My Dream Jolla Mobile Handset: With Detachable Modular Slide Out QWERTY

Image slightly edited from original and design used with courtesy of original Nokia N9-01 concept design by the bootroo. Check out more great MeeGo concept phones at mynokiablog.

They say we can dream and here is my dream for a Jolla Mobile with MeeGo OS…

Hardware:

  • Aesthetics: sexy, minimal design with high quality materials but with respect to the environment.  See N9 or other high end Nokia products (E7 perhaps?) for inspiration.
  • Killer feature: Modular removable qwerty keyboard (can be sold separately) offers the best of both worlds.  Lightweight when you need it to be without keyboard or attach the fully integratated keyboard for a full powerhouse experience (ie. connects direct to mobile so power source is shared and keyboard functionality is integrated (not Bluetooth)).  This modular keyboard design will open markets to both consumer and business markets this way, but benefiting Jolla by only having to release one device.  Editors note: Business users are also consumers at the end of the day and like to be able to use a sexy device sans keyboard on their days off!  Also this ties in with Jolla’s strategy to release both a consumer phone and developer phone.  Consumer phone can be locked on release but with the ability for developers to unlock (like with Nokia N9) and of course add keyboard.

“Jolla is going to release a developer edition of the device which gives full access to linux hackers and technology enthusiasts. Jolla will fully support the communities and be part of them, and wants them to be part of creating and developing our device,” the spokeswoman confirmed.  Courtesy of: ibtimes

  • Decent camera with good OEM lense.  At least 8 megapixel and able to take nice macro/lowlight shots while also benefiting from a few manual controls as well.  A few ‘leaves’ out of the legendary Nokia+Carl Zeiss partnership wouldn’t go amiss here.  Ability to take HD video as well of course.  Dedicated camera button an extra plus.  Good flash integrated with unlock slider to turn on flashlight.
  • Limit buttons to: volume rocker, camera button, lock button/slider (hold button/slider to turn on flashlight), discrete home screen button under or on screen.  Homescreen button not necessary if UI is more of a swipe style UI.
  • Standard connections: Headphone jack, HDMI port, usb port (charging/host)
  • Storage: 16gb, 32gb and 64gb options or at least 16gb and 64gb initially.  All expandable with micro SD.
  • Processor:  The perfect combination of balance when it comes to battery life and performance.  At a wild guess around the 1-1.2ghz dual core.  Nokia really have fallen behind in this dept. on one side I agree having the latest penta core processor is not entirely necessary, on the other hand a 680mhz processor on your flagship business phone (E7) released in 2011 is very short sighted.  Jolla take heed and learn from big brother’s mistakes!
  • RAM:  At least 1gb for decent multi-tasking
  • Connectivity: FM transmitter (do not underestimate this – it is an amazing feature for projecting music/audio to any radio first used in the Nokia N900)/receiver inbuilt; Latest bluetooth technology; Pentaband if possible; latest WIFI protocol; 4G
  • Battery:  Ideally removable 1500mah-1800mah li-ion but must balance size/looks with battery performance to find best form/function ratio.  If not fully removable, the ability at least (with the right tools) to get in and replace the battery is a must – see Nokia N9 Youtube video on replacing battery as reference point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9u7r4j0atU

Software:

  • Naturally MeeGo 1.2 but not standard user interface – use Harmattan for inspiration, but with more customisation as seen in Maemo 5.   The more customisation possible the better (within reason).
  • Android apps compatibility.  Possibility to download and run android apps using something like Openmobile ACL?
  • App store integration for MeeGo based apps
  • IM integration (Skype, FB, Google Chat, MSN etc etc).  Like Nokia N9, IM messages are integrated with the standard SMS threads with the ability to hide/show any individually or all together.
  • Ability to add home screens if desired with customisable themes.
  • If possible, some integration with Nokia services like Drive, Maps etc or at least some equivalent alternative services.  This will make transition to Jolla for current Nokia users much easier.
  • All the out of the box widgets you would expect on Android/IOS phone like weather, email, twitter, fb etc
  • Seamless contact syncing
  • Some kind of office service pack for reading/writing documents – is there an Openoffice (Linux) app for mobiles ?  If not then an MS based or other package.
  • Latest flash support a bonus but unlikely due to previous indicators to HTML5 in the Mer projectPlease bear in mind that this is not a full comprehensive list of every single feature (I’d need to write a book the size of the bible for that!)… obviously I would expect the handset to be on a par with the latest high-end android/ios counterparts in terms of functionality.  These are merely features which I’d like to highlight as perhaps setting the new Jolla Mobile device apart from the competition.

    The key to my dream Jolla is a one-device-does-it-all.   This will make it easy to appeal to the mass-consumer with a locked down keyboardless handset, the business-type with the option of adding the modular keyboard, and the developer with the option of opening up the OS with a key provided and of course the ability to add the modular keyboard for heavy programming.

    Jolla may not have many chances in the overcrowded smartphone arena, so to create the most number of market opportunities (ie. modular, flexible device) and to get the device ‘right’ first time is absolutely key.   The inclusion of something like Openmobile ACl will also be key in the App arena and in order to create the biggest appeal to consumers.

    Also don’t underestimate wacky extras like the FM transmitter – this is a priceless feature and if like me you store music on your phone, you won’t want to be without it…. that and I just like showing off to my friends!

    Anyway, let me know what you think – did  I forget something on the must-have specs or do you agree/disagree with some/all of this post ?

    As ever, thanks for reading!

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  1. Don’t know about much of the other stuff, but a built-in & easily detachable qwerty sounds like a killer feature to me personally.
    Attach when you need to do some hard-core typing, remove when you need to do only casual typing & need more portability.
    1st Jolla Mobile news site I’ve found by the way, adding it to my bookmarks!

  2. Glad you found us – and yes, like Jolla, we’re fresh off the press so to speak. ;-)

    Like you, a detachable/modular keyboard would be a must-have for me on my next handset – the ultimate, perfect for work and play. :-)

  3. I Was Extremely disappointed by the n9 not having the fm transmitter, you have put together a great list I Would like better integration of podcasts like on the n86 I Have gone back it several times just for the easOf managing Podcasts and fm transmitter for use in the car.

    • +1 here Ned – as far as I remember the N9 had the hardware capability for the FM transmitter but no one figured out how to unleash it with the correct software. Since my N900, I’ve been desperate for a replacement upgrade searching high and low for the past year – I’ve used the N9 and now E7 but neither have all of the functions that the N900 had. Been doing some research on the N8 which has the FM transmitter + of course a great camera but alas no HW keyboard! Feel like I’ve been going around in circles! Will anyone ever release a device as complete as the N900 (perhaps with a few more apps)? We need you Jolla!! :-)

  4. Another feature i miss badly from the n86 Is the ability to transfer music over dlna, that was awesome, no more physically Attaching The Device to A Computer, it Was Quick And meant I could update/sync on The Go Around the house and Garden. In Many Ways The N9 Was a Big Step Backwards, also can’t Send Texts From A computer as it’s not compatible with Nokia suite, on The Question of Keyboards, do Bluetooth keyboards work With Nokia phones? Maybe that could be a work around?

      • Yes there’s an entire thread devoted to project 955 at TMO.
        That’s not the only approach one can take, interesting approach/idea though of course.

    • It is compatible with Nokia suite, check out the latest beta builds of Nokia Suite.
      Only MMS groups, and two or three other things are still missing now….
      Some argue (rightly or wrongly) that PC Suite + Nokia Link are a slightly better combo overall, depends on your usage patterns/needs.
      Also check-out: Helium, Push-up, & Tweak-up, they bring all the functionality you say is missing & more.
      All native apps… released by a nokia dev…..

      • Thanks For the heads up On those apps, I Had given up hope they would ever be made Available, tweakup I Had Heard about, didn’t work with anything I own, xbox360, boxee Box, windows 7, tried It on a friends apple, and with his Samsung TV. Nada. wespent a lot of time messing with settings to try and get it to work, we suspected it might be the routers to blame, but every other upnp hardware and software works it all seems a bit patch work, I Understood when I got the n9 it would be different, unfortunately different had meant frustration, one of the reasons I Steared Away apple because I don’t like, as I see It Their excessively modular approach if you want the device To do something you have to add a Program. in my opinion there should be a cannon of sacred functionalities that are cooked in to the OS, of course if developers feel they want to provide a Different interface or their own variants then that’s cool, but the advantage of doing it that way is that the n9 would have worked out of the box. And then developers could have improved it. Anyway that’s what I would want from my new smartphone it works, at the very least it’s not a technological leap backwards and anybody can feel free to improve It

      • Tweak-up isn’t for what you’ve described you want to do….
        Those 3x apps are “cooked in” they’re not 3rd-party apps, they’re just relatively new additions.
        Sounds like you haven’t worked out how to use them all properly, DLNA can be a fickle beast.
        Get in touch with the dev, he’s (or at least was until recently) very active at TMO.
        Here’s his site, can’t recall his TMO handle, but he has some active thread there too.
        http://jensge.org/

        TMO = talk.maemo.org

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  6. The user should be able to open the bootloader for every device. This can be made by submitting personal informations, updating warranty conditions, and receivind an unlock code. Doing this way, the device can be use without any risk by the regular user, but it can be use later on by a geek too, to make it… fly! I hope you will consider this point of view. I’d like to add the idea that for me, this is a key feature of an open device! Remember, Linux fans hate closed down things!

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  9. hei JOLLA why u dont build a Li-PO battery????
    Li-PO is used by apple and in the battery-gun of softair
    is too good battery !!!!!!!

    anyway the dual core spend suck more energy from battery LOL

    cortex A8 is good or choise another ARM

  10. a goood audio system like N900 cause N9 is too weak with sound also if u put volume system hardware from 66% to 100%
    ____________________________________________________________________________

    I will pay for developer phone sure!!

    • Wrong, the N9′s sound (line-out) is better, the speakers are poorer though.
      I own both, there is no doubt about it, even double-blind listening tests have confirmed that.

    • And the speaker quality isn’t actually poor, the default volume is just low, engineers kept it low for a reason apparently*, but others have reported no issue with raising the default volume via ALSA.

      *can’t recall all the specifics.

  11. If the concept is the real thing, i will spend my money on it.
    I am a n900 user and my next phone must have a bit of the n900 but with a some more of ????
    Its a beauty concept phone the Jolla N9-01 but i don`t like the name either.
    Just call it the Jolla J900 serie.
    It`s not a Nokia its a Jolla

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  13. Hi! Great design and specification. Top points in my opinion are the FM-Transmitter and the accessible Micro-SD-Card reader.

    I’m astonished that nobody mentioned the IR sender of the N900. My dream phone has a IR sender and additionally a IR *receiver*. With this you could use the phone, if it has a video output, as a media center.

    I’m a ex-N900 owner. The USB port broke after the warranty expired :’-(

    So I want a more robust USB port and the battery should also be loadable externally or with a extra standard sized coaxial power connector. If only the USB port is used for loading the battery, it wears out very quickly.

    I would be great if the USB port could be easily used as host, so you can plug your phone on a keyboard, mouse and display, start a desktop shell and use it as a small pc with libreoffice etc.

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