Back to Blog home

Happy Birthday Jolla Phone

Jolla phone is now 5 years old!! We write this blog post while remembering all the emotions and hard work from the year 2013 when we launched the device to the public. We made it, we made an iconic Finnish product with a small but passionate team of engineers and designers. Despite the fact that half way through the development we had to redesign the hardware due to a new chipset and adapt Sailfish OS to it, we made it, we brought the first Jolla smartphone with blood, sweat and passion in it to the market. We saw room for another player, to come and disrupt the business of mobile operating systems. We showed the world that against all odds, it can be done, and it can be done with class!

jolla-phone-lineup

The launch

On November 27th 2013, after a year of longing and hype in the Sailfish community, the Jolla phone was launched in Helsinki, in the middle of Narinkkatori. Together with our dear partner DNA and almost 500 people queueing, we launched the first ever Jolla branded smartphone. Everything went smoothly, we were exteremly pleased that our hard work had paid off when we saw happy people with glowy eyes holding the first batch of Jolla phones in their hands!

Being the first one that gets to own the brand new smartphone, risen from the ashes of Nokia and MeeGo, was indeed a big deal. There he was, Henri Huttunen, who became the very first person to purchase the Jolla phone and made it to the headlines! Henri and many others queued up many hours before the launch at Narinkkatori just to get their hands on the long awaited Jolla phone. That’s the Sailfish community, and that’s the passion that came with it! ❤️

Henri the first one

The Other Half

A bold and innovative idea, which was The Other Half, was launched with the Jolla phone. It was a protocol that brought endless possibilities to hardware developers to add new and unique features to the Jolla phone. Jolla developed an Open HW Developer Kit, a number of simple Other Halves, and made them available for sale at the Jolla webshop. Encouraged and empowered with these, it was the community who took the idea and ran with it to great lengths and developed so many useful The Other Half ideas and turned them into reality.

jolla-half

 

There were Other Halves with OLED panels on them, a sliding/magnetic QWERTY keyboard, a solar panel, extra battery, and many more, that came out of our active community. Our friends at Pocketnow produced a video back in 2015 and showed off some of the brilliant community developed Other Halves.

There may have been more to the story than the eye can meet however. There were several different TOH ideas developed by Jolla that didn’t get to see the light of day for various reasons, but we have the sketches and mockups still handy to show our community!

 

Jolla phone, after 5 years

In this day and age, the average Android flagship smartphone’s lifespan is 2 years at best. However, at approximately 10,000 active users of the original Jolla phone, we are proud to still support this iconic smartphone after 5 years of its life. Users of Jolla phone can download the latest Sailfish OS update just like any other Sailfish user with a newer device.

jolla 1 sailfish 3

Happy birthday Jolla phone! #StillUsingJolla

We made the Jolla phone with our community, and we would love to celebrate its 5th birthday with YOU! You can participate in this celebratin by posting a photo of your Jolla phone on your preferred social media platform, using the hashtag #StillUsingJolla, and tag a couple of your Jolla friends too!

We will then pick the most interesting ones and will present a small reward to selected contributions.

On behalf of the Jolla team,
James

James Noori

Community Manager at Jolla. Gadget geek. Open source supporter and advocate. Long time Jolla blogger in a third party blog. Ready to change the world with unique and unusual alternatives!

71 Comments

  1. This is a great achievement, thank you very much indeed! :-)

  2. I am not #StillUsingJolla as I moved to an Xperia X, but the original Jolla phone will always have a special place in my memory (just like my beloved Nokia N9 before it). Happy birthday little buddy.

    • That is the case for me too. My Jolla phone is too precious to be used on a daily basis. I have now stored it safely after about 2 years of it being my daily driver. I was third in line in Helsinki for the launch!

      • Me too. I still have my Jolla Phone 1, it is on current software level, the battery is full, the Lastu case is worn out, but still an eye-catcher. The tablet – yes, I have one – is available to me every day, also up-to-date and with the most beautiful Lastu case ever for tablets. The tablet’s battery is unfortunately weak, its random Mac addresses are annoying and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find software packages for it… but it’s going on like it always has.

        Daily I use my XperiaX.

        So, I am very satisfied with my three jolla devices. Would love to have the watch, but … :)

        • First happy birthday for Jolla,it is a good iniciative above all.

          About the tablet I was one of the ones affected with not receiving it. Nor the Lastu case for the tablet (because of not receiving the tablet, I didn’t receive the case), was it really nice? I was wondering about it, how is it resistance to use?

  3. I’m so glad that Jolla’s journey still goes on, despite all the rocks while sailing!
    My Jolla 1 still works but sadly something happened to its loudspeaker (on phone calls). Luckily Sailfish X came to save me just in time from Android doom.
    Happy birthday dear old friend!
    ps. I would still buy a new Jolla 1 if it just had a little bit better camera!

    • Jolla 1 was indeed the perfect sized phone. Unfortunate to hear about the loud speaker… But glad that you have yourself a nice Sailfish X powered Xperia now!

      • It was very nice sized.

        If it is produced again with updated capabilities and radio,mike and cam kill switches and *no* fingerprint reader, i will by one.

        I will even participate in a crowd founding run.

        • Indeed it was the perfect size! Xperia X is not much bigger but still a bit clunkier already in my pocket and hands.
          Count me in to a crowdfunding. I would recruit immediately half a dozen other participants too.

  4. The Other Half was an interesting experiment, but ultimately it was a failure. People don’t want modular (Puzzlephone is another failure), and the ecosystem is just too small for it to work, without third-party manufacturers and ideas. And the market evolved alternative solutions for all of the possible uses of TOHs. Need a keyboard? There’s Bluetooth. Need a solar panels? There’s USB ones and power banks. Need to change the color of your phone to match your outfit? Get a cover.

    • The Other Half brought our community together and became a cause for them to gather around and develop their ideas, turning them into reality. We see it as a catalyst, an activator to our beautiful community. We certainly enjoyed the creations ;)

    • @fph It was not a huge commercial success (with hundreds of commercial companies providing 3rd party Other Halves)… but neither was the Jolla Phone itself, was it? Within the universe of Jolla and Sailfish, TOH was a concept that received a lot of love and attention. Especially as at the same time 3D printing in large quantities and acceptable quality became viable, it was really fantastic to see what people came up with.

      It’s always dangerous to say “people don’t want feature X”, because what you actually mean is “a majority of the people doesn’t want feature X” – leaving out the few who’d pay a lot to finally get exactly this one feature. I’m in love with companies that care for us, the forgotten minorities of market research.

    • Puzzle phone might’ve failed, but Fairphone is still alive and kicking.

      though they do have some problem for stocking parts/modules, they managed to position themselves in an interesting way (a modular phone is also an easier and cheaper to repair)

      also as pointed by James, Jolla did manage to gather a small but lively community of hacker/devs

  5. I have all the official Jolla released devices, except the new XA2 ones. “X” works well enough so no need yet to buy a new one. Still remember remotely following the launch which I could not attend and the nerve wrecking delivery problems before Christmas.

    Congratulations! Keep going and improving Sailfish!

    • Fantastic to hear!

      I wasn’t a part of Jolla back then, but I certainly remember the stress the sailors went through for delivering devices before Christmas that year…!

  6. Happy birthday and much thanks to the Jolla-team and all of the community for this great work!
    Every single update is still a little thrilling.

    Keep on sailing for ever!

    • Sail on, and thank you!

  7. I am still using my Jolla 1s (two of them) and love them. I love the design and SailfishOS too, of course. I hope Jolla will be successfull in the future and would some day release an updated version with a similar kind of design.

    • Glad to see someone using not 1, but 2 Jolla phones! Thanks for your words

  8. I am very attached to my Jolla Phone and hope for another five years at least. With its Lastu wallet it has taken on a lovely, venerable patina of age – like an old Zeiss Ikon camera almost….but without the Zeiss sadly :(
    Thanks guys, for supporting the phone after all this time, I guess it means something special to you too.

    • We certainly hope that youe device lives on until you find a perfect replacement for it in the future. Thanks for keeping it going and holding on to it ;)

  9. Still using my Jolla 1 with TOHKBDv2 as a testdevice.

    • That a great TOH you have got on it ;)

  10. Any plan for new device. Would love a small screen device with sailfish OS.

    • That is not in our plans as of now unfortunately. But never say never, maybe some day in the distant future.

  11. My Jolla 1 is still alive!!

    Happy birthday

    • That is fantastic to hear! Same as mine, even though I don’t use it anymore as I have 2 Xperia X devices instead.

  12. We need in Indian market….

    • We work hard to make Sailfish OS available in as many markets as possible. Stay tuned for more news regarding that in the future.

  13. Happy birthday and thank you Sailors for all the hard work! Please keep on sailing – I am looking forward to celebrating the tenth anniversary!

    • Thank you! Same here ;)

  14. bought my jolla 1 three years ago after a trip in Rome. It’s getting older and a little worn but still fantastic as a daily driver. Still proud to not have supported android instead

    • Fabulous! Keep sailing :)

  15. 5 years ago, was happy to see a new GNU/Linux phone coming out from a reputable team (=the guys making the maemo that caugh my eyes) to replace for me the dying webOS I was using before.

    Once I got it, I was pleasantly surprise how well the Fitt’s Law was applied to the gestures (pulley menus and side slides, where competitors would be putting tiny buttons to click).

    5 years down, my Jolla is still working and serving as a test device beside my current Sailfish X daily driver.

    Thank you for your work, and keep sailing on.

    • Sail on! Very cool history behind yours ;)

  16. OMG. Such a long time. In spite of all the disappointments that slowly grew stronger while the initial enthusiasm cooled off, quite frankly I’ll have to say:

    I love how Jolla still supports my Jolla phone, received Dec. 19th, 2013. Of course it’s no longer the phone I use daily. It’s too slow by today’s standards. But I keep it and take it with me every now and then when taking the latest and most expensive one I own might not be appropriate.

    I admire how they survived all those years (*more* than 5 now). I was so sure that they would just bring this one phone to the market to burn some of the money they had received from Nokia and than slowly disappear as all of the Ex-Nokians had found new jobs. I had thought of Jolla as a temporary adventure playground those guys had built for themselves, knowing it would collapse one or two years after the market launch. At the end of 2018 they’re still playing…

    And finally I love the fact that in spite of some still unresolved shortcomings, they give me the possibility to use a pure GNU/Linux portable device even in 2018, to continue a story that had begun with my Nokia 770 so much earlier. I have the possibility to say No to Android (and even more to Apple) because those stubborn Finns keep pushing their OS to even more devices, no matter what.

    Forget about still not being able to copy text from received emails for a while. Celebrate the 5 years that at least I wouldn’t have believed in back in 2013. :)

    • Thanks Ossi for your comment!

      One thing is clear, we are not going away any time soon ;)

  17. Love from indonesia, still using trial version of Sailfish X on my xperia x

    • Amazing! Sail on, and spread the word.

  18. Congratz Jolla. As a newbie that’s all for now:)

  19. Im still using my Jolla 1. Just like it alot. I also have Xperia X and it is my daily working horse. I will never use any other phone, than phone with SailfishOs on it. I am a linux fanman. All my machines have linux core. All I need, all I want. Sailfish conquer this world. Long live Sailfish.

    • Thank you for helping us accomplish conquering the world by using Sailfish OS!

  20. same with me, still using Jolla 1 as my daily driver. Could get a second one based on comments on this blog which my wife uses now :)

    Happy birthday to a great device!

  21. It’s a pity that we can not celebrate the years we’ve been without Jolla’s tablet. Hopefully we can celebrate that they finally gave us our money back.

  22. When jolla sail indonesian Market? Greeting from indonesia

    • We are always looking to expand to new markets. Indonesia definitely is an interesting market to explore. Let’s see what the future brings.

  23. I have used Jolla 1 for about 4 years. The other half and that we could open the device, that was great. At first the device did not work well. There were many flaws, so often I wanted it to throw it out of the window. But slowly it improved and it still works rather well, except….the sound. I have hearing problems and the speaker is too low.
    I wished we could again buy a ready made device with Sailfish, like the Jolla 1!

  24. Although it is a Linux device, most of us use Android apps too. I have never known how many data leak to Google while using Android apps. Also I noticed that if you don’t have a Google account or anything made by Google, that functionality is more problematic on a Sailfish device. Why is that, I wonder. It is also an urgent question concerning Sailfish 3 and Oreo: which data are going to Google?

  25. I don’t agree about the lifespan of 2 years. This idea is produced by providers who want to profit from us. Before I had a Jolla 1, I used an iphone 3Gs for about 6 years. And still Apple products last very long. The ideal would be a phone with parts that can be replaced. It would be so nice if we could have a better speaker and a better camera on the Jolla 1. Why not replace it?

  26. Congratulations and I hope Jolla will continue and grow in the future.
    About the Jolla 1: actually I like it more than the Sony. The Sony has three advantages above the Jolla 1: sound ( two speakers), speed ( capacity), and the camera shoots sharper pictures. . The colours however are more saturated and more natural on the Jolla 1 than on Sony. With Sony I have involuntary screenshots because the buttons are on the wrong place. The Jolla 1 has the buttons right. I also like the double tap on Jolla 1. So, if you could produce a new improved Jolla device, I am in!

  27. Well that’s timely as I now have my XA2 set up woop woop!

    Just last night I was marvelling at my old N9 sat next to my J1 and the new XA2.

    How things have changed and progressed!

    One thing that feels like a backwards step though is that i couldnt import contacts via bluetooth from either the N9 or J1, is that right or am i missing something???

    Also, you cant close apps by swiping down in SF3?? Hmm, not happy with that! :(

    Using the J1 alongside the XA2 I have to admit that the J1 gesture feel more intuitive.

    • Congratulations Jolla and thank you for the 5 years. At the moment I’ve Xperia X Sailfish X. Earlier enjoyed with J 1 for three years and C for just one.

      Looking forward to have Galaxy Wearables app as ported to my Sailfish X.

      Ps. The bt is funny. While tranferring my data from J 1 to J C, the data ended into my work phone Lumia. :o

      It’s very easy to move data by means of e-mails Gmail / outlook syncronising. Good luck. :) :)

      • Hi

        I copied my backup from the J1 to an SD card and used installed the contacts from there onto the XA2

        Its far from the completed article but feels good to have Sailfish in my hands again

        Now have to wait for the full version…..

        COME ON JOLLA! :D

    • You can use top swipe down to close app in SFOS3 ;) just do it down from top corner either left or right will do but I must agree that gestures were more thrilling back in the day on JP1

  28. Remembering the Jolla1, what about the forgotten Jolla Tablet, i know it has a bad taste, since it nearly broke the company and people still complain about it. But its like in normal life, there can be stones in the way, you just don’t have to fall. What about russian Inoi Tablet? Couldn’t Jolla organize the import of stacks of this device. You could sell it through your shop and see if you can get high enough numbers which would make importation interesting. For a company its most of the times easier to import items of a non european country then for a private person, and i think there would be a real demand for a non android tablet, and i am not talking of an Ipad. Thanks!

    • I would certainly be interested too by batches of such Inoi-based putative “Jolla I” tablets
      (the same way Jolla sold small batches of “Jolla C” smartphones based on Aquafish Intex)

  29. Well, I didn’t make it to Helsinki for the J1 release but I did get a First-One T-Shirt and TOH. Also I am still using the five-year-old on a daily basis. It does have drawbacks but I can live with them. Not being able to set up a VPN connection to my Lancom Router is a bit annoying. Maybe I’ll get it working some day. In the meantime I have two other J1s safely tucked away in case I lose or damage the current one. I only take them out to update the OS, it’s amazing how long the batteries last when they are turned off for months! The only other phones I have are Blackberry leap (in case I get fed up of Jolla) and of course two N9. Now that so much water has passed under the bridge, I can probably share my favorite chuckle with the Jolla tablet. When it was cancelled my name was way down the list published by Jolla but they would only refund through paypal! I don’t see why any American company should earn as much as 1c when I in Germany buy something from Finland so I sent Jolla a mail and told them to just stuff MY money up THEIR ass. Two to three weeks later I got a tablet by parcel post. I hadn’t even been notified. Obviously at least 100 people ahead of me on the list opted for a refund instead. Good luck for me, I suppose.

  30. Commentjolla手机的安卓虚拟机还会更新吗?

  31. “I am the first one” -t-shirt spotted on a quite recent Finnish comedy tv series! And who else would be wearing it than the GOD himself of course.
    Here’s a link:
    https://arenan.yle.fi/1-3378179
    Sadly might be georestricted to be only played in Finland…can’t verify.

    • @lumen Thanks for sharing this, loved it. It doesn’t seem to be geoblocked, I was able to watch it from Austria. (I envy this guy being able to wear it – I’m about his size horizontally :) and it never really fit…)

      The video could be Sailfish-blocked, though. It didn’t work on my Xperia X. ;)

      • Nice that it plays outside of Finland :)
        I had no success with Xperia X and Jollas browser either but with Firefox and Brave it played nicely on X.

        I forgot to mention… starts from 2:58 on the video that God is presented with the shirt :)

  32. Yeahh Great!
    …the link it’s ok, the video works perfectly on my J1.
    thank you.

  33. As I’m not using any of the so called social media I like to say here that I am still using my Jolla 1 and like it (the same for my N9). I like SailfishOS very much and I hope Jolla will be successful in the future .Congratulations to Jolla and many thanks to you. Hold on with the good work. It was a pleasure to see Marc again, I think he would be a good public face for Jolla again.
    I bought my Jolla 1 in November 2015. At the moment I’m using Android (LineageOS) on an Motorola MotoG (2014) because I want to use a few Android Apps which need newer support. But I do not really like Android. If SF3 is “ready” I consider to buy an XA2 or maybe a supported device with smaller display. In my opinion the form factor of the N9 was the best one. Sail on, Jolla!

  34. Looking at the Jolla made TOH keyboard mockups makes me kind of sad the Jolla phone hardware changes resulted in the camera moving from side to the center and possibly hindering any (official) keyboard plans. Of course, I’m only guessing as I don’t really know how much of a show stopper the camera position really was and there were probably other reasons too why we never saw on official TOH keyboard.

  35. HELLO EVERYONE. I AM CONFUSED. WHEN SAILFISH OS WAS RELEASED FOR XA2, THE SHOP WAS TEMPORARILY DOWN BECAUSE OF ISSUES WITH THE OS. IS THE OS AND SHOP UP AND RUNNING SANS ISSUES? MOREOVER, IS THE FULL RELEASE FOR XA2 (ONE USERS MUST PAY FOR) AVAILABLE? IF NOT, WHEN THE BLOODY HELL WILL IT BE?

    • KEEP CALM AND HOLD YOUR HORSES :)
      Jolla has promised 3.0.1 update any day now, which will likely bring payable version for XA2 along with it – I presume.
      Moreover Jolla has promised to show us SFOS 3 roadmap now. I’m waiting keenly for it also.

  36. Ahh Jolla Phone came to my life straight after n900 begin to really have problems with daily phone activities. I wasn’t lucky enough to bought n9 and I was really thrilled by supporting creators of my maemo device. I have been using sailfish ever since amd Im proud that I had never used for my.personal needs, an android device. I had to use one in work but never for private use nor I possessed any android device for private usage! I had a little party accident, sadly that kill loudspeaker in my JP1 so I bought second one and untill it got some problem with random reboots I have used it as my daily driver. Now Im still using both of my Jolla Phones for different needs, one of them is my mobile router as I have plenty of spare batteries (about 8 of them ) and external chargers kept me bootup. Now on Xperia X Im really missing possibility to change battery on the go and not even using usb port for charging (nor fo ft as wireless connection was more handy at the time). I have some of my doubts about way that SFOS changed in Years but I will never settle with anything else if You Guys will be still going strong ! I miss swipe covers, Miss old menus in gallery, and old slider in camera app. I Have to use lots of patches to keep me satisfied but Hey ! I can use those ! I have the choice ! Thats waaay more than any1 will offer. I have my prayers for some functionality but in the end I have 1st JP on SFOS1 second JP on SFOS2 and Xperia X on SFOS3 I love possibility to go back and compare gestures and overall feel of the Sailfish OS. Some of it begin to be simmilar to android and thats bad but I know its not possible to avoid some solutions. I have promoted Jolla to my friend and family resulting in JP being used as daily driver by my friend and Xperia X (with sailfish x, duh !) by My Mum also as daily driver. Keep up the hard work! Im a Big Jolla Fan ! Fingers crossed for Whole company and Hope to see many more years filled with updates and good news ! Sail On ! #StillUsingJolla

  37. Happy Birthday Jolla! :)
    Nokia’s legacy lives on in every Jolla based phone. Please release it to more handsets. :D Just kidding.

  38. Couldn’t of done it without the backing of all the supporters of the sailfish tablet, Congrats on 5 years, maybe in another 5 years we will finially see the refunds completed.

Submit a Comment

We use cookies to improve your user experience and to help us to develop our services. By continuing to browse the site, you approve of our use of cookies.