I’ve been running with an Sailfish 3.1 on the Xperia XA2 phone since my Fairphone 2, with UT (Ubuntu touch). My Fairphone had it’s problems as covered by previous posts. The Sailfish OS is actually pretty good, very polished compared to Ubuntu Phone, but is has it’s problems. Although I’ve managed to crack the screen on my Xperia, it’s otherwise functioning.
I’ve detailed this in previous posts on my website, but in short; I run an Nextcloud instance with services such as e-mail, pictures/files, maps, music etc. available via this cloud. I also have a Mastodon social media account at mastodon.cloud. This means that the bare minimum in app support from any OS that I need is a functioning web-browser and maybe a Mastodon client. Though I like to take pictures if I’m traveling to a camera app is also a definitive plus, though it only needs to be bare-bones as far as I’m concerned, since I still might edit it in Gimp anyhow. So at the end of the day the browser for me is critical.
The web browser
Oh my, this piece of junk is the bane of my existence. It’s prone to frequent crashes, has problems rendering my Nextcloud instance, such as my emails are are not accessible. Any web-page that has the slightest amount of adds lags and takes long to load.. I’m depended on the browser for my workflow and this is the best available on this platform. I’ve tried others I could find, such as Webcat(which isn’t as good as the default browser), but nothing even coming close to UT’s Morph browser. The situation is IMO so bad that Jolla should just abandon the software and figure out how to make Morph Sailfish compatible. This is at the point where I would much rather go back to the Fairphone 2 (if I still had it left) and deal with it’s problems rather than this admittedly polished and good Sailfish OS, though with it’s one Browser problem.
When it comes to other apps the situation is much much better, last I checked there even where an Tinder app. Generally the most common apps I use are a few pod-catchers and an email client for my main email. These because the browser doesn’t work. All apps that I’ve tested work as designed. The system generally feels very polished, and stable. You can see where the devs of Sailfish has put their efforts. Ubuntu Touch is the opposite, or at-least of the FP2, things could have changed since, but on the FP2 I had, it was less stable, but with an excellent browser, which worked for me well.
The alarm “Clock” app works better and without issue. I like the Gallery app, my favorite such app so far on a mobile os. The settings are well organized and not an settings hell. Unlike on the settings hell on Android, where the point IMO is more to hide some random settings so the user will not be able to disable everything. Tooter, the Mastodon app is really good and integrates well with the phones UI. Storeman which is the alternative app-store has a huge app library and I strongly recommend this app-store. I also personally use gPodder, which is good in the sense that I can easy export/import my podcast lists over from/to the desktop.
There however exists a Android compatibility layer that I never got working, so that that for what it’s worth.
My future plans
Well I’ve bought an Volla Phone with Ubuntu Touch pre-installed. I’m pretty exited to se the updated version of this OS since my Fairphone 2. I have been keeping up with UTs progress and many of the issues that I had in my previous post with this OS, seem to have been addressed. The phone also comes with a large battery. ETC. So I will hopefully be updating you once I get my hands on that device
It is up-to you to figure out whats best for you. I got comments on Mastodon from people commenting on my Ubuntu touch stuff that how’s this or that app on UT or I depend on this app. If you depend on specific apps, other than the browser, then I would say Sailfish is much better than Ubuntu Touch, it has more stable apps and also more app choice. However, Ubuntu touch has by far the better browser, though it also has some decent apps, though some apps are lacking. Though when it comes to UT, my information may be dated and the situation may have changed and I might bring a different view on this subject in the future.