Donna. Who knows, with Windows Phone in the mix anything is possible…


Posted January 17, 2012 by allaboutnokiasa in Anna, belle, carla, donna, Nokia, symbian

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