Jolla Sailfish phone on sale in UK and Europe for £331

The latest upstart smart phone system, Sailfish, born within Nokia, is on sale now in the shape of the case-swapping Jolla phone.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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Bored of Android or the iPhone? The latest upstart smart phone system, Sailfish, born within Nokia, is on sale now in the shape of the case-swapping Jolla phone.

The Jolla phone is available to buy now for €399 -- about £331 -- in Europe, Switzerland and Norway. The new 4G phone runs Sailfish OS, which started life as MeeGo, software that was briefly considered as the future of Nokia before the Finnish phone-flingers settled on Microsoft's Windows Phone instead.

The phone has previously been available for pre-order in Finland and was dispatched this month to the select few phone fans who got in early. When you order from the new online shop, your Jolla phone arrives in two to four weeks.

Jolla also plans to open a website at together.jolla.com -- at the time of writing it's not live yet -- where phone fans can discuss and vote on which features they would like to see in Jolla, as well as report problems.

Jolla keeps lifting me higher

Jolla sports a 4.5-inch screen with a run-of-the-mill 540x960-pixel resolution, a dual-core 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM doing the thinking. It also boasts an 8-megapixel camera with a 2-megapixel front-facing job for video chat, and 16GB storage.

The back plate of the phone is called 'The Other Half,' and you can swap in different plates in different colours -- or even add a keyboard or e-ink screen.

Come Sailfish away

Nokia only released one phone running MeeGo, the short-lived N9, which looked with hindsight more like a dry run for Nokia's Lumia hardware. But the Jolla fellas split off and spent the last two years developing the software as Sailfish. To get around the problem faced by every mobile ecosystem -- customers don't buy phones that don't have any apps, but developers don't make apps for phones that people don't buy -- Sailfish runs Android apps.

Sailfish is one of a raft of small new operating systems emerging over the past year, such as Mozilla's Firefox OS, Samsung's Tizen, and Ubuntu for mobile phones.

Could Jolla be a contender? Can Sailfish compete with Firefox OS, Tizen, Ubuntu Mobile, and the big boys Android, iOS and Windows Phone? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook page.