Videos of Symbian^4 appear, but is it going to cut it in 2011?

I just saw the two videos embedded below over on The Nokia Blog and wanted to bring them to your attention. These are both short looks at the Symbian^4 operating system interface that will be complete in the 3rd quarter of 2010 with devices appearing in the first half of 2011. I have to say I am personally a bit disappointed in how they look at this time and know it could change somewhat before being complete. If this is what Nokia came out with a year or two ago, then I think it would have been great. However, all the other players are moving forward and Nokia needs to think ahead of them rather than matching user interface elements we already see in Android.

The videos remind me of what I have seen with Samsung’s TouchWIZ user interface that is being made into their own bada operating system as well. It is very Android-widgety looking, which is nice to see, but will be a bit dated in 2011. With Symbian and Maemo MeeGo, along with Series 40, I am starting to wonder if Nokia can be focused enough to not confuse the consumer.

Microsoft actually now has the most interesting user interface where they take the idea that everything is done through applications out of the picture and focus on bringing you information based on people you want to interact with or global tasks (using media). With Windows Phone 7 Series it seems you don’t think of application names, but rather what do you want to do and the UI is very unique and different than anything we see today. The iPhone is a simple user interface, but always having to go back to a home screen and then find an application to launch is a bit tedious and not as user friendly as a user interface can be.

Do these videos show an appealing user interface to you? I like what I see in Maemo 5 on my N900 and don’t think this shows me anything super compelling over what we already see in this device.


5 Comments to Videos of Symbian^4 appear, but is it going to cut it in 2011?

February 26, 2010

I purchased my Nokia N900 on February 10th from and LOVE the experience so much. This is my first Nokia phone… err, mobile internet device (MID).

I only heard f Symbian because a friend of mine bought a Sony Ericsson PDA device some years ago. So, now presently looking at these new videos of this new version of Symbian it looks totally uninspiring. While watching the videos, I was thinking the UI looks like an INCREDIBLY CRUDE Maemo (MeeGo) version 0.9 beta operating system or something. I don’t know… maybe Symbian users have a different perspective.

In my mind, the Mameo5 operating system looks so slick and modern looking. And all the alerts at the top of the screen just fade away smoothly like butter, or just move to the upper left corner and just glows.

Another thing I wanted to mention is that I’m impressed LG’s GW990 device because of the 4.8″ screen size and I hope the next Nokia “N” series flagship device is around the 4.5″ to 4.8″ screen size range).


February 26, 2010

I thought that orange pointer is part of the UI, it is not. But I kinda think that a pointer in a touchscreen device that follows your finger is pretty nifty feature. It makes tapping feel a bit more accurate.

how about pointer of different shapes, sizez and colors.

February 26, 2010

Symbian is known for being the most powerful mobile phone OS in the world because of its expandability. The problem more recently was the UI. After seeing the iPhone in action, people wanted more eye candy (think: Windows 7). To me, the eye candy is not the OS. What I am able to do with it, is what the OS is about. Nokia already has a strong following because of Symbian’s features that aren’t found on other devices. What I think Nokia is trying to do is grab the remaining consumers who are just out looking for a phone. They’ll see Symbian and see how it resembles Android to a degree regarding looks, and those consumers not tech savvy to understand the OS, might purchase Symbian based on how it looks and basic performance. There are a lot of early adopters that went with the N900. Every single day there are more applications being released that no one thought were possible. For people that like tinkering with their device and want to truly make it unique to them, Maemo/MeeGo can be the future for the high-end devices. Symbian has a little catching up to do, but I believe that if stronger hardware was put into devices with Symbian, it will be able to hold its own – just like Maemo on the N900.

February 27, 2010

Nokia isn’t designing the interface the Symbian foundation is. Anyway all we have here is two videos of applications; a home screen and a gallery app. The only conclusions that can be drawn about the UI or UX from these is that it looks very clean and simple which is a good thing. I wouldn’t feel too disappointed about UI just yet. Hopefully we’ll see lots more of Symbian^4 UI in the coming months, in particular I’d like to see how messaging and contacts is going to work.

[…] &#83ym&#98ian^4 vide&#111s appea&#114, is the UI g&#111&#111d en&#111ugh t&#111 c&#111mpete? […]

Nokia N8 Guide

Nokia E73 Mode Guide
Nokia N900 Guide