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Jolla Smartphone First Look: Steals the Show Without Much Gimmicks
The battle for control over the future mobile OS is far from being solved. There are currently four principal operating systems for smartphones: Android, iOS, Windows and Firefox OS. Over the past few months, Google's Android and Apple iOS are the big winners in the new OS wars, whereas Microsoft-backed Windows and Firefox OS haven't progressed much.
Naturally, there is a sense of anxiety to know which one of them will dominate in the mobile OS wars. At the same time there's a slim chance that a new mobile OS like Sailfish could survive due to lack of any big names associated with it. This is what we have been hearing from experts. But in context of India it may not hold true.
On Tuesday Jolla, a startup founded by the group of ex-Nokia employees, launched the much awaited Jolla smartphone in India. The device, which is powered by the Sailfish OS, is now available exclusively on Snapdeal.com at a price of Rs. 16,499.
The Sailfish OS is a modern version of MeeGo OS but has a number of add-on features. Notably, the mobile OS supports Android applications.
Internationally the Jolla smartphone is available upwards of Rs. 30,000 but here in India it is priced less than an average mid-range smartphone, which seems to be a great catch.
Jolla's main motive is to promote the Sailfish OS, a relatively new mobile OS. Of course the right hardware support is also important. The Jolla phone is finally launched, and we're quite optimistic about its Indian debut. We got an early chance to experience the Jolla smartphone at the recently held event. Here's our view about the Jolla smartphone.
Jolla Smartphone: Form Factor, Design, Display and Operating System (OS)
The Jolla smartphone is very much inspired by the likes of the Nokia N9. But a good look at the device, however, gives an entirely different impression. Its design appears to be unique and personal in nature.
The device is not heavy per se; rather we found it relatively thick. That's because the handset comes in two halves. The back cover of the phone is removable, so swapping the cover and battery is not a big issue.
The device doesn't look cheap either, despite being made out of plastic. It feels great to hold the phone, thanks to its compact size.
The front handset is primarily dominated by a modest 4.5-inch qHD screen having a resolution of 960 x 540-pixels. So the display isn't crazy bright, but we loved the fact it is far less reflective compared to other devices. Texts look super fine on a 4.5-inch screen, the same can be said about images and videos. Viewing angles and colors are decent enough.
While the Jolla phone is definitely different in respect of design, the real deal here is the Sailfish OS. The UI is heavily gesture-based and borrows elements from BlackBerry 10 and iOS. The home screen features BlackBerry 10-like tiles of the most recently open programs. Swiping the phone tile left or right to reveal the dialer or contacts or camera makes the user interface quite intuitive and useful. However, a user may need more time to operate the UI.
The device ships the Jolla store and some apps such as Facebook and Twitter, among others. Jolla claims users can access thousands of Android apps. The company wasn't demonstrating Android apps at the demo center, so we hardly managed to look at the tailor made apps for the Jolla smartphone.