You’d be forgiven for not having heard of it, but the Jolla smartphone is a launch from a group of former Nokia employees. It runs on a new operating system called Sailfish. This Sailfish OS is based upon MeeGo which was an OS under development at Nokia but was scrapped in favor of the Windows phone. Nokia N9, which was never launched in the UK was the last of the Nokia phones to feature MeeGo.
MeeGo is an open source project which has been turned into Sailfish by former Nokia employees. It can be called the defeated N9’s legacy. Sailfish is still in its Beta versions and the Jolla phone has undergone initial release. It will be more readily available to retailers and operators next year.
The Jolla Smartphone
At an estimated cost of around four hundred euros, the smartphone is a cool device with a few alternative features. It has the appearance of two chassis which have been conjoined. The top half is rounded at the top and the bottom half is rounded on the sides. A unique look, even though the phone is quite square, the phone is easy enough to hold despite first impressions getting a little confused at the styling.
It’s big, dimensions being around 9.9mm and weight being around a hundred and forty grams. It sports a Qualcomm 1.4 GHz dual-core processor and 1 GB of RAM. Internal storage capacity is set at 16 GB and there are provisions for expanding the memory through a microSD card. The battery is rated at 7.98 Wh although the phone has not been tested enough to ascertain battery life.
That’s how fresh it is.
It fits in nicely at the top half of the mid-segment smart phones with a four and a half inch IPS screen and a qHD resolution of upto 540px x 960px. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, A-GPS, 4G support and NFC are all available on the phone.
Jolla’s NFC is primary meant for removable covers and they call the feature ‘the other half’. Removable colors, available in a plethora of different colors have NFC chips which store information such as wallpapers, ring tones and some personal settings. This makes the Jolla very easy to customize and fun to play around with.
The phone comes with an eight megapixel rear camera with LED flash and a two megapixel front camera. The specs sound good but the camera is not really as impressive as those found on the Nokia Lumias.
The layout is vertical, from top to bottom with a lockscreen, a homescreen and an application menu. It takes a little time to get used to the gesture system of working things but these are all teething problems faced by every new OS. There is a handy tutorial to go through and that makes things much easier.
Most functions are done by swiping, so one has to swipe up and down between the three menus and screens listed in the last paragraph. There are three primary functions. Swiping left to right takes one from an open application to the home screen, swiping from the top of the screen closes the application and swiping from the bottom brings up all the notifications.
The Jolla has also performed well in several benchmark tests largely thanks to the Sailfish OS which has been designed to be extremely speedy.
Apart from navigating, Sailfish runs very smoothly and is aesthetically very appealing. There are a limited amount of dedicated Sailfish apps but it is a new platform so expect that to grow. More importantly though, is the support the OS has for running Android based apps. Google Play Store is not active but other alternatives such as Yandex come bundled with the phone.
Reggie Walker is a smart phone enthusiast who has been tracking the recent release of the Jolla smartphone. Being a Nokia user earlier and having extensive experience in the field of smart phone operating systems, Reggie speaks very highly of the phone and prompts those looking for a mid to premium budget phone to wait to get their hands on the Jolla device.