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User reports - Sailfish X

asked 2017-10-11 20:49:06 +0200

h.berd gravatar image

updated 2017-12-18 00:21:26 +0200

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 +0200 )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 +0200 )edit

Something that nobody mentioned yet...

The colour notification LED is back!!!!

Giacomo Di Giacomo ( 2017-10-13 15:25:17 +0200 )edit

Yay! I love the colour notification LED :)

Beethoven ( 2017-10-13 16:30:22 +0200 )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 +0200 )edit

48 Answers

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answered 2017-10-22 11:33:41 +0200

ralooyar gravatar image

updated 2018-01-07 16:58:12 +0200

My experience :

Buying Sailfish X

Once my Xperia X device had been delivered, I wanted to purchase and download Sailfish X to jump straight into falshing action... But this flow was abruptly interrupted at noticing Jolla will only accept payment via credit card. Since I do not own a credit card, flashing time was over for this day. :( See jolla-shop-sailfishx-purchase-method

Thankfully I found a relative, who could help me out in this issue, so purchase and download worked and the journey could continue.

Time to read some documentation:

Updating Android software version

I bought a new Xperia X with locked (but unlockable) bootloader. The initial system version was 34.2.A.0.333, so I started the update process... For me this was a very long prozess: I guess 6 hours of download, install, download, install, ... of different software updates. Here is the full list my Xperia X went through:

  • starting at 34.2.A.0.333
  • update to 34.2.A.2.47
  • update to 34.2.A.2.69
  • update to 34.3.A.0.194
  • update to 34.3.A.0.206
  • update to 34.3.A.0.217
  • update to 34.3.A.0.228 (<- the desired target version)
  • update to 34.3.A.0.238

At least the Xperia X does the most part unattended. You only have to tab "install new update now" once in a while. So you can do this along the way doing other stuff.

Maybe faster (but more complex): I have read ( that one can use the Emma tool to directly install version 34.3.A.0.228, but this would require time to install the Emma tool first. ;)

Unlocking the bootloader and flashing:

Using the tutorial sailfish-x-install-flash-on-linux and a linux pc, this process worked like a charm. No struggling with Windows driver issues or installing large Android SDKs. On Debian linux I only had to install android-tools-fastboot (118 kByte) and the whole unlocking and flashing process took 30 minutes (+ time reading the documentations).

Very first steps in the new SailfishX:

  • The display looks way better than the one in my Jolla1 (brighter and sharper) :)
  • Why do I have to go to the tutorial again? Where is the option to skip it? Fortunately it is not very long. :|
  • Installation of android support failed :(
  • Installation of predictive keyboard failed :(
  • No "double tab to turn on display" :(
  • Hmm, I can't close apps by wiping down on this device - Guess, I need to check the device settings

Time to call it a day. Configuring and (re-)installing apps will be done tomorrow.

Hardware test after flashing

I tested the Xperia hardware before flashing (using the Android/Sony test tools of the "service menu", which you can find by calling * # * # 7378423 # * # ) and now it is time to test the hardware after flashing, again. To get access to Sailfish test utilities, either call # * # 310 # * # * or (enable developer mode and type csd on the commandline).

Test results:

  • OK:
    • LCD (no dead or broken pixels)
    • LCD touch
    • buttons
      • power button
      • volume up/down
      • photo button (two-step-functionality missing, only "full press" == "take photo", no "half press" == "focus")
    • phone call
    • mobile data
    • back camera
    • camera flash
    • front camera
    • WLAN
    • proximity sensor
    • light sensor
    • gyro / accelerometer
    • top / bottom microphone (there are two separate tests, but it seems to make no difference, whether I speak in the top or the bottom microphone!?!?)
    • loudspeaker (this test is great! It definitely is a loud speaker! :)
    • left/right speaker (make sure, you have the smartphone in landscape orientation)
    • headset
      • headset button
      • volume buttons
      • headset microphone
      • headset audio (without the crackling of my Jolla1)
    • GPS
    • LED
    • vibration
    • USB charging
    • read/write SD-card
  • FAIL: (exactly those mentioned at the Jolla Shop disclaimer, so I knew what I bought; that's fair)
    • compass
    • fingerprint sensor
    • bluetooth (test pass in "csd", but no devices found in "Settings" > "Bluetooth" > "Search for devices")
    • FM Radio

=> Conclusion: The most important stuff is working. :) But it would be nice, if Jolla staff would get bluetooth in a "working" state, too. Keep going. cheer :)

Update on bluetooth

Having read, I gave connecting by bluetooth a few more tries (about 10 or 20). In the end I managed to send a picture from Jolla1 to XperiaX. But this process needs some more fixing by Jolla staff to work more flawless.

Application check

Applications, which worked without problems:

Applications with problems:

Finally migrating to SailfishX

Application problems have been fixed by workaround:

  • OsmAnd Voice: Fixed by installing Google TTS Engine (Poor Maps is a very interesting native alternative, but not mature enough yet for my usecases)
  • CodeReader: Problem fixed in Git Repository, but it is block from Jolla Store because of other issues. So switching to android code reader "QR scanner" (from FDroid repository).
  • SpeedCrunch: Buttons in app not useable, but you can switch to Sailfish keyboard to type in your terms

=> Finally migrating from Jolla1 to Sailfish X (06.01.2018)

Process went very smooth via backup to SD and restore from SD in "Settings".

Data migrated via backup/restore: - addressbook - SMS - calender events - notes - pictures

Data not migrated via backup/restore (manual migration necessary): - music - installed native apps + data - installed android apps + data

I'm curious about, how Sailfish X is performing "in production". :) But I guess, very well.

Minor issues during migration: - contacts from SIM card are displayed in address book - delete those - contacts disappear - reboot - contacts back again => soluition

To be continued...

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There is some command line to activate double tap. Try to install again. Quickclose helps with direct closing or you zry some patches to activate the switches by swipe from top. And I didnt have to install any sdk to flash sf x

NuklearFart ( 2017-10-24 09:43:58 +0200 )edit

@ralooyar GPS isnt support by SFOS currently.

XFish ( 2017-10-30 19:01:17 +0200 )edit

@XFish: GPS is working well for me with OsmAnd.

ralooyar ( 2017-10-31 11:40:17 +0200 )edit

answered 2017-10-24 06:53:59 +0200

apo gravatar image

Default Browser is not able to render more advanced pages. is an example. A port of Firefox would be perfect.

The themes are pretty much unnecessary. Just geeky looking stuff without any real function. At least it could be placed in the side panel in favor for the options and status going to the top, like android/iOS.

Basic shortcuts should stay in the same place. Apps move around in the apps menu constantly. No muscle memory possible.

Android environment is absolutely great for a future transiston-phase I won't start yet due to the stated issues above.

Price is very high for newbies.

Looking forward to support this project with buying future releases of the OS anyway.

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On ny device all opened apps stay where they are when.i start switching through. For the switches from top there are patches e.g. Powermenu 2 with the ambience patch or quick settings on power menu. I'd prefer sailfish 1 behaviour, that was eventsview by swipe from bottom upwards and a patch gave me all the switches needed.

NuklearFart ( 2017-10-24 09:26:40 +0200 )edit

The default browser is based on gecko (the firefox rendering engine), afaik. Hopefully the changes that have been done to Firefox Quantum will trickle down to the jolla browser soon.

vattuvarg ( 2017-10-24 10:18:49 +0200 )edit

answered 2017-10-28 14:31:56 +0200

dizzi90 gravatar image

With regard to flashing I had two issues which cost me a lot of time.

  1. Installing the fastboot driver was not straight forward, because it wasn't signed.
  2. Flashing appeared to fail with Sony logo bootloop, but this was due to Sailfish not booting with the formatted SD card still being in the device.

This is my first time using Sailfish. The camera is not as good as when I was using android, but it's passable. In android I would just click the camera button from the lock screen and it would go straight into the camera app, which I miss. When you want to take a pic, you want to get to it quickly.

There is an issue with scrolling in Sailbook, which the dev says is due to sailfish x adaption. Details here

Aliendalvik is awesome. Without it I would definitely not have made the switch. There are quite a few apps that create pop ups in-app complaining about the lack og Google Play Services though, which is a pain. With the exception of Apple Music I've not seen any apps that cannot be used in aliendalvik. That is most likely because I am still exploring Sailfish and therefore try to solve things with sailfish apps before I surrender to using android.

I really enjoy the fact that you can expand the messages app with libpurple. I'm using the facebook messenger one, but it's a little buggy. I keep getting duplicate messages that have not been marked as read in facebook and therefore get sent to me again. So I've had to have the messenger app in aliendalvik as well which I use to mark the messages as read to not get spammed. I'm guessing that is more about facebook not being transparent about how their services operate than anything to do with Sailfish.

Typing is something which seems to be a lot slower in Sailfish. Probably largely less good predictions because Sailfish has less data on typing habits. I'd like to see something like Fleksy or SwiftKey on android. Not sure how it's best solved while being sensitive to privacy concerns.

I've not had much luck using media-buttons on my headset (wired). I have a Bose QC25 with both the android style buttons and apple ones. From my searching I've found that apple is the one that is supposed to be compatible with MPRIS. Volume buttons work fine, but play and pause I've not been able to use more than a couple of times. More experimentation is needed to pin down the issue.

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In android I would just click the camera button from the lock screen and it would go straight into the camera app, which I miss.

When I turn on the display of my SailfishX Xperia, I can see a little camera at the bottom of the screen. Swiping up from the bottom screen edge starts the camera app. So I guess, this could be the feature, you miss.

ralooyar ( 2017-10-29 23:33:01 +0200 )edit

answered 2017-10-29 23:11:20 +0200

White gravatar image

updated 2017-10-30 09:12:42 +0200

My experience. I have Lumia 950 XL and iPhone 7 Plus and both phones are very interesting to use and to test. Of course i want to compare new device with Sailfish OS. Earlier i tried Jolla 1, but due to weaknesses in hardware (especially display) i sell it. But (!) Sailfish OS was in my mind. So, 1 week ago i bought Sony Xperia X 5121 and SailfishOS X for it. Flashing was very smooth for me and i didnt get any issues with it. First impressions - brilliant interface, everything is logical and easy to find. Sony hardware is enough fast, screen is bright and have very nice colors (not like Retina display on my iPhone 7 Plus, but close to it). System interface works just fine and i didnt get any troubles with native apps (except some weird lags with mail app, lags in browser and some page scaling problems, but all of those problems were already discussed in forums). I'm trying to use native apps for my everyday task, but if i can't find it i'm using Play market to download such apps.

Anyway, i think, that it is very flexible to use several sources for downloading the software. In common - Xperia X and Sailfish OS X - best solution for enthusiasts and IT geeks, who tierd from Android or IOS with they greedy policy. In a few days Xperia X will be my main smartphone and 7 Plus will be as a second one.

But, guys, all of us shoul understand, that our community is too small yet. Resources, that Jolla have is also not very large. And that is why developement, bug fixes and features releases are very slow. And slow releases - slow people reaction, who want to buy, but they need working finctuions. Not all of them wants to use two smartphones to combine functionality. So, Jolla, Please, try to do your best for us and for your own future.

And one more for Jolla. Sometimes you should think not like engineers or programmers. Think like users. Users want to use camera, BT, Wi-Fi and those features SHOULD work out of the box. By default. In our case, camera, for example, works very slow, always losts focus, killing colors and sometimes geometry. You SHOUL fix such bugs BEFORE you launchung your OS over the world. Even geeks desiers working smartphone.

Positive: New hardware with potential for heavy apps; Nice performance and usability; Good Android compatibility -> large amount of apps; Secutity and privacy;

Negative: Small range of supported phones; Horrible camera app -> there is no sence to use it for photography; Issues with default browser and mail client app (speed, troubles with SSL certificates) Unknown perspective for future native apps;

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answered 2017-10-30 09:06:55 +0200

Marius gravatar image

For me flashing was a bit confusing, but it worked well at the end. Xpeia is of course much faster than Jolla 1, however I experience strange slowdowns with email application. Suddenly I have to wait for email to appear (already downloaded) or there is a significant lag when changing the mailboxes. I also have problem setting up synchronization with Exchange account. I have two of them and the first one worked well, while the second one - never managed to succeed (however there is a trick described on this forum about killing the process in the middle - I have to try it). Other strange thing is that after reboot Xperia is not asking for the PIN number of the SIM card. Is that normal?

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E-mail app: It's a problem of showing HTML content.

wosrediinanatour ( 2017-10-30 10:10:47 +0200 )edit

I cannot add exchange account at all :( (on premise Exchange 2017) - the add account function get stuck after inputting the server parameters/values in "creating account"

ehakkarainen ( 2017-10-30 18:56:43 +0200 )edit

the exchange account can be added, just try again and again, thats what i did after the third time it was a charm.

XFish ( 2017-10-30 19:03:54 +0200 )edit

answered 2017-10-30 11:08:46 +0200

Pekka gravatar image

updated 2017-10-30 11:11:19 +0200

My eXperiences

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

Happy with performance. More responsive than Jolla1

  • How is your experience with bluetooth connection still in beta?

Did not got my BT headset to work. Shows only MAC for devices, no names.

  • How much time is needed to flash the phone?

Had bootlocked Experia and took good 2 hours to get it working. Mostly due to W10 and non-signed drivers and poor non-up-to-date instructions from Sony. Not for beginners for sure.

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

Camera seems responsible, had not took many pictures but was disappointed it's features. Thats 10 years behind others. One of the reasons to take the Sony was quality it's camera, but the app.. <sigh>.</sigh>

Have had no hickups after installation, only the first boot got stuck and gave me the wtf moment.

MISSING: Wifi hotspot. Not visible nor usable. Have to swap between Jolla1 and X because of this. This is a pain for me.

..also lost some apps that rely on Google services but yes I know, this is a trade-off and that's the reason having Jolla in a first place.

And Exchange is not syncing always. Luckily Outlook client is available.

In generally, happy with it and will be supporting in future too. Just fix the Hotspot ;)

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I don't own an Xperia yet, so I haven't tried this workaround, but perhaps it is of interest: Sailfish X: Using WLAN hotspot

TomC ( 2017-10-30 12:20:02 +0200 )edit

Works, thanks!

Pekka ( 2017-10-30 14:01:02 +0200 )edit

answered 2017-11-02 13:32:00 +0200

femtopeta gravatar image

Could somebody check if changing MAC address works on Xperia/Sailfish X?

That would mean

ifconfig wlan0 hw ether XX:XX:XX:XX:XX:XX

really changes the address after next "up" command.

In Jolla 1 the command didn't produce an error, but didn't change the MAC either. Apparently due to the fact that the binary blob driver wasn't capable or couldn't be addressed properly. On rooted Android phones changing MAC address usually works.

Sorry for hijacking this thread with a question, but I thought it would be the best location for the info.

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answered 2017-11-02 16:58:43 +0200

L_A_G gravatar image

My experience as someone who had a Jolla phone, switched to an Android phone and now came back are overall pretty positive. A short summary of my experiences so far, using the Nexus 5 and Jolla phone as reference, formated as bullet points for maximum readability:


  • Very nicely built hardware that feels sturdy in your hand
  • Superb battery life (in my use the Nexus 5 I replaced it with lasted about a day on a brand new battery while this thing lasts for 2 days)
  • Gorgeous screen
  • Seemingly durable (dropped it on a wood floor and it didn't even leave a mark, not the most demanding height however)
  • Very good android app compatibility
  • Still has a MicroSD card slot when flagship android devices dropped it years ago
  • SailfishOS is still as powerful and smooth as it always was
  • Still none of the spying built into Android, iOS and WP


  • The self-flash process, while nothing close to a complete showstopper, was none the less a bit annoying
  • Battery replacement, while possible, is an unnecessary pain in the you-know-what with the way you need a suction cup and a heat gun to get the back cover off and glue strips to get it back on again
  • No double tap to wake (found myself trying to use it constantly for the first week)


  • Native app support is as bad as always, but android support is still good and improved compared to the Jolla phone
  • While a huge upgrade from the original, the camera still has some minor focus issues
  • The media player is as good as it ever was, but still annoyingly needs to indexes all of your music from the nothing every single time you start it up (one in the N9 didn't need to do this despite being very similar)
  • Browser is as awful as it always was, thankfully you're spoiled for good choices in the android apps

I do have to say that I was initially a bit skeptical about Jolla's choice of hardware, but having used mine since the weekend after it came out, I do have to say that they definitely made a very wise choice. Let's hope that with licensing to third parties going Jolla can hire more people to get things like the native app store properly sorted out to attract more developers and do something about that dreadful default browser.

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There is a workaround to enable double tap to weak up, just search for it, its so comfortable.

NuklearFart ( 2017-11-05 00:39:18 +0200 )edit

@L_A_G the music reindexing is indeed weird and have noticed it every time the app is restarted

XFish ( 2017-11-05 05:29:59 +0200 )edit

The double tap workaround is buggy after having used it for months it causes issues during phone unlock so not worth the risk until it bug free and flawless.

DarkTuring ( 2017-12-19 17:07:25 +0200 )edit

Hi, Have you tried this?

mcetool --set-doubletap-wakeup=proximity
deloptes ( 2017-12-19 23:02:07 +0200 )edit

answered 2017-11-03 22:48:45 +0200

ToniR gravatar image

updated 2017-11-26 22:41:03 +0200

My main issue so far: Call on speaker volume. Ringtones can be incredibly loud, but for some reason if I transfer call to speakerphone, even maximum volume is very low, to the point of being essentially unusable, as any background noise will just make it inlegible.

Fingerprint reader would be very nice to have.

Internet sharing would be nice too.

Bluetooth still seems a bit off. I could connect all my devices (two headphones, two cars) fine originally and some time after that, but just few days ago phone wouldn't connect to one headset anymore. Just showed "connected" for few seconds, then indication vanished and .. nothing. Headset never reported connection being established. Not even full power cycle (of phone, or headset) restored it, same issue continued after that. Phone didn't connect to either cars BT automatically after this, but there at least manually started connect worked (for one car, don't know of the other). Haven't tested much more of this though.

Edit: Apparently headset issue was due to somehow corrupted pairing. Removing and re-pairing eventually fixed it and now everything works as expected again.

Edit2: When using Bluetooth headset, I can answer calls just fine, but when initiating call (through phone UI and not headset buttons), it will use phone speaker/mic only; headset isn't even shown an option although it is connected. So far I've noticed this only with one headset (fairly old Jabra 620s), but that's mainly because I don't often start calls when using headsets anyway.

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Yes, volume settings indeed need improvement. Yes, fingerprint would be great, but not high prio. Yes, tethering is even higher prio than fingerprint. Yes, bluetooth needs a lot of improvement. I was able to connect AquaFish with my car, but Sailfish does not want to connect and that's it. Besides there are traces in the kernel, looks like something is badly broken. I think AquaFish was bluetooth4 and this one is bluez5 and IMO the problem is advertising the supported profiles.

I want to add SyncML for calendar to the list - in my life it has also high prio.

Also different kernel oops when powering on the device or in different use cases need attention.

deloptes ( 2017-11-04 16:13:02 +0200 )edit

answered 2017-11-04 16:24:35 +0200

micha77 gravatar image

updated 2017-11-04 18:10:52 +0200

First: For me Sailfish OS is new, and i like it, it is great and it is worth to be supported. Some thouhgts: I come from the Lumia 950, which btw has a great camera/camera app. The camera performance of the Xperia now can't be the last word. In my experience the front camera is better than the main camera. It is not possible to get a sharp foto with the main camera now, in low light you can forget everything (without camera lightning). Imo Jolla should put the improvement of the camera/camera app on top of the list and invest right here to be competitive.

The provided hardware should function without exception. This is a must. The physical camera button doesn't function, same like the fingerprint sensor.

The native gallery app is a bit difficult to use. I have to scroll through all the fotos to find something, and the scrolling is very stuttering. Please make it possible to show the pictures in folders, so that the user has the choice to show just the content of one folder or the whole collection.

If i draw up the view of the apps, the view appears like cards as a full screen jumping from one card to another. Imo it would be better to scroll through the apps slowly and smoothly and stop the app-drawer at every point i like to choose an app, same as if i choose an ambience for example.

And what about the RAM? It runs full for nothing, so i am forced to restart the device again and again. Here Jolla should implement an automatical clean up into the OS like Sony did.

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Hi, not sure what you mean with RAM. In linux RAM full does not mean that it is not freed on demand. It is freed whenever there is need to do it. This is normal linux behavior. I suspect you do not have OOM (out of memory) exceptions. The rest of the statements I do support, however it was mentioned here and there many times, so I am sure Jolla has taken notice and has put it on there todo list.

deloptes ( 2017-11-04 19:16:52 +0200 )edit

I took some pictures outside and they were just fine and sharp - not as good as it was with that crappy droid installed but pretty ok. Could compare the same picture of my Xperia X with the z1 compact of my wife, my pictures had more natural colours and more details but the XX pic was darker. Inside photos are just bad, with enough light they can be ok but chances are pretty low.

NuklearFart ( 2017-11-05 00:43:00 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2017-10-11 20:49:06 +0200

Seen: 22,839 times

Last updated: Jan 08 '18