Nokia N8: Hands-on with SPB Mobile Shell 3.7
Back in May I took a look at SPB Mobile Shell 3.5 for S60 5th Edition devices. My own Nokia N8 arrived a couple of days ago and then just yesterday I received an email that SPB Mobile Shell 3.7 was released with support for Symbian^3 and the N8. I jumped all over it and immediately put it on my N8 to test it out. After a few hours of use I can tell you that it is staying on my N8 since it improves on a decent user experience.
I captured a few screenshots below in the gallery to go along with my video embedded below. I won’t go through a full review like I did with 3.5 since most of the features are the same. Actually, here are the main features of SPB Mobile Shell as listed in the press release:
- Compatibility with Symbian^3 and new Nokia devices like N8
- Support for Nokia homescreen widgets
- Full screen view
- Multiple customizable homescreens
- Widgets for tasks, agenda, weather, search and a lot of others
- Widget-based photo contacts
- Launcher with fast access to all the features
- Support for the 3D carousel
So looking at that feature list and testing it out for myself, the things that stand out to me are the support for the N8 widgets and the ability to add even more with the SPB widgets, the better dialer/contact experience, slick wireless manager, smart dial from the contacts phone dialer, and slick weather application.
I thought the task manager was handy, but still like the Symbian^3 one better and the good part is you have full control over which one to use.
I would like a way to organize my app shortcuts into folders rather than using just their default ones.
The one major issue I had that looks to be a bug ready for a quick kill was in the calendar. I was SO looking forward to seeing a calendar view like they do on their site with Agenda View where you can tap the date below and see all of your appointments for the day above since Symbian and Nokia never took care to even think about Calendar development. Unfortunately, it looks like there is a disconnect between SPB Mobile Shell and the Calendar database so when I tap on a day in the Agenda View the default calendar opens up to 01/01/1900. Well, I certainly wasn’t alive then so there will never be appointments for that date. SPB, please fix this for me ASAP!
SPB Mobile Shell 3.7 is available for $29.95, but if you purchased version 3.5 already then the upgrade is free. There is also a 15-day trial available so you can give it a go before deciding if it is worth the $30.