Jolla shows the potential of its Other Half rear covers, as visitors flock to pre-order site

Jolla Other HalfFollowing the official unveiling of the Jolla phone earlier this morning, the company has held a very brief media event in Finland, where the device made its public debut, while former CEO and new head of software development Marc Dillon said a few words about Jolla’s vision.

Describing the day as, “Overwhelming,” Dillon was brimming with excitement during the all-too-brief 15 minute presentation about not just the Jolla phone, but the Jolla community too. He explained that the Other Half tagline – used extensively in the promo material – isn’t only about the phone and the case, but about the user and the device, the software and the hardware, and the company and its partners too. The unveiling of the phone and its OS is the culmination of 18 months work, and he was rightly proud of Jolla’s progress, saying they were, “Really doing this,” and promised the phone would be on sale before the end of the year. The pre-orders for the Jolla phone opened this morning, and the site attracted 200,000 visitors in six hours.

Although the phone made only a brief appearance at the event, some more details about its unusual removable rear cover were shared. We already know each one will add a splash of color, plus automatically alter the onscreen color scheme to match, along with different fonts, ringtones and themes. What we didn’t know was how much further this could go.

Removable covers present, “New ways of using the device”

According to Dillon, the rear covers can be used to add additional functionality to the device, meaning all it will take to have a Jolla phone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, or one with an oversized flash unit for example, is for a company to make one.

He also talked about covers being used for promotional opportunities, such as bands putting out a limited edition cover where their album and video would be added to the phone when it was fitted. It’s a really interesting idea, and on the hardware side, one which has been explored by third party case manufacturers for years. Changing the software, or loading up additional content through the cover, is intriguing, but it’s not clear how this will work.

As for the phone, it will have a 4.5-inch screen, a dual-core processor, and an 8-megapixel camera. We also know that along with running apps created using the Sailfish SDK, it’ll also happily run apps made for Android, giving it a huge advantage in terms of the number of available apps at launch, over some of the other new mobile operating systems coming this year.

Sadly, we didn’t get a demonstration of the Sailfish OS, which is the primary reason people will buy the Jolla phone; however the chief designer of the device has been recorded giving a six-minute walk-through of its functionality, and its slick gesture control system. You can check out the video below.

Product Review

Bigger. Smarter. Louder. The Echo Plus makes Alexa sound better than ever

Amazon’s second-generation Echo Plus speaker is the loudest, bassiest speaker in the Echo fleet. While featuring a smart hub with only Zigbee connectivity, other upgrades make this device a worthy smart speaker.
Mobile

Inferiority is a feature now! Palm's new plan is psychotic

The Palm is a smartphone to reduce your smartphone usage, or a small smartphone for when you don't want to carry your big smartphone. Palm itself doesn't seem sure which it is, but either way, it's a product that's so witless, we're amazed…
Product Review

The Huawei Watch GT’s battery life gets a tick, but the software may not tock

Huawei’s track record with smartwatches is strong, having releases two models and several spin-offs to general acclaim. This is the Watch GT, and it moves away from Google’s Wear OS to focus on fitness, yet stays ahead of the…
Product Review

The all-new Palm wants to be many things, but it’s really just a tiny smartphone

The all-new Palm is here, and it’s tinier than ever. Exclusive to Verizon, it syncs to your primary smartphone and acts as a secondary device -- with features to help you disconnect from technology. But at $350, is it worth the high price…
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.
Mobile

Which new iPhone is the best? iPhone XS vs. iPhone XS Max vs. iPhone XR

Apple has three new iPhone models to choose from this year, making the choice a little harder than usual. What's the difference between the iPhone XS, the iPhone XS Max, and the iPhone XR, and which is best?
Product Review

Huawei’s monster Mate 20 X makes the Galaxy Note 9 look small

The Huawei Mate 20 X has a 7.2-inch screen, but is surprisingly manageable to hold, yet still a little too big to carry around. Huawei’s pushing the phone’s ability as a mobile gaming handheld, challenging the Nintendo Switch.
Mobile

Google may charge up to $40 per Android device for app suite following EU ruling

Google announced that it will be charging Android device manufacturers in Europe a licensing fee to use its apps and services. The announcement is part of an effort to comply with new European Commission regulations.
Mobile

Need a do-over? Here's how to factory reset an iPhone, from XS on down

Resetting an iPhone can alleviate all sorts of software woes, and wipe away personal data should you sell your device or give it to someone else. Here's how to factory reset an iPhone from within iOS or iTunes.
Mobile

How to sell your old Google Pixel or Pixel 2 for the most money

So, it's time for a expensive new smartphone, and you'd like to partially fund the purchase by selling your old Google Pixel. Find all the information you need to get as much money as possible for your Pixel or Pixel 2 here in our guide.
Mobile

The OnePlus 6T is coming a day earlier, event moved to October 29

According to a recent report, the launch of the OnePlus 6T could be different from any other OnePlus launch in history. How? It could have the backing of a major U.S. carrier. Here's everything we know about the OnePlus 6T.
Mobile

Sprint now lets you add Hulu's Live TV service to your unlimited plan

Sprint recently introduced three new data plans to its roster -- Unlimited Basic , Unlimited Plus, and Unlimited Premium. Here, we break down your options to help you decide which one is best for you and your family.
Photography

Camera shootout! Testing the latest Pixel, iPhone, and Galaxy Note in real life

Which takes the best photos, the Pixel 3 XL, iPhone XS Max, Galaxy Note 9, or Pixel 2 XL? We put the cameras on all these top-notch phones through their paces to see which performs best in the real world, from low light to portrait mode…
Mobile

Sams's Club offers $100 gift cards for iPhone XR pre-orders

After months of rumors and speculation, Apple has finally taken the wraps off of the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now that the phones are out, you might be wondering how you can get them for yourself.