Vlad Savov writes on The Verge about his experience with the Jolla phone.
All the effort of adapting to Jolla might be worth it if the device offered some unique advantage over others on the smartphone market, but it doesn’t. The only standout quality it has is the goodwill of old Nokia loyalists and those who like to support grassroots projects. Unfortunately, there just isn’t a very good smartphone here, and that’s what you need if you intend to compete with behemoths like Google, whose Nexus 5 is a startlingly good value at 70 euros less.
The Jolla’s strength is in having a lighter software stack — underpinned by the Qt framework, which provides the basis both for its native apps and its UI — than Android while still being compatible with Android apps. Alas, not being an actual Android device, it lacks access to the Google Play Store, so you’re left to fend for yourself with the limited Yandex and Jolla app stores and the downloadable Amazon Appstore. You can sideload app APKs if you wish, but that’d require that you understand what the process involves and where to find the requisite software. It’s rough going.
The product is still rough on the edges, but it has a passionate team working on it. There is potential for Jolla to become a good alternative to Apple and Android smartphones. But at the moment, most consumers would probably go for similarly priced phones that has better features. I can’t see people going for this phone unless they want to support the Jolla team.