Nokia N86 v20 firmware adds face detection and camera improvements

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The Nokia N86 8MP has received its v20 firmware upgrade a full week or so ahead of schedule, with v20.115 now available over the air (*#0000# on your homescreen) and via Nokia Software Update. There's a changelog below, but all you need to know is that this preserves user data and is a must-have - it's 8MB, large for an over the air update, takes over five minutes to apply and updates getting on for 6% of all OS files and modules. Read on.

OTA Firmware update   N86 running v20 firmware

Updating the N86 to v20.115 via FOTA (firmware over the air).

v20.115 brings:

Camera improvements:

  • Improved still image quality
  • Improved video quality
  • Face detection added
  • Red-eye removal added (Nokia note: "this is image processing which removes the red-eye. You need to be in red-eye reduction flash mode for it to be operational. Other flash modes it is disabled as there is a small shot to shot impact due to the extra image processing.")
  • New focus point indication - this shows where in the scene the camera is focussing
  • Improved Close-up focus. (Nokia note: "As a result you will find in most situations you can focus much closer than before. The new focus point indication will also help in confirming which part of your subject is used for critical focus checking")

  Face detection

Face detection is indicated by a yellow square.

Significant bug fixes to:

  • Web
  • Music store client
  • RealPlayer
  • Ovi Maps (including faster calibration of the digital compass)
  • Here and Now
  • N-Gage client
  • Nokia Messaging

There's also now:

  • Automatic VoIP re-registration.
  • Ovi Chat shortcut on the homescreen
  • An new Ovi services splash screen
  • An Ovi Store client (though it's buggy, selections from the Options menu are problematic.... - best use the mobile Ovi Store site in the meantime?)
  • An initial option to check for software updates when a customer first boots up the phone

In addition, there's more free space on C: (around 70MB when you start afresh), there's more free RAM (around 65MB after booting) and the N86 feels faster. 


In short this is a must-have upgrade. I have been using product code RM-484, but other N86 variants should get v20.115 in fairly short order. Network-branded handsets will, of course, have a much longer wait.....

PS. It's worth noting that some bugs are still present. BBC iPlayer downloads claim to be 'downloaded to Gallery' but in fact aren't shown (you have to launch them from File manager). Feel free to chime in with unfixed bugs in the comments. 

Steve Litchfield, All About Symbian, 30 Sept 2009