Jolla Sailfish smartphone review: It’s different, and that’s about it

By: | Published: December 31, 2014 10:54 AM

Bored with Android? Not sure about Windows Phone? Can’t afford iOS? Jolla’s Sailfish OS might give you a much needed breather.

Jolla smartphone, Jolla sailfish OS, Android smartphoneJolla smartphone is priced at Rs 16,490 in India
Bored with Android? Not sure about Windows Phone? Can’t afford iOS? Jolla’s Sailfish OS might give you a much needed breather. Sailfish is a Linux-based operating system created by the Jolla startup founded by ex-Nokia employees. The smartphone features on average hardware with the Sailfish OS giving it a new dimension.

Specs: 4.5-inch qHD display | Sailfish OS | 1.4 GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor | 1 GB RAM | 16GB internal memory expandable up to 32GB | 8MP rear camera | 2MP front camera | 2100 mAH battery

Price: Rs 16,490

Design: It looks completely different. To be precise, the smartphone is divided into two halves. The front face is plain with no navigation buttons while the “other half” or the back cover is made with high quality polycarbonate along with a NFC tag. Jolla claims it to be more than just a back cover. These are smart covers which can automatically change the colour theme, wallpaper, font along with some tweaks to the UI when the cover is changed.

The smart cover hides the microSD card slot, micro-SIM card slot and battery. The smartphone may not be the slimmest and lightest, but the design impressed me. The good build quality with minute detailing will please any user. Good work Jolla.

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Display: It features a 4.5-inch qHD 5-point multi-touch display with Gorilla 2 glass protection. The display is great indoors. However, once you step outside, the screen is quite reflective. The viewing angles are nothing great but the colour were accurate. Overall, the display is okay. It could have been a lot better. After using several 5-inch display, I found the 4.5-inch screen to be a bit small while watching videos.

Software and UI: After getting the review unit, I literally had to dedicate some time to learn the UI. It is totally gesture-based. As it has no navigation button, you will have to get used to UI. I got confused sometimes and kept on hitting the LED notification button to go back to the home screen. If you like trying out new launchers then using Sailfish will be real fun. Android and Windows Phone users might get frustrated with the OS, as the concept is totally different. You will have to learn it. The OS combines the best features of Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry OS.

On the app front, the good news is it supports Android apps and comes with Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and users can download other Android apps via Yandex and Aptoide Stores along with other Android marketplaces. However, the experience with Android apps is not smooth and everything does not work on it. Also, there are very limited native applications on Sailfish.

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Performance: Overall, the device offers a smooth experience. However, some apps took a bit of time to load. The smartphone runs on a 1.4 GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor along with 1 GB RAM and 16 GB internal memory which can be expanded up to 32 GB via microSD card.

Camera: The 8MP camera is okay. Overall, the colour were accurate with the images had good amount of detailing too. The auto focus is not the fastest in this category of smartphones. Under low lighting conditions, the camera couldn’t live up to the expectation. The 2MP front camera offers decent selfies. The phone is capable of capturing some decent videos.

Battery: The 2100mAh battery can easily last an entire day of moderate to heavy usage.

Verdict: The Jolla smartphone is, of course, different. However, this difference could only attract people who seriously follow Jolla. For first timers, this smartphone will be difficult to operate. Overall, this smartphone will give you a break from the regular user experience if you are already using an Android smartphone.

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