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Reviving a Nokia N8 or any Symbian smartphone in 2021


The original Nokia company made devices that are meant to last, and this is the reason why legacy Nokia devices are still part of our collection. Growing up with Nokia devices, we were treated with design that has aesthetic appeal.

In contrast, these days what we get are generic slabs on steroids. Back in the days, the unique color, design, and slight bump in specs were more than enough to justify an upgrade. Over the years, Symbian was phased out and newer sophisticated operating system has cropped in keeping us glued to our device more than ever. Then comes the “smarter” phone category, running a dumbed down version of this newer operating system to sort of let you experience “more” for less.

The only device out of this new category that I invested in is the Nokia 8110 4G. It was partly the banana color and partly it’s a reboot of the device used in the first Matrix movie. The idea of weekend detox sounds great. But the experience using Nokia 8110 4G causes more stress than relaxation. From the sluggish operating system to the flimsy build quality, to the cramped-out keypad layout, this literally made me frustrated in the first half and hour using it that I literally tucked it away till date. Do not get me wrong, it is not because of it is hard to get use to keypad devices coming from touch screen devices, because I still use my E52 from time to time and feel great using it. Kai OS and HMD Global’s questionable motives to release the reboot of legacy series simply translates to frustrating user experience.

The cyan Nokia N8 next to Nokia 9 Pureview

Now, what if I say that you can enjoy great built legacy Nokia devices in 2021. Yes, it will not come with all the social media apps or games that has made us out of touch from the real world, but what it gives you is sheer pleasure of using back your classic Nokia devices with enough function to make it the perfect weekend detox device and a bit more.

The legacy Nokia devices comes in all shapes and sizes and are definitely built to last

Today I will share with you something that I just recently discovered. With 5 simple steps, you could literally bring back your Symbian device back to life in 2021. Some of you out there would know this by now, so this is for those are not aware of this.

Step 1

For this DIY project, you need a working Symbian device. I have tested this on Nokia N8, originally launched with Symbian^3 and later updated to Symbian Belle. In theory, it should work with similar configuration device. With the obvious requirement out of the way, lets move to the next step.

Step 2

The next step is to install Opera mobile/ Opera Mini for your device. The default browser still works, but due to the device age, you will be prompted with many securities warning and permission every second which is very annoying to say the least. Besides, Opera mobile has a good download manager.


Step 3

For this next step, we require a powerful file explorer. One that can access system file location, able to unzip, and transfer the files to different location. The only powerful file explorer that fits all these is the Lonely Cat File explorer. You can get the app directly from the official site at the link below:


Step 4

The next step is crucial to have a pain free experience using a Symbian device in 2021. This hack sort of allows the system to bypass security check for signed apps and bypasses the need for permission. Now, these files will be flagged as virus, which they probably are as they need to alter system files. The files can be removed once these steps are done. There are many such hacks, but I will personally recommend trying the ones from the link below as it works flawlessly. For security purposes, do not keep valuable or sensitive data in your device.


Step 5

Once the above are done, its time to install a new app store as well as a map data to enable navigation.

Download the new app store here:


To enable satnav in your Symbian device, kindly visit http://maps.tienda-sistore.com/ . Although there is a Symbian app for this, I will recommend using PC as the app seems to be nonfunctioning. All you need is to follow the instructions given, download the necessary file needed for your country, and transfer to necessary folder and voila, you have satnav on your device!


Here is the link to my video to show that it works.

You do not need much experience to make this project a success. Just follow the steps above. You would need a PC only for the last step. This project is intended to revive old legacy Symbian devices that we love. It will not be a suitable replacement as a primary device for most, but it will be a worthy replacement for any dumb phone out there. As usual, this was tested on Nokia N8 and I cannot verify it may go well with other devices but in theory it should. There is always a risk of bricking your device, so proceed with caution.

I hope you enjoy this simple DIY project. Thank you to the original posters of each sites above to make this project viable.

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