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The Turing Phone will ship with Sailfish OS, not Android

Security through obscurity, perhaps.


The Turing Phone promises to be the sturdiest, most secure smartphone around, and now it boasts one more unique feature: Jolla's Sailfish operating system. The Turing Phone will not use Android as promised, Turing Robotic Industries revealed in an email to "fans." The message isn't addressed to "owners" because the Turing Phone hasn't hit the market yet; it was supposed to ship in December, complete with Android, but it was delayed into 2016 at the last moment.

Turing Phone pre-orders went live in September, when the device was still advertised as an Android product. The Sailfish-equipped Turing Phone is now set to ship in April, as noted by Android Police. Plus, TRI plans to host a Turing Developers Conference in Q2 2016, though the company hasn't offered details on that event.

"Sailfish OS runs exceptionally fast on the Turing," the company's email reads. "You will not have to worry about performance issues with Turing's Snapdragon 801 because Sailfish OS has been optimized to run fast on your Turing Phone. The Turing Phone will still be able to run Android Apps on the Sailfish OS without issue. An Android application store will be available for you to download your favorite apps."

Sailfish is the Linux-based mobile OS favored by the now-defunct Jolla Tablet. Jolla is still working on Sailfish OS alongside its user community, but last time we checked it out, we discovered it wasn't exactly on par with Android. The core apps on the Jolla Tablet were largely elegant and useful, but there was a serious lack of third-party support. Plus, Sailfish presented a few jarring glitches.

"There's no question that Sailfish is still a young platform, with some buggy behavior to match," our review reads. "The web browser is very quick, but it will make the occasional rendering mistake you rarely see elsewhere. ...The catalog of Sailfish-native apps is pretty threadbare, and there are some very conspicuous gaps."

The Turing Phone starts at $610 and runs on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 801, a chipset that hit the market in 2014. Compared with its fancy liquidmorphium frame, the Turing's guts are "pretty pedestrian," as we noted in July.

Or, as TRI says in today's email, "This essentially means you have one of the world's fastest mobile device running the fastest mobile OS with the capability of running your favorite apps in a secure environment." That's one way to put it.

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