Following 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.