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What is and how to check the firmware version?

Firmware is a coloquial name of the system software of your device, containing the Symbian operating system, the UIQ platform software as well as other software controlling the hardware parts of your UIQ 3 smartphone. The firmware also contains various built-in applications like e.g. the Opera web browser, office applications, etc.

Firmware in Sony Ericsson UIQ 3 phones consists of three modules:

  • Organiser software: this is the actual Symbian operating system of your device. Everything you do and see on your phone is operated by this software. The Symbian OS version is 9.1, but there are different updates and the actual version is presented in the following format: RXYZZ. R letter is always there. "X" stands for one digit, which is the major version number, e.g. 2. This number changes with serious updates made to the firmware. The "Y" stands for one letter, e.g. D. This letter indicates less serious changes. Finally, the "ZZ" stand for two digits, e.g. 02. These digits describe small, unsignificant improvements. So, the actual organiser firmware version looks like this: R2D02. If you have R2C01, then your version is slightly older, lacking only some small improvements when compared to R2D02, while if you have e.g. R1B05 then your firmware is very old, lacking many serious updates/corrections and should be updated as soon as possible. (The version numbers used here are just EXAMPLES, with no relation to actual firmware versions).

  • Phone software: this software controls the telephony sub-system of your device, i.e. the GSM chipset, the transmitter, interaction with the GSM/GPRS network etc. It works on a hidden level, below the Organiser software and is not visible to the user. Version numer syntax is the same as that of the Organiser software.

  • Bluetooth software: this software controls the Bluetooth hardware of your device.

So, which of the above should be used when referring to the firmware version on your device as a whole? You should always use the ORGANISER version. This is the most important part of your phone's system software, it contains the actual Symbian OS, and this is the only part that the user has direct contact with. Therefore, most of bugs or problems you may experience with your device are caused by the Organiser firmware. Alternatively, you can mention all versions, including the CDA version (described below).

Using Phone version when talking about your phone's firmware is a common mistake and is completely wrong. You should always use the Organiser version. "Phone" only means the telephony subsystem of your smartphone and NOT the entire device, just because it is not only a phone but first of all an organiser with a phone module. All updates, language packs, file-based fixes etc. are also always described using the Organiser (and not Phone) version.

To make this information complete, we should also mention the CDA version. CDA is the customization version of your phone. Customization means the contents of A: drive (ROM) and also the default contents of C: drive your device comes with. Among others, this relates to operator-customized startup and shutdown videos, user greeting, web browser's home page and preinstalled bookmarks and also language packs that come preinstalled with the phone. CDA version depends on the country of purchase as well as on the network operator.

Firmware version can be checked in two ways. The first way is to use the System information item of the Main menu screen's pull down menu. This function displays a screen showing all four above described versions. The second way is to use the hidden service menu. Select Software / Information menu to show the detailed firmware information, including its build dates.


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