Jolla Tablet Tablet Review
Hands-on with the new Jolla tablet
It’s rare to grab a tablet and instantly be drawn to the software first but that’s what happened when I got my hands on the Jolla tablet running Sailfish OS. The Finnish company has already raised over $2.2 million through an Indiegogo campaign for the slate back in December and is launching in the UK from May 2015 for around £180.
It’s a 7.9-inch tablet with an IPS LCD screen offering 2048 x 1536 resolution and 330ppi pixel density. Yes, it’s got a very similar screen setup as the iPad Mini 3. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have Apple’s sleek stylish aluminium look, but is packed with decent specs to make up for it.
SEE ALSO: Jolla Sailfish OS smartphone review
Jolla is offering 32GB and 64GB models with an 64-bit Intel quad-core processor clocked at 1.8GHz powering performance alongside 2GB of RAM. You can expand the storage via the Micro SD card slot and there’s a big 4,450 mAh battery, which should comfortably give you a day’s battery at the very least.
On the textured, two tone back you’ll find an 5-megapixel camera while a 2-megapixel sensor sits up front above the screen. At 8.3mm thick and weighing in at 384g, it’s not the slimmest tablet you can get hold of, but it’s nicely weighted for single or two-handed use.
Jolla’s Sailfish operating system is a couple of years old now and is based on the open source Linux-based QT platform. It’s been built from the ground up and privacy is a core principle for the OS. Jolla will not share data or let third parties monitor your tablet activity.
In the latest version, Sailfish 2.0, the Jolla community play a big part in influencing changes the company makes with later OTA updates. It’s literally a case of picking the features that the users vote on the most. That’s a refreshingly unique approach to evolving a mobile OS.
The user interface is heavily gesture based and aims to offer a more simplistic method to quickly get around to the content you want. Simply swiping across the UI takes you through the home screens. Swipe inwards from the right screen bezel brings up a BlackBerry Peek-esque look at running apps. If you swipe up from the bottom, you can bring up the app drawer Amazon Fire OS-style. Lift your finger and swipe down from the top of the screen and you’ll bring up the Android-style notification tray. Jolla has incorporated ideas from existing operating systems and merged it into this free-flowing, fluid experience.
One of the biggest obstacles with any platform is app support. Jolla has its own dedicated app store, but it also supports Android apps as well. You don’t have to have Android access and you’ll have that choice in the initial setup. It should help get high profile apps like Twitter and Facebook onto your Jolla tablet until developers decide to make a Sailfish-optimized one.
The Jolla tablet is a fascinating device largely because of the operating system. It aims to address the issues with Android that make tablets running the Google OS far less easy to pick up and use with ease in the same way you can with an iPad.
From a design and performance perspective, the 7.9-inch slate looks in good shape as well despite not being the sleekest of tablets. Jolla’s model to evolve the platform based on what users want is really what’s great here though. If Jolla continues to listen, they could have a tablet that’s truly built for the people who own and use it.
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