Jolla Smartphone Review
Sounds coming out of the smartphone's earpiece are clear, but weak in volume. We boosted the sound level as far as it would go, but that introduced annoying crackling noises to the conversation. In contrast, the microphone works quite well, with only slight distortion audible when the noise cancellation kicks in.
The removable battery inside the Jolla smartphone has a capacity of 2100 mAh, which is tolerable. What isn't, however, is that the OS in its current state doesn't seem to be very economic when it comes to power consumption. Leaving the handset on stand-by overnight, with no Wi-Fi and no cellular connectivity enabled, resulted in a whopping 13% drop in charge level for us. Then there was this one time when we left the phone on stand-by and when we reached for it two hours later its battery level had gone from 100% all the way down to 55%, presumably drained by the web browser which was only minimized, not closed. Although this could have been a glitch, we aren't entirely sure. Whatever the case is, we think it would be challenging for an average user to get over a day of usage from the Jolla phone even though it is rated for 10 hours of talk time on 3G.
If Jolla's goal was to craft a phone that's unlike any other, then it has definitely succeeded. Its first Sailfish OS device has a fresh, distinctive design that might grab the attention of anyone looking for something that's, well, different.
However, trying to stand out from the crowd isn't always advisable. Yet that's exactly what Jolla is trying to accomplish by betting the house on Sailfish OS, and we can't see how that would do the company any good. The whole user experience is, how should we put it, not for the average user for a number of reasons, mostly because of its steep learning curve. After all, most people just need a smartphone that they can buy and start using without needing to spend too much time getting used to its peculiarities and limitations. Then there's the lack of apps for Sailfish OS. Sure, you can always find some Android titles that are going to run somewhat reliably, but we can't see how the platform's library of native apps would grow to a respectable size anytime soon.
All in all, the first Jolla phone is a half-baked product with a hard to justify price tag, while Sailfish OS has no advantages over the well-established smartphone platforms. Even if you're desperately in need of a phone that's unique, we would strongly advise you to spend your 400 euro ($550) on a phone that can get you much more bang for the buck – a Google Nexus 5 or an LG G2. Even a Samsung Galaxy S4 or an HTC One can be bought online for a few bucks more, so consider giving these a try these as well.
Software version of the reviewed unit: Sailfish OS 126.96.36.199
- Nice design
- Usable daytime photos
- The phone is too expensive for what it delivers
- Lack of software availability
- Android support isn't reliable
- Mediocre display
- OS still has some bugs
- Gesture-based navigation takes lots of getting used to
- The “Other half” concept is nothing but a gimmick
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- Display 4.5" 540 x 960 pixels
- Camera 8 MP / 2 MP front
- Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
- Storage 16 GB + microSDXC
- Battery 2100 mAh(10h 3G talk time)