Jolla has just unveiled its first smartphone, which will go on sale this year for €399 (roughly $510). Running the company's MeeGo-derived Sailfish OS, it features a 4.5-inch display, a dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel camera, LTE (in selected markets), removable back covers, 16GB of onboard storage, and a microSD slot. According to Jolla, the handset will be "compliant" with Android apps, although it's not sure how many apps will be supported, nor is it clear where users will download the apps from.
At present, the launch is limited to a select few European countries, but Jolla says it'll expand availability in the future. There's no firm word on a release date just yet, but the company says it'll ship the smartphone by the end of this year. It's not clear how the market will respond to yet another smartphone OS. In addition to the big four of Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry, we're anticipating the release of phones running Samsung's and Intel's Tizen OS shortly, along with consumer launches of Firefox OS and Ubuntu-based phones. Sailfish OS (by way of MeeGo) has pedigree in the form of the well-received Nokia N9, but Jolla doesn't have the rights to Nokia's much-lauded Harmattan UI, so has created an entirely gesture-based interface for its phone.
There are three types of pre-order available: a basic zero-cost option that will reserve you a handset for when it launches in your country; a €40 tier that will net you a "limited edition" handset, a t-shirt, and "priority" status for your order; and finally, a €100 option that will come with an exclusive additional back cover, a t-shirt, and €100 off the price of the handset. Obviously, if you're willing to throw down €100 on a product from an untested startup, the top-tier option offers the best value — you'll essentially be getting the extras for free. Jolla will be holding an event later today to celebrate the launch, and will hopefully divulge more information on the smartphone. The livestream for the event will start at 12:30PM ET (17:30 BST).