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Jolla Smartphone Review

Jolla Smartphone

Posted: , by Nick T.

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Camera

Takes decent daytime photos, but struggles in low light.

On the back of the Jolla smartphone we find an 8MP camera with auto-focus and LED flash. One can easily access its interface either by launching the camera app from the home screen, or using the shortcut in the phone's swipe-down menu. Once there, we're treated to a clean, minimalist UI with no bells and whistles anywhere in sight. There are some manual controls – we're allowed to change the focusing mode or tweak the white balance, but that's pretty much it. There's no built-in panorama feature, and there's no HDR either. Oh well. At least the camera app is dead simple to use. On second thought, there are several things that could have been made better. The resolution setting, for example, is found in the Settings menu, not in the Camera app. But the thing we are much more frustrated with is the shutter sound. Well, not the actual sound itself, but the delay between the moment it goes off, and the moment when the photo is captured. In other words, you hear the click half a second in advance, so by the time the photo gets taken, you might have already moved.

Anyway, given favorable conditions, the Jolla phone is well capable of taking decent, presentable photos. Sure, they are a tad noisy and the fuzzy details don't look nice at 100% zoom, but all in all, the phone's daytime shots are definitely share-worthy. Colors have a neutral tone to them and don't really pop out, but they do look close enough to the way they do in real life. The only thing we find annoying is that while tapping on an area of the frame shifts the focus onto it, the exposure doesn't get adjusted accordingly.

Low light photos, however, are barely usable. They are noisy, blurry, and the auto-focus often refuses to cooperate. The LED light might help to a certain extent, but it often messes up with the color balance, rendering the image much colder than it should be.


The Jolla smartphone can capture videos at resolution of 1920 by 1088 pixels, but their quality is far from inspiring. Details are poor, noise is abundant, and objects in motion don't move very smoothly. As you might guess, it gets even worse under low-light conditions because of the even poorer details and the horrible motion blur.



Multimedia

Nothing but the basics.

We find a humble, basic Gallery application pre-loaded on the Jolla smartphone. It lets us browse the image- and video-containing folders in the phone's storage and the photos we've shared on our social networks. Thumbnails of the images in these folders are organized in tiles of a fixed size. Sadly, there's little that the Gallery app can do. It lets us share images on Facebook or over Bluetooth, but there's no image editing tools and there's no way of posting multiple photos at the same time.

The Music player is not very advanced either. Actually, we didn't even get one out of the box so we downloaded one that is in Jolla's list of recommended apps. It gets the job done, but it lacks fancy perks like an equalizer or the option to set a song as a ringtone. It is nice that we can control music playback from the app's tile in the list of running apps since it kind of acts as a widget.

There's a single loudspeaker built into the Jolla phone. It is placed at the bottom of the device so it is not uncommon for the user to obstruct its opening by accident. The loudness of the speaker is average and there's not even a hint of lower-frequency tones, but at least the sound is very clear.

You have to be very desperate if you resort to watching videos on the Jolla smartphone. The screen is fit for the purpose, but the software isn't. Videos of up to 1080p resolution are played through the gallery app and not all popular formats are supported. Furthermore, the UI lacks any features that go beyond fast-forwarding and it did crash on us a couple of times. YouTube videos can be watched by opening the YouTube web site in the web browser, which is better than having no YouTube at all.

118 Comments
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posted on 14 Feb 2014, 07:05 16

1. Reality_Check (Posts: 277; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)


Man that's brutal !! :P

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 07:32 19

14. akki20892 (Posts: 3902; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Sometimes they need good Reviewer. This Is childish review. Sometimes I see fanism.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 07:48 23

20. rangaha (banned) (Posts: 86; Member since: 05 Dec 2013)


Funny how these people comment that this is a terrible review, yet they have never even used the phone being reviewed. Quite hypocritical that this guy calls the author out on 'fanism'.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 08:15 16

29. Skoms (Posts: 118; Member since: 03 Feb 2014)


This is better than WP8

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 08:45 4

37. NokiaFTW (Posts: 2072; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)


Hahahahaha that was funny! LOL! +1

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 08:54 3

41. papss (unregistered)


Nice trolling skoms.. So cleaver and has nothing to do with this phone.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 11:13

85. Dastrix (unregistered)


Sure, 2/10 is better than 9/10. How's math for you?

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 09:23 3

58. akki20892 (Posts: 3902; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


2 out of 10, men think about it, this is out of limits.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 11:59 1

90. ihavenoname (Posts: 1693; Member since: 18 Aug 2013)


It's not good device, but after all, it's Jollas first smartphone, made by ~100 guys. OS is great, but it's more like alpha than beta or finished one. Some forgiving must do, and I think that this device should get like 4 or 5, just to be generous.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 12:49 1

95. saurik (Posts: 86; Member since: 13 May 2013)


I need John V. to wipe my tears.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 16:36 1

99. downphoenix (Posts: 3165; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


typically Nokia fanboy. It is clear that this is a junk phone. It has lesser specs than the Moto G and is about 3-5x the price (depending on where you get the Moto G at) and apparently is worse than the Moto G on all fronts. I cant think of a single reason why someone would buy this over that, and that is a phone that costs about 100-150$ generally.

posted on 16 Feb 2014, 14:52

125. microsoftnokiawin (Posts: 1236; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


oh yeah the specs are what makes a phonne junk now may i remind that unlike android other OS's don't need big specs to run seamlessly

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 07:38 4

16. easymomo (Posts: 91; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)


The score is very low, but I read the review... the phone is really really disapointing and has the same price as the Nexus 5 or LG G2.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 08:32 3

34. chunky1x (Posts: 270; Member since: 28 Mar 2010)


Brutal is a conservative term. There are no words that could ever describe this review on the planet.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 09:12 9

48. Johnnokia (Posts: 1144; Member since: 27 May 2012)


Nick T. ,, just grow up.

Your review is more than disgusting.
This is the worst unprofessional review I ever seen.
I can't call a review either.

6 years child could write better than you.

I used to read only GSMArena reviews.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 09:52 9

65. cripton805 (Posts: 1485; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)


Honestly, I think the review was justified. The specs are horrible and every single pro the phone has, it has to be limited to what seemed "unfinished". For example, the NFC. Why didnt they finish NFC support, if its included. It's $550 which is not cheap by todays standards. It doesnt support much in multimedia. The camera has no HDR, camera lag, etc... Bad call quality. Low res screen...

I would have given it a 1 out of 10.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 10:14 4

71. jroc74 (Posts: 6019; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Exactly. I think some ppl have blinders on. Just because you like a phone or want it to succeed....doesnt always mean its a good phone.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 16:49

100. downphoenix (Posts: 3165; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


so true. Phones like Moto G are better when they're about 1/3rd of the price, and this phone is just BARELY ahead of the Lumia 520/521 which are about 1/5th of the price.

posted on 15 Feb 2014, 22:04

121. microsoftnokiawin (Posts: 1236; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


you do know the jolla office is made out of 85 people they don't have advanced research facilities or beta testers the beta testers are the community i got sailfish running on my n9 and it's great for it's beta tag !

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 12:14

91. PAPINYC (banned) (Posts: 2315; Member since: 30 Jul 2011)


iAgree, iL♥ve this new iPhone 6; there's no need for such a horrific review, that's just unprofessional!!

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 21:39 1

105. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


I wonder how much the price played a part in the overall rating. Yes, the Jolla phone is admittedly incomplete, but it's a device for people that like to tinker, explore, experiment, and modify their devices, and want more freedom than what android offers, or something different, fresh, and coming from a semi-grassroots foundation. If it were $200-300, I'd consider picking one up, but $550 is steep for what it is, and better to sell more $300 phones than few $500 phones, IMHO, as it gets the product in more hands and gives more opportunities for crowdsourcing and the like.

posted on 15 Feb 2014, 11:07 1

115. great (Posts: 85; Member since: 21 Jan 2013)


phonearena.... why so serious !?

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 07:07 4

2. Sesameopen (Posts: 109; Member since: 02 Aug 2013)


Lowest score on PA up to date.

Damn I was actually thinking about getting this.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 08:00 8

25. mobi_user (Posts: 152; Member since: 18 Jun 2013)


PA will not give this phone a good review.
First it is a very small company to sponser thing for them.
Second, Jolla is made of revolting members of Nokia+Microsoft. They didn't surrender to the morachy.
Third, Tizen needs to be put in place.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 08:55 1

42. papss (unregistered)


So they instead made a pos OS with even worse hardware.. Awesome

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 07:10 3

3. xperiaDROID (banned) (Posts: 5629; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


2 out of 10? Really? Jolla is gonna kick PA's a**.

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 07:22 1

9. kaikuheadhunterz (Posts: 1157; Member since: 18 Jul 2013)


Not if everyone else kicks it first

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 07:11

4. Andrewtst (Posts: 678; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)


Wow! Score of 2 !!!

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 07:12 7

5. power_x (Posts: 264; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)


only 2/10 ??????
i feel sorry for the people who worked so hard on developing this phone

posted on 14 Feb 2014, 07:30 9

13. kaikuheadhunterz (Posts: 1157; Member since: 18 Jul 2013)


You should feel sorry for the consumers who are manipulated into thinking that this is a terrible product

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PhoneArena rating:
2Terrible
Display4.5 inches, 540 x 960 pixels (245 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Dual-core, 1400 MHz, Krait 200 processor
1 GB RAM
Size5.16 x 2.68 x 0.39 inches
(131 x 68 x 9.9 mm)
4.97 oz  (141 g)
Battery2100 mAh, 9 hours talk time

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