Few people probably remember Jolla, the Finnish company comprised of many who left Nokia after the Windows Phone deal. Instead of producing Windows devices, the company decided to continue making Nokia-esq smartphones with the Sailfish operating system, based on MeeGo, which is in turn based on Linux. A November deadline for hardware was missed last year, but the company has continued its efforts albeit very quietly. After a long spell of silence, Jolla today announced somewhat unexpectedly the first real Sailfish smartphone.
While the name isn’t made clear on the website, the device appears to be called the Other Half. This seems to be because the back panel can be ordered in different colors, and customized by the user. What is clear is that it will include a 4.5-inch HD Estrade display, dual-core processor of unknown manufacturer, 4G LTE connectivity in some markets, 16GB of internal memory with a microSD, 8MP camera, user replaceable battery, and of course the Sailfish OS.
Interestingly, the device is also said to be Android app compliant, so while it won’t have the official Play Store or Google approval, it sounds like Jolla’s Sailfish will run Android apps much like the BlackBerry PlayBook (making third party app stores such as GetJar and the Amazon App Store viable options).
In addition to Android apps, the Sailfish OS will also include support for Jolla’s Linux apps for basic functions. The OS also has a custom “gesture based” interface, which looks at the very least quite interesting. The flat aspects of the interface remind me of Windows Phone and live tiles, while whatever is pictured in the image above seems at least a bit different from what we are used to seeing in smartphone software. As far as hardware goes, Nokia’s influence is clear, and the device looks fairly sleek, simple, and solid.
For now, the Other Half from Jolla is only scheduled to ship in Europe by the end of this year, but I’ll certainly be watching to see if it ever comes stateside.[Jolla via Liliputing]
Update: According to Engadget, the device will actually be called simply the Jolla.