Jolla – after 2 months


I’ve had the privilege to own Jolla since 16th of December, here is my review of the phone after using it for two months.

Good things:

Swipe based UI – you probably have read reviews from various sources (techcrunch and the likes) saying how hard the navigation is, the matter of fact is that one has to be well, retarded to consider the UI hard to use. After a day or two you will be trying to use the gestures on other touch enabled devices and it will actually be quite annoying that they don’t support them.

Battery life – ever since the firmware upgrade the battery life is so freaking awesome that I doubt you will find a better one on the market. I tend to charge it every 3 days (maximum was 99hrs) and there are people reporting 4+ days of usage.

Mallit based keyboard – Jolla’s virtual keyboard is gorgeous and really nice to use. I admit I got used to swype on Samsung, but this is the second best thing.

Developer mode – No other device gives you access to the built in console. You can ssh to the device too.

True multitasking – every application you open and do not close (yes, you can close an application on Jolla) is running in the background. What’s more, you get up to 9 active tiles, which display changes to the apps, but also allow you to perform most common functions without going back into the app itself (example would be pause or play next song, update mailboxes, or refresh weather tile)

CLI based tools – I did not have time to play with the mer distro too much, but I did notice that Jolla comes with git and sqlite installed. You can get ruby, postgresql, midnight commander, emacs and many more from Possibilities are endless.

Software – There is enough applications in the Harbour (Jolla Store) at the moment, yes, you won’t count millions, not even thousands, but the matter of fact is that pretty much every person uses the same 50 apps, so why would you need the other million of the rubbish ones?
If you do need rubbish there is always Android VM, which allows you to run most of the Android apps. Yandex store is installed and if you are adventurous and feel the need for google store there are tutorials with instructions of how to install Play store.

TOHs (The Other Halfs) – This is a brilliant concept of replaceable, nfc enabled back-covers which are capable of additional functionality. People have already built a wireless charging one and there is a “home made” qwerty keyboard one as well. Other concepts where better camera, external battery, etc.

Negative side of SailfishOS:

Sailfish has only one issue – It’s young, it’s still in beta and there are things that will annoy.
1. Occasionally, emails accessed from notification screen will display white screen (you have to swipe back to email list an enter again)
2. Calendar does not have every x weekday of the month repeat setting
3. WiFi to mobile network change is not as smooth as one would expect (or is used to from other devices)
4. No distinction between contacts home/work/other phone number in the recent connections list (which may be costly if your friends home number is in another country)

There is probably more, but these are the things I’ve found annoying.

The beauty of Jolla comes to light with those issues though. The company has set up a service where users can voice their concerns, propose new features, ask for changes and help one another. And what’s even more important, Jolla listens. Try that with Google, Apple or Microsoft.

In conclusion:

It’s a mobile device like no other. Any linux fan should get one, any open source fan should get one, any developer should get one.
Should a casual user get one too? Well, if one only cares about shitty bird games and giving away all your personal information to the likes of google, facebook and apple then you might be served better by other companies (I personally would say no to such a person, however most of the apps required to satisfy such person are available via Android VM on Jolla and more devices sold means more devices in the future). Having said that, a person I just described might feel annoyed by SailfishOS in it’s current state.

In the end I feel that it’s better to support a company built on a trust between customer and vendor rather than give away all your private information to the spying machine of the government and/or the hypocrites from Mountain View, Cupertino or Redmond.

and because of that I bought another Jolla for my wife :)

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