When Jolla announced its Sailfish OS smartphone last year, much was made about the Other Half rear covers. These smart panels offer much more than the familiar, interchangeable cosmetic covers seen on phones for many years. They use NFC to connect to the phone, and can deliver new content or even add new features to the device. At launch, Jolla talked up the possibility of a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, or a large additional flash unit as potential Other Half cases.
While neither of these have arrived yet, Jolla has put the first two examples of alternative Other Half covers on sale through its own website. There are two versions available, and while they don’t add an amazing new feature, they still do more than your average rear panel. The first is the Keira Black cover, which comes in a cool flat black, while the other is simply called Aloe, and is a subtle shade of green.
Fix either of them to your Jolla phone and you’ll instantly get an exclusive, specially created ringtone and other unique system sounds, plus new wallpaper which fits in with the theme of the cover. Made from scratch resistant polycarbonate, the Other Half covers cost 30 euros each, or around $40. Although this sounds quite expensive for a piece of plastic, don’t forget they have NFC built-in, and come infused with all-new content.
Jolla has also released a developer kit for its Other Half covers, so creative types can get to work building their own versions. It’s from here where the really innovative Other Half panels will come, or so Jolla hopes. The Jolla phone is available to purchase online, but only for delivery in Europe, and has been priced at the equivalent of $550.