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Sony Xperia devices with Sailfish OS

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BentL
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PostPosted: Saturday, 04.Mar.2017 22:47    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Joona Petrell from Jolla has confirmed that it will be a fully productised version of Sailfish OS, including latest version of Dalvik, see tweet:

Quote:
Yes selected Xperia devices will get fully productised version of #SailfishOS, latest Dalvik included. Smile

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PostPosted: Sunday, 05.Mar.2017 02:33    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

I have a question regarding Google Play and Jolla. This information is taken from Crackberry regarding Google Play.

http://forums.crackberry.com/blackberry-10-os-f269/why-bb10-doesnt-hav e-google-services-official-access-google-play-store-953753

However, the same conditions should apply for Jolla as well. When jolla is using Dalvik how much of Android and Google services can they really use?

Quote:
Membership in the Open Handset Alliance (OHA)
As part of membership in the OHA, agreeing not to fork Android (BB10’s Android runtime is a fork)

Any phone sold by an OHA that contains Android code must use Android as the base OS, and must have a start-up screen that states “Powered by Android”, using an approved logo in an approved size/color scheme/etc.

The implementation of Android on every OHA device must pass a Google Compatibility Test, which checks thousands of aspects of the phone to make sure everything is working as required to make full use of Google Services and Google Play Store apps.

A set of Google applications must be pre-installed by the manufacturer, and must be prominent. The application list is updated periodically as Google updates apps, but among current requirements are: Chrome, Google+, Drive, Hangouts, GMail, and others.

The Google Play Store must be pre-installed and must be the default apps and media store.

Licensing fees must be paid to Google, based on the number of phones manufactured. Manufacturers are directed to contact Google to negotiate those fees.


This may hint why Jolla doesn't emphasize their own store which is crazy in my opinion. The problem is when Jolla ship their phones with proprietary Google SW, these conditions apply. The only way for Jolla to become clean from the conditions is letting the users install Google services themselves. If Sony already have Google stuff in their phones then the above conditions apply.
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PostPosted: Tuesday, 07.Mar.2017 00:21    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Installing Google Services and Google Play on BB10 takes as little as installing any other app. Technically, there is absolutely nothing preventing the use of Google Services on BB10. The same fully applies to SFOS. The only obstacle are legal reasons, i.e. Google simply not permitting it by non-OHA members and not on devices where Android is the main (and only) OS. The same legal restrictions are the reason why Alien Dalvik is stuck at Android 4.x.x

If BlackBerry didn't manage to make Google allow them use newer Android runtime and Google Services, which killed BB10 for good, then Jolla certainly won't do it, either. In other words, when it comes to Android compatibility in SFOS they've already reached their limits and there just won't be any upgrade, except maybe for some small tweaks and performance improvements.

Knowing it, they should be even more interested in building their own native ecosystem as quickly as possible, because the time runs out and their Android 4.x runtime will very soon become as outdated as what Android 2.x is now.

Suggesting users to grab from somewhere and install some unoficial, unsupported and not necessarily trusted or secure Google Services and Google Play packages just can't be considered a serious solution. I even doubt if they could suggest such a thing officially/openly.

Long story short, they do know very well that they already hit the wall when it comes to Android compatibility, yet it still doesn't make them do anything when it comes to native apps. Which is totally incomprehensible. I can't imagine what they are going to do in a year or two, still without any native applications and stuck with Android version from 2013 that already now no one uses anymore. Even cheap Chinese electronic gadgets like e.g. smart TV boxes now come with Android 5 or higher.
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PostPosted: Monday, 20.Mar.2017 11:24    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Michal Jerz wrote:
They are FORCING all individual developers like me to go away and develop for sh*tty Android, which is the most annoying thing I can think of.


Even more annoying than developing for iOS? Wink
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PostPosted: Monday, 20.Mar.2017 20:59    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

Even more annoying than developing for iOS?

In Polish we have a saying that it's like a choice between having either a plague or cholera Wink
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 22.Mar.2017 22:10    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Jolla has published a video from Mobile World Congress 2017:

Video: Mobile World Congress 2017

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PostPosted: Friday, 07.Apr.2017 17:43    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Any news regarding this? I was thinking about to pick up an Xperia X and shoehorn Sailfish into it. Now with BB10 gone, Sailfish is the only alternative OS left.
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PostPosted: Friday, 21.Apr.2017 18:17    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

Now with BB10 gone, Sailfish is the only alternative OS left.

Well, despite being abandoned, BB10 OS continues to work just fine and will surely do so over the next year or two. While maybe all the 'smaller' models (Z10, Z30, Leap, Q series) became too slow due to their poor old dual-core Krait SoCs, the Passport with its quad-core 2.3 GHz CPU and 3 GB of RAM turns out to be able to run that efficient BB10 OS just as (if not more) smoothly as competing OSes run on newly released devices. So now that the Passport can be bought so cheaply, it is a great device to get for 2017 and 2018, and only then see what happens.

I used to criticize the Passport before I got one, mostly for its screen aspect ratio, but it completely changed the way I use mobile devices. No other smartphone since the ancient Nokia 9500/9300 Communicator times (the E90 with its S60 OS was much poorer in this regard) allowed me to use the Internet so conveniently on the phone. With all other phones, if I was sitting at home next to my laptop and I got an email or needed to browse some web pages, I always preferred to open the laptop for it, whereas now with the Passport I spend long hours browsing the web and answer nearly all the emails directly on the phone, with the laptop catching dust within my hand's reach most of the time. And even after hours of heavy use I usually still have half of the battery capacity left for the whole next day... I can't see any replacement for my Passport which would provide a fraction of similar experience. I don't care if OS development has been frozen because the OS is simply stable and complete and doesn't really need any important additions, and even if app development for BB10 completely stops soon, it'll still leave it with HUNDREDS OF TIMES more of applications than what SFOS has and can have in any foreseeable period of time, plus the same Android 4.x compatibility....
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PostPosted: Sunday, 14.May.2017 23:35    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

This is the wrong forum for BB10 but to answer your previous post and what I have recently experienced is that the BB10 is working worse and worse because it is no longer maintained.

Google hardly work anymore with the BB10 browser (maps, mail). Even if I try to avoid Google, you sometimes use their services. Some pages will not even load because they are SSL encrypted, something that becomes more usual. The browser says that the certificate is outdated but it is the browser that is outdated. Try go to the site tz.de and try if your browser accepts that site.

So the browser must be updated otherwise you will not be able to use BB10 as intended.

This is why I hope that Sailfish might give up a little bit of hope at least.
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PostPosted: Wednesday, 24.May.2017 23:13    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

Quote:

So the browser must be updated otherwise you will not be able to use BB10 as intended.

Or a third party browser can be made. Or an Android version of any browser can be installed.

BTW. The tz.de site works PERFECTLY fine on my Passport with 10.3.3 OS in the built-in browser, no problems of any kind, no certificate error, no nothing. Google Maps and Gmail also work perfectly fine for me.

Since I updated my Passport to 10.3.3 (which was many months ago) I can't recollect a single site that would give me any kind of certificate or encryption problems (which indeed was sometimes the case on 10.3.2).

So maybe you should simply update your OS to the very latest release? The browser got MASSIVE updates in all consecutive 10.3.3.xxxx releases.







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PostPosted: Sunday, 04.Jun.2017 13:56    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

During MWC Sony claimed that they would release a Sailfish version during 2nd quarter this year. However, it has been that for a while now and also there are absolutely no reports about this further on.

Has Sony been forced to can the project?
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PostPosted: Saturday, 10.Jun.2017 22:25    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

According to this post on TJC they still work on it an will post news about the program approximately end of june.
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PostPosted: Monday, 26.Jun.2017 13:14    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

A new "announcement" on the official Jolla Blog by Jolla CEO Sami Pienimäki:

Quote:

Shortly also about the Sony Xperia X project, as we realize many are waiting for news about it: we’re working on the project and we will update you next week about the next steps.


Kind of funny, announcing an announcement - truly the Jolla way.

The main topic of that blog post is the second half of tablet refund which they are starting to pay to backers in random order "as their financial situation permits".

I wonder how much longer it takes until someone at Jolla gets the brilliant idea that making the appstore capable to host paid apps might actually improve their financial situation...
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PostPosted: Friday, 30.Jun.2017 09:09    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

An update on the Sony Xperia project, see blog post:

Quote:
Sony Xperia Project Update

Back in February, in Mobile World Congress 2017, we were pleased to announce the Sailfish OS for Sony Xperia project in collaboration with Sony Open Devices Program. Here’s an update to the project and progress:

Our development teams have worked hard on the project, so that we can start the delivery of the downloadable Sailfish OS to all of you waiting to run our operating system on this great device. The progress has been good, but in all honesty it has not lacked challenges. There are some clear development areas that still need work, and challenges, the biggest of them being the support for Android apps. Challenges also include making it easy enough for common users to install Sailfish OS onto their devices. Xperia X is the first 64-bit ARM device we are running Sailfish OS on, and that has made this project much more unpredictable to implement than a lot of our recent device projects have been.

First deliveries starts in July

Despite the challenges, we are starting to deliver the software to first community members in a few weeks in July: our Cbeta testing group will get the first opportunity to test Sailfish OS on a Sony Xperia X device once we have started the Cbeta testing for the Sailfish OS 2.1.2 release. If you’re in the group, expect to hear from us soon about it.

The Cbeta group is the closest community development group for Jolla – it’s a group with whom we share our work first, and who rigorously work with us to iron out issues, find bugs etc. For Cbeta, we’ve hand picked a small group of very active community members that we know well. If you are active in the community, like doing community ports of Sailfish OS to other devices, contribute to development, translate Sailfish OS to new languages, help in TJC to answer questions, or attend community events, then you may get noticed by us, and when there is opportunity to expand the group you can be asked to join the Cbeta group. Our community is very important to us and we value all contributions, but we still need to keep the Cbeta group quite small so that we can properly handle the feedback, have confidentiality, and resolve any issues due to bugs of the early releases.

The exact schedule for the next phase, i.e. wider delivery to our community, depends on how the development progresses and on the feedback we get from the Cbeta testing. From the Cbeta testing we are ready to move onto the public release once we’re certain that main features like the Android app compatibility are working, the device can be used as a daily device, Jolla Store can be used for downloading apps, and that SW update process works. And that there are no serious bugs of course.

We also need an easy solution for users to install the operating system on their devices. At first, the releases will be more suitable for hackers and advanced users but we shall make it easier in the next phases to wider groups. We’ll update the situation and schedule with you once the Cbeta testing starts.

Supported devices

Many of you have been curious about us supporting other Xperia devices like Xperia X Compact and when would be the right time to get a suitable target device. For now we want to focus on getting the Xperia X project out with good quality and keep our limited resources focused on it. Once we have completed the work on the Xperia X single SIM Version, we will consider how to proceed with supporting other Xperia devices.

We can officially support only a limited amount of different community devices. Therefore, we need to be smart about the next devices as support for those devices may be coming a lot later than support for the first device. When we plan the supported next Sony device after Xperia X we need to consider a few things: do we choose hardware with similar chipset or not (supporting different chipset vendor would be a lot more work), how popular is the device, and of course we need to check if the community has progressed well with some certain device port. In this case, it has potential to be the next officially supported device.

Lastly: one of our community members just recently suggested an idea of offering Sailfish OS for Sony Xperia software as one type of compensation alternative in the Jolla Tablet refund program. This sounds like a great idea, and we have also thought about it. But first, we need to evaluate how feasible it is, and in what schedule it could be done. We’d also be happy to hear what you others think of the idea! Please let us know in the comments below, or if you do not wish to comment publicly you can also email us to community(at)jolla(dot)com.

Stay tuned on the project and its progress! It takes some time to cook well from proper ingredients but it will be exciting and fun!

On behalf of the whole team,
Vesku


Update:

FAQ:



As we have been receiving a lot of questions regarding this blog post, we found it fitting to add a “frequently asked questions” update to this post, addressing some concerns gathering the matter.


Q: Why didn’t you communicate this information earlier?

A: There are still many open questions and we learn more each week. We wanted to provide you an update on current status now, since it is the end of Q2, which was announced as our original target. We are sorry that this has been delayed and we will announce full details on commercial program once we have everything in place.


Q: Is Jolla selling Sony Xperia X pre-loaded with Sailfish OS?

A: In the first phase we will be doing a downloadable Sailfish OS for that requires the user to purchase their own device and install the operating system on it. As mentioned on the post, we are doing our best to make the installation process as simple as possible for the common user. Jolla is an operating system vendor and we are not directly selling devices anymore.


Q: What will be the price of the Downloadable Sailfish OS ?

A: We are going to announce the commercial details on price, and what is going to be included closer to the release. The target is that the price will include an officially supported release of the Sailfish OS, including mandatory 3rd party licenses.


Q: Does it matter where we buy the device? Does it have to be unlocked?

A: It is advised to purchase a device with no carrier lock or legal bond in order to make the process much easier. If you are purchasing the phone from your carrier, please make sure there are no extra restrictions applied by the carrier.


Q: Which exact model of Sony Xperia X should we purchase prior to the launch of the OS?

A: F5121 single SIM version is the model we are developing on. It should be noted that there is a possibility of details being changed until we announce the commercial details, therefore our advice would be to wait for the announcement before buying the device, just to be completely sure.


Q: Can I buy a Dual-SIM variant and install the OS on it anyway and use one SIM slot only?

A: You shouldn’t do that. We are not testing or supporting the Dual-SIM variant, since we need to concentrate on getting the single SIM device working well.


Q: What happens to the device’s warranty when we install Sailfish OS on it?

A: Sony Open Devices has their own terms for handling unlocked devices, and since installing Sailfish OS requires unlocking of the device, those terms will apply. You can read them by clicking here.

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PostPosted: Sunday, 30.Jul.2017 21:40    Post subject:   Reply with quote   

An interview with Vesa-Matti Hartikainen, program Manager at Jolla, about the Sony Xperia project, see Sailfish OS Reviews:

Quote:
Interview on Sailfish OS for Sony Xperia X single SIM, model F5121

Disclaimer: This article is based on a developer interview. Facts shared above the "Editorial" subtopic are checked by Jolla before publishing. "Editorial" part in the end includes only personal opinions of the author. It should be noted that there is a possibility of details being changed until Jolla announce the commercial details, therefore Jolla's advice would be to wait for that announcement before buying the device, just to be completely sure.


Introduction

Jolla announced their target to offer Sailfish OS for Sony Xperia devices in collaboration between Jolla and Sony Open Devices program on Mobile World Congress 2017, Barcelona, Spain on February 2017. Jolla is a Finland based company founded on 2011, developing Sailfish OS mobile operating system.

Sony Open Devices program has its focus on helping 3rd party developers especially on Xperia devices. It was previously known as FreeXperia project under Sony-Ericsson, currently this Sweden based team working as part of Sony Mobile.

This article is a second update to the project based on an interview with Vesa-Matti Hartikainen, program Manager at Jolla. His first update was shared on Jolla Blog in the end of June. I recommend reading that first update prior to the one below.

The partnership

According to Mr. Hartikainen, in practice Jolla has been collaborating with a team based in Sweden. The most of the collaboration takes place online, that being much more convenient, but the developers have also met each other. Currently, Jolla focuses their resources developing on one of the Xperia models only:

    Sony Xperia X 32GB single SIM, model F5121
    Official color codes: XPERIAX (black), XPERIAXW (white), XPERIAXLG (lime green), XPERIAXRG (rose gold)
    Product codes in EU: 1302-9422 (black), 1302-9423 (white), 1302-9426 (lime green), 1302-9427 (rose gold)
    Product codes in US: 1302-5762 (black), 1302-5763 (white), 1302-5764 (lime green), 1302-5767 (rose gold)
    Other codes used: 1302-4152 / 1302-9401 / 40-27-3921 (black), 1302-8006 (white), 1302-4156 / 1302-9403 / 40-27-3919 (lime green), 1302-4157 / 1302-9406 / 40-27-3917 (rose gold)

    [ed.note: Codes have been added after publishing, hence not checked by Jolla. Some retailers use their own product codes which might vary from the ones listed above. Beware of mixing the model to Xperia X 64GB dual SIM (model F5122), a similar looking phone on which it's yet untested if Sailfish OS would run. It might run, or it might not. Also beware of mixing this to Xperia X Performance, or to a smaller phone Xperia X Compact.]

Possible other devices would be announced after this project reaches its goals. Xperia X carries 64bit ARM processor, and this is the first time Sailfish OS expands its support within this processor family. This also means that there's a lot of work and a lot of compromises still. Collaboration is looking good, according to Mr. Hartikainen:

Quote:
"We believe that our interests have been aligned quite well and this has been a very positive collaboration. We are certainly looking forward to continuing working with them. Sony's Open Devices program forms the basis for the work. Additionally, they have been a great help to us when working on practical issues and technical difficulties."

"Part of the software stack is in 32-bit. Android app support has been the biggest challenge, and we are still working on that. We've had to backport some parts from newer releases of Android to our version to get it to work and we are still solving issues on it."


The Development

Under the hood, software must be able to communicate with all the hardware on the device. For this, the Linux Kernel version under Sailfish OS core was chosen to be 3.18.

Quote:
"We always utilize the kernel that comes from the particular device's Android hardware adaptation. These kernels have plenty of patches (device driver code) on top of the vanilla Linux kernel. Amount of code in patches may be tens of thousands of lines of code. Having a newer kernel would mean porting all the patches needed for the HW adaptation to the newer kernel. Having a newer kernel brings very little value to end customers, so we've not seen it worth the effort."


The features

Xperia X is famous especially of its camera, but some of its features are not part of the Open Devices program being trademarked separately. However, the support for the camera hardware is targeted to be maximized using the available drivers in the Open devices program. 20 MPX resolution is one of those features:

Quote:
"Currently, we've had 8mpx support for the main camera. We're investigating if we can upgrade it to 20mpx, and it should be doable. Other than that, the camera app will be the same as with the stock Sailfish OS. Obviously, the camera hardware is great and produces great images even at 8mpx."


Jolla is not ready to announce which all Xperia X:s existing features will be supported in the end, but regarding 3rd party features already supported by Sailfish OS, Jolla targets to offer both MS Exchange Active Sync and a decent support for running Android apps:

Quote:
"Our target is to have same level of Android app compatibility as our other devices have. In our devices most Android apps, for example games utilizing 3D graphics and popular social apps, run just fine and there are 3rd party stores that have wide range of Android apps available. However, Android compatibility isn't still perfect, and there are some apps with known issues.", describes Mr. Hartikainen.


Additionally, and not only regarding Xperia X, Mr. Hartikainen shares that newer Sailfish OS powered devices are having BlueZ 5 that supports BLE. This enables connecting the mobile device to Bluetooth Low Energy accessories like for example ones developed for health care, sports and fitness. Mr. Hartikainen didn't reply if Jolla are themselves developing apps for connecting those or any other wearable accessories, but BLE being supported in general, at least 3rd party developers currently coding for Sailfish OS are sure interested on this possibility.

Installing Sailfish OS on Xperia X to be made by end-customer

Sailfish OS for Sony Xperia X will be available as a separately paid, user installable operating system, updates and support for the software coming from Jolla, a Finland based mobile operating system provider. The community calls this a BYOD model (Bring Your Own Device), software being separately offered.

At least for the first versions, installing Sailfish OS will require unlocking the bootloader on XperiaX. According to the Open Devices program, this might void the warranty. Jolla is doing their best to offer the installing process as easy as possible for the owners of Xperia X single SIM model, yet this arises questions:

Is the cooperation targeting for developers only, or for the masses too? And are there any plans to offer a device with Sailfish OS already pre-installed? Mr. Hartikainen clears this out:

Quote:
"Currently our focus is on this project and our target is to make downloadable Sailfish OS available to as many of the Sailfish OS fans as possible. We don't want to speculate on any future plans at this point. Further, we can't comment on behalf of Sony. I can understand the interest, but I cannot much expand on what was stated earlier when we announced this. We announced that we want to to provide our licensing customers with a solid hardware solution, and to offer our community a follow up device for the Jolla C. There are good Sailfish OS devices available and planned by our licensees, but at the moment there are many markets where Sailfish OS devices are not yet available. Providing a downloadable Sailfish OS is a practical way to reach also these markets. We have chosen a careful stepwise approach in creation of the downloadable Sailfish OS, and we want expand from most capable tech. enthusiasts towards wider audience, but obviously this requires time to achieve and a lot of maturity in the solution."


The release

Quote:
"For the Xperia X port there are still some hardware features like bluetooth that are not yet fully functional and we are still working on solving issues for example in Android runtime. We have not yet pushed 2.1.2 release to cbeta, mainly due to 2.1.1 final fixes."


Cbeta is a team of selected community members helping Jolla on testing their software release. After their help and feedback, Jolla considers if the release is ready for wider availability. The rest of the community is of course eager to test the Sailfish OS on Xperia X as soon as possible, and for them Mr. Hartikainen hints about possible 3rd party ports:

Quote:
"Jolla is focused on bringing Xperia X port of Sailfish OS out with all of the features. That being said, there exists an active community porting Sailfish OS to various devices. They may do their own community version of Xperia X port that could be available earlier than the officially supported version."


Thanks for this interview Vesku!



Editorial - Should one install Sailfish OS on Xperia X or not

Is one willing to forget the trademarked features of XperiaX on her/his device to be replaced by possibly more intuitive user interface and less commercials by Google on the display. Or to support alternative operating system Sailfish OS development in Finland, instead of the gigantic Google's Android already run by more than 80% of mobile devices worldwide. Sony Mobile plays no role in this decision, but what is great from them is the existence of their Swedish team, supporting development on alternatives and enabling this kind of cooperation in the first place. One couldn't imagine for example Apple's iOS to have such alternatives.

On the selling points, Xperia's camera features were what made Xperia X worth a 600 USD phone when it was first introduced. One should be aware that Sailfish OS camera does not yet support features like smile recognizion or many other neat extras offered by the pre-installed camera, so if you've found those as important in your daily use, stick with Android. Make yourself familiar on what features are trademarked, and be prepared to live without them on the first versions of Sailfish OS on Xperia X.

On the commercials, you might have been annoyed by some notifications popping up on display after installing apps from Google's Play Store. On Sailfish OS, the Android apps have no access to the notifications unless separately allowed by the user. For example I've only allowed those for Whatsapp, to receive a notification when someone sends me a message or tries to reach me there. Also, Android apps have no access to your phone, messages or contacts by default. I find this nice for privacy. If these matters to you, Sailfish OS for Xperia X might be your choice.

On the ideological level, I find Google's current market share too big overall. It's only good to have more diversity - The mobile operating system markets should not be run by one giant and one other mainstream option, meaning the current duopoly between Google's Android and Apple's iOS. Many have tried to step into this territory, including for example Microsoft, Ubuntu, Firefox, Blackberry, Tizen. Sailfish seems to struggle well, being up for 6 years and having financed by 70M USD so far.

On the support / warranty, the choice is somewhat difficult. Maybe not too important, unless you're dependent on official support for the device. Regarding updates of the operating system the support might get even better, looking at all the updates for Sailfish OS so far and notifying that Xperia X was recently discontinued by Sony Mobile. On the warranty, that would be needed if the software was expected to cause hardware failures. Not expected, really.

The price of Xperia X has dropped to half since it first came available, currently being sold for less than 300 EUR in most countries. The price of the Sailfish OS is yet unknown, my personal guess being between 20-50 EUR. The combination is definitely worth that and above, but mobile phone users are not used to pay for their system software, that so far being included in the price of the device.

Experienced hackers could be able to install Sailfish OS on side of the pre-installed Android, enabling dual-boot and selecting the OS right after powering up the device. But for less experienced users, it'll be easier to let Sailfish OS replace the pre-installed Android, at the same time dropping some trademarked features on the phone. For the end-user, the decision is a compromise between features, terms and user interface - but it's also an ideological choice.

On applications and user interface, Sailfish OS is interesting.

I've found it to be a "one-thumb interface" ideal for mobile devices up to 5" display, and the usage patterns are definitely more intuitive than the ones on iOS or Android after getting used to the differences.

Sailfish OS has its lacks especially regarding native apps, but with Android support included I've found decent apps for features like navigation and instant messaging from app stores like Aptoide. Google's Play Store is not included, hence user is expected to get used to 3rd party stores.


In overall, Sailfish OS for Xperia X is definitely worth trying, either as a free community port without Android support and MS Exchange active sync, or as a paid, officially supported operating system with those 3rd party features included.

--
Bent Laursen
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