Does your Symbian phone take a long time to send SMS?

    I have possessed close to four Nokia S60 smart-phones in the last couple of years: an E50, E61, N80, and an N95. Beyond testing Symbian applications, I have never seriously used any of those phones as personal phones. I don’t despise Symbian phones, nor do I find the UI difficult to live with. My reluctance to use Symbian phones for my personal cellphone needs is largely because of an annoying problem I have faced on the phones that I have mentioned. The problem is that sending of SMS would become pathetically slow on the phone after a short period of use. If the phone was reset to factory settings, it would send SMS with the acceptable two to three seconds delay, but after a short while, the delay would start to gradually increase until it would get to a point where it would become painful to send SMS. Not only would the phone take anywhere from one minute to three minutes to send a single SMS, but would also freeze the phone until the process finished, leaving the phone inoperable during that time.

    Until very recently, I had no clue as to what caused those phones to exhibit such behaviour. Suspecting installed third-party applications of being the cause, I tested by keeping the phone clean after a factory reset (which wipes out all installed applications), but in vain as the problem described showed itself again. I tried resetting the phones in a number of different ways to get rid of the problem, but couldn’t. Every time that would happen, I would give up and move back to using the Sony Ericsson phone that I have.

    Pissed at not being able to figure out the cause of the problem, I decided to upgrade the firmware on one of the Nokia phones I have: the E61. The firmware update process, as painful as it was for me, will be described elsewhere in future. The firmware update upped the firmware version from 2.x to 3.x, which constitutes a major change. Reading through the number and type of things that the firmware changes and fixes, I did not find any mention of any “SMS sending slowness” issue. Dejected, I ran over Google to find something to console me. And find I did.

    I found that, after all, I was not imagining the problem I had been having. Other, real people were having similar issues with similar Nokia phones. And it was not a problem brought about by any third-party application installed on the phone. It was a bug in some models of Nokia phones, including the ones I unfortunately have. That was a relief. But, what were these people doing to circumvent the problem? Anything?

    Yes. As it turns out on a happy note, Nokia released a patch for the bug. They call it the “SMS Accelerator”. It is available lower down on the page here. It is a standard Symbian SIS file that installs an application inconspicuously in the background. This application strikes at the heart of the problem causing extremely long delays in sending of SMS. I have it running on my E61, and I can affirm ecstatically that it works. :)