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February 24, 2014

Meet the best looking phone in the world

The Jolla combines function and fashion, but can the Sailfish-powered beauty compete in an Android world?

By Ben Sullivan

There’s a lot of devices to catch your eye here at Mobile World Congress, but in the clinical, bustling environment it takes a little more than that to make you swoon – but one team from Finland made me do just that.

Its name is Jolla, and whilst I was receiving a product demo, it really clicked how beautiful its phone is.

The phone advocates simplicity and one-hand gesture control. The Sailfish operating system, spawned from Nokia’s old Meego, is surprisingly fluid and after a few minutes its flat, non-hierarchal user experience made complete sense.

It’s designed to be used with one hand, so miniature swipes from the left or right of the screen help navigate through menus, and swipes on apps on the home screen opens them to perform different actions.

Jolla phone

The back cover is removable, and contains an NFC chip. This means that you can customise the phone with different covers, which give the device different uses and profiles (the demonstrator told me how there is an Angry Birds back cover which installs the game onto the phone and gives it an Angry Birds theme).

Sailfish, the phone`s OS, is a Linux-based platform just like Android, Firefox OS, Tizen and Ubuntu – who are all exhibiting here in Barcelona this week as well. However, out of all them tested so far, the Sailfish Jolla experience really shone.

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The Jolla was released two months ago in Finland, Jolla’s home market, and it hopes to expand now into other Nordic countries, but most surprising of all was the demonstrators’ claim that Jolla wants to enter the Chinese market.

When asked if there was a plan in place to compete with Firefox OS phones and Ubuntu phones in Asia, I was told that "it benefits us that there is more competition now on the open-source market with the big players."

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