Turing Phone drops Android for Sailfish OS… for some reason

by: Jimmy WestenbergFebruary 2, 2016
turing phone first look aa (2 of 23)

TRI’s Turing Phone has had our attention ever since last April, when the security-focused company promised to bring consumers a strong and secure smartphone in an incredibly sleek package. The phone was originally supposed to ship in December, but after a series of delays and refunds to early backers, the handset’s ship date ended up being pushed back until March 2016. Even though most of TRI’s promises with the Turing Phone sounded like a pipe dream, we remained hopeful.

But after hearing this news today, it’s a little difficult to keep hope alive. Why, you ask? Not only is the phone going to miss its Q1 2016 deadline, the “super-secure” device will also take a drastic turn with its software.

TRI just sent out a statement to backers explaining that the Turing Phone will be delivered sometime in April 2016. Now, this is hardly the worst news in this announcement, as the phone’s ship date is only being pushed back one month. The interesting part is when we start talking about software… TRI is ditching Android for Sailfish OS.

That’s right, the Turing Phone will no longer run Android. It’d be one thing if the company was offering two versions of the handset, one with Android for early backers and one with Sailfish OS for other consumers, but that’s not the case here. In the announcement letter to backers, TRI tries to lessen the blow by reassuring users that Sailfish OS is able to run Android apps. Which, it does, but that doesn’t matter.

turing phone first look aa (9 of 23)See also: Turing Phone first look: a focus on security, inside and out20

“Sailfish OS runs exceptionally fast on the Turing”, says TRI. “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.” This is supposed to make users okay with the fact that it’s no longer shipping with Android. TRI goes on to say that Sailfish OS is the world’s fastest operating system, and the Turing Phone, with its Snapdragon 801 processor, is the world’s fastest mobile device. Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up.

Here’s the letter TRI sent out to its backers:

Dear Turing Fans,

You will be pleased to know that we have ironed out the final development tasks before we deliver the Turing Phone to your hands. We fully expect the Turing Phone to be delivered in the month of April 2016.

Many of you have asked numerous times through our Facebook fan page as well as emailed us about our OS development. We can now confirm that TRI has chosen to drop Android and use Jolla’s Sailfish OS. Sailfish OS is now running perfectly on the Turing Phone and we have started the final OS software testing phase.

Sailfish OS runs exceptionally fast on the Turing. 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.

The Sailfish OS is an evolved continuation of the Linux MeeGo OS previously developed by an alliance of Nokia and Intel. MeeGo mobile software platform was created through the merging of Moblin and the Maemo OS originally developed by Nokia.

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.

TRI will also be hosting its first Turing Developers Conference (TDC) during Q2 2016.

We can’t wait to get the phones out to your hands. Thank you so much for your continued patience and support for the Turing Project.

Turing Phone Team | Turing Robotic Industries

I want to be clear on something – Sailfish OS is a cool operating system and has tons of potential. But the fact that TRI dropped Android in favor of Sailfish OS for no viable reason is beyond a bad decision, for both marketing and PR purposes.

Again, if you aren’t planning on canceling your pre-order for some reason, TRI says the device will ship out by April 2016. What are your thoughts? Is this whole bait-and-switch business an okay move for the company, or is it just as farfetched as I’m imagining? Let us know what you think in the comments.

  • b16a2smith

    810, soon 820 are on the way in and they are still on pretty dated hardware. Then they drop an OS with a saturated app ecosystem for an OS with nearly nothing in comparison? WTF, feelsbad for the backers.

    • evolucion8

      The Snapdragon 801 still a very capable SOC able to run most demanding software with no issues.

      • JosephHindy

        Unless it’s 64-bit :P (soon)

        • evolucion8

          Google had commited to release updates for both, 32 and 64, still looks kinda dated to release a 2016 phone with a 2013 SOC

          • Marc Perrusquia

            It’s a 2014 soc.

          • evolucion8

            Nope, do your homework before correcting people with misinformation

            LG G2 has the Snapdragon 800 which is a phone released on 2013.

            And the Snapdragon 801 is just a slightly overclocked 800 :-)

          • Marc Perrusquia

            Are you retarded? We were talking about the Turing phone which has an 801. I responded to your comment saying it’s a 2016 phone with a 2013 soc. Those are your exact words. I’m well aware of the G2’s 800, I have the specs of nearly every phone released since 2012 memorized. How about you read your own comments before talking shit.

          • evolucion8

            You said that it was a 2014 SOC when in reality is a blatant lie idiot, as I was talking about the 800 in general in which architecture debuted on 2013, learn to read imbecile.

          • Marc Perrusquia

            Here’s a screenshot of your comment dumbass. We’re talking about the 801 in the Turing phone. It doesn’t matter that it’s technically based off the 800, it still came out in 2014, making it a 2014 soc. You claimed it was a 2013 soc, in your original comment, and in my original response I corrected you. You are clearly the one who can’t read. The exynos 7420 is based off the 5433, that doesn’t make it a 2014 soc, it’s a 2015 soc. Just because you proclaim something doesn’t make it true, there are these inconvenient things called facts, which you clearly lack. This will be my last response to you, boy.

          • evolucion8

            If you were illiterate enough you would understand my point as I am talking about the architecture, not a refresh, according to your retarded logic, the Radeon R9 M290X released on the 2014 should be better and faster than the HD 7970M that was released on 2012 cause its two years newer, when in reality both chips are identical and the difference are just on a minimum clockspeed, brainless sheep believing that rebadging and launching the same product a year later magically makes it better LMAO

          • JosephHindy

            i’m talking about 64-bit apps, because you know those are coming soon. Can’t “backwards compatible” 64-bit apps into 32 bit unless you redo the whole app.

          • evolucion8

            32-Bit is not disappearing anytime soon.

          • JosephHindy

            That doesn’t make my point invalid :)

          • evolucion8

            And neither your point against mine ;-)

          • JosephHindy

            No, mine kinda still stands. Look at the PC market, who developers 32-bit apps anymore? I’m pretty sure Adobe dropped support entirely and it’s getting tougher to even find 32-bit OS support. There are some apps, sure, like Steam, but 32-bit is starting to get less frequent to find pretty much everywhere.

          • evolucion8

            You can’t compare PCs vs phone market, they are totally different beasts

            Marshmallow = 1

            Lollipop = 25.6

            KitKat = 37.8

            JellyBean = 29

            Ice Cream sandwich = 3.3

            Gingerbread and Froyo = 2.4

            Windows does not work the same way as Android, developers build their apps and ART will compile the app into bytecode so the CPU can understand it, nothing regarding optimizations or that kind of senseless stuff.

      • Formhault

        Yeah. It’s very capable. But a device with it was the world’s fastest mobile device… 18+ months ago!

        • evolucion8


      • Allyn K C

        An 801 can be a very capable SOC if it’s priced appropriately for today’s market. The pre-order was pricing Turing phones at $610+ … for a phone running an 801 that now will supposedly ship in 2016, that is horridly over-priced. You could pick-up a Samsung Galaxy S5 or an LG G3 today (both also running an 801) for less than half the Turing’s pre-order price.

        • evolucion8

          Indeed! Heck, I paid $260 for a open box Nexus 6 with a Snapdragon 805 like a month ago…

          • Formhault

            Yeah, ffffffff, it’s so cheap in the US :(

          • evolucion8

            Yeah, I noticed that the prices outside of USA are ridiculous…

          • Michael Lantz

            Hey evo your right on target with your comments. Just wanted to see if you could tell me where u got that nexus 6 deal. I have a one plus 2 but want a nexus 6 to root and try some customizations I’m working on ty ahead of time for the info. I was really looking forward to the Turing dark wyvern no it just looks overpriced and outdated.

          • evolucion8

            I bought mine on Amazon on a special deal, you can also find those brand new or open box on Amazon and Ebay as well. I am in love with that phone lol

      • Karly Johnston

        Devs have stopped optimizing for 32 bit SoCs so it isn’t going to age well.

        • evolucion8

          They still releasing 32-Bits app and since Android runs on bytecode, that does not really matter.

      • Andrew White

        Hoping the 801 running Sailfish OS is fully optimized.
        After all Android is based on Linux, but I’d imagine the makers of this rather hot looking device wanted to modify the source code to allow you and I greater control over security.
        It’s primary reason for being.
        Like to see a decent camera with much manual control also.
        Pricey…hmm yes, but for something rather unique. Maybe not.

        • evolucion8

          I hope it takes off, we need competition and Android had become the Windows Me of the mobile OSes.

  • Thank god I never backed them.

  • Cyberstriker

    O power ranger smartphones.

  • Boet

    It’s the app ecosystem that makes or breaks it. This is why Windows mobile and BlackBerry are dead in the water. How is this any different with Sailfish?

    • John Doe

      BB Priv is Android, and BB has just announced that there are more Android phones on the way ..
      And most BB10 phones can run ported Android apps just fine ..

      • Formhault

        BB10 phones can run ported Android apps. Less than 5% are ported.

        • John Doe

          Not true since BlackBerry released 10.2.1

          Native android. Apk files can be installed easily, and run very well. I’ve played many games and used android chat apps, including HipChat and KiK. All android, and not ports or repackaged.

          • Formhault

            Oh… Okay then. So the Blackberry Z10, Z30 and so on can run Android apks as well as Android you name it version? :

      • Boet

        Which begs the question: Why not just have stock Android or even a skinned version for proper integration into the Google system? Running ported or sideloaded Android apps is very different to running them natively with all the advantages of having all of the apps properly integrated into the OS and interacting with each other. If their next generation of phones are indeed running proper Android, then that’s a different story, but it might be too little too.

        • John Doe

          Android on BB iswas stock, BUT as you know BB has a reputation for their secure phones, so they had to bake in their security changes to allow for the phone to be a worthy BB device (as per John Chen). It would be nice if Android came with better security features baked into the OS so businesses like BB did not have to add so many changes, but that is the way it is ..
          With the upcoming MM update, I am hoping that BB adds some better optionsapps and fixes little issues. I am also looking forward to see what other phone types they have lined up for later this year..

  • Justice Anthony

    I had hope in Turing for once

  • Formhault

    Snapdragon 801, 805, 810, now 820… That’s like saying an Intel Core i3 is the fastest out there.

    • LastKings31

      They’re talking about the software being the fastest not the chip

      • Formhault

        They’re saying that SoC + that software = world’s fastest device… Compared to what?!

        • DanG

          a snail crossing an 1 lane street

          • Formhault

            Hahaha exactly. I’m not saying the Snapdragon 801 is shit, no. But you can’t say it’s the fastest around, especially when 3 more versions above it were released…

  • Mike Bastable

    hahahahahahahahahahahahaha, sorry. But: it is funny

  • Bobby Phoenix

    “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.” So it can run Android apps no problem?

  • Pez Smith

    flip-flopping between OSes to delay the release of the hardware. Rinse & repeat!

  • TessellatedGuy

    Don’t hate on turing for it’s OS, hate it for the developers who promised android. Sailfish OS is surprisingly good from what I read.

  • Hassan Ali Syed

    Turing is soo f**ked !