Jolla’s first Sailfish smartphone coming this year for about $500

Jolla Mobile has unveiled the first smartphone designed to run the company’s open source Sailfish operating system. It’s expected to ship in some European markets by the end of the year for €399, which is about $513 US.

Jolla Other Half

Sailfish is a Linux-based operating system that picks up where MeeGo left off… or rather where Nokia left off when the company abandoned MeeGo and jumped on the Windows Phone bandwagon. In fact, Jolla is a company founded by former Nokia employees.

The phone features a 4.5 inch HD screen, a dual-core processor, 16GB of storage, an 8MP camera, and support for 4G LTE wireless networks. It also has a user -replaceable battery and a microSD card slot, unlike some recent high-end smartphones.

You can also customize the case with back panels that come in a variety of colors.

Oh yeah, and the phone seems to be called the “Other Half” for some reason.

While Sailfish has a unique user interface and supports native apps written for the Linux-based OS, out of the box it will also have support for Android apps.

Since this isn’t officially an Android device, it’s not clear that you’ll be able to use the Google Play Store to easily find and download software, but it sounds like you should be able to sideload Android apps more easily on a Sailfish OS device than you can on a phone running BlackBerry 10 software (which also has an Android App Player, but which requires Android apps to be distributed through the BlackBerry World store).

While the Other Half phone won’t be available for a while, customers in Europe who pre-order one by June 2014 will be able to get a voucher for 100 Euros.