Given the amount of coverage that Android receives around here, you could almost be forgiven for forgetting that other mobile operating systems do exist. They do, and one of the more recent platforms that is being eagerly anticipated by many that does in fact look promising is Sailfish OS. This OS is the work of a Finnish company called Jolla.
After Nokia’s decision to ditch the Meego operating system, which was developed in conjunction with Intel, in favor of Windows Phone devices; a number of employees decided that continuing to work with Meego and not Nokia was the way forward. This splinter group later became Jolla, and Sailfish OS is based heavily on the Mer Project, a key component of Meego.
Their eponymously named first and therefore flagship device was unveiled recently at the rather curiously titled “Jolla Loveday” event. It showed us not only the hardware that we can expect to see in stores at some point before the end of the year, but also what looks to be a spruced up version of the software itself with some changes to the user interface and a more polished look than anything seen previously.
The device itself looks a lot like an N9, as you might have expected, and why shouldn’t it? That was a fantastic looking device. It has no physical buttons (on the front at least), which can only mean that navigation will be performed by gestures on the device’s 4.5″ screen. This is no doubt similar to the gesture navigation featured in Canonical’s Ubuntu Touch mobile OS. Internally, the device will feature an as yet unspecified dual core processor, 16 GB of internal storage with a microSD card slot available, an 8 MP rear facing camera, removable battery, and 4G capabilities. It’s also possible to give your device a little personality by making use of a feature which is being referred to as “The Other Half.” These are different coloured attachments for the rear of the device, which not only add a splash of color to the hardware, but will also reportedly affect the software and alter the theme of the UI to match the attachment. Now if you ask me, that’s pretty cool.
Did I mention that it also runs Android apps? Well it does, in addition to the native Sailfish apps that the company is striving to get developers working on. The device will also have an advantage on its competitors by being able to tap into the huge selection of already available Android applications.
Priced at around €399 (just over $500 give or take a few bucks), the device is not exactly a budget option. But once subsidized by networks, it may end up being an appealing option for quite a few people. For those who would consider buying off contract, pre-ordering will get you a €100 rebate. Whether this will turn out to be a serious Android competitor, the best of the rest, or just a total flop remains to be seen. However, this device has certainly grabbed my attention. Let us know what you think in the comments.