/ Tech

Sailfish X - Sony Xperia X

This post describes my experience with Sailfish X on a Sony Xperia X Single SIM (F5121) and will be updated as I gain more experience.

What is Sailfish X? It simply is Sailfish OS adapted to run on the Xperia X with commercial support by Jolla (incl. the commercial add-ons like Alien Dalvik to run Android Apps).

My Jolla C has a nasty hardware issue (touchscreen has an area on which touch doesnt work) so I decided to go for new hardware.

Buying

As I already own the Jolla C I got a discount code from Jolla and bought Sailfish X from their online shop. The Xperia X could be bought f.e. from Digitec but I decided to buy a cheaper refurbished one at verkaufen.ch (they are also present at ricardo.ch). The device I got is in a good condition and I got it the day after I ordered it.

Installing

Installing Sailfish X was very easy, I just followed the instructions on the official guide. I'm using Arch Linux, so I had to install android-sdk-platform-tools from AUR to get the fastboot tool.

My device was delivered with an old version of Android 6, so I had to install more than 6 Android updates (OTA, completely automatic) which took quite some time (more than an hour). At the end it had Android 7.1.1 installed which I then replaced with Sailfish X.

On the first bootup the tutorial starts automatically. As I already know how to use Sailfish OS, I skipped the tutorial by tapping on the screen corners in this order: top left, top right, bottom right, bottom left.

Migration

For migrating the data from Jolla C to the Xperia X I've used the SD card:

  1. Make backup of Sailfish data in Settings. Make sure your media files are already on the SD card as backup can fail if it is too big.
  2. Make backup of some important Android apps (WhatsApp, Android) using the app-integrated backup mechanisms.
  3. Rsync (with developer mode on and SSH) data from /home/nemo/{Pictures,Downloads,Documents,Videos,android_storage} to SD card mounted under /media/sdcard/<id>/.

After this preparation I inserted the SD card in the Xperia X and restored all data with the provided mechanisms. That worked great!

Mods / Tools

  • I ordered a case from Lastu to give Xperia X a great Sailfish look.
  • On my other Jollas I installed Play Store to get access to WhatsApp and the like. On my new device I try to use YalpStore which is an "alternative Play Store" (downloads APKs from Play Store). Jolla promotes Aptoide, but I'm not sure how much I trust this "Shop" model (who knows if the APKs have been modified).
  • Changed the alarm snooze time to 10 minutes: timedclient-qt5 --set-snooze 600.
  • Enabled the Low Power Mode (LPM):
devel-su
<Your Password>
pkcon update
pkcon install mce-tools
mcetool --set-low-power-mode=enabled

Issues

Some issues I discovered while using Sailfish X:

  • Double tab to wake up the screen doesn't work. There are some workarounds discussed on Together. I might try one later.
  • Xperia X needs a Nano SIM whereas the Jolla C a Micro SIM. It took me 3 minutes in the Salt shop to get a Nano SIM, for free.
  • After inserting the new SIM card no mobile carrier was found. I could "fix" it by enabling flight mode and disabling it again. This seems to be a known issue on Together: 1, 2.
  • WhatsApp did not show any contacts, fixed with hint found at Together