Jolla Smartphone Review

Call Quality

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.

Battery Life

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


  • 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

PhoneArena Rating:




1. Reality_Check

Posts: 277; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

Man that's brutal !! :P

14. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

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

20. rangaha

Posts: 86; Member since: Dec 05, 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'.

29. Skoms

Posts: 118; Member since: Feb 03, 2014

This is better than WP8

37. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Hahahahaha that was funny! LOL! +1

41. papss unregistered

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

85. Dastrix unregistered

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

58. akki20892

Posts: 3902; Member since: Feb 04, 2013

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

90. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 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.

95. saurik

Posts: 86; Member since: May 13, 2013

I need John V. to wipe my tears.

99. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 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.

125. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 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

16. easymomo

Posts: 91; Member since: Jul 04, 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.

34. chunky1x

Posts: 270; Member since: Mar 28, 2010

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

48. Johnnokia

Posts: 1158; Member since: May 27, 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.

65. cripton805

Posts: 1485; Member since: Mar 18, 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.

71. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 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.

100. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 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.

121. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 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 !


Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

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

105. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 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.

115. great

Posts: 85; Member since: Jan 21, 2013

phonearena.... why so serious !?

2. Sesameopen

Posts: 109; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

Lowest score on PA up to date. Damn I was actually thinking about getting this.

25. mobi_user

Posts: 152; Member since: Jun 18, 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.

42. papss unregistered

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

3. xperiaDROID

Posts: 5629; Member since: Mar 08, 2013

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

9. kaikuheadhunterz

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jul 18, 2013

Not if everyone else kicks it first

4. Andrewtst

Posts: 696; Member since: Jan 25, 2009

Wow! Score of 2 !!!

5. power_x

Posts: 264; Member since: Aug 28, 2013

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

13. kaikuheadhunterz

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jul 18, 2013

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

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

  • 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)

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