Mobile Geeks were able to get a hands demo of the latest Jolla Phone in London last week, the first Smartphone to showcase Sailfish OS, a new mobile operating system that has quite a history, with descendants that include Meego, Meamo and Moblin. Watch Roland get hands on with ‘The First One’ from Jolla.
Jolla Phone: Specifications
• 4.5″IPS qHD Display (540 x 960)
• Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (Dual-core, 1.4GHz)
• 1GB RAM
• 16GB Internal Storage
• microSD up to 32GB
• 8MP Rear Camera (auto focus LED Flash)
• 2MP Front Camera
• GSM/3G/4G LTE support
• 131mm x 68mm x 9.9mm
• 141 grams
• 2,100mAh Battery
• Sailfish OS 126.96.36.199 (Ohijarvi)
Many of you may recall the Meego OS project which was originally derived from both Meamo developed by Nokia, and Moblin from Intel. Meego was officially announced by Nokia and Intel at Mobile World Congress back in 2010. Intel was motivated by Microsoft’s refusal to offer comprehensive Windows 7 support on netbooks, while Nokia was desperately in need of a true mobile OS to replace the aging Symbian platform. Intel eventually teamed up with Samsung and created what we now know as Tizen, but the Finnish development team carried on the Meego project in the form of project Mer, which forms an integral part of Sailfish OS today.
Sailfish OS is basically developed by the same team that originally worked for Nokia on previous Meego and Maemo projects. The OS is entirely open source with the exception of the Jolla swipe UI, which is licensed by Jolla, and terms of navigation it’s no surprise to see that it remains similar to what to what we remember of Meego. Apps are presented as tiles which can be opened and closed by simple swiping from the edge of the screen.
Jolla have also added an NFC sensor on the rear of the device that can detect which back cover is being used by the phone. Different covers can automatically configure the device’s theme, so with the orange back cover being used in the demo, you’re getting a matching orange theme with it’s own unique ringtones. It was mentioned in the video that it would be possible to also have a self-configuring hardware keyboard that could also take advantage of this feature.
The Jolla Phone was officially launched for pre-orders globally back in December of last year with a retail price of 399 Euros. As well as striking a deal with a Finnish operator, Jolla have also established the Sailfish Alliance, which interestingly includes several partners from China and Hong Kong. The Alliance aims to offer a opportunities for OEM and ODM partners, operators and hardware manufacturers to work with the Sailfish OS. We will keep our eyes peeled for Sailfish Smartphones coming out of China throughout the year, and monitor its progress as a viable Android alternative.