Symbian Anna Review

Symbian Anna Review
Symbian Anna, also known as the PR2.0 update to Symbian^3, brings a lot of new features and reworks the system visuals, but is it enough to extinguish the fire on the “burning platform?” Nokia's plans to transition to Windows Phone as its main mobile OS reveal everything when it comes to the company's long term strategy, but in the short term it's still Symbian that keeps Nokia afloat. And Symbian Anna contributes to this, but it still fails to bring Nokia's platform to a contemporary level.

The update makes its debut on the media-centric Nokia X7 and the business-oriented Nokia E6. But with full legacy support, you might want to wait for the fall when it will arrive on previous Symbian^3 handsets. Below is a breakdown of the most important features of the Symbian Anna update.


Anna comes with a set of new rounded icons which freshens up the menus of the updated Symbian^3. It also pleases the eye with real-time scrolling as it basically means that you can gradually scroll between home panes. The transitional animations will follow your finger in real-time, just like in iOS and Android.


The slowish stock browser on Nokia's platform has been one of our main critiques and Nokia's has promised an update months ago. Is the long wait worth it? With partial HTML5 support, hardware acceleration for smooth CSS animations and a new clean UI (with always visible back button and support for searches straight from the address bar), Browser version 7.3 is a breath of fresh air for Symbian. But while it does support Flash Lite, choppy performance was often an issue. The reworked browser supports multitouch, which works well. 

Up until the Symbian Anna update was announced, owners of Symbian^3 had to make do with the triple tap numeric keypad in portrait mode. Finally, Anna brought a full-QWERTY portrait virtual keyboard. You might find it hard to get used to Nokia's positioning of the numbers in a couple of rows instead of just one like on other systems, but except for that there's nothing fancy about this keyboard which just works. The maps application in its latest version has the familiar interface, but more functionality as it now integrates new public transportation routes and allows quicker searches. You can also download full country maps directly without using a computer. 

With its dual-pane layout in the monthly view, the Calendar application in Anna becomes even more useful. You can tap on any day on the left panel, while on the right all of your appointments are shown. You can also use multitouch to zoom in/out switching between monthly and weekly views. Finally, the email application has remained largely the same at its core, but now you have more space to view your mails and you can select multiple mails to manipulate.

Those novelties, are certainly important, but while they touch on some of Symbian's core issues, they don't completely solve them and Browser 7.3 is just one example. Some of the issues remain unaddressed – the confusing navigation, outdated homescreen widgets and overall sluggishness of the platform. But even before this first major update has rolled out, Nokia sets the bar high for Symbian Belle, the second important overhaul of the platform, by mentioning: “if you like Android then you’ll love Symbian Belle." There's no clear release date for the update, but after those words, we can only hope that it's sooner rather than later.



1. HTCFreak

Posts: 156; Member since: Jul 17, 2010

The new symbian looks really neat! and the rounded icons are beautiful and easy to use! :)

2. android_hitman unregistered

indeed it's a breath of fresh air... but still FAAAAAR behind the competition....

3. FanOfNokia unregistered

It really looks good...but still I was hoping that it will come on July ... and now the end of august...Lets hope that they will keep their promise about belle and they will made it look awesome :)

4. Erik unregistered

Looks great i really can't wait for the massive upgrade when the whole interfaces changes thats going to be epic, the icons looks really good,

5. N8 User unregistered

Still Waiting

6. nokia 5800, unregistered

can i upgrade my 5800 to this virsion help me

7. box unregistered

Only the N8, E7, X7, and a couple others will be able to update to it. However, you can download the theme and make it look like it, I did that on my Nokia 5230 Nuron

13. ik unregistered

not at all

23. xtratusx unregistered

No you can't but you can try with this ""

8. answer unregistered

Anna update is only for symbian^3 devices... Ur 5800 runs on S60 which is different from symbian^3... So it cant b upgraded...

9. jthiagesan

Posts: 104; Member since: Apr 20, 2011

Can i update my C6 to this?

10. answer unregistered

only Nokia N8, Nokia C6-01, Nokia E7-00, Nokia C7-00, Nokia E6, and Nokia X7 that run on symbian^3 can b upgraded to Anna. If ur talking about C6-01, then d answer if yes... but not for C6-00...

11. troy unregistered

My C7 astound TMO does everything that anna does now, what will the update bring to me other than the new icons?

12. techie unregistered

The nokia c7 astound comes with symbian anna preinstaled no need for an update

14. El Marko unregistered

Thanks, Phonearena; this is a good review of largely functional improvements (the ones that matter, not just the new icons). A year after the so-called "flagship" N8 was released, it still doesn't have this much-needed and often promised update. Worse, Nokia has now chosen to favor new customers, by shipping Anna in new phones, while denying the update to its current customers. The decision to release Anna in newly-shipping N8 units, while denying the update to current N8 owners, is particularly irritating. Could a stronger message of Nokia's disregard for current customers be made? I think not. Your mention of Belle underlines the ways in which Anna, despite the delay in arriving, falls short of the mark. At its current frequency of updating, Belle won't be released until sometime in 2013 - an eon, in mobile computing terms. Nokia's current track record won't keep developers in the Symbian^3 camp and that won't attract customers. Current owners of Nokia so-called "smart phones" are justified in concluding the value of their handsets on the secondhand market will never be higher than the today. If updates to Anna were going out this month, I'd say hold on to your N8 until after the update. But, with the Anna update now promised for "by the end of August," it's probably better to sell that N8 to someone who wants a good point-and-shoot camera (which also makes phone calls). As evidenced by the N9, Nokia is a superior hardware company. As the Symbian^3 debacle proves, Nokia is a dreadful software company.

15. raf unregistered

Will there be still one minute calendar reminder? It kills me and refrains from migrating to N8. Come on there is 21 century and still I can't adjust lenght of calendar reminder in my 5800. Please let me know if you have any info how to adjust it.

16. diogorva unregistered

"outdated homescreen widgets and overall sluggishness of the platform" You know what is REALLY outdated? iPhone 4 home-screen that doesn't have any widgets or shortcut. And you know what is REALLY sluggish? Motoblur interface on the dual-core Motorola Atrix, mostly on the gallery. It's funny that on both phones you guys give a pretty high score and none of these issues where mentioned. That's just too biased that almost makes me feel sick.

17. Enrique unregistered

I own a Nokia E6 and the only thing I'm not happy with is developers quitting in developing applications for this platform. It runs smoothly, touchscreen is incredibly responsive, navigating improved way better. I love widgets, one of my "desktops" is full and still runs without any lag. I use it mostly for work, checking mail, conferencing, editing (that's why I love the hybrid touch/ qwerty) and reading documents. About GPS? I did not test it yet. But my comparison is against my ex Nokia E71 (which I loved) and being honest, at the platform level is where you notice the more differences.

18. bronzedragon18 unregistered

Diogorva , I'm with u on that . Almost no one in the tech press ever mentions that iOS and Android , not to mention WP7 , r missing core functionality . And iOS and Android have had several updates !! I think Nokia is doing a great job on Symbian 3 !

20. Dude unregistered

I agree. iOS, Android and WP7 are OS which are having much lesser functionality than Symbian. And to see reviewer especially from American based reviewer site (no disrespect to american people) keep on ignoring the weaknesses of those three OS is just completely irritate me. Come on, Symbian is efficient and great..maybe lack of eye candy interface that makes it looks great, that's all. Get your fact right reviewer and stop praising your American OS, and start review things honestly. That's why i prefer Asian based review site, which are by far honest and unbiased.

19. ajayk unregistered

dooes anyone realise that some functions that are called brand new are already in the N8 symbian^3, such as the mark and tag function in the camera? that aside, does anyone know what type of flash anna will have - lite or normal?

21. cse7 unregistered

symbian 3 is efficient os. You can notice the minimum req to run this os. Android requires minimum 800 mhz to run while any symbian 3 device would require not more than 680mhz. This shows how optimized symbian 3 is.

22. c7 symbian unregistered

personally i think therevis nothing.wrong with symbian i mean all the the bas things that people point out on symbian are liveable..... i mean you knoww i think symbian is good. theres not a whole lot of thing that android or iphone can do that symbian cant do..... and speed....... if i put it in seconds, android and iphone is just maybe a second or two faster than symbian, its not a big deal... you know, and the browser, alot of people complain about it, theres opera in ovi store. its far kore smooth and faster. ohhh..... and the keyboard too... theres vlingo you can download in ovi store, just say and it'll do it for you, way faster than typing or anything. Theres ndesk app to make youre ui look like an iphone and spb shell to make it look like and android! you know, i mean its 2011 who uses a keyboard now just download vlingo and just say what you want your phone to do! you know.....

24. Atul88 unregistered

It still amazes me that people still have "hope" in even nokia stepping out from Symbian to WP7, Not just because WP7 is better operating system but they lost Millions of Dollars sticking to Symbian these last 3-4 Years...And Talking about Symbian Anna!!!!! I don't know why Nokia wanna lose other millions of Dollars investing in the Anna OS..If they are gonna switch to WP7 by the end of the Year....Symbian was never good enough to produce good results in the smart Phones as much as iOS and Android

25. Nokia Owner unregistered

Sorry folks, but anyone who thinks Symbian Anna is great is delusional or more likely, doesn't own a real smart phone. I was a loyal Nokia supporter from the old 3210, to the E-series then finally to the N8. Then due to work reason (I'm a developer), I had to start using Android and iOS. A few months back we were doing work with Nokia's Qt platform, so I whipped out my old N8 and got a developer preview of Anna. After having used Android and iOS, I can't go back to Symbian. Sorry to say even the N9 (we go to play with it too) is just not there. The Symbian OS has just got nothing left in it for "smart phones". I'd say that Symbian is the new os for "feature phones". Sorry Nokia, I'm truly sorry see you being left behind like this after rooting for you for so long.

26. Vrinda unregistered

The virtual QWERTY in portrait mode will certainly make symbian anna as good as Android.

28. rakesh priye unregistered

the symbian anna sucks... The menu icons are simple ... And in my c6-01 qwerty keypad is same as of the previoussymbian version... And the adobe reader scrolling has beendegraded... And broesing speed has also not increased

29. Matt unregistered

AWESOME!!! I've just got ANNA a few days ago... And my God it is really impressive... If Symbian can still do all this and compete with Apple and Android, then it truelly goes to show actually how good Symbian is... Dosen't it? Anna is absolutely awesome... I have the C7 and now with Anna, as an ex - programmer, Apple sucks, and Android although is good... Is not as powerful or as beautiful as Anna... And Anna is by far more effecient and so stable too. I've been hearing a lot of complaints about bugs with Android... I'm sticking with Anna for now until Belle comes out. But even Anna is a massive ovrehaul for Symbian and is now beginning to attract quite a few onlookers when I use my phone out and about. Well done Nokia and Symbian... Symbian is better than iOS and Android. I know the people in England who developed it originally for Psion - And now the secrets of what Symbian can do are finally blossoming. When Belle comes out.... Watch out Android. Nokia is currently being resurrected... My dad told me about the tortoise and the hare.... We know who is the winner! Oh and Belle handsets with 1GHZ processors are about to be sold on the market in some countries already within days... Android, your in trouble... Nokia have been busy quietly working very hard... It's always the quiet ones you need to watch... Underestimation at your priory!

30. Matt unregistered

I'm not at all impressed with iOS with its menu as a home screen and have to kill the battery to open an and back, for business, one swipe or glance is enough to see all I need at a glance, I don't always have the time to kill my battery just to go through every app and back. And Android which just dosen't have the same kind of charactor as Symbian feels false... But would be my alternative to Symbian. Those who think that people who are delusional about liking Anna need to see the final version and get to grips with it. Anna is way quicker than Iphone4 and on par and in my view if you have your phone set up correctly is better than Android, and Symbian is not left behind at all, it has it's own style of operating, and your not happy with Anna then there is Belle, - who in there right mind would think that symbian Belle would fall behind against Android? Belle would probably wipe the floor with Android! The programming is more effecient... And more powerful. And Anna is just so smooth. My phone is so much quicker than Android or iOS... And smoother. Symbian Anna is the Best! Unfortunately those that have left symbian Anna are usually not very intelligent people. - Anna can do so much more than Android and iOS. Symbian is BACK big time! After looking at handsets and firmware for months, Anna and Nokia are the best. Seriously. I know this as I helped develop satelite communications technologies for NATO warships, tanks etc... If advanced people could really see beneath the surface, they may realise how good symbian anna is. So lite, powerful, effecient, best multi tasking, and very, very stable, no other OS can achieve so much, and so much more than what Symbian has so far, Now if Anna dosen't suite you, then Belle would with the new 1GHZ handsets which are due on sale in just days... And with Symbian you don't need such high processing power because the software is ultra effecient making the battery last much longer.

31. Matt unregistered

"outdated homescreen widgets and overall sluggishness of the platform" What a load of Bollocks! My homescreen is more sophisticated than any smartphone on the market! And is lightening quick compared to other phones on the market. C7 Rocks with Symbian ANNA - A true advanced and intellects phone. Only mainstreamers with not much understanding go for iphone or those with a bit more intelligence go for Android. As for me I go for a kings phone Anna on board my C7. No other phone comes close. Looks and operates like silk. NFC too! Any questions? I managed to win a 187, 000, 000.00 pound contract for a satellite firm for NATO. Those that know anything about phones would like and see symbian anna in it's true light...

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