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User reports - Sailfish X

asked 2017-10-11 20:49:06 +0300

h.berd gravatar image

updated 2017-12-18 00:21:26 +0300

Please share your overall experience in this thread. I would love to hear how much you like or dislike Sailfish X.

For Example:

How is the performance in general. Is there a significant difference to Jolla C?

How is your experience with bluetooth connection still in beta?

How much time is needed to flash the phone?

Is the camera working fast? Can you post some pictures to let us see the quality ?

Many thanks in advance and all the best!

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Sample pictures from the camera would indeed be nice!

TomC ( 2017-10-11 21:32:23 +0300 )edit


How is the performance in general. Is there a significant difference to Jolla C?

Not very much to feel, but the scrolling is smoother

How is your experience with bluetooth connection still in beta?

BT seems fine

How much time is needed to flash the phone?

I needed about 30 min., but I think it is way too hard for many users. If nobody comes up with flashed phones, this will not get an successor. It is complicated, too much different steps...

Is the camera working fast? Can you post some pictures to let us see the quality ?

Is working, faster and the results are better than in Jolla1 or JollaC

poddl ( 2017-10-13 00:48:50 +0300 )edit

Something that nobody mentioned yet...

The colour notification LED is back!!!!

Giacomo Di Giacomo ( 2017-10-13 15:25:17 +0300 )edit

Yay! I love the colour notification LED :)

Beethoven ( 2017-10-13 16:30:22 +0300 )edit

Unbelievable, how simple things, like colour notification LED, can make people so happy. And how these simple things widely ignored in industry.

nlsn ( 2017-10-16 13:19:16 +0300 )edit

48 Answers

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answered 2017-10-12 18:02:19 +0300

MystIsland gravatar image

updated 2017-10-12 18:04:55 +0300

My two cents after one day of usage... I did a backup on my Jolla1 and moved it on the SD card to the Xperia and restored from that.

First the negative stuff:

  • The driver-stuff related to the flashing and the instructions were not totally clear. When I finally got to run the flashing script itself, it was fast and straight-forward.
  • Lot of digital noise on headphone output (might depend on headphone impedance) during audio playback
  • All MMS photos are missing: the messages' texts are present but the photos are not there (more of an issue of the backup/restore-functionality than the phone)
  • Swiping from the edges seems to be touchier than on Jolla1, I have needed to repeat the swipe-from right couple of times
  • As mentioned in the release notes: "Issues with video playback and video recording", ie. low framerate (YouTube works ok-ish in browser, YTPlayer is worse)
  • So far all my phone calls have ended with three-tone-error-beep and a network error (didn't make note of the error) after ending the call

When I restart the phone, it shows a message about the phone being unlocked and cannot be trusted. Is this going to show on every boot? Also the white-background Sony logo, which feels like full-brightness is an eye-killer if you do it at night!

The good stuff:

  • The display is gorgeus!

  • Haven't done any serious testing on the camera yet, but it feels so much better after having used Jolla1... Here are two snaps I took today (camera on 4:3 (13 Mpx) setting): https://www.dropbox.com/sh/nlf694pz17a81h2/AAA2Fd9NsUX31FHHGmfTYczna?dl=0 All I have done to these was to remove the GPS information, no other editing.

  • UI feels smooth and responsive, also browser works much faster
  • Battery life feels better than my Jolla1's (that had a replaced battery), not bad for a first release and hopefully it will get more optimized in the future.

So far so good. I am still installing all my previous apps and probably some will have bugs, but so far nothing game-stopping.

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I've had a game stopper. I did a recent backup of my Jolla 1 but it's failing to import into the Xperia. It does the Accounts, quickly skips past Browser and then fails trying to import the Calendar. It then doesn't carry on with the rest so I have no SMS records or call details.

I have managed to import all my contacts through the methods detailed elsewhere on this site.

I'm happy with the camera and the browser but failures with things like restoring a backup take the shine off it. It didn't help that I deleted a secure database of passwords from the old phone while doing a transfer either. The problem is definitely between the keyboard and the chair on that one though.

toner_cloud ( 2017-10-12 19:54:23 +0300 )edit

Backup restore worked from SD card for me. Offcourse it whould work with any other method too. Just thought if you would like to give it a try. Saved me alot of hassle

olli ( 2017-10-13 22:11:55 +0300 )edit

I didn't bother with official backup system. My contacts and calendars are synced from my NextCloud, so that part was easy. SMS and call history I just copied from Jolla C by "brutally" tar-gzipping ~/.local/share/commhistory, copying it to the Xperia X and unzipping it.

Pesasa ( 2017-10-14 14:48:21 +0300 )edit

For me worked backup file from Jolla 1 just fine. Everything came back, even the old call records, which is quite unnecessary I think but doesnt matter either.

lumen ( 2017-10-14 15:58:36 +0300 )edit

My phone finds only one (2month old) backup files There is no "restore", only "update" and the question which to keep.

mj ( 2017-10-14 17:58:47 +0300 )edit

answered 2017-10-14 18:24:40 +0300

pasik gravatar image

Camera picture quality is far away from original Sony camera app. Color quality is good but photos are mostly blurred. Quality like Jolla C/Aquafish at the moment.

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I'm quite satisfied for plain light photos. My main disappointment is about the low light photos. I expected them to be not as good as with Sony's processing, but far better than with J1. And it's not the case for me, J1's photos are almost more light than the Xperia's :(

I'm realizing that the processing algorithms do everything, and that we'll not have good a one until a manufacturer really start making SFOS phones. Actually, the unlocked Xperia with Android performs better than Sailfish, would the Sony open implementation be easy to reuse in Sailfish?

Sthocs ( 2017-10-18 10:06:38 +0300 )edit

That is a very bad news... :(

damourti ( 2017-10-19 01:01:59 +0300 )edit

At least in my unit, there seems to be a consistent blurring at the left hand side of the image, when the subject is being focused at the center. Here I post the original images, both day, night and indoor shots, for your analysis.


amandalam ( 2017-10-29 08:58:04 +0300 )edit

answered 2017-10-15 16:39:12 +0300

edawg gravatar image

Well, due to the rather poor intex aquafish hardware I took the risk and bought the Xperia X and SailfishX. Everything basically went fine and I successfully installed SailfishX onto the device. I have to admit that some instructions are not too clear in the unlocking and the flashing process. I was shortly confused about, should I download and install the huge Android SDK or should I trust the comment in the instructions that you can also use the fastboot app from inside the SailfishX directory, that was created during extracting. Common sense made me do the right choices but I am a bit more the tech guy than others. For "normal users" especially the unlocking is most probably not doable. So please improve it Jolla.

Positive: Everything works as promised and I am very happy having Sailfish on a proper hardware.

Negative: Well basically my fault that I missed to read before buying that tethering (wifi hotspot) is not working. This is a must for me. So please Jolla, try to implement it as soon as you can.

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Agree with tethering. I also rely on it at home.

tmy ( 2017-10-15 18:34:16 +0300 )edit

I would also need the tethering.

Kys ( 2017-10-15 23:48:13 +0300 )edit

Did not realize the tethering does not work. When do we get a fix?

mj ( 2017-10-19 07:43:57 +0300 )edit

Please search next time. There's a how-to for tethering here.

Filip K. ( 2017-10-22 15:37:35 +0300 )edit

Link given by Filip K. is working fine for me. Otherwhise you coulde use USB Tethering.

Gatze ( 2017-10-30 12:31:55 +0300 )edit

answered 2017-10-15 17:00:09 +0300

veritanuda gravatar image

updated 2017-10-16 00:02:03 +0300

On the whole I am rather impressed but not totally happy. ;)

A bit of background. I have been a big supporter of Jolla and their vision and was one of the fateful few who backed the Jolla Tablet hoping to experience my first real taste of a polished Sailfish install. Alas and alack that did not come to pass. However, I did find one guy who was porting sailfish to all sorts of devices including my old HTC Desire Z. I loved that phone and really miss both the trackball and the keyboard. sniff I liked what I saw on my HTC and if is was not for the terrible batery life and the laggy nature of it I would have continued to use it.

Fast forward to just over a fortnight ago and I get an email form Jolla saying they are refunding the rest of my money and if I wanted to I could put that to a Sailfish X voucher, or just give it back to development. I chose the former and sprung for a 2nd hand Xperia X and waited for it to be released.

Now comes the real feedback.

So I did , out of curiosity, apply all the updates I could to the Xperia OTA. It was a tiresome procedure and downloads were REALLY slow (200k/s) and kept stopping for some reason saying not connected to the internet. I ended up having to hold the phone in my left hand above my head like a waiter for about 15 mins each time. But I persevered and finally I was updated to Android 7.1. Great I thought, now i can flash TWRP and get ready for Sailfish install.

Unlocking the bootloader was painless. Go to Sony website. Put in your IMEI and email , they send you the code to unlock the bootloader with fastboot oem unlock <code>

You can tell it is unlocked because an ugly great warning triangle and bogus warning about "Your device is unlocked and cannot be trusted" nonsense of course because I could flash my own keys to the same DRM as they did and have it secure as I want it to be.

But I digress. The first flash did not go well at all, because even though I updated to the latest OTA build it was not the latest build needed to flash Sailfish. version 34.3 or greater is needed and so I spend the next day trying to upgrade my phone without having to resort to Windows (yuk). That being said once I did use flashtool to flash the latest firmware the supplied flash script worked flawlessly.

So what is it like to use Sailfish. Well the first thing that struck me was that the boot is hyper fast, I am not sure if that is hiding behind that ghastly white Sony splash or not but soon as that is gone poof Sailfish starts. I was used to the setup procedure and the tutorial from my HTC and I have to say they are very nice, just a pain not being able to skip it. Then I was into my experience proper. First thing it prompted me to do was install the optional apps. Android Predictive text etc etc. Like others those download failed a few times but i rebooted my phone and tried again and they all seemed to work.

The Jolla store is nice and simple and installing apps was easy. First apps i installed though where File Browser, F-Droid and the Android version of QR scanner as the native Jolla one was horrendously slow and did not seem to work properly. Android one works fine though. So hmmm.

I noticed however that the Sailfish warehouse appwas not installed. Which I found odd as I had used that on my HTC because Jolla store was incomplete at the time. The warehouse gives you access to a much wider range of apps but at a much more variable quality. Still even between these two repos there are gaps in Sailfish's functionality.

So apps I have had to install because there are no Sailfish equivalent even if there are Linux varieties are:

  • OpenKeyChain Hands down the best way to manage GPG keys or search for them

  • K9Mail The only usable and functional email client that can send and receive GPG email.

  • Fennec a developer build based on the latest Firefox Browser releases

  • Conversations In fact there seem to be NO decent XMPP clients in either store or warehouse. I am shocked.

Annoyances so far.

  • GPS appears not to work. I have tried various apps using D-bus or not and never seems it is enabled. Correction. Does work after all.

  • Camera is cumbersome to start up. Though fast enough when taking pictures. A quick launch facility should be added when you press the photo button twice. And be available from the lockscreen. Pictures are not too shabby though

  • No in built way to browse the network. This is what Linux excels at. No SFTP, no WebDAV, no SMB or NFS shares nothing. Not happy about that at all.

  • No easy way to add Tinc as a VPN, though I am working on trying to ge the Android app to work.

  • Apps seem to be arranged in installed order with no way to change that. Some sort options or grouping should be available.

  • No Advanced Network settings. Suppose i don't want DHCP or need to set up a proxy?

  • Backups are not working properly. Seems to tar stuff up but then does not restore it properly,

  • Finger print reader not working. Not essential but handy sometimes.

  • NFC sensor is not working. Pity but drivers no doubt.

  • No Nextcloud account support. A bummer to say the least but should be fixed in future updates I hope.

  • in FingerTerm or ThumbTerm there is no way to copy selected text and be able to paste it into another app. Not very helpful for developer needs.

Now to the good stuff.

  • Boots super fast like I said. Shuts down quickly too. Very impressed by that.

  • The gestures are so damn intuitive I keep accidentally trying to swipe my android phone when I go back to using it.

  • The UI is very responsive with a lot less bling than you are used to. Sounds are discrete and sparse.

  • Battery life is exceptional, granted I am not using a cellular network only wifi atm, But even so I play with it for over a day and it has still more 60% battery left. I am excited to see if i can get same performance even with 3/4G turned on.

  • Developer mode is quite easy to enable and secure to use. Using USBNet and ssh is a genius move.

  • I have yet to try updating OTA so I am looking forward to seeing how smooth that goes.

  • Android apps work pretty well for the most part. Some just die horribly, some are buggy but most like Fennec F-droid etc all work very well and at near native speeds.

All in all a positive experience on a not too horrible phone. I am looking forward to the iterative changes that come from some furious development now we have a sizable userbase to test against.

Good job Jolla!

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You can arrage apps, just long press , you get 'x' under each app , dont press that, it will delete, just hold and move with yor finger. If you want to groop , just take the icon on top of an other one, a folder is created automatically . I thik you get the rest you self...

jpjolla ( 2017-10-15 17:49:02 +0300 )edit

Oh really? Well blow me then. And I thought I was being thorough. Hey ho.


veritanuda ( 2017-10-15 17:50:53 +0300 )edit

GPS should work. Did you remember to allow apps to use positioning through Settings-»Positioning?

tmy ( 2017-10-15 22:57:38 +0300 )edit


Hmmm Actually I stand corrected. Just tried it now and waited a few mines and it went from 2 satellites to 8 and started working. I tried this yesterday and swear it got past no more than 2 and could not get fix.

I will edit my comment accordingly.

veritanuda ( 2017-10-15 23:57:39 +0300 )edit

Nextcloud is just CalDAV and CardDAV so that should work with those account types.

onion ( 2017-10-17 15:48:30 +0300 )edit

answered 2017-10-13 20:45:29 +0300

MaxT gravatar image

updated 2017-10-16 23:16:48 +0300

The performace of Xperia X with Sailfish OS is really good. Flashing was quite tricky (installing windows drivers, Android SDK), but now the phone is working like a charme. I am very happy to have a SailfishOS phone back. My Jolla C battery broke and I had to use Android for three months.

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answered 2017-10-11 21:05:58 +0300

Dietmar gravatar image

updated 2017-10-11 22:07:25 +0300

For unlocking the Sony bootloader, the installation instructions just refer to the Sony instructions. These state that installing the SDK is sufficient for unlocking, but unfortunately they will only tell you how to do so for the full multi-GB installation of Android Studio. I would have expected step-by-step instructions from Jolla for unlocking.

So, to answer "How much time is needed to flash the phone?": very much including preparations; the flashing itself is around a minute

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At least for linux you do not have to install the complete SDK, you only need "fastboot" to unlock the bootloader. Maybe there is some slimmed down installer for windows?!

inta ( 2017-10-11 21:13:14 +0300 )edit

I've now installed Android Studio. If someone tries the SDK-only way:

  • unpack sdk-tools-windows-3859397.zip
  • the sdk manager is here: tools\bin\sdkmanager.bat
  • execute sdkmanager "platform-tools" "platforms;android-26"
  • there should now be a platform-tools\fastboot.exe

The next step would be to install the USB driver. Not sure what the command would be.

For the unlocking itself, the Sony instructions state:

  • Developer options are hidden by default.
  • To enable, tap on Settings > About Phone > Build Version multiple times.
  • Then, turn on USB debugging by going to Settings > Developer options.

In addition to these instructions, also OEM unlocking needs to be enabled in the Developer options.

Dietmar ( 2017-10-11 21:22:33 +0300 )edit

I agree with Dietmar, the instructions provided by Jolla are not all that great. I personally also had to invest a lot of time until i got the bootloader unlocked, and it only worked on Windows 7 (not 10) for me, for some reason. This is kind of annoying. Other than this, the whole driver issue is not very fortunate, and still keeps me from actually being able to use my Sailfish X phone (see: https://together.jolla.com/question/169017/sailfish-x-stuck-on-spinner-after-tutorial/ )

I am however very impressed how easy the whole flashing works once you've unlocked your device. So the piece of software actually provided by Jolla is good, the rest could be more convenient.

siggg ( 2017-10-12 16:35:29 +0300 )edit

It depends on what you want. If you want to backup youre drm keys, yes, then you have to download some gb from internet. Backing up is only possible with android 6 and not 7. So downgrade, backup drm keys,upgrade to 7 again, then start flashing. unlocking bootloader is another ToDo. Heres a good guide, at least for linux. http://sailfishmods.de/2017/07/howto-sony-xperia-x-teil-1-cda-drm-keys-bootloader/

carepack ( 2017-10-12 18:15:04 +0300 )edit

answered 2017-10-13 15:09:30 +0300

MariusP gravatar image

updated 2017-10-13 15:16:15 +0300

The overall performance is good (better than on JollaC), although AIDA 64 shows only the first 4 cores running.

Bluetooth is working the same as on JollaC (successfully paired with JollaC, and with JBL headphones - for music, and calling; the answer/hang up from headphones button works, volume buttons also work).

Camera resolutions with default settings: main: 5312 × 2988 pixels = 16 MP frontal: 3120 × 4160 pixels = 14 MP Sample photos can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/bradoth2nr67llc/AABO_oUzyMb2o4ZTT36UERKTa?dl=0

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If you start a heavy app (or many apps) and switch back quickly to AIDA 64 you see all 6 cores running. So I think its great they are sleeping as long as they are not needed.

inta ( 2017-10-13 16:14:47 +0300 )edit

Bluetooth is not working as on Jolla C, car connect does not work. I know the status is beta, but hands-free communication is strongly needed, as using a phone in a car is forbidden.

MaxT ( 2017-10-13 20:36:43 +0300 )edit

It works on all of my peripherals. Can you specify yours?

Giacomo Di Giacomo ( 2017-10-14 03:05:25 +0300 )edit

Bluetooth does not find car system. Also was not able to pair with Jolla1.

mj ( 2017-10-14 18:00:29 +0300 )edit

I have a JVC unit, with a parrot? BT usb dongle pre installed. BT pairing is kind if hit and miss (but it was almost the same with Jolla C) I get an audio connection if I first disconnect bot car and audio and then reconnect just audio. This gives me plain audio with stutter. car/headset connection is 9/10 without any sound from the phone.

I don't have that much us e for headset/microphone use in the car, but the audio stuttering (music, podcasts) is annoying. There's a pause or screetching sound every few seconds between2 and 20 seconds). I have managed to get flawless audio maybe 2 times since getiing sailfish on the phone, so it's not impossible.

Nrde ( 2017-10-21 13:56:07 +0300 )edit

answered 2017-10-13 22:05:11 +0300

tmy gravatar image

updated 2017-10-31 18:31:35 +0300

  1. Flashing process took me a few hours, including all the downloads (android sdk, images, emma tool, drivers), which is a lot more than I anticipated. The instructions provided by Jolla and Sony were not very good. At the end I hadn't even used the infamous Emma tool, so not sure if I did everything right...

  2. The camera. So far I have only taken few photos indoors. Didn't get a wow effect so far (comparing with Jolla 1 camera). Have to experiment a bit more...

  3. Battery life seems pretty good. Today I have used it quite heavily: 60 minutes driving with Waze (screen on), occasional use during work, and hardly left my hands after I got home :) 35% of battery left now (at 21:55).

  4. Performance is amazing! I can actually have multiple Android apps, the browser and a lot of native apps on all at once without out of memory incidents. The browser loads pages quick enough (with Jolla 1 it was abysmally slow). Scrolling some pages with the browser seems a bit stuttering sometimes.

  5. Apps are working well. All the apps I had in Jolla 1 have been installed successfully, with the exception of Meerun, which seems to install but does not start.

  6. Some features are still missing, such as compass and wifi hotspot. It would be nice to know their roadmap.

Overall I'm very pleased with the phone!

EDIT ( The camera focus seems to be greatly improved.

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@tmy i have to agree 100% on the Comoass sensor support, something that was a bit of a letdown on the Aquafish.

XFish ( 2017-10-14 01:00:49 +0300 )edit

answered 2017-10-14 00:04:57 +0300

kultsinuppeli gravatar image

updated 2017-10-15 14:57:36 +0300

I jumped to SailfishX directly from Jolla1, and wow, is there ever a difference.

Bear in mind this is based on 24 hours of use.

The speed and snappiness compared to Jolla 1 is amazing. I haven't tried bluetooth yet. Battery life seems good (100% -> 80% with some amount of use, spotify, browsing, whatsapp etc.) The screen is awesome. As most people, a backup -> restore brought in most of the things.

So far I'm all smiles about it.

The update process was longer and more convoluted than I thought. That's mostly due to the Sony part though. After you wade through the Sony phone unlock, its running one script, and that's it.

Edit: Tried to pair the phone with bluetooth speakers and my Honda. Both worked nicely and I didn't encounter any issues.

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answered 2017-10-13 22:31:08 +0300

olli gravatar image

updated 2017-10-13 22:55:43 +0300

i have been wery pleased. It's like Jolla C but with some serious horsepower under the hood. Hopefully Jolla will continue the good work with Sailfish X and we see many improvements with coming updates. This is the right direction (or course if you will)

edit: Some whiskey and only answered 1 of 4 guestions.

So bluetooth is working good enough for me. I managed to connect pebble and it works with rockpool as good as with Jolla C. Have been reading about problems with connecting with cars though :(

Flashing was not so easy, mainly the unlocking part for me. Took me about 3h, I bet I could do it under 30min now, but now I don't need to anymore :) So better/simpler instructions would be great. Allso I thinkFlashing with Linux would have been way easier, even if I am not a heavy user.

Pictures are way better than on Jolla C and sadly way worse than on Xperia X with android :( It's understandable though, I don't know how many man hours Sony, Samsung etc. have used on camera software but it's definately more than Jolla can throw at it.

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Asked: 2017-10-11 20:49:06 +0300

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Last updated: Jan 08 '18