Jolla Launch

Jolla has finally launched the first hints to their first hardware. Being an old N9 user, having dropped his phone, I really do want one. The N9 easily outperformed my current Samsung S3, despite its ancient hardware, so I’m really excited about what Jolla will be able to do with modern hardware.


The specs are a bit sketchy at the moment, but I guess things might become more clear tonight. For €399 you will bet a 4.5″ Estrade display, a dual core CPU and 4G support (in some markets, which will be announced later). 16GB of on-board FLASH and support for microSD means that there will be ample space for music, photos, videos and applications.

An 8MP camera seems to be commodity today, but the user-replaceable battery is a nicety.

So, nothing about the performance of the CPU, or even the family. I expect an ARM in the 1GHz range, which will be more than double the power, compared to the N9. Regarding the screen, I do hope for a screen as nice as the N9. I’m kind of worried that no resolution is specified, and Google does not seem to know what an “Estrade” screen is – hopefully it is good. As Europe is targeted first, I hope that the 4G standard supported will be LTE and will work in Swedish networks.

On the software side, I’m really excited about the Sailfish OS and the Gestures. This is what the N9 started, and the N9 is the only real one-hand device I’ve experienced. Finally a Qt / QML environment with the ambition to bring something new to the table.

As for Android app support, I’m not convinced. The power of the N9 was the pure performance of native applications. Adding an Android stack will use system resources and experience the same performance penalty that pure Android systems face. Also, I guess “app compliant” does not mean certified, i.e. does Google Play work? Still, there will be loads of apps, so everyone can use their favorite service. I hope that the Android stack is loaded when needed, so that it doesn’t take resources when using a purely native setup of apps.

At the time of writing, I cannot register a pre-order as the site is down. I only get 503. This must be a good sign, I guess ;-).

12 thoughts on “Jolla Launch”

  1. I am curious, but I recently bought and S3 and I do not consider this ancient. It works fine, appart from the fact that I do not like Android. I do not like Android because if it not giving enough freedom to the user and there are a lot of privacy issues. Unfortunately there is no real information about how Jolla will handle this.
    Will it be possible to download and update apps without an App-Store-account or having to be permanently being logged-in? Will there be better control about what kind of, where, when and how often data is transfered to outside parties? Will Jolla support backup methods from the start which easily allow backup phone, apps and data to pc, sd card or an online-service of choice? If Jolla provides this, I will be happy to be one of their customers, if it’s just a different design, then I will not be really convinced.

  2. My wording was a bit off. The N9 has ancient hardware (I updated the text for clarity). I find the S3 unbearibly slow, especially for the simple tasks, like bringing up the phone book.

    Regarding appstores, I’m not sure. Nor am I about added services such as backups. To me, it is not just different design, it is a different technology. Lighter, faster and, simply put, better. So I hope to get one ASAP.

  3. Sadly they don’t ship to Austria, and I can’t even pre-order.

    Hopefully they will in the future though.

  4. AFAIR an Estrade screen is a screen that has seamless glass from side of the phone to the other side, without a plastic border. Like the N9 had, to ease the use of side screen gestures.

  5. I’m guessing they are doing the same play as Blackberry regarding Android support. Android apps will be slow to load and really ugly. They will need to be specifically added to the Sailfish store. But it also makes sense to allow people to add Android apps to the store, there are local apps with small audiences that are just never going to be ported to Sailfish (or BB) otherwise.

    I wouldn’t count on LTE, that would require cooperation from the network operators (from what I understand: apparently this is why the Nexus 4 doesn’t have LTE support), which is surely the hardest part of launching a new phone company. Of course the phone companies might surprise us.

  6. @Ian Monroe – from what I read, they will actually allow a variety of app stores and the installation of APK’s instead of making app developers put their apps in their store. How ugly (or not) the Android apps will be I dunno, considering how ugly they are anyway I doubt Jolla can make them pretty…

  7. Well, this is the phone I’ve been waiting for since the first iPhone. Nothing will stop me from obtaining it.

    What I would really like to know however is what KDE can and what it will do about this.
    Isn’t this a great device and a great environment to start working on a KDE phone ?

  8. @Plarisote KDE are pushing the PlasmaActive, but I guess that the target there is the netbook/tablet market, rather than phones. Still, having Qt/QtQuick on another device must help KDE. More developers with the right skill set, and the potential to port applications fairly easily.

  9. @Johan Thelin: Having used Plasma since KDE 4.0 I am unable to believe in PlasmaActive usefulness but heck, I love to be proved wrong! Bring it on. :)

  10. Why does the order form let you select any country, only to slap in your face that they are only shipping to selected countries? No pre-order from me then.
    I will have to wait and see if my current phone will last me nearly another year until the Jolla becomes available here in Norway- and if the Jolla is the phone I want when that time comes. I cannot understand why they limit the countries they accept pre-orders from, but that is their choice.

    And I always thought the Finns were our friends and neighbours :-(

  11. @Kjetil you can still pre-order for free or 40€. I think that only the 100€ pre-order is limited to specific regions. At least htat is what I’ve intercepted on twitter. I do agree that this is not very clearly stated.

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