Jolla, the company that took over the remains of the discarded Meego Harmattan OS on Nokia N9, has officially announced the specs for its upcoming phone. The phone will come with a 4.5-inch screen with 540 x 960 (qHD) resolution. Jolla calls it the “Estrade” display but doesn’t really go into details of what the technology is. Under the hood is a dual-core Snapdragon chipset clocked at 1.4GHz with 1GB RAM. There is a 2100mAh user replaceable battery powering the phone. On the back is an 8MP camera coupled with a 2MP camera on the front. The 16GB internal memory can be expanded via microSD cards.
The reported price of the phone is around $540, which puts it squarely up against the high end Android offerings. How does Jolla hope to achieve the impossible? They’re banking on the radical new design of the phone, and the brand new Sailfish OS. On the design front Jolla has made some rather interesting design choices. The phone is being marketed as “The other half”, which means it is made up of two halves joined together. These two halves can literally be split apart and replaced by any colour the buyer wishes. But the story doesn’t end at just a mere colour change. Depending on which “half” you choose the OS will respond accordingly. Jolla hasn’t specified what will change but according to the preview it will include OS theme, apps and battery.
Then there is the highlight of the phone. Its operating system. Jolla calls it the Sailfish OS and it’s built upon the core of the now discontinued Meego Harmattan OS that graced the Nokia N9. Like Meego it relies on the phone being devoid of any navigation buttons. The OS is heavily reliant on gestures and swipes. Double tapping the screen wakes up the phone reveal the lock screen. The home screen consists of thumbnails of apps which are running in real time in the background. Swiping up from the bottom reveals the app launcher. Similarly swiping from the top reveals the notification centre. Long pressing icons on the app launcher and swiping left or right triggers more actions.
Though developers will be able to make apps dedicated for the Sailfish OS, Jolla is wising up by adding Android compatibility. It’s likely that Android apps will run in some sort of virtual environment (not confirmed) and not very intuitive, but upon launch the phone will potentially have access to over a million apps.
Jolla hopes to ship the phone by the end of the year.