Jolla Sailfish OS smartphone - Sailfish OS & Prospects


Jolla Sailfish OS

While the hardware dares to be different, the real

interest in Jolla is the Sailfish operating system. Other than its

Nokia/Intel foundations, what immediately appeals is Sailfish OS will be

distributed to handset makers free of charge. Revenue will come from

the licence of optional proprietary features and intellectual property. A

‘free but…’ model, if you like.

So what will tempt handset

makers and telcos to invest? The most promising aspect to Sailfish is

its core user interface. It is heavily gesture-based and borrows

elements from BlackBerry 10, Windows Phone and Android, but combines

them to create something unique.
Sailfish OS 6

Jolla has been motivated to do this because Nokia has kept the rights

to its lauded Harmattan UI on the N9, but we like what we saw. Rather

than icons, the homescreen features BlackBerry 10-esque tiles of the

most recently open programs. Much like an Android widget these can be

interacted with directly, swiping the phone tile left or right to reveal

the dialler or contacts, the music player to switch content or get

playback controls and so forth. Each tile also features live information

like Windows Phone and can even continue playback of video.


Sailfish also requires no physical or virtual home, back, menu or

search buttons. Instead these are again gesture based. Swipe up to the

screen from the left or right bezel to go backwards or forwards between

apps; up from the bottom of the bezel from apps to go back to the home

screen and from the top bezel down to get critical information like

battery life, signal strength, search and key settings.


of these features work like BlackBerry 10 providing the option to

‘peak’ at information by not fully completing any swipe gesture. The

current screen becomes transparent mid transition to show the screen

before. Swiping up from the homescreen also pulls up an app drawer (akin

to Android).
Sailfish OS notifications 2

of this will take time to learn, especially the swipe options of tiles

for each currently open app but we can see how it could become an

extremely fast and efficient way of navigating a UI. There were some

glitches in what we saw, but it was already predominantly smooth and

slick and an almost playful way to perform what are fairly arduous tasks

on other platforms.

This system also means no space is wasted

on docks at the bottom or the status bar at the top so the full screen is

used at all times.
Sailfish OS app drawer

Jolla has a unified messaging system so Facebook, SMS and IM messages

can be grouped into a single feed. Photos and contacts also unify with

your social networks allowing you to comment on and like content without

the need for a dedicated app and the lock screen contains information

on missed calls, SMS and app notifications. This is much like Windows

phone and navigation within apps also works in a similar manner, swiping

left to right between sections and categories, rather than requiring

access to a menu.

As for apps support, Jolla is appealing to

developers to make Sailfish specific applications that take advantage of

its navigation system, but it will be compatible with apps for Android.

Jolla claims Android apps can be easily implemented because its lack of

physical or digital buttons means the stock Android buttons can be

recreated easily for each app. That said Jolla wasn’t demonstrating

Android apps at this stage and it won’t get access to the Google Play

store so third parties, including Amazon, will be necessary.
Sailfish OS notifications

Jolla Sailfish OS Prospects


this initial hands-on we came away with the impression that Sailfish OS

has a great deal of potential. It has a huge leg up from the core work

already done by Intel and Nokia and its UI is genuinely innovative while

taking a mixture of the best aspects from other platforms. On the

hardware side whether the ‘Other half’ functionality of covers can be a

genuine differentiator is less clear cut, but we can see it being

popular in younger age groups.

That said where the real battle

lies for Sailfish is not in convincing people it is a viable platform,

but that it is preferable to the existing heavyweights. Our feeling is

Jolla will have to reduce its handset price to achieve that, provide

tight Android app integration from the outset and pick its markets

Sailfish OS 7

company has already said it will release in a limited number of

European countries for a Christmas targeted launch and telco agreements

for them will be crucial. Jolla is also targeting China, a smart move

given its sizable population and lesser commitment to iOS or Android.

Aside from this the other battle is with three more newcomers: the Samsung/Intel funded Tizen, Firefox OS and Ubuntu. The first two will also have phones out in 2013 with the latter expecting to debut in early 2014.


the months before launch Jolla is putting a strong focus on community

building and says a number of campaigns will appear between now and

Christmas while pre-orders are already open. Expectations are realistic too with the company saying it

doesn’t expect to be anything but a niche player for a number of years.

From what we have seen it at least deserves to attain that.


More from TrustedReviews

Samsung confirms press event for possible Galaxy Note 8 launch

Xbox Scorpio

Xbox One X vs PS4 Pro: Which is the best 4K console?

Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD

Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD

LG Q8 finally brings the V20’s promise to Europe

Atari is now in the speaker business… and the hat business

Thinner Moto Z2 Force could come with a huge trade-off

HyperLoop One

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop gathering pace as NY-DC link gets ‘OK’


Is this proof an N64 Classic will follow the SNES?

Agents of Mayhem preview

cats 17

Why you’ll want to download this OnePlus 5 update today

Golf rory

British Open Golf Live Stream: How to watch online for free

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for Xbox One down to under £9

Samsung Gear S3 finally gets Samsung Pay support in UK

Welcome to the all new Trusted Reviews

Netgear Arlo

Netgear Arlo Pro

Cat Amazon

Are you kitten me? Pet translation devices tipped for future smart homes

fire emblem warriors

Fire Emblem Warriors


Pokkén Tournament DX

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb 5

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay now lets you use your PayPal funds at the checkout

assassins creed origins

Ubisoft teases new games for Nintendo Switch, coming ‘quite soon’

amazon echo

Ask Vodafone: Mobile network’s first Amazon Alexa voice skill is revealed

Google Feed

The Google app’s new personalised feed might just drag you off Facebook

z2play 9

Moto Z2 Play

Mira Prism

For just $99 you can bring AR to the iPhone 7

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S9 displays may be the same, save one major new feature

movie theatre

The Netflix Effect: ‘Binge-watching’ is coming to movie theatres

Porsche MIssion E

Porsche’s latest electric car chargers put Tesla to shame

EE logo

EE’s new 20GB SIM-free deal is the best value tariff you’ll see all summer


These are the first images from the ISS – as captured by a zero-gravity drone

iMac 21.5-inch 4K (2017)

LG V30 case

LG V30 design ‘confirmed’ ahead of IFA 2017 launch

iPhone 7 vs iPhone SE

Waiting for the iPhone SE 2? Sadly, it could be a one-and-done

Google Glass Enterprise

Google Glass 2 has arrived, sort of

Denon AH-C621R

Denon AH-C621R

BBC Proms

Get ready to listen to the BBC Proms like never before

Fender Newport Monterey Bluetooth speakers

Fender’s new Bluetooth speakers look just like tiny guitar amps

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin Vivosmart 3


Is the laptop travel ban dead? Electronics restrictions lifted by TSA but UK fails to follow suit