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Jolla Phone as a business phone - a practical experience

asked 2015-02-28 16:58:02 +0200

kaktux gravatar image

updated 2015-03-02 10:08:51 +0200

Me and my collague just needed new phones for our (very small) company. He got a Samsung Galaxy S5 - and I went for the Jolla.

What we wanted is to be able to sync/add tasks, contacts, calendars/appointments via Mobile to our server, so everyone with access can view/add/edit. The server runs on Linux with an ERP, CRM, Quality and Project Managment and Owncloud.

Here is our experience (in short) so far:

Galaxy: Price about 300+ Euro -VPN out of the box (we use pptp - which is the most common). -Contacts can easily be added -Tasks can easily be added (already integrated app called tasks (at least the german version calls itself "aufgaben") -Several calendars (caldav) can easily be added and synced

Jolla: - Price about 200+ Euro , Invoice with VAT available through direct contact (although i wonder why an open source company does not use libreoffice or similar ;) ).

And thats pretty much it, as everything else could simply not be tested due to a lack of VPN. (I know - There is a client available through warehouse - but a) this is a not satisfying solution as a basic feature like that really has to be either a native option or be available through the official app store.) b) this is not working for me either Anyway - i knew things like that when i bought the phone. But still this is the most basic feature anyone with a business mobile will use (the thread to vote is easily to find).

Also I tried: - calendars (carddav) can be easily added - but not deleted (just turned off) - no notifications about upcoming/todays calendar entrys

Not featurewise - but: My collague likes the looks of the Jolla much better than the galaxy. Trying out the galaxy - the OS is really a lot less intuitive than Sailfish.

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Interesting question because it shows that Jolla has room to better exploit its selling points (respecting user data) into a clear usecase and market, i.e. phones for (small) business users where those features have the most of value. But unfortunately it's not yet there.

Titanium ( 2015-02-28 19:39:26 +0200 )edit

If I were to pull Jolla's leg, I'd say that they are too busy thinking about another 'angry bird' edition, than VPN ... :)

sifartech ( 2015-03-01 02:45:58 +0200 )edit

From my perspective it's pretty clear that there's no way I could use the Jolla in its curretn state as a business phone. CalDAV/CardDAV are still in beta stage, the calendar and e-mail applications are very basic, especially the calendar is not trustworthy, system backup is incomplete (calendar missing), native cloud sync is missing, system wide copy-paste still not finished (you can't copy from e-mail and browser).... So yeah, way to make a weather widget for the homescreen, Jolla.

bennypr0fane ( 2015-03-01 14:53:37 +0200 )edit

I don't care for PPTP and I am very grateful that Jolla does not waste precious engineering time on implementing broken technology that is known to be unfit for the purpose (authentication/encryption). Besides that, I am quite happy with the CardDAV/CalDAV support. What I miss however for professional use is OTR support for XMPP although I agree that all of the available implementations have their individual deficiencies.

nblr ( 2015-03-01 15:57:50 +0200 )edit

pptp is per se THE standard for vpn every bigger or smaller company i met is using - so theres no way around that. Although vpn should support other protocols to - but its about availability in general.

About the however: Having a "i don't care" rant and then bringing up XMPP or other messengers as professional?? No serious company will use any kind of messenger. Phone and Mails - thats it. Messengers are per se not professional for business contacts - and i never had any business card in my hands stating otherwise. 24/7 availability you don't bring to work.

kaktux ( 2015-03-01 21:10:31 +0200 )edit

10 Answers

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answered 2015-02-28 20:34:05 +0200

lakutalo gravatar image

updated 2015-03-08 00:01:12 +0200

One of the most prominent obstacles IMO for the use in a professional environment is that the email client can't cope with meetings (accept, decline,...).

I really hope Jolla gets this fixed soon.

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answered 2015-03-01 15:09:47 +0200

ossi1967 gravatar image

I tried to use my second Jolla as a business phone, too. (I'd never do this with my primary device, no matter what OS, because our company exchange server requires me to put a lock code on my phone.)

It wasn't possible because of the mail client. I have to be able to accept/decline invitations. And the handling of folders is a disaster, really. There's a few hundred folders, sub-folders and sub-sub-folders on my exchange account, and there's no way to even find the inbox quickly, let alone jump to a specific folder associated with the project the current meeting is about.

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You are right, the EMail app features are far away from such apps as "Touchdown" or "Nine"

But all other than reading and answering my mail and sometimes add an calendar event I do all my other work in office at my computer. My customers would be angry if I sit in their office an repair their servers and other equipment and in between I make my office work on a smartphone ;-)

Nearly all -also working for business with a smartphone - is a question HOW You organize Your live and business. Some people need ALL features on their phone. Some not.

Often I see people sitting around me and thei are answering facebook or whatsapp chats......... business or private?

zash1958 ( 2015-03-02 08:43:51 +0200 )edit

For me the major problem with e-mail client is the inability to search within a folder. I don't get meeting invitations too often, and then it's usually early enought to answer once I'm back in office or on my laptop.

But quickly searching for a certain E-mail is something I REALLY miss. BTW. I am using my Jolla as primary device including business use. OpenVPN with SecureFishnet works fine, E-mail and Calendar sync well (exchange account). Even access to company network storage works fine with FishNetMount.

casanunda ( 2015-03-09 18:09:26 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-03-01 08:48:22 +0200

zash1958 gravatar image

updated 2015-03-01 11:54:46 +0200

Since some days I use my Jolla as daily driver for my business.

It has some minor lacks, but all I need runs for me:

  • Exchange account (mail, calendar, contacts) synced against my Kolab Groupware
  • Jollagram as an replacement for Telegram
  • Cute Spotify for music
  • Threema for my business contacts

Then some utils like an app for exchange rates, my banking app (android) and a monitoring app for my solar generator.

All is working and I sold my former Sony phone last week.

Ordered now a second Jolla phone together with a Jolla tablet in the crowdfounding

So far happy - no interest and need in going back to android.

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What kind of business are you doing? Telegram, Music, Threema, exchange rates, a banking app and a solar monitoring app does not seem very usual and relevant for business at all.

kaktux ( 2015-03-01 21:12:18 +0200 )edit


ALL business You Do is usual - FOR YOU :-)

My business is also quite usual: IT business, I am the CEO of a small company in IT. Groupware (Kolab), heterogenous networks, security, routers, firewall and so on.

In the order of using and my needs a smartphone must do:

  1. Telephone
  2. Telephone
  3. Telephone
  4. E-Mail (active sync)
  5. Contacts (active sync)
  6. Calendar (active sync)
  7. Banking app for my business bank
  8. Jollagram / Threema for my contacts to my wife, children, friends
  9. Cute Spotify for listening music on my business trips and in hotels
  10. solar generator/implant app for controlling our corporate solar implant (with a battery system for independency)

Thtas really all. I do NOT need whatsapp, facebook and other gimmicks for my work. Of course I take some photos, play with new apps............

But for all other working I have my office, my access to my Kolab from every browser and other work.

I forget the access to my corporate network via VPN: Here I use "SecureFishnet" from the warehouse.

NO need for further things.

And I can assure You: I need my phone OFTEN and EXTENSIVE !

zash1958 ( 2015-03-02 08:35:09 +0200 )edit

hello Zash!

glad to hear that the Jolla works for you / your business - you'll admit however that IT consultancy isn't exactly your average "business user"...

this being said, maybe you setup an "ambiance" and of course your sync settings.

you didn't install many apps so this is less of a problem for you but otherwise?

such a basic functionality as a RESTORE that actually works and puts you back where your last backup was made? not gonna happen, you are in for hours of setting up everything again.

it's a 2nd device, maybe for a completely different use (my situation) so you don't care.

what if... it falls down the staircase and is broken beyond repaid? wouldn't it be nice to have a backup you can depend upon?

with best regards,

misterc ( 2015-03-08 11:05:26 +0200 )edit

Well - 1-7 are agreeable - but 8-10 not really business ;) Private Business may be a term - but nevertheless we will both agree that private and business are different topics.

7 probably also is a matter of your bank ;) - and not a thing that Sailfish/Jolla can and should supply aint it?

kaktux ( 2015-03-15 17:12:13 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-03-30 11:09:48 +0200

mariner gravatar image

I think it is essential that Jolla implements as many business related features as possible Although I personally will not use them for business, they are mostly the sort of security/privacy, office, location, or time management features that I require to use for myself. Forget the games and the Youtubes, this should be Jolla's core business.

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answered 2015-03-01 00:28:04 +0200

bilgy_no1 gravatar image

I use my Jolla for my private number, and an Android phone for work. Based on these two use types, I'd be trekkracht to use the Jolla as my style device for work. The main reason is that the OS still needs to mature.

I've used the Jolla since its launch, and experienced some the shortcomings. I couldn't do everything I need to do with the phone. Many features are still quite basic, or depend on Android apps that are not fully supported (e.g. no notifications when the app is not opened). Something like navigation is poorly implemented, copy/paste doesn't work system wide, I've had several hang ups and reboots at inconvenient times, poorly rendered Web pages, etc. All this is getting better, and I fully understand that this is part of an early stage emerging system. But to use it as my single device for work would limit me.

The second reason is that the hardware is not really high end. Especially the screen is not great, but the phone could also benefit from a faster SOC. But there was also the boot loop issue, which made the phone very unreliable for a while (solved with battery replacement).

Don't get me wrong, I love Jolla and bought the phone as a First One. I also bought the tablet, and will most likely get the next phone as well. I admire the great progress that Jolla are making and will support them to make it a success. But so far, I've not yet seen the Jolla Stella as a viable work solution for my purposes.

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I agree in most parts - although i don't think the hardware needs to be more to get the mainly needed business functions to work agreeable.

The thread is just meant to exchange opinions/show meanings about general needed basic funtions to make it attractive and useable as a mobile you can use for your company.

kaktux ( 2015-03-01 21:16:00 +0200 )edit

@kaktux I think the hardware should be better, because some apps take a long time to load. The browser is also quite slow to render webpages, compared to a high end phone like the HTC One.

However, most of the niggles are about software and functions. I really would like to be able to pin the calendar app to the home screen, so I can always quickly check my schedule without having to open the app (and in the same place). Same with email. There are still many points of improvement.

But I do hope Jolla will get there, and I'll support them in their quest.

bilgy_no1 ( 2015-03-09 20:48:20 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-03-02 00:43:24 +0200

Nokia7710 gravatar image

The Jolla replaces an Iphone 4. Professionnally I have mainly to read pdf and to use an Office suite. After 7 months clearly the limitations of the current "Documents" become striking as to compare with the excellent Goodreader disponible on the iOS : No way to highlight or copy parts of the pdf No way to search a pdf amongst the hundreds downloaded.

On the other side, the lack of native Office suite become concerning, as the use of King Office WPS has some limitations.

I give me a few time, in order to see if the work on the tablet will provide a port of Calligra Gemini on Sailfish and thus to the phone.

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agreed - if Calligra is what i know from kde - adding some of the kde mobile programs may help improving a lot.

kaktux ( 2015-03-15 17:21:45 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-03-06 14:45:36 +0200

utkiek gravatar image

updated 2015-03-06 14:46:47 +0200

Use my Jolla since Jan 14. I use my Jolla mostly for business, therefore I have no "toys" like droid, whatsapp, twitter on my phone.My summary:

Available and useful for my business:

The native browser is not for me, I make my own from silicawebview. All other apps maybe nice. The phone works stable (uptime between updates), the sailfish gui is a real gem and the community is a big point. I can recommend the Jolla phone for business, especially when privacy is important for you. Missing: the phone can't make coffee.

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Mmh, privacy? I trust Jolla et al. but if I would lose the phone the data could potentially be read. While I don't think I have data which would be interesting/problematic, I still would like my phone to have hard disc encryption. It's just too easy to forget it somewhere.

chappi ( 2015-03-06 17:37:01 +0200 )edit

1-7 sound common. Flashlight, codereader, radio and Weather more like personal flavor ;)

kaktux ( 2015-03-15 17:20:38 +0200 )edit

@utkiek I'm working on the coffee part. That is why I am hunting for BLE-support at the moment.

VilleWitt ( 2015-03-31 11:18:53 +0200 )edit

@VilleWitt Thanx. Your coffee app will be great. Please keep me informed.

utkiek ( 2015-04-08 13:46:36 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-02-28 17:16:39 +0200

dmnk gravatar image

calenders can be deleted (when you delete the account). after the next restart the calender entries are gone.

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No, it's not behaving as you say with exchange.

Sthocs ( 2015-03-01 12:11:12 +0200 )edit

does not work for me either - the account is deleted but the calendar is still available.

kaktux ( 2015-03-01 21:13:08 +0200 )edit

@katux: are you using exchange too (as sthocs) or caldav?

dmnk ( 2015-03-02 09:48:12 +0200 )edit

caldav. Also deleting and restarting did not work. I added a owncloud account (calendar/caldav) for testing. Afterwards i added my "non-test" calendar - and deleted the test account later on. Both calendar - the one belonging to the new account and the one from the deleted are still available in calendar app. Maybe it is because of the names: when i first added the non-test calendar it had the same as the test-calendar (private). I changed the non-test (to personal) so i don't get confused - and deleted the test-account. Both remained in the calendar app anyway - even after restart.

kaktux ( 2015-03-15 17:17:16 +0200 )edit

answered 2015-03-30 22:26:14 +0200

ultraboy gravatar image

The Jolla could be a nice, secure business phone. Unfortunately, I cannot now use the mail client since my workplace switched to MS Office 365 with the requirement: "...grant administration the right to remotely manage the device in question. If necessary, administration can delete all the data in the device."

Because of this lack, I can't enable the e-mail account in the native e-mail client. Frustrating, as the Office 365 OWA is utter crap. Otherwise, it works fine - and I hope, even better when the TOHKBD -keyboard arrives; N900 levels of typing proficiency is what a e-mail heavy business phone requires IMHO.

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answered 2015-03-08 23:04:08 +0200

mousse04 gravatar image

One my side the main problem for me to use the Jolla as my professional mobile is to not be able to answer a meeting request. Moreover the email client is horrible. I hope an update will occur with Sailfish 2.0 Finally, the other problem is the keyboard. Very difficult ti type a long email on it ....

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I have an experience of WP8.1 keyboard where the cursor movement is almost impossible. After that experience the Jolla keyboard is marvellous.

I have to admit not even to have thought to test an android or an apple so my comment may be a little bit biased:)

Rikujolla ( 2015-03-09 22:41:48 +0200 )edit

have you thought about buying the keyboard-toh? As far as i know this is one feature that is quite unique in touchsceen-days.

kaktux ( 2015-03-15 17:25:49 +0200 )edit

The keyboard OH is hopefully good; having tried iPhones, Androids and Windows phones, I have to say the Jolla virtual keyboard is the worst of the lot (when trying to type fast), although it isn't completely bad of course. And, surprisingly, the WP 8.1 keyboard has actually been the most accurate for me.

ultraboy ( 2015-03-30 22:49:07 +0200 )edit

@Rikujolla: I both own a Iphone and a WP (with W10), both are better than Sailfish Keyboard ... @kaktux, @ultraboy: I found the Jolla thick, so imagine with the Keyboard OH :)

mousse04 ( 2015-03-30 23:18:02 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2015-02-28 16:58:02 +0200

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Last updated: Mar 30 '15