I have waited two day to write this article and that had a reason. I wanted to see different opinions on the on the latest news from Jolla since at the beginning there was a lot of disappointments but now it’s a bit more calm so you might “actually” read this with normal eyes rather than skipping it with some red angry eyes!
So Why Jolla is pushing the hardware specs lower than the market?
Well you see it’s exactly what we call “sick mind’s media” and no offence I don’t mean your mind is sick or something, what I mean is that the Media made people (Including me) think that [YES! high core clock and big number of cores are the answer, or YES higher RAM is the answer or more importantly, YES my phone has a pixel density of a monster and not a single microscope can see my phone’s pixels!]
Now I’d say YES all that sounds pretty amazing because we think … I mean they made us think that yea it’s all cool and very geeky to have high number of stuff on your phone. It’s exactly like a megapixel war on the cameras, you need a minimum amount of pixels to create a clear image but anything more than that “standard” amount only makes you zoom better into the photo and come on, be honest! Do you all take photos to zoom on them? I mean, is the purpose of taking pictures pinch zooming? Or enjoying the moment and making a memory by having a photo which is “Clear Enough” that when you take a look at it, it takes you back to your memories?
The truth is something rather opposite guys believe me. As much as the importance of the hardware is there, you can double that amount and relate it to the software. When an operating system is requiring some little amount of RAM, or it does not take much of the central processing unit and it runs fairly smooth on a 3 (Almost 4) years old hardware (Nokia N950 to be exact). So why on earth would we need a high and expensive hardware?
Running Android applications, you ask?
The Sailfish OS as you might noticed is officially capable of running Android applications and that brings many of our minds to the question of “How is it gonna do that when it has a lower hardware specs than an actual Android flagship?” -The answer to that is: How many high end Android devices do we have at the moment? 4? 5? Not more right? And the other question is that how many developers write their applications specifically for the high end devices? Surely when you think about it as a developer, you don’t want your application to be limited on one or two devices, do you? What you want it a wide range of devices being supported by your application so everyone will get to know your app and probably buy it from you.
So with that, we establish that a high end hardware specs is not necessary at all since even if you look at Apple device, they are still using 2 cores and 1GB of RAM and honestly, their devices are fairly smooth still since their software (iOS to be precise) is light enough to run on that amount of hardware specs. Simple as this, and baring in mind that we’re not gonna run more than 9 apps at a time (At this moment). Even though Jolla gives us an update which enables us to run more, how many apps are we gonna “practically” run at the same time considering closing an app is as simple as a up to down gesture.
What we’re looking at here is a phone with a 1.4 GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdagon processor (Same as many midrange android devices) and 1GB of RAM (Again, same as any Android midrange device) and I personally can assure you that it’s more than enough for the OS we have been seeing. It is definitely not about the number of cores anymore it’s about how you can use them! Android applications are indeed can run on the mentioned hardware rather decent and smooth.
The Screen Resolution
Many were hardly disappointed by that and as a matter of fact it does not sound very promising by today’s standards but think about it for a moment, what do we have for eyes? Microscopes? And what is the purpose of good screen in a logical way of description? To have a clear, sharp image while our eyes don’t get hurt. Putting that aside according to Wikipedia, having over 300 PPI on a screen does not really matter since the human eye can’t differentiate above that. Jolla phone’s screen contains approximately 250 PPI which is 50 PPI shy of the 300 target but that’s not the whole story because according to some calculation websites even that 250 PPI becomes so called “Retina” (which by today’s dictionary isn’t a part o f our eyes anymore and means “Invisible pixels to the human eye” ) in a certain distance from the eye. BUT at the same time I need to inform you that I find this website rather rubbish because it says 36 CM is needed for Jolla device to become a so called retina. I could not buy that lie so I gave it my Laptop’s resolution and it gave me something unbelievable. 117 centimeters can you believe that? I mean I’m sitting here with my laptop on my lap as you would expect, and I can’t differentiate the pixels I know my laptop might not have the best resolution amongst all but I’m pretty fine with it. Oh and yes I have my spectacles on so you can’t call me blind when I have them 😉
And for the phone:
All that I have said aside, we arrive at the Sailfish UI. You see, Jolla engineers have designed the Sailfish UI in a way that it does not allow your eyes to see the pixels with it’s ambiance selection and colors involved in it. Moreover the Gorilla 2 Glass has been confirmed by Jolla.com/Your-Jolla
After the update of Jolla.com we have seen a video from the senior designer of Jolla HQ Mr. Jaakko Roppola trying to show a pretty close up image of the device while on and running Sailfish and as you can see the pictures are sharp enough for the camera and so for the Jolla engineers, designers and the whole lot. It would definitely be nice for our eyes as well.
In this video you can notice a couple of new things that we haven’t seen before in previous demos:
- The new ambiance system which is accessible from from the lock screen with a gesture as well as the gallery.
- The new locking gesture which Jaakko has done at the end of the video by pushing his finger down the screen from the top edge to turn the screen off while the phone was in lock screen status.
- The UI looks much quicker and more responsive in terms of opening and closing aps.
The Other Half details breakdown
Jolla has been keeping this secret and only giving us some sneak peaks about it since they introduced The Other Half back in May but finally we have some legit information of what’s under the hood.
There is NFC, Power in/out and I2C (I square C) known as inter integrated cicuit technology which is basically a genius idea from a company called NXP that now is a partner of Jolla (I presume; because there has been no official talks about it) but this technology’s presence has been confirmed by Jolla.
What it does basically is transferring data in a manner that is quite innovative.
To put it in a simple demonstration, It works as a connector integrated to the device (Under the back cover obviously) reserved for the time that the user decides to add features to his/her phone of a third party decides to design a new feature for the phone. It uses a bidirectional line which is a 2 way line for sending and receiving data to or from the device. This helps the phone to stay up to date by making everyone able to add or extend features on the device such as a full QWERTY keyboard or some additional hardware specs such as RAM which we don’t expect to happen but it is possible with I2C.
The I2C can add functionalities such as:
- Reading configuration data
- Controlling LCD/LED display drivers
- Accessing NVRAM chips
- Accessing Analog to Digital converters and vice versa
- Controlling sound in intelligent speakers
- Reading diagnostic sensors
- Writing and reading a real time clock
- Controlling power to system components
And the amazing thing is that I2C can have all these things mentioned above in once place using only two electrical signals that means a huge amount of space saving and functionality adding.
With I2C the functionalities can be changed or added by simply reprogramming the micro processor (Which will be done by third parties or Jolla mostly) to the new device’s address and functionality
Moreover on that, the functionalities/devices can be added or removed while the device is up and running and no need to restart or shut down the device while changing the other halves ! It’s called hot swapping. Like removing the Micro SD card from your phone without turning it off.
All these happen in a device known as the Bus Master which controls all the additional devices connected to it and commands them individually without interaction with other devices, just using the simple two signals! Amazing.
All I said was some roughly simplified quotes from this video (Shared via Dario on the previous post)
With this information we can almost %99 be sure about all the rumors “we” have made before about the full QWERTY Keyboard or a battery pack or a new camera or practically anything else. Marc Dillon was right. With I2C the limit is your imagination.
Battery performance expectations
I’ll break it down for you in a simple sentence: It is going to be amazing.
Why? Because the battery is a 2,100 mAh unit which sounds good enough, but moreover to it is that there are not much “extra” pixels that it has to feed and there are no extra cores in the processor that needs extra energy just for the sake of being “on”, also from my experience which is quite weird, phones hold the battery on 4G networks quite well in compare to 3G or 3.5G networks so if your country supports 4G, you’re good to go always online and having a full day charge.
And of course baring in mind that Jolla’s engineers would have put something bigger inside if it was needed. Just like the other specs which are “good enough”.
The latest design and more importantly the bezels
There are a lot of complains going on about the phone’s bezels. Alright folks I need to remind you that you are using a gesture based phone, not a normal Android or iPhone! This is new stuff and you have no idea if you have some bezels like the new LG G2 how many times you might accidentally activate the edge gestures by simply holding the device in your hand!
And bear with me because this is not a normal phone! It’s a phone made of two detachable halves and having that in mind, the designers and engineers have to make some space for the [Cables, and the actual board] of the phone so those bezels can’t disappear as easily as you might think. Xperia V is a phone that I’m using for my everyday basis and as you can see it has quite large bezels (Either on the sides or top/bottom) And I went to it after using N9 for a long time and felt no issues.
It would be fantastic if we could appreciate the extremely hard work our beloved “small” company has done to achieve this situation (With all the innovations on board such as the other half that still has more surprises underneath) and bear in mind that they are a company which is producing Hardware AND Software (An OS in this case which is a rather big thing!)
Also we need to understand the fact that we can’t judge about the screen, RAM or anything else unless we touch, feel and test the device!
Hope you enjoyed the post. Buzz us up in the comment section since we need your opinion and feedback to carry on.
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Sepehr Noori (James)