The special sauce behind Jolla, the Finnish phone and tablet developer, has always been in their OS. As an ex-Meego team they’ve taken what they’ve learned from Nokia’s abandoned operating system and popped it into their own hardware, becoming the comeback story Finland needed as Nokia struggled and was acquired by Microsoft.

Their phones and tablets didn’t end up an overnight international success, and this past spring Jolla announced a more open Sailfish OS 2.0 which promised “previously unseen software integration capabilities for partners” as they prepared to license out their OS.

Perhaps due to this flexibility with UX and UI features, Russia’s Yotaphone announced they’re moving away from Android and onto Jolla’s Sailfish OS, beating out Samsung’s Tizen platform.

According to Yahoo, it’s unclear if Sailfish will be going onto Yotaphone’s current model, the Yotaphone 2 which retails for €599 in Europe.

Coming together

As up and comers in the mobile phone space, we compared Jolla and Russia’s Yotaphone as competitors. On top of gaining press hype at roughly the same time, they had other things in common, namely they both tried to take advantage of the usually blank backside of your phone.

Jolla had their #secondhalf attempt to sell branded back covers that added media to your phone, while Yotaphone took a more high tech approach to put another battery efficient liquid cristal screen on the back side of your phone, to give another home for notifications or info.

The Yotaphone always impressed us for being different from the competition, and with Jolla’s Sailfish running on the device, it looks worth keeping an eye on.

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