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[Wiki] Suggestions for J3 - a smaller phone [not relevant]

asked 2014-10-10 18:23:23 +0200

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updated 2016-04-30 10:02:15 +0200

vattuvarg gravatar image

There are lots of wishes here at TJC for a smaller phone. The next phone from Jolla (let's call it J2) will probably be the same size as J1. But if a smaller one would be conceived, what would make it different from both J1 and the still secret J2? ...and why?

Please focus on only one difference in each answer, OK?

The third phone
The suggestions for a smaller phone are not intended for the next Jolla phone (J2). Instead they are meant for a phone to complement it. The two phones should have similar capabilities but one would of course have to be adjusted to cope with the limitations of a smaller size.

That is why the smaller concept phone now has the nickname J3.

Battery time
A current survey revealed that a majority of mobile phone users want a longer battery time, even if the phone needs to be thicker to accommodate the larger battery volume. An answer for battery has been added for that reason.

Rumours of a new small iPhone
The rumours of a smaller apple phone were true and that device, the iPhone SE, is selling very well.

Still hoping

Jolla will not build the J3 as the company focus is software now. Yet I still hope that some company will build a phone with a four inch display. The ladies of my family (both young and mature) still have hands smaller than mine and still wait for a Sailfish OS device that would be small enough for them. There is a fairly strong market in the sub-5-inch sector and there should at least be one device available there with Sailfish OS. Don't you agree?

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The question has been closed for the following reason "question is not relevant or outdated" by nthn
close date 2017-10-15 17:38:23.221016



I am not looking for a smaller SailfishOS, will not purchase a smaller Jolla. So I vote against.

WilliePre ( 2014-10-10 18:46:59 +0200 )edit

Then you should vote for your favourite in the Jolla 2nd hardware suggestions. I did. :) The J2 will probably be the same size as the current device.

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-10 19:03:15 +0200 )edit

Has it occurred to anyone that if you reduce the form factor, then you reduce the battery size - which means you reduce the battery life ...

strongm ( 2014-10-10 21:23:05 +0200 )edit

Sure, but then they'd be bucking against current design goals of keeping phones thin (Galaxy S4 7.9mm, iPhone 5 7.6mm). Frankly, the current Jolla is a bit of a fatty. And let's be honest. ALL smartphones could benefit from better battery life, and that could be addressed in ALL phones by making them thicker. Yet no-one does ...

strongm ( 2014-10-11 14:50:12 +0200 )edit

A phone thinner than that would be possible with a slimmer camera module and a more efficient SoC. The trend for slim phones is partially explained by the fact that most people have their phones in protective cases.

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-11 15:05:06 +0200 )edit

28 Answers

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answered 2014-10-10 19:44:45 +0200

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updated 2014-10-10 21:46:15 +0200

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Display Type

A low power mode would be nice. To have a low power mode that actually uses less energy than normal mode the phone would need to have an OLED display. The current phone (J1) has a display that is back-lit so to display a dot the background lights have to be turned on for the entire display.

An OLED display would be better when used as a head-up display in a vehicle (reflected by the glass). Only the lit pixels would be visible.

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I prefer lower-res OLED over any insane resolution on LCD. Heck, I'd even prefer a qHD OLED (J1's resolution) over a full HD LCD.

Fuzzillogic ( 2014-10-15 20:56:11 +0200 )edit

Why do you prefer OLED? (just curious)

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-15 21:58:39 +0200 )edit

@vattuvarg Superior contrast, viewing angle, color gamut, speed. Most of those alone aren't really too important on a smart phone. But given that OLED combines all those advantages, the difference is huge. Jolla's weak viewing angle stability (some colors are way off, even at small angles) is a constant reminder of it being an LCD.

But the ability of OLED for always-on clock & notification, à la N9, is a near must-have. The current RGB-led on Jolla is a very poor alternative.

LCD's are the typewriters of the displays. Both are superseded by much better tech.

Fuzzillogic ( 2014-10-15 22:57:24 +0200 )edit

Thanks for answering. The same ability to have the clock and notification also allows for less disturbance when used in dark vehicles. My old Nokia 700 had a really nice (OLED) display.

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-15 23:02:13 +0200 )edit

Prefer an OLED display, much better on my old N9 (not the resolution I know ;-))

JonnJonz ( 2014-10-18 13:31:02 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-10-10 23:01:27 +0200

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updated 2014-10-10 23:07:06 +0200

Acce gravatar image

I wish they made something like this: image description

I had it before Jolla, it's perfect to hold in hand, the qwerty works with one or two hands nicely, it's quite robust (I only managed to break the glass by dropping it on it's corner..). It has removable battery etc.

Size: 92 x 53 x 18 mm Screen: 320 x 480 pixels, 3.0 inches (could be bit bigger since no need for those buttons)

I wouldn't mind if it was a little bit larger.. and I would like to have all kinds of brackects accessible from the hw kb, but otherwise, it's perfect mobile computing device physical design in my opinion.

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A lot of people are waiting for a hardware keyboard.

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-12 11:03:46 +0200 )edit

Would you buy the smaller phone if there was a keyboard OtherHalf?

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-16 12:06:43 +0200 )edit

@vattuvarg: that depends on how they would create the OtherHalf concept for a phone of this size. I guess the problem would be that without integration into the design, a TOH would add to thickness (since you can't put the main battery etc. into TOH). Also, with a toh, the screen part would be heavier and keyboard part lighter. That's weird for balance, compared to the design of the phone in this answer, where the keyboard is in the heavy part; and the screen is the only moving part.

Acce ( 2014-10-21 21:17:47 +0200 )edit

@Acce - If there ever will be a smaller Jolla phone then it might not have the TOH concept. A keyboard would have to be added some other way (as the lid of a folding cover connected with bluetooth, perhaps?). But it is almost certain that there will be such a OtherHalf for J1 and J2. That's why I'm asking.

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-21 21:27:09 +0200 )edit

A jolla phone without the OtherHalf concept would be frowned upon. So even a smaller phone would need to be equipped with it. It wouldn't be a Jolla phone otherwise, it seems. A SmallHalf keyboard seems possible.

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-27 18:05:27 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-10-10 18:43:06 +0200

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updated 2014-10-10 18:43:06 +0200

vattuvarg gravatar image


The idea is to find some kind of guide or factor for rescaling the measures of J1. I looked up the size of hands on the net. Female hands are (on an average) smaller than male hands by a factor of about 0.88 so that could be a good place to start. If people that like the J1 are mostly male then adjusting for a female hand maybe wouldn't be a bad idea. ...and I couldn't think of anything better...

The current phone (J1) has a 4.5" screen. J2 probably gets a slightly larger screen and my guess is 4.7". Scaling that means that the screen would be around 4" on the smaller phone. Using the same factor the physical size of the phone itself would be 115 x 59 mm, which is very close to the size of a Nokia N9. The thickness would probably not scale as easily so it could remain the same as J1 at 9.9 mm (the N9 is 12.1mm).

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i had n8 before. its easy, a smaller phone fits better in my pocket. but there needs to be a possibility to get another keyboard. i always misstype with my jolla. with n8 i used the oldscool numerical keyboard with 12 big keys.

NuklearFart ( 2014-10-10 23:04:24 +0200 )edit

I think a T9-ish keyboard would be a great idea, especially for those coming from a button-phone to their first touch-phone. Would long-press character choices work for you?

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-11 20:02:07 +0200 )edit

i dont know what you mean by long press character choice. i prefer t9 keybords, i type faster with them because you more often hit the right key. the only thing is to have a working dictionary which also learns preferred words. my nokia n8 worked almost perfect for me

NuklearFart ( 2014-10-11 23:14:56 +0200 )edit


Try this: When typing on your Jolla, try a long press on the letter A. See what happens.

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-12 00:06:33 +0200 )edit

Ok, I did and I didn't know :D So learned how to type 'ß', lol. But this is crappy for me because it stops the flow of typing. Without the suggestions over the keyboard I'd need to retype words so often so I'd like to have T9 Keyboard back. Best Keyboard for typing for me was nokia 6280 with hardware t9 keyboard where I was able to send blind sms because I knew how often to press '*' to get the right word and the best thing was it never changed when I got a new Nokia device

Besides: Except the size I think nothing really changes because you simply can put anything into a smaller pocket like sony with the compact series. I think that a smaller phone just would grab other people for which the current size is to big. My biggest reason for not buying the Jolla phone was simply the size, In the end I bought it but comeing from a 3.5'' n8 to the big Jolla I need to get used to it. I think something between 4 and 4.3'' is perfect - I mean a bigger screen also has its advantages.

NuklearFart ( 2014-10-12 02:17:22 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-10-10 19:07:05 +0200

michel gravatar image

I think it should be like shorter as J1 because J1 has much wasted space below the Display. Also if you put a larger Display into a Phone of the same Dimensions as J1 there would still be a needlessly large lower bezel. Promoting "no Buttons" just dont make sense if you have unused place for tons of them

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If the length of the phone is scaled with the suggested 88% factor then the smaller Jolla phone would be 16mm shorter than the current one (J1). Bezels would be smaller too.

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-10 19:18:04 +0200 )edit

...and the thing about "no buttons" is that you don't need them with sailfishOS. A gesture anywhere on the screen will do.

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-12 00:08:57 +0200 )edit

yeah but whats the advantage of gestures compared to buttons if not saving space? Im not completly satisfied with the Sailfish UI anyway (particulary the pulley menus). Buttons are only a disadvantage if they either need space that can be used otherwise or they are hard to reach wich the lower bezel is not.

michel ( 2014-10-12 00:46:08 +0200 )edit

The lower bezel is regarded as hard to reach. ...at least when compared with gestures.

hard to reach areas for the thumb

The J1 is roughly the same size as the iPhone 6.

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-12 01:14:37 +0200 )edit

as u can see about 50% of the lower bezel is in the natural area and i never heard of anyone who had problems to reach the homebutton of any given device. Also having buttons does not restrict gestures in any form. But thats not even the topic.Unused space is, well, useless and therefor i would get rid of it.

michel ( 2014-10-12 13:26:46 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-10-10 19:52:39 +0200

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updated 2014-10-19 14:14:09 +0200

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Virtual Keyboard

A small screen would make it harder for "hunt and peck" typing. ...so it would be nice to have gesture keyboard (similar to swype or swiftkey). There are at least two different ones in progress for SailfishOS.

The keyboard could also be modified to use more long-press characters.

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A smaller phone will attract people unaccustomed to touch phones and as @NuklearFart suggested a T9-ish keyboard would be a good idea.

the belle fp2 keyboard

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-19 14:07:06 +0200 )edit

A gesture keyboard is not a suggestion. It is a must.

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-27 18:11:06 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-10-13 16:43:11 +0200

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updated 2014-11-29 14:17:09 +0200

vattuvarg gravatar image

USB Socket

The USB socket could be placed at the bottom egde of the phone to make it possible to use cradles and for using shorter cables for in-vehicle use.

A possibility for sending video through the µUSB socket should be included.

It seems that VESA has added the video possibility to the new USB type C specification. The European Union has also approved the type C connector. The connector supports USB 3.1 data transfer too.

I suppose that means the J3 should have a USB type C connector.

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same with the audio-jack imo

michel ( 2014-10-14 17:38:48 +0200 )edit

Quite logical to have them next to eachother, yes.

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-14 17:46:59 +0200 )edit

When listening to music with phone in the pocket, what is accessible is the top of the phone, hence where the headphone connector are on most of the phone I have seen (brand agnostic : done for example by Nokia with N8 or Motorola with Photon Q).

I'm Not sure why it would be "logical" to have audio jack close to USB ?

zeta ( 2014-10-20 23:51:35 +0200 )edit

@zeta - So what is your suggestion?

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-20 23:54:51 +0200 )edit

@vattuvarg : I don't care about where the USB is, but for me headphones should be on top when listening music with corded headphones, with phone in the pocket.

zeta ( 2014-10-21 00:00:21 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-10-10 21:22:52 +0200

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updated 2014-10-27 18:17:09 +0200

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Dual SIM

A feature that would be nice in a smaller Jolla phone would be the inclusion of a second SIM card. The hard question to solve is how to handle the contacts of the two cards.

Having at least dual SIM capability is a selling point for both work-related phones and for markets with many operators.

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  1. A single app for contacts where data from the phone and both SIM cards are mixed.

  2. Separate contact apps for the SIM cards. Red heart for the phone memory+SIM0 and blue heart for SIM1.

  3. A switch to choose from the above settings.

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-11 20:38:44 +0200 )edit

Separate ringtones for the two SIM cards.

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-11 20:40:29 +0200 )edit

At this time my guess is that the J2 will use a mediatek 6735 SoC which doesn't support dualSIM. The J3 would then regrettably also lack that functionality.

I hope I'm wrong.

vattuvarg ( 2015-02-07 01:38:56 +0200 )edit

After MWC2015: A possible SoC for the J3 is Intel's x3-c3440. It supports dualSIM.

vattuvarg ( 2015-03-08 13:56:10 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-10-10 18:59:23 +0200

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updated 2014-10-25 13:40:49 +0200

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Personally I would like something like the Pelican Imaging camera. All photos are in focus. Depth information for each pixel would be nice when editing too. The array camera module is also just 3mm deep (roughly half of a conventional phone camera), which is good news for those who want a slimmer phone.

In the current piCam design there is 16 tiny cameras. The total resolution of those cameras is ~12Mp. The images are then combined to an 8Mp photo. Another way of saying it would be that four megapixels of noise is removed by calculations. The process also creates a depth map with the same resolution as the final image. The depth information can be used later for adding artistic blur to the photo (all photos are always in focus). ...or for making measurements.


  1. A brief video intro
  2. Depth based photography explained
  3. Pelican Imaging Workshop
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interessting stuff, but how is the overall image quality with such small lenses? For me quality is more important than the editing features

michel ( 2014-10-10 19:21:09 +0200 )edit

All photos are in focus thanks to the extremely short focal length. For me that is really nice. As for the quality of the camera? Only time will tell. But there is no autofocus mechanics so the camera would probably take G-forces better. ...and there would be no lag waiting for the autofocus.

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-10 19:30:18 +0200 )edit

An array camera may be used for Kinect-type gestures. One of those could activate the camera for selfies.

The camera hardware may also facilitate measuring and spatial mapping.

The array sensor could be used to wait for a photo until something comes closer than a specified distance.

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-11 20:52:47 +0200 )edit

Having an unlike camera would not be an option for J2, mainly because it will be competing with other "normal" phone cameras.

So if the array camera isn't an option for the smaller phone either then the fallback would be a vanilla 8Mp camera, I guess.

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-16 12:20:52 +0200 )edit

The piCam uses all the cameras of the array to calculate the image. Each lens doesn't have to be absolutely perfect to get a good photo. In fact, three of the 16 can be completely dead and you would still get a good photo. The camera also needs very little light to produce an acceptable image quality, apparently as little as 5 lux.

So combining the fact that the camera takes the photo when you press the button (and not after adjusting the focus first) and that it produces good results in low light conditions (with everything in focus) makes the technology interesting enough for the smaller phone I'm hoping for. The downside is that my daughter would then get to do funny photo manipulations with her phone while I'm stuck with a conventional camera on my brand spanking new J2... :'-(

The thing I'm really worrying about is that the processor of the camera needs to be able to calculate even when recording video (with depth information of course). If a budget class processor is picked for the smaller phone then it might not be fast enough to do the job. A lower resolution might be necessary. The current piCam module produces 1080p/30fps video but achieving 720p/30fps might be good enough.

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-16 22:13:01 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-10-10 21:41:12 +0200

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updated 2014-10-28 00:10:30 +0200

vattuvarg gravatar image

Display Resolution

540x960 is used on the current Jolla phone (J1). Retina at 36cm.
The same resolution would be retina at 30cm on a 4" display.

As a comparison I am guessing that the J2 will have 720x1280 pixels on 4.7", retina at 28cm.

The smaller phone should have the same resolution as J2 on the smaller display.
720x1280px and 4" would be retina at 23cm.

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I think thats the only really disadvantage from the J1, I would really love it if the new Phone have in the minimum FullHD, or Retina resolution.

heubergen ( 2015-01-22 20:02:15 +0200 )edit

After MWC2015: If Jolla chooses the Intel x3-c3440 SoC then a possible resolution would be 1280x800@60Hz, retina at 28cm. (1920x1080 is the maximum resolution for the SoC but it is only available at 30Hz, retina at 18cm).

vattuvarg ( 2015-03-14 13:17:08 +0200 )edit

answered 2014-10-10 18:37:00 +0200

torcida gravatar image

Smaller and thinner.

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Thinner might be possible with a slimmer camera module. ...and a smaller battery (which would be possible if the SoC uses less energy).

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-10 19:12:27 +0200 )edit

Apart from "look how thin it is!", what would be the advantage? Thicker devices would allow for better camera modules (even iPhone cams stick out...) and bigger batteries. It might also make it easier to add sufficient support, to avoid twisting and bending. I'd prefer smaller over thinner.

Fuzzillogic ( 2014-10-15 21:00:50 +0200 )edit

Most people with an iPhone has some kind of protective cover so a protruding camera would actually be a good thing. I have my Jolla in a pocket to avoid having an extra cover so the "sunken" camera is better for me.

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-15 21:53:51 +0200 )edit

iphone 5 with sailfish os would be cool phone!!!

Ghost ( 2014-10-26 14:08:21 +0200 )edit

The smaller phone should not be thinner than J1 (9.9mm). It needs a large battery that would be hard to fit in a thinner body.

vattuvarg ( 2014-10-27 18:42:16 +0200 )edit

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Asked: 2014-10-10 18:23:23 +0200

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