Jolla Sailfish Takes Phone to the Bottom of the Sea

jolla, sailfish

The long anticipated Jolla phone has finally come out with its Sailfish operating system, leaving reviewers concerned that this phone is destined for the bottom of the sea. To be fair when the phone was first shown to the world as a teaser, many sceptics doubted whether it would even make it to launch day. After the reviews and hands on testing by technology journalists, it might have been for the best if it hadn’t.

Only 450 phones were sold to begin with at a very comparable price of โ‚ฌ400 to buy the phone out right, with many of the truly enthusiastic ordering well in advance. The Finish team behind Jolla used to work for a company that is familiar to most as Nokia. However, when the technology giant decided to derail its in-house operating system MeeGo for Window’s Microsoft these designers jumped ship. But they took with them a lot of the style and visual concepts from their past employer, resulting in the Jolla to look like it belongs in the Nokia family with its cousins.

During the day of the launch, Jolla Oy (the parent company behind Jolla), invited experts to come and test out the final product. Although the biggest challenge was achieved and all the basic specs and general design came off as pleasing, unfortunately everything seemed to go downhill from there. The operating system is based on a series of swipe-actions in contrast with the navigation-style buttons most frequently seen on Android and iOS. The challenge then being for Jolla was to make this swiping motions intuitive enough that they would not confuse users. Unfortunatly, it does not appear that this was achieved as many technology journalists left the launch feeling as though it was “clumsy” or worst of all possibly “broken.”

Admittedly by the company it is a different way of using a touch-screen but promoters and supporters of the new system are confident that adept technology users will be able to adapt and gain the benefits of the forward thinking style. An example of how the swipe-based movement would differ from an Android would be the Events calender. Rather than having to navigate to where the events icon is located in the phone, with the Jolla swiping upwards will reveal it all together. A swift pull down and release will reveal the camera.

jolla sailfish

Without memorizing all of these different movements, users will have to spend quite a bit of time locating the functions they are hoping to achieve. Like wise, the placement of where the swipe begins is key to what function is being launched, an uncomfortable movement described by some users.

It is important to remember that the initial start up of any product although important is not nearly as indicative of success as a company’s ability to adapt. In the world of technology where change is not only inevitable, it is possible that the elegant exterior of the Jolla will be enough to satisfy users until the appropriate updates are available. In the mean time, one hopes that Jolla Sailfish will not be what takes the phone to the bottom of the sea before it has a chance to soar.

By Romana Outerbridge


The Web Mag

GSM Arena


2 Responses to "Jolla Sailfish Takes Phone to the Bottom of the Sea"

  1. Cinq-Marquis   December 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Well maybe Jolla should start a “Get the facts” campaign ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Did Romana Outerbridge actually base this on first hand, well ‘in hand’ experience ?
    Or is he/she just a paid shill for others ?

    The intuitiveness of the N9 (Meego Harmattan) and Jolla/Sailfish, takes just a short while for muscle memory to kick in.

    All N9 user and people who have seriously reviewed the N9 and Jolla/Sailfish phones have commented that they were prone to continue double tapping to open and swipe gestures afterwards on their Android or iOS devices.

    This review stinks ๐Ÿ™
    Will we hear from you when the first 100.000 units are sold ? And when 1.000.000 is reached ๐Ÿ˜‰
    NO probably not, you’ll crawl back under your stone and you will hope people have forgotten this non-review.

  2. Nas   December 2, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I think this view on Jolla is biased. It looks like the judgement about Jolla Sailfish is already taken and the arguments have been found and put together later.
    Why: one of the sources (Forbes) thinks Sailfish isn’t good. They’re mentioning a journalist that says the UI is “broken”. That’s quite strong language.

    “Some gestures are required to happen from the edge of the display, for example, while others are meant to start in the middle of the screen โ€” and itโ€™s hard for the user to anticipate which is which.”
    ??I can’t understand someone doesn’t understand the difference beginning the movement of te swipe starting from the edge or somewhere in the middle of the screen.
    Don’t forget how we open the system-menu in Android: swiping from the upper edge downwards…that’s generating a different result than sliding in your app. Duh…

    Then it would look like that when using gestures rather than buttons is a problem, or bad. Huh? Why? It doesn’t say why.
    Than there’s no LTE: I really think this isn’t a problem in the real world. I use HSDPA, it’s fast (enough).
    Than you can’t download from the google play store. No, but you can from Jolla store, Yandex store and ?Amazon? store. You can install .apk files, so virtually everything from Android can be installed. That’s just no argument. When it would be mentioned it’s a little bit more difficult to install it, they would’ve had a point. But they don’t.

    As last point:
    “todayโ€™s tests reveal that it struggles to run them without crashes or laggy performance.”
    That’s partially true. There are apps that aren’t working or fully functional or crashing. But hey, that doesn’t count for all the apps and it’s better than not being able to run android apps at all, isn’t it?

    All the info that’s given isn’t given from a independent point of view. It really looks all the info has been modified, so it looks like Sailfish isn’t ok. When you look at the complete picture, it’s clear Sailfish could be doing better, but as a first time on the market doesn’t make a bad appearance. Read a lot of reviews and you see different views. Maybe even totally different views.


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