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Jolla Smartphone Review

0. phoneArena 14 Feb 2014, 07:00 posted on

What's unique about the Jolla smartphone is that it is powered by Sailfish OS – a new platform based on the now-forgotten MeeGo operating system. The software is capable of running Android apps and it its user interface relies heavily on gesture-based user interaction...

This is a discussion for a review. To read the whole review, click here

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 08:48

39. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2058; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

Ignore those trolls!

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 08:31 4

33. tasior (Posts: 263; Member since: 04 Nov 2012)

"In other words, we're dealing with an underdog mobile operating system built upon a product that flopped."

It didn't flop. It was put down by Elop, before any product was released. Get Your facts straight!

"We've been using the Jolla smartphone for several days now, and as much as we're trying to force ourselves to like its gesture-based navigation, we're still finding it a tad frustrating."

Seriously? Gestures are one of the most stand out features, of this OS, and You give it around 5 sentences? And all you say is that You generally don't like it, because it's too different from other systems. That seems extremely unfair.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 10:42 2

78. corporateJP (Posts: 2431; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)

""In other words, we're dealing with an underdog mobile operating system built upon a product that flopped."

It didn't flop. It was put down by Elop, before any product was released. Get Your facts straight!"

^Exactly what I've been saying.

People fail to realize that the N9 outsold many other devices, including other Nokia phones running Windows OS, in all the markets it was released in (which, on purpose, were not many). Once Elop caught wind of this, there was a "supply shortage". Go figure. Dude was a Trojan horse (too kind...more of a disgusting mole).

History cannot be rewritten, the facts present themselves, no matter how this site tries to put their spin on it.


posted on 14 Feb 2014, 11:07 4

84. tasior (Posts: 263; Member since: 04 Nov 2012)

Used N9 still costs arount 200$ in my country. If You manage to find new it will cost around 350$. It was one of Nokias greatest creations.

I once listened pre-Elop ceo plans. It was one of the wisest nad most inspiring mobile phones statements, I've ever heard. He said something like this (around 2010): As a mobile phone makers, the whole industry harms society. Operating smartphones require to much attention from user. They steal users attention from surounding world. Peoples interests drops, as they focus on a tiny screen. The MeeGo mission was to bring peoples focus back to life. Its mission was to allow people do desired actions with one hand and barely looking on the screen.

I agree with it, and Sailfish tries to continue this mission. I believe this is something people need (although they may not realize it yet).

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 08:46 2

38. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2058; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

Brutal/Harsh is an understatement for what this review is. Would've expected atleast a 7.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 08:50 1

40. ryan5609 (Posts: 106; Member since: 01 Nov 2011)

The review and low score is justified by the price alone. Look at the comps. For $550 you can probably get new or slightly used a LG G2, Nexus 5, Moto X, Galaxy S4, any Windows phone, you could probably even find a iPhone 5 for that price. Or you could get 5 Moto G's, etc... All of which you will receive better specs, performance, battery life, photo/video quality across the board. If you feel like paying a very large premium for Sailfish OS then be my guest.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 09:16 2

54. tasior (Posts: 263; Member since: 04 Nov 2012)

No one is arguing, that the score shouldn't have been lower than score of "LG G2, Nexus 5, Moto X, Galaxy S4". They are clearly all with better hardware, and more mature software, than Jolla. But 2 in readers mind means total crap, and that opinion is unjustified.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 10:48

80. ryan5609 (Posts: 106; Member since: 01 Nov 2011)

Ok. Then do this for me. I am new to the smartphone market. Never had one before, I don't know any thing about Android, iOS or Windows phone, so Sailfish and Jolla are new to me as well. I have $550 to buy a phone, sell me this phone.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 11:37 1

87. tasior (Posts: 263; Member since: 04 Nov 2012)

It's not a phone for everybody. Nevertheless, if You want to have considerably large screen, but You need to operate it with one hand without stretching Your thumb, this phone will deliver greatest user experience for You. If You're tired of hitting buttons for everything, try swiping. If You want a truly standout phone, this is it. At last if You're computer scientist or Linux fan, and like freedom, that linux gives You, this is the purest linux You can get on a phone.

I'm not a salesman. I did the best I could :).

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 12:48

94. ryan5609 (Posts: 106; Member since: 01 Nov 2011)

Jolla Target demographic:

One armed men/women with small hands, People who think using buttons (physical or onscreen) is mundane, Computer scientists, Linux fans.

My suggestion. Geeky people looking for a pure Linux phone should probably try Ubuntu for Android, after all, it is free.

Save yourself $200, buy a Nexus 5, dual boot Android and Ubuntu touch.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 17:44 1

103. tasior (Posts: 263; Member since: 04 Nov 2012)

Small handed people are quite a large market. One armed, small handed is almost non-existent, but small handed, that does things while operating phone seems to be quite sygnificant amount. Before smartfone era, people used one hand to operate phone. I thing many small handed friends, would love to be able to do that again.

There is a big chance, that once someone gets used to swipes, they may be much more convenient than buttons. You don't have to focus as much on a screen wich is a good thing.

I wouldn't underestimate linux fans. Look at the world around you. Internet, Google, Cloud storage, Cloud computing, Facebook, Ethernet in every company. Who do You think manages all this? Linux fans.

Don't scratch this product off the market yet. 2/10 is one sided and unfair grade.Tthe phone has definitely its drawbacks, and is unable to compete with todays flagships, but it has its advantages, that this review fails to mention.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 11:37 1

88. jellmoo (Posts: 1111; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)

That's not the target market though. This is a very niche device made by a small group that just don't have the resources to compete with companies like Samsung or Apple. It has incredibly limited carrier support, and none of the supply lines that keep costs down.

This isn't a device that will appeal to new consumers. This is a device targeted at people who loved old school Nokia products, and the N9 in particular. Nobody in their right mind considers this a competitive product to other devices in that price range. This is closer to a proof of concept and a building block to hopefully something bigger and better.

It isn't a mass consumer product and trying to grade it like one without proper context is ridiculous.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 10:51

82. ryan5609 (Posts: 106; Member since: 01 Nov 2011)

It's like paying $400 for a PS4, but instead of the PS4 you get an Ouya.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 09:16 2

53. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3686; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

Still this sailfish OS seems more functional than ios and wp. Atleast by the looks of it and what i've read about it.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 09:17

56. Vanster (Posts: 124; Member since: 15 Jan 2014)

maybe PA click the wrong score, just like typo with autotext

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 09:30 5

60. nexusdude (Posts: 151; Member since: 22 Aug 2013)

This phone is not made for simpletons like you, Nick T.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 09:39 5

62. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2058; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

This review is probably the most controversial one in the history of PA.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 09:55 2

66. Ikechukwu (Posts: 185; Member since: 03 Oct 2011)

2? A 2???? you've got to be kidding me. That's it for me and PA reviews

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 10:07 2

68. bigv6691 (Posts: 10; Member since: 08 Jan 2014)

You people defending this thing like it's the next big thing. The hardware sucks, the Os isn't mature, if it was cheaper it might have gotten a higher score. But you can get phones way better than this for the same price. So I think the score is justified.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 10:45 3

79. tasior (Posts: 263; Member since: 04 Nov 2012)

Lower score, than those 'way better phones' is justified. But not 2. The OS runs snappy on this device - it's mentioned in a review. There are some problems, but the review doesn't show the whole picture.

It has very comfortable one hand operational UI. This alone is a differentiation factor, that to some makes it a very tempting product. The review omits that fact entirely.

It's unfair. If we aproach to something new, with presumption, that IOS, and Android deliver best approach to everything, and nothing better can be done, we think inside the box. Reviewing entirely new product demands thinking outside the box. Nick stated, that this product demands too much learning, and that was all... This isn't a product for people who are unable to learn, therefore it shouldn't be revised by them...

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 10:59

83. ryan5609 (Posts: 106; Member since: 01 Nov 2011)

If the price for the Jolla was around the $100-200 mark, I could see this getting a much better score. But with smartphones you usually get what you pay for (Moto G being the exception), that is not the case with the Jolla. I know it must be extremely difficult to compete with the like of LG, Moto, Samsung, etc. But that is the competition none the less, they can afford to manufacture phones with low profit margins. Only the very adventurous will purchase this phone.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 10:12 2

69. Planterz (Posts: 1778; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)

To everybody complaining about the low rating:

Do you own this phone?
Have you even touched this phone?
Have you used one for a week or more?
Do you have any reason to claim this phone isn't a piece of crap?
Do you think this phone is worth the money?
Do you think it's a better phone than others in its price range?

No doubt PA's low score of this phone isn't merely a combination of crappiness and lack of value, but also a result of frustration, annoyance, and disgust with using it for several days.

Yes, Sailfish is in its early, fledging stages. But that doesn't excuse it from being an overpriced, buggy hunk of crap.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 10:24 6

74. jellmoo (Posts: 1111; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)

"Have you used one for a week or more?"

Nope. And given the quality of this review, I highly doubt PA did either.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 10:28 1

76. jroc74 (Posts: 5732; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

The way some ppl are taking this....you would think they had a hand in developing it.

I agree....even then....if I based my buying decision only on reviews...I wouldnt have gotten the Droid X. It got bashed more than it got praised. Even had some pro reviewers bringing up locked bootloaders as a negative.....something the general public knows are even cares about.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 10:24 1

73. dorianb (Posts: 565; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)

A 2.... ?? Ouch.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 11:28

86. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3577; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)

Not a good thing when one of your pros is "usable daytime photos". That should always be expected.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 11:40 2

89. OLDek (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

This is politics. Not a US. OS

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 12:45 4

93. sbw44 (Posts: 428; Member since: 04 Dec 2012)

I can't wait for crapsungs tizen OS to come out based on this review it should get 1/10 or wait it will probably get 8+ because its made by crapsung!

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 13:46 2

96. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3577; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)

Wow. You are super clever. Where do you come up with such massive amounts of creativity?!

posted on 15 Feb 2014, 01:15 3

108. sbw44 (Posts: 428; Member since: 04 Dec 2012)

Can't accept the truth?

posted on 15 Feb 2014, 14:43

119. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3577; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)

The truth that you're an immature fanboy that can't refer to a company without sounding like a 12-year-old? Nope. I see it quite clearly.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 14:12 2

97. tumchaaditya (Posts: 71; Member since: 21 May 2012)

Really! I feel that the phone deserves better grade.
I agree it's a half baked over-priced phone with specs not even close to current flagships, but you one really needs to look at the creativity aspects as well..

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 15:45

98. Glim12808 (Posts: 394; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)

For the sake of those former Nokia employees, I wanted to be positive about Jolla.
I have not tried the phone in actuality but have only seen pictures of the OS from different sources, but it really looks ugly!
I'm a fan of WP8 and I should like Jolla's tile-like design but unlike WP's simple and polished look, this one really looks awful.
I was hoping to buy one but I guess not gonna happen.

posted on 15 Feb 2014, 22:38

124. microsoftnokiawin (Posts: 1166; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)

dude are you serious
1. for an Os that's being developed by a team of highly professional well equipped well supplied team what is wp ? huh all i see are life tiles on the top and crap all on the bottom there's nothing below them tiles and Microsoft plays around saying oh look 2 different sizes now wow !

2. sailfish is elegant and simple from what i've experienced on my n9 !

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 17:26

102. tenzin (Posts: 105; Member since: 20 Dec 2013)

Gesture os as BlackBerry, jolla a ubuntu are future. If someone ones try one them never comes back to android or iphone

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 18:16

104. Hemoroid (Posts: 72; Member since: 13 Feb 2013)

Good review!

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 23:27 3

106. TimePass (Posts: 36; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

Can't resist from commenting. Just registered.

Worst review of all time PA

posted on 15 Feb 2014, 01:13 2

107. rahool360 (Posts: 16; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)

i got a say this, tis is a real poor review...even an avg joe like me find lot of interesting use to the other half in Jolla phone...i think the reviewer dont understand the concept didnt do any research abt it..gestures are difficult and take time to learn??? are you seriously a reviewer or even a tech enthusiast? the most fun thing abt a new OS is learning... this is a thrash review and they have to do someone interested in reviewing new phones...plz stick this guy ith phones he like the android ones like s4...he probably loves it and is not looking to see beyond that.

posted on 15 Feb 2014, 07:47 1

112. SIGPRO (Posts: 1003; Member since: 03 Oct 2012)

I have the Jolla, the specs are not so good but this is the first Jolla phone give them a break.
The battery life was poor when i first got it, it was drained in 1 day in standby mode, this because of an NFC bug.
With the latetst update the battery life improved, my Jolla is in standby for 8 days now and still the battery is at 54%.....so battery life is improved.
Meego is one of the best OS's in my opinion. And Sailfish is also good and simpel. Jolla should release a highend phone, they should have done it in the first place.

posted on 15 Feb 2014, 09:34 2

113. RandomUsername (Posts: 808; Member since: 29 Oct 2013)

WHY??? You reviewers are just spoiled by high-end phones from major manufacturers. Give the small companies a chance!

posted on 15 Feb 2014, 12:44

118. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3686; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)

To #98 Lol dude 'sailfish os is ugly wp8 is polished' what a joke atleast its possible to set wallpapers in sailfish. Tbh wp is okay for first 15 min hands on but beyond that you get offended by those bright cartoonish colors and childish ux.

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 02:19 2

126. ianneo (Posts: 40; Member since: 15 Dec 2013)

This is a really horrible review. Seriously, Phonearena, STOP DOING BIASED REVIEWS. Just review what the device can do! This is appalling! All you do is comment "HOW LOVELY IS SAMSUNG AND WANT ITS BABIES". You never rate an underdog really highly! All the high end Samsung phones get 9+ ratings and yet, this unique phone with its pleasant UI and not that many bugs gets a 2?! This is ridiculous. I'm gonna stop watching Phonearena videos if your bias keeps going.

posted on 17 Feb 2014, 06:58

127. g2a5b0e (Posts: 3577; Member since: 08 Jun 2012)

I highly doubt anyone's gonna care.

posted on 18 Feb 2014, 13:13

130. diyi75 (Posts: 66; Member since: 30 Oct 2013)

Looks like a fair review of a piece of crap phone. Battery life seems horrendous, app compatibly is terrible, seems to be a fair review.

posted on 20 Feb 2014, 06:02 1

133. microsoftnokiawin (Posts: 1166; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)

lol this phone has a stand by time of about atleast 20 days
app compatibility is improved
this reviewer just took it out of the box and put it back in and reviewed didn't even bother updating the software which is what normal people do

and lastly you're reviweing a beta unit great job !
fair review my ass

posted on 22 Feb 2014, 12:24

134. magnum44 (unregistered)

I love my Nokia N9 and still use it as my main phone. I even bought the white version for my wife (mine is black). This from a guy who owns 7 other top end devices from the high premium cream of 2012 and 2013. But this jolla device is definitely No ME GO. The review is fair and square.

posted on 23 Sep 2014, 02:23

135. NateAdam8 (Posts: 388; Member since: 17 Feb 2012)

An OS that uses Android Applications to get consumers is just something and/or someone sucking on Android Teets to get by.

posted on 01 Jan 2015, 13:30

136. jowal (Posts: 3; Member since: 01 Jan 2015)

I think it is not quite fair review. It shows that reviewer has not understood what is core of this phone, just like to see a sport car like Ferrari and sa in review "this is quite nice but very low car so it will be not practical for shopping of a house wife". True? yes! true! But it is not what for a Ferrari was built for! And this is my "against" for this review. I also have noticed some parts which are misleading or false: eg.: you can use ANY source of Android software including Google play store, not only Yandex! that is not true info, which implies from the text of review. And the same is about number of software, seems that reviewer were not familiar or has not tried many most of Sailfosh and Jolla advantages. SO, I'd like to remind some of them, those most important for me, some advertised by Jolla, some figured out by users themselves:
1) Jolla smartphone OS is full Linux MeeGo Sailfish OS, note full Linux, just contrary to castrated Linux with mounted Dalvik commonly called Android. Full Linux mean there are no limitations known from Android. It can be considered as full computer with abilies of an portable Linux computer.
2) Sailfish OS is direct incarnation or further developed version of Linux MeeGo known from legendary Nokia N9.
3) Jolla has been formed by ex-Nokia employees which were aware of MeeGo endless possibilities, so they didn't want to abandon the most promising Nokia project since timebeginning of Symbian OS. That means Jolla is small company but full of experienced people who know how to do mobile devices- they know how to avoid mistakes and problems. So users will be more safe form nasty problems. just like with experienced physician: experience cause he/she don't need to experiment on you, they know what to do, and how.
4) Linux mean it is multitasking OS - so no freezing apps in a background like in Android. As Sailfish in about 70-80% is MeeGo code which was optimized by Intel+Nokia and after this was polished and developed further in frames of the MERproject.org, in total that means this is more then solid mobile Linux piece of art. In practice that mean entirely much better and effective use of resources hence much better performance with the same CPU and resources. For user that means one can see via internet browser something like internet TV or observe changing prices of papers live online and make call and write and text - all together in the same time and all 3 activities will be independent and one is not disturbing another. This is very different experience when user is not limited by "frozen in background app" so, eg. one will not loose a moment for the most optimal decision to sell or to buy and will have possibility to make an order in this moment because all 2 needed apps for this can be switched live in the fly - that is what true multitasking is. Sailfish at current Jolla device can work without lags and slow-downs with around 20 different apps running in the same time. Common user a few only.

posted on 01 Jan 2015, 13:32

137. jowal (Posts: 3; Member since: 01 Jan 2015)

(continuation from previous post, above one)
5) Sailfish is safe as a Linux and Jolla declared they respect privacy and not share any user data with anybody. That mean you don't have installed any spyware by default like Windows with PRISM and MYSTIC or Android.
6) Because of Linux nature if any spyware or malware would like to be installed in the Sailfish OS then user must allow for this like any other installation of any other software. So if one will not allow for an installation it will not happen - if one don;t have a stupid habit of accepting any demand for installation then is more safe from malware and spyware.
7) Sailfish OS is the only one Linux platform that can use software of: 1) native Sailfish OS software 2) Android apps due to built in Alien Dalvik 3) Linux software from huuuge Linux library. Either recompiled from sources or compatibile with CPU binaries in RPM packages standard 4) those of MeeGo Linux software pieces which are compatible with can work under Sailfish UI. That makes in total theoretically about 650000 of unique software positions.
7a) Software can be dowloaded from any source including Google store not only Yandex or Jolla.com.
8) Sailfish has further developed gesture based UI known from Nokia N9 which gives much faster and more comfortable use of the device by all means.
9) Jolla with Sailfish OS is a power tool for every admin or IT involved person which allow to control supervised web sites, portals or services. It has built in linux terminal/console mode which allow to communicate with system using commands or log in with terminal mode. No other device allow this so easy and effectively.
10)One of biggest advantages is that project is under continuous development and the development is upon customers requests - what in general mean Jolla is paying attention to users needs, demands, requests. Hence Sailfish OS is continuously perfected and in the way it is demanded by users. This is very important as it in not an OS without bugs or all-having-one. Users are not left alone without help, however that not means that every ideas are realised - but priority of each one is set upon votes of community at together.jolla.com
11) I tried and I can confirm it is worth to try Sailfish OS.

posted on 01 Jan 2015, 13:33

138. jowal (Posts: 3; Member since: 01 Jan 2015)

Most of above aspects, which IMHO, are very important has not been even noticed at all, like mulstitasking

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