I like Sailfish and the Jolla (phone) a lot, but … (3)

At each presentation, we can see that Sailfish OS is improving. And this time, we also had a peak the Jolla phone. I have to say that I really loved it. The build quality looks fairly good, the second half system, amazing, and the screen gorgeous. But, as usual, not everything is perfect (even if everything is close to perfection).

Here is my third article of the «I like Sailfish but …» series. First thing to notice is that the icons have now predefined shapes, that is a direct reply to that, and that is a huge improvement from the previous version of Sailfish. We can also see that the active frames got a little bit more clues on what application they represent, an improvement from the situation described here.

The new Sailfish. You can see the icons, and some frames having customized background (like the chat frame that have a chat bubble)

The new Sailfish. You can see the icons, and some frames having customized background (like the chat frame that have a chat bubble)

But let’s focus on what I don’t like 😀

The tough question of an unique vertical homescreen

Jolla bet on an unique vertical homescreen, that first starts with the lockscreen, then the multitasking view, then some views for the applications, by finishing on the application store. While being a good idea on the paper, there is some problems that can occur. First, having only one multitasking view is very limiting. Even if more than 9 applications can be run at a time, only the first 9 will be displayed on the view.

Coming from Maemo then MeeGo Harmattan, the sailors at Jolla shouldn’t have forgotten their roots, that is doing multitasking of the limits. Allowing only 9 applications is a limitation that is not appropriated to the future multitasking king OS !

But there is also a problem about that application store. If the user installed several pages of applications (I have seen up to 7 pages in some phones), that will be tedious for the user to install a new application, since he / she will have to scroll several times before reaching the store.

While the first problem is difficult to answer (maybe putting 2 or more pages of multitask view, or reducing the application frames even more could be the answer), the second problem can be solved quite easily by adding an option to directly go to store in the pulley menu of the lock screen, or in the menu that allows task management, accessed by long press, and currently offering the ability to close all the tasks. But none of these two options are elegant.

Efficient notifications

Something that once made Blackberries good were their notification LED. That red light that could blink if there were emails. Something that still makes the N9 awesome is the low power mode screen that can display time, notifications, and all sort of customized information thanks to third-party applications.

Even if today, people do not care much about these features anymore, it seems that people still cares about notifications, by compulsively lighting their iPhone or Galaxies. To save battery and also to save people from doing that useless movement, it is still worthy to have something like a LED or (way way better) LPM.

Sadly, the phones shown at the Jolla Love Day didn’t have any of those, which was slightly disappointing to me, especially because a LED should not cost a lot and be hard to implement.

So large, yet so small

The Jolla phone is very large, while the screen is quite «small», thus having a large bezel around the phone. Of cause it might due to technical reason, or due to the phone being a prototype, but it has been reported as a lot of waste of space. Trimming it a bit down would be quite nice.

Well, I don’t think that I have anymore comments. The Jolla is definitely an elegant phone, with an OS that is closer and closer to perfection, in a wonderful and innovative shell.

Advertisements

30 thoughts on “I like Sailfish and the Jolla (phone) a lot, but … (3)

  1. Let me add my concerns as well.
    1. The price doesn’t justify the specs. Nexus 4 with 2GB RAM and Quad core processor can be bought at 350 US Dollars while this goes upto 510 USD. Okay Jolla is not Google which can give away their phones like this. And since this is an initial step I can understand the financial needs of Jolla.
    2. If it has another variant with just 3G (not LTE) capability for lesser price, then people would have choices.

    Let us hope that these faults are corrected before the phone is manufactured in large scale because there are many who pre ordered it.

    • Please note that the price includes Finnish VAT which is 24% and that Nexus 4 phone is around 500€ in Finland

        • You want them to drop price even further, then expect them to cut even more corners. Expect something with very sub-par hw specs, not to mention all the other limitations.

          They can’t strike the same kind of bargains that the massive co’s can, nor can they buy up entire inventories of stock to kill their competitors.

          • I am not compromising on the Hardware Specs. But I say they have to come up with some other approach like manufacturing it in some other place etc. But from my point of view I can get a Nexus 4 for 280 Euros, off course it has limitations like no Memory card slot, so far I know. But I wanted to get true Linux phone. Okay have to wait I think. You know? Its not that easy for me to make up your mind to go for a low spec phone for a relatively higher price. And the back color caps, it became one irritating feature after all those build ups. I expected something usefull not some bling thing. I would have gone for it even it came without that feature but it is such a high disappointment. A QWERTY keyboard, I’m like “huh take my money, ship me whenever you want”.

            • It’s called “economies of scale” that’s the reality in this industry…
              It’s simply impossible for them to offer something that’s hw competitive at the SAME price point.

              You either want something that’s hw competitive & you’re prepared to pay substantially more than you would for a S4 or similar.

              “OR”…

              You’re happy with mid-range specs for the same price or slightly less, a unique sw experience, & a well implemented “other half”.

            • And as for your claim that the “other half” is “bling”, it’s way too premature to come to that conclusion, we don’t know enough yet.

  2. We need passionate contributions like this, it’s great to see the community critiquing “constructively” instead of ONLY whining. A bit of whining is okay when it’s (somewhat) justified, but if it’s 100% whining, it becomes corrosive.

    • Its the build up dude for the Other Half thing. They didn’t even care to show us how the back cap worked. When you expect something after a long long time, we expect something really huge. Of course, its not Google or Samsung that have so many Engineers. But I expected them to have worked out something useful rather than this idea. Okay if they show me one 3D printed or whatever custom built black cap that does some other functionality than changing the ambience, font etc then I’m sold and most of us will be. And I believe it would be revolution in mobile market to see a device that could get any other half crafted to Jolla’s particular standards.

      • I agree, the whole communication thing was a botch up, they need to carefully re-asses their whole approach to marketing. It’s still too early to draw complete conclusions about the “other half”, we are awaiting some final detail.

          • Yup, same here, Ubuntu’s clearly not going that way, Tizen is perhaps “slightly” better from a openness perspective, but from a governance/admin PoV it certainly isn’t, & from a code & dev tools/env PoV it’s less interesting than Sailfish/Ubuntu.

  3. To those wanting a real Linux phone. Are you aware an Ubuntu phone is coming out. Canonical is behind it(the same company behind the Ubuntu desktop os. It will be available the end of 2013/beginning of 2014 in the US.

    • How is Ubuntu Touch more of a “real Linux ph”? I hope your logic isn’t based on them also maintaining a Linux distro for the desktop/server spaces, because that would be some tragically flawed logic.

      Aside from that…
      Canonical has a track-record of forking sw_stacks/code etc from the FOSS community, internalising it, & then giving little of it back, or delaying delivery in order to stifle competition.

      You also don’t seem to aware of where both projects are at. Sailfish is at least 6mths ahead in terms of deliverable milestones, it should be, work on it started quite some time before Ubuntu Touch. Jan 2014’s very optimistic for Ubuntu Touch, considering they’re building their own displayer-server/compositor & accompanying UX from scratch.

    • Um, how’s Ubuntu Touch more of a “real Linux ph”? I hope your logic isn’t based on them also maintaining a Linux distro for the desktop/server spaces, because that would be some tragically flawed logic.

      Aside from that…
      Canonical has a long & chequered track-record of forking sw_stacks/code from the FOSS community, internalising it, & then giving little of their work back or delaying delivery in order to stifle competition. That’s not to say they can’t change, but history is normally a very good indicator of future behaviour. Still, one can hope for some “improvement” in this area at least.

      You also don’t seem to aware of where both projects are at. Sailfish is at least 6mths ahead in terms of deliverable milestones, it should be, work on it started quite some time before Ubuntu Touch. Jan 2014’s very optimistic for Ubuntu Touch, considering they’re building their own displayer-server/compositor & accompanying UX from scratch.

  4. OK some questions here:
    1. Is the Jolla phone launched a prototype or is it the final production model ?
    2. Is Jolla a new start-up or an established company say like Samsung ?
    3. Does not having a LED notification light make a product less useful ?
    4. Why are people bothered about a bezel, isn’t it possible there maybe modifications to the production model ?
    5. By what quantitative means can a non-specialist, non-engineering/marketing background unqualified person make the assertion that something has failed when it hasn’t been launched yet ?
    6. Why can Apple and Samsung sell smartphones for upwards of $599 USD, whilst the others have to sell their dirt cheap ?

    In summary, I will say this much: If you wish for an iPhone, GS-whatever number they’re at now, BB10 smartphone, just simply purchase one. Jolla has done something for the others have failed to do for the last 6 years: peek my interest in mobile tech again. Cheers !

    • 1)
      prototype
      2)
      start-up, only 50+ people
      3)
      depends who you ask, there may eventually be one, but if the screen will be amoled, than it’s no needed as much
      4)
      they’ve already confirmed the bezel will be smaller & the screen “slightly” larger
      5)
      it’s the internetz, every troll & his dog has a (retarded) opinion
      6)
      brand power… (you have to seed that power with good product delivery though)

    • Hello ace, you might not know that I’m one of the most fervent supporter of Jolla actually. And Jolla want feedback, They actually do like being criticized in a constructive matter, so that’s what I have done.

      As a blogger for jollafr.org, the french Jolla community, I often talk about the good aspects of Jolla in that blog, being more critic on this one.

  5. For the unique vertical layout, I, personally, would bet on that too. I tried all major mobile OS so far and the only one having a vertical layout (Windows Phone) is the best user experience for me. I realized with BB10 recently that having to scroll both vertically and horizontally is not good. It’s always confusing at what point and, most of all, I feel that navigating horizontally (which is the choice of majority) is less ergonomics to my mind than navigating vertically. That’s one of the main reasons, I think, I unconsciously feel more comfortable on WP than on any other OS for the moment. Sailfish bet on the right horse for me!
    Regarding the question of the large potential number of application icons, I have another solution, … the “folders”. Let’s authorize creating folders and the problem is solved; sort your apps by categories and you’re done. If you don’t want folders, then you can still keep the unsorted icons…

    For the notifications, I feel that the ones on the home screen could be sufficient but I wouldn’t spit on a LED for sure…

    Finally, the size of the device is the real dealbreaker for me (even if I applied for the perorder anyway) but they said it would improve till the final release.
    Indeed, I found out that you can adapt to a large size (wasn’t beleiving more than 4 inch screen could fit me and I use 4,3 by now without feeling it to be too large). I still hope the device will keep not larger than 68 mm and not higher than 130 mm (maybe a useless dream…)

    • They’ve confirmed at some point that folders will be a option, it won’t be the default, as they’re trying to move away from that concept, but it will be a option.
      They’ve also confirmed that the bezel will be made significantly smaller, & the screen (not the display/panel) slightly larger…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s