Jolla preview: First look

GSMArena team, 21 December 2013.
Pages: 12345678

Tags: Jolla, Preview

Controls

Let's start the controls breakdown from the front of the Jolla. It's free of any buttons - capacitive or physical - as the Jolla Sailfish OS is entirely based on gestures. Unsurprisingly, the earpiece is located above the display with the 2MP front-facing camera sitting on its left. Barely visible on the right side stand the ambient and proximity sensors.

Jolla Preview Jolla Preview
The 2MP camera, earpiece and sensors are on the top

Below the display is a small RGB LED strip which lights up when the phone is charging or connected to a computer. It also blinks on missed events such as calls, messages and email - in green, blue and yellow, respectively.

The bottom of the phone sports a cool looking duo of grills - one on the left and right sides. The speakers are on the left grille, while the main microphone is hidden behind the right grille.

Jolla Preview
The bottom is nicely designed and holds the speaker and microphone is separate grills

Moving along to the top of the Jolla we find a secondary microphone used for active noise cancellation, the microUSB port for charging and transfering data as well as the 3.5mm headphone jack. The top left side features a small Jolla logo, which looks quite nice.

Jolla Preview Jolla Preview
The top is busy with a 3.5mm headphone jack, microUSB port and a secondary mic

The left side of the Jolla is free of any controls and ports. The Power/Lock button and volume rocker and on the right hand side and are made of metal. They have a very nice tactile feedback to them, too.

Jolla Preview Jolla Preview Jolla Preview
The right side holds the volume rocker and Power/Lock key the clean left side

Finally, the back is quite minimalist in design and holds the 8MP camera with LED flash at its top right. The bottom also contains another Jolla logo. Just like the first one that's on top of the phone, this second one is quite hard to spot at first sight. It's translucent and you have to look at it from an angle to spot it.

Jolla Preview Jolla Preview
The 8MP camera, LED flash and sneaky Jolla logo are on the back.

The battery cover, a.k.a the Other Half, of the Jolla fits quite tight and is opened with a sequence - from left to right. Once you remove it, you get access to the 2,100mAh battery. Above it are located the microSD card slot and the microSIM slot. The latter sports a rubbery flap right below it to keep the SIM card from popping out.

There are two pins above the top left corner of the battery that allow 5V input and enable the creation of back panels with built-in battery packs. There are also the I2C pins, which permit the connection of an external input device, such as a slide-out keyboard.

A cool feature of the secondary back panel is the NFC chip, which allows it, once snapped into place, to change the visual aspects of the user interface like wallpapers, icons and sounds.

Jolla Preview
The back is removable

Jolla promises the 2,100mAh battery will last up to 500 hours in 3G stand-by and will be able to handle up to 10 hours of 3G talk-time. However, now it's too early for us to carry out our traditional battery tests to find out exactly how long the Jolla will last. We'll save this for our full review later on.

Display

The Jolla smartphone is built around a 4.5" IPS LCD display, which seems to be a common display size for mid-range smartphones lately. It sports a resolution of 960 x 540 pixels giving it a pixel density of 245ppi. You don't need us to tell you that this is disappointing, considering there are phones twice as cheap that sport 720p resolution.

Jolla could've done better here, but at least the display is covered with a Gorilla Glass 2 protective layer, which should help against light scratches.

The display itself is decent in color rendering, but fails to impress us in terms of contrast and is not even as good as some mid-range smartphones, such as the Moto G. The viewing angles aren't perfect and there's notable color when you are not looking stratigh at the screen.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Jolla 0.27 215 800 0.58 441 766
Motorola Moto G 0.35 315 906 0.57 550 967
Sony Xperia C 0.18 151 842 0.66 639 962
Oppo R819 0.56 607 1078 0.62 754 1210
Samsung I9082 Galaxy Grand 0.37 382 1040 0.62 586 948
Huawei Ascend P6 0.14 136 986 0.62 670 1080
Apple iPhone 5 0.13 200 1490 0.48 640 1320

Brightness isn't too impressive and combined with the rather high reflectivity lead to rather disappointing performance of the Jolla screen outdoors.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.970
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.950
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • BlackBerry Q10
    2.856
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.790
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Meizu MX3
    1.754
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.680
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Jolla
    1.605
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • HTC Desire C
    1.300
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.270
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.180
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114
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