My new journey: Ahoy SailfishOS

Hello gents,

As I declared in a thread a few days before, went out and bought a used Xperia XA2 and flashed Sailfish OS on it.

What made me doing it:
Constant snooping from Big Tech, Android no longer true to the user and the desire of trying something new. And I always strive to have a personal, hands on experience on something before giving an opinion.

Flashing process: wasn’t that hard, followed the official Jolla tutorial, and I had a brand new device starting afresh. If anyone is interested, I can give more details, just ask.

UI and usage: there is a slight learning curve, but at the first boot, user is presented with a small tutorial. Muscle memory and years of Android can be a hindrance.
Remember when you first booted to a Linux desktop?
Well, that was the feeling, and it was awesome again. Something new, fresh and different.

Apps: there are basic Jolla apps, you can get full Android and Exchange support by paying the license -49€.
Yes, pay as in developers need to eat too, and that’s a small trade off instead of being data harvested all the time.
So daily driver phone, with bear necessities and a touch of digital minimalism.

Battery life: outstanding from my point if view.
No GPS tracking, no WiFi scanning.

I will use it for a month or more and I’ll give a review or feedback.
It’s been 3 days since I’ve started using it, I am pleased and excited to have something different.

Cheers!

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friend of mine also using it. but is like windows, when you used to android its a leap basicly…

my friend tells me , android compatibility works is not like it orginal also…

Let’s see. We are using Linux and some want to have the same look and feel as Windows on Linux.
For me, after time passed as Linux user I see it a bit off.
Each OS has it’s unique look and feel plus functionality.
Yes, Sailfish OS has some rough edges, no point on hiding beneath the finger.
Android apps are running, but not perfectly, yet it’s this tradeoff who make people jump ship.

As in Linux, if one finds the applications needed for one’s personal computing, the OS is rather trivial.

I’ll expose myself to Sailfish OS to really see what is all about it. After all it is a real Linux smartphone OS. And for me, having the same feeling as when I discovered Linux, that’s something I badly needed.

not necesary bad :slight_smile: he is atleast happy about… :slight_smile:

My current cell phone I purchased because I know that as it ages it will be a likely candidate for something like sailfish or lineage OS. I have a OnePlus 6t, which looks like it isn’t yet supported by sailfish. 6 looks good to go, but not 6t yet.

I couldn’t do it quite yet, just because I need my phone for work. Like how I learned Linux, I was going to keep this phone as my learning phone while I kept using the next one for a while.

Disappointing, the one and only thing I absolutely must have working is something for my Microsoft outlook email - my work email.

And I hate to say this, but probably Android auto. It connects my car/maps/music. I just started looking into options for my car to replace my radio/screen with maybe a raspberry pi and screen and somehow using my phone for music/navigation still so I’m not tethered to Android auto. I guess enabling navigation AND anonymity is kind of like an oxymoron, but in the Southland of California, there’s so much traffic and roadway it’s not like where I grew up and only a few roads. Nav, and with traffic ideally is almost a necessity here for me.

Anyway, congrats! I hope to be there soon too!

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I have still my Android phone with me. It will a transition while I learn what I need and tweak the OS to my linking.
Also, on the Android front I try to depend as little as it’s possible on Google ecosystem. Very soon, my Android phone will become a LineageOS with no Google.
There are gradual steps and tradeoffs. It’s a journey, I want to enjoy learning something new, bariers and annoyances are merely bumps on the road.
Showed the phone to one friend, he went nuts. He didn’t know that it is even possible to make calls outside the duopoly.
This year will keep the process of degoogling myself going. Will see where this will get me and where I will end up.

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I’m very closely following this thread as my XA2 has also arrived.
I’m impressed with its build quality, although I wished it was a little bit less thicc :slight_smile:

Are you testing the free or the paid version of the OS?

Are you able to use whatsapp, telegram, skype?

Do you know if the compatibility layer with Android relies on Gapps?

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Hello there, @nate
I am using the paid version, I went full steam ahead and once I have synchronized my account with the phone, some updates were delivered trough the Jolla store.
I have installed F-Droid and Aurora, and I can run Android apps.
Only tried Telegram from your list, although Jolla has its own client.

I add more screenshots to clarify some things visually
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Hope that you found your answers, this much I can provide for the time being. There were some hiccups when I updated to the latest OS version, but all in all I got predictive keyboard, Android apps support and Exchange support , also Fortinet VPN app.
It’s a journey, I am trying something new. This phone is something to learn oneself de-googling and privacy awareness.

This thread needed a upgrade, some months passed and I wanted to share my journey highlights. When I started my journey, I installed the Sailfish 4.0.1.48 (Koli) on the Xperia XA2, followed by
Kvarken 4.1.0 who brought full Sailfish 64-bit support to Sony Xperia 10 II, to which I upgraded. Today my Xperia 10 U II runs SFOS 4.3.0.12, which is miles ahead of what I started to use back in May 2021.
Ill try to keep it short, but without skipping anything.

First and foremost, I want to say that the biggest obstacle in my journey was what I learned (muscle memory) from Android and the way it handles screen, apps and interactions.
Swiping and pressing on things are a bit different, SailfishOS is a OS with one thing in mind: user can use the phone with one hand, no matter how big the phone is or how small the hand. This feature works, well most of the time.
Screen edges, glass protector or the very phone case are standing in the way of your fingers swiping across the screen to move trough the windows, or sub menus.
Because everything is gesture based, here explained

https://sailfishos.org/design/gestures/

Now, into the meat and potatoes:

Store: Jolla Store offers a lot of apps, also there are another ways of getting .rpm packages installed into your Linux phone, via Storeman, or simply the old fashioned way of the CLI. Whatever you want, you can do.

Apps: When you aquire the Jolla Licensing for Android support, you can install on your phone Android apps/apk. F-Droid, Aurora Store are available and apps are installed, but isolated in containers. Aurora Store spoofs the Google Firebase signatures, your Jolla Phone is seen as a Xperia device running base AOSP. But you can tweak the spoofing at your linking, but even with some hacking, some apps will refuse to work.
Native apps are there, basic apps for normal use. But for some they may be lacking.
My biggest gripe with SailfishOS was the GPS and something like the Maps app, who can offer guidance on real time map. Sadly, the issue was my Xperia XA2, after upgrading to Xperia 10 II HereMaps works a treat.
Instant messaging is there, the are native apps for Signal and Telegram, but I choose to use the native apps downloaded and installed from the website.

System and performance: Responsive, no delays, animations are smooth, apps are opening quick and closing is a breeeze. I had the phone froze two times, but it was me trying some weird stuff on the phone. Not system’s fault.

UI and overall looks: This can be subjective, but I find the UI very stylish, elegant but minimalist in the same time. It grew on me, I like it.

Battery: 2 days or even 3. Heavy use a full day, no problems. Not even believing it myself, but not having the constant chit-chat of your phone calling Google can render a better battery lasting time.

Connections: Some issues with Bluetooth, Wifi Hotspot worked, NFC and everything else.Headphone with controls worked as intended, was pleasantly surprised.

Camera: default app is somehow poor, allows taking basic photos. Installed Open-camera app from Aurora store and works a treat. I have the original Gcam from my Pixel4a .apk file extracted, and I am still trying to make it work inside the SailfishOS. That would be just perfect.

Fingerprint: perfect, no delays.

Calls: clear sound, the native calling client has a record the call feature built in, which I find very neat. Sometimes the wait on call or responding to an incoming call while you are already on a call doesn’t work as intended, but seldom I was in that situation. But I did test the feature, just to know how and if it works.

Attached some screenshots to have a peek of how it looks. My journey continues. Did I made the SailfishOS my daily driver? Yes and no. Some things work, but lacking some apps, hinders my experience. But I welcomed the change and necessity is the best teacher, after all.
This journey opened the door for another: De-*googling myself. Bought a Pixel4a and flashed CalyxOs on it. But this is another story all together.
Thanks for your patience and time, and ask away, I’ll gladly answer if I can.
Cheers!

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Hi, thanks for taking the time to share all this. What about banking apps? Is there a way to install them? Not having those would be my only real obstacle in adopting such an OS.

Also do the following work: Telegram (I see you have Signal Telegram, what’s that?), Whatsapp, Skype, Firefox?

I would be interested to hear your experience on the de-google-ing endeavour if you’d like to share it on a new thread.

I assume this is a folder/group just named “Signal Telegram”, containing both apps (hence the 2). Internet folder left to it probably contains 3 apps. :wink:

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That’s correct. In the Telegram/Signal folder there’s those two apps.
In the internet folder, 3 browsers.

@nate Following your question I did install a few apps from F-Droid and Aurora.
Here are some screenshots, to see that the apps installed without any issues.
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I’m not familiar with those stores. can you install any existing app from the google play store through this method?

Aurora store is a wrapper, to say so, around Google Play and the apps are downloaded and installed from there, but without giving Google the user, account and phone ID and info.

I know, it sounds a bit strange and one wants to know that every step taken is the right one and in the right direction.
Nobody ever said everything will be easy or done with the usual steps or apps. There is a tradeoff, and will always be.

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