S40: Featurephones and beyond
To date, Nokia has released 180 Series 40 devices. These devices are primarily aimed at consumers in emerging economies but are also widely sold throughout Europe and other developed economies. There have been incremental improvements to the Series 40 browsers over the years but—with the exception of the latest WebKit based release—there are no formal, easy-to-identify versions.
To complicate matters further, Series 40 devices vary greatly by price point. Cheaper devices will have a lower spec than more expensive ones, but what capabilities are removed or adjusted to create this lower spec is variable. This makes it difficult to group devices by either release date, price point, or Series 40 version. In the table below, I have grouped browser specs based on platform version and somewhat arbitrarily assigned names to each one. As you will see, most devices support XHTML MP, WAP CSS and basic scripting.
|S40 Legacy 0 (2002-2005)||Series 40||~50||WAP 1.2.1||128 x 128||Non-touch||7210, 3510i, 3300, 3200, 3220, 7620|
|S40 Legacy 1 (2005)||Series 40 1st Edition||1||
||128 x 128||Non-touch||2355|
|S40 Legacy 2 (2005-2007)||Series 40 2nd Edition||16||
||Non-touch||7360, 6230, 6102|
|S40 Legacy 3 (2005-2007)||Series 40 3rd Edition||35||
||Non-touch||7373, 5300 Xpress Music, 3110 Classic, 6300, 7370, 6233|
|S40 Legacy 5 (2007-2009)||Series 40 5th Edition||46||
||Non-touch||5130 XPress Music, 2730, 5310 XPress Music, 5000, 6301, 2600 Classic|
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Similar to the oldest S60 devices, you can safely ignore the Legacy 0 and 1 categories unless you're certain your audience still uses these devices. Even in emerging economies, you hardly see these for sale any more in secondhand shops, and I’m not entirely sure they would work on modern networks.
The specificity issues present in S60 Legacy browsers are also present in Series 40 Legacy so it’s once again not surprising that proxy browsers have gained huge market share within this group. If it’s not realistic to adjust your mark-up to account for the the age of these browsers, be sure to at least optimize for Opera Mini and UCWeb.
Recommended test devices:
- Nokia 2610: older device with 128 px display
- Nokia 3110 Classic or Nokia 5300: very popular device with early browser
- Nokia 5130 XpressMusic: very popular device and newer browser
- Nokia 2680 Slide: newer browser but lower-end spec device
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Series 40 WebKit
The s40 WebKit browser is a bit of an odd story and I fear this browser may be a victim of bad timing. The browser was launched in 2009 to little fanfare (which was a shame as it's a really lovely browser). Its specification is similar to S60 OSS browsers and it’s fast with lovely rendering. The problem is that it's a bit hard to find. Around the time is browser appeared Nokia also started shipping the Opera Mini proxy browser on Series 40 devices along with the native browser. Then in 2010 Nokia started developing its own proxy browser called Ovi Browser (based on technology inherited in the acquisition of Novarra). With Ovi Browser now in beta, it likely wise to assume both the pre-installed Opera Mini and the S40 WebKit browser will disappear from S40 devices fairly soon.
|S40 WebKit (2008-present)||Some Series 40 6th Edition||16||
||6700 Classic, X3-02 Touch and Type, 6303, C3-00, C3-01|
- This browser has a large default font size. A font size decrease of ~15% is recommended.
- This browser supports media queries for device-width and also supports the screen media type.
- This browser supports both touch and non-touch interactions. The touch version of the browser has issues with small touch targets (e.g. small links, buttons etc.). There are also reports of problems with the responsiveness of mouse events.
Recommended test devices
- Nokia 6303 Slide: non-touch device
- Nokia X3-02 Touch and Type: touch device with traditional T3 style keypad
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Stephanie is a designer and closet anthropologist with a passion for the many ways people interact with technology. With a diverse background, Stephanie's expertise lies in marrying design, technology and business goals to craft simple, elegant experiences. A compulsive researcher, Stephanie is always keen to discover and share insights on the mobile web and mobility trends in emerging economies.