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.


Rekindled yet again, Nokia’s next-gen phones offer more than just nostalgia

HMD Global, a startup that designs and builds Nokia Android smartphones, wants to put the Nokia brand name back “where it belongs.” It helps that it’s made up of ex-Nokia employees. We go behind the scenes to see how HMD formed.
Product Review

Kwikset Kevo Contemporary review

Tired of carrying around keys? Make keyless entry so easy that all you have to do is have your phone nearby to open the door. It’s a little pricey, but sleek lines and simple features make the Kwikset Kevo Contemporary a great choice for…

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.

Samsung's advanced folding phone needed 'total reconfiguration' to make it real

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Social Media

Here’s how to save someone’s Instagram Story to your phone

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.

5G phones make a lot of promises. Here’s what to really expect

There has been a lot of marketing copy expounding the potential benefits of 5G networks, but a lot less on the practical implications of 5G smartphones. There's a reason for that.

Lack of regulation means wearables aren’t held accountable for health claims

As fitness trackers become more like health monitors, some physicians are concerned they can lead to over-diagnosis of non-existent problems. It’s already happening with wearable baby monitors.

Here’s how to download podcasts and listen to them on Android or iOS

Podcasts have become a cultural staple. Here's how to download podcasts and listen to them on your Android or iOS device, and which apps to use if you're looking to get the most out of the format.

Apple banned from distributing some iPhone models in Germany

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.

Windows 10 Mobile is dead: Switch to iOS or Android, Microsoft says

A Microsoft support page detailed the company's plans to end support for Windows 10 Mobile in less than a year. Users with devices powered by the platform are suggested to switch to iOS or Android devices.

How to use iOS 12’s Passwords and Accounts tool to autofill passwords

Keeping track of all your passwords and accounts can be a real chore. If you use an iPhone with iOS 12, then you don't have to. Here's how to use iOS 12's own password manager to autofill passwords.

What is fixed wireless 5G? Here’s everything you need to know

Here's fixed wireless 5G explained! Learn what you need to know about this effective new wireless technology, when it's available, how much it costs, and more. If you're thinking about 5G, this guide can help!

Razer’s Wireless Charger will turn your desk into gamer heaven

The Razer Wireless Charger adds colorful flair to your desk or bedside table. It works with any phone that supports Qi wireless charging -- with some quirks -- but is it worth the high price tag? We take a look.

Xbox app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.