Series 40

From Legacy Portable Computing Wiki

Series 40, also known as S40, is a user interface used on Nokia feature phones from 1999 to 2014. It runs on top of a proprietary OS developed by Nokia, internally named ISA (Intelligent Software Architecture), but often called Nokia OS in official documentation. Unlike Series 60, S40 does not have its own application format, but has support for J2ME applications, as well as Flash Lite apps in newer versions.

The first phone to include Series 40 was the Nokia 7110, released in 1999, which in turn was also the first phone to include a WAP browser. Despite sharing the same name, the UI of the 7110 is unrelated to other, later Series 40 phones which were released in the early 2000s with color displays.

There were also some Qualcomm based Nokia CDMA phones running Series 40 on top of REX OS, such as the Nokia 3806. The last phone to come with Series 40 was the Nokia 515, released in September 2013. The platform was replaced by Series 30+ as Nokia switched to using MediaTek (and later Spreadtrum) platforms for their feature phones.


1st Edition

The first version of Series 40 ran on devices with 96 × 65 or 128 × 128 displays, and had two softkeys. This UI supports primitive Java applications (up to 62 kilobytes) with MIDP 1.0, CLDC 1.0 support.

"3G Series 40"

The Nokia 6650 and 7600 were based on a unique version of 1st Edition, which is sometimes unofficially referred to as "Series 45" or "3G Series 40"[1], since they were also the first 3G Nokia phones. The 6650 and 7600 were the only 1st Edition phones to have a D-pad with a center button, allowing for three softkeys. They also had a larger display at 128 × 160 resolution, which would become more mainstream with 2nd Edition devices.

2nd Edition

S40 2nd Edition was released in 2003. It brought these improvements:

  • Theme support using NTH files (only on later S40v2 devices)
  • Support for higher resolution displays (208 × 208).
  • Java ME implementation upgraded to MIDP 2.0, CLDC 1.1

3rd Edition

The 3rd Edition of S40 was introduced in 2005 with a UI redesign, adding some major improvements:

  • Support for 240 × 320 devices, but dropped 128 × 128 support
  • Allows running Java apps sent via Bluetooth or Infrared
  • Improved themes
  • Ability to boot the phone without a SIM card - this was also present on some phones running 2nd Edition such as 2610/2626 and 6088.

Due to 3rd Edition not supporting 128 × 128 displays, the 2nd Edition was used on certain low-end devices until as late as 2009, as seen on the Nokia 1506.

Feature Pack 1

  • Flash Lite 1.1 introduced, meaning now the phones support SWF screensavers and Flash games
  • Vector graphics support introduced

Feature Pack 2

  • Bigger fonts for menus, the menus now show four items at once in list view instead of five in previous versions.
  • Improved music player with Album, Artist sorting and ability to create playlists
  • Flash Lite upgraded from 1.1 to 2.0
  • More elements of the phone now customizable
  • Slightly overhauled camera interface

5th Edition

As with other Nokia products, number 4 was skipped due to tetraphobia in Asian markets. 5th Edition introduced the concept of the Lite versions, which were intended for lower end devices, most of which were based on the DCT4+ platform. Lite versions do not support Flash Lite.

  • A further improved music player from S40v3 FP2 with ability to play videos, album art and changeable skins
  • Slightly overhauled animations in Main Menu grid view
  • Portrait images are now viewed in full screen instead of small screen
  • Java MIDP version upgraded to 2.1

Feature Pack 1

  • Volume slider menu changed, now it shows a vertical bar instead of a horizontal one found in previous versions.
  • Later S40v5 FP1 phones received some of the features from S40v6.

6th Edition

6th edition brought these new features:[2]

  • Transition effects added throughout the menu.
  • New WebKit-based browser (not on 6th Edition Lite)
  • Support for 320 × 480 resolution, only ever used on the 6260 slide
  • Flash Lite 3
  • Simplified status bar
  • Clock display when pressing End/red key while the phone is locked

Feature Pack 1

Adds support for Touch and Type UI, as well as Gesture and FrameAnimator APIs, though not all FP1 phones had a touchscreen.[3]

S40 Developer Platform

S40 Developer Platform, also known as S40 DP, is the name of S40 versions after 6th Edition, used on the Asha series, as well as later C and X series models. [4]

  • DP 1.0 is equivalent to 6th Edition, 6th Edition Lite, or 6th Edition FP1.
  • DP 1.1 is equivalent to 6th Edition or 6th Edition FP1. This name was only used on the Asha series.
  • DP 2.0 is used on Asha phones with a 240 x 400 screen resolution.


Taking screenshots

PC software such as Gammu and Nokia Screen Dumper can be used to interface with a Series 40 device to take screenshots. See Taking screenshots on Nokia phones#Series 40 for a tutorial.

Dumping content

See Kahvibreak Nokia S40 Game Dumping. Note that this tutorial focuses specifically on games, but the procedure is similar for ringtones and other content. This requires you to own the device; it will not work on firmwares.

For extracting firmware packages, you can check out the work-in-progress predeftool. Some extracted content is already available on 📄 predefrepo

Managing music player skins

From 5th Edition onwards, the built-in Series 40 music player has the ability to switch skins. As these skins are contained in the phone's file system as SWF files, they can be extracted and sideloaded with PC software like OxyCube. For a more detailed guide, see Extracting/adding music player skins on Nokia Series 40 5th phones.


1st Edition

2nd Edition

3rd Edition

5th Edition

6th Edition

External links