Unable to use phone with one hand

REPRODUCIBILITY (% or how often): 100%
HARDWARE (XA2, X10, X10 II, …): All supported Xperia phones


In it’s current state, Sailfish doesn’t allow to use the phone using one hand.
It’s even a bigger problem since, new “frying pans” are only getting bigger.


Install SFOS on any supported device.


  1. Take your phone with SFOS
  2. get out of the home
  3. go to the shopping center
  4. buy some water and take it into one hand, move one
  5. during walking have water in one hand, then with the other try to turn on music player with one hand and pick up random play.
  6. Then try to open browser and search for the nearest bus station, try to find the closes bus arrival hour.
  7. reply to some sms.
  8. put phone into the pocket
  9. come to the shop, stop music player, drop out empty water bottle into trash, take out the basket into one hand and a phone into another, open a shopping list and move on to pick up stuff.

Try to do all above with just one hand!


All the above functions should be possible to do with just one hand holding and operating the phone


It’s not possible to do the above using one hand, the phone is to big and the system is not designed to be easy to use in one hand mode.


people doesn’t have big hands, and the possible range of the thumb is very very limited. Consider fixing this as phone is a mobile device. Peoples are using it during walking, shopping, jogging etc etc and they often need to use one hand to open doors, take out groceries etc while do stuff on the phone with the other one.

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Buy an xperia xz2 compact.


xz2 compact is not officially supported, besides it doesn’t have jack and if I remember it has drm locked camera. So nope not an option. Also this phone is old, there’s no new such small phone

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Hopefully Jolla’s developers are not bound to deal with “bug reports” like this because they have much more important issues to solve. Issues that actually can be solved, unlike this one.

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Then try iphone SE. Was my daily for long time. Now im on X10 which is only longer. Sailfish is pretty usable with one hand. Maybe its time to slowdown and be more careful instead multitasking? - atleast wont break phone accidentally and more… :slight_smile:

Well the fact that one person doesn’t see the way of fixing it, doesn’t mean there aren’t others who can.
This is bug like many others and it’s just a matter of priorities which one will be fixed.
I’d also prefer that Jolla would fix bugs that are much important like for example problems with turning of Xperia 10, or implement basic functionalities like blacklist for incoming calls which is in FR for 9 years already. But I have the same level of hopes that those bugs/fr will be fixed as with this bug.

iOs is a no go for me, they don’t even support sms delivery confirmation which is a must for me. Others are almost non existent compatibility with Linux OS, so I will be very limited in what I can do with the phone.

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While I agree there are many bugs and missing features in SFOS, being able to “open browser and search for the nearest bus station” one-handed is just wishful thinking. Why should anyone invest time and effort into this?

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No it’s not, it’s by design.

Even though I can agree with the issue, it’s not really a bug but a design issue indeed. This kind of design issue is not likely to be similar to a casual bug which you debug and fix on the next release as it might require reinventing some core contents of Sailfish UX. Taking into account Jolla’s business aims and the general development I wouldn’t hold my breath for this. I’m sure that Jolla is taking the larger device sizes into account, but however as I said UX and usability is not something you can just “do”.

However, meanwhile this issue could be split into concrete pieces rather than “can’t use with one-hand”. Even though I can surely understand the latter statement and imagine it on my mind, it’s still too ambiguous. Basically the question comes to how this issue should be fixed? Should there be one-handed mode where everything is scaled or should the same result be achieved with individual components like keyboard size etc? It comes to reflecting the using habits and what exactly is needed to make it better.

I would recommend discussing about the issue under the Design category. There are already some suggestions and basic discussions about usability & UX which are somehow related to this specific issue as well.

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Sadly its the best you can get for one hand use. The lack of headphone jack is not as big of a deal as people make it to be -even though i understand. BT even though it sucks is good enough for everyday use. AFAI understand sony stopped removing drm from the camera. But the camera is indeed an issue -nowhere close to sony quality- due to AOSP. Nothing the port can fix.
As for the phone being old i am quite sure Snap 845 is faster than the x10 ii and the faster phone being able to run SFOS currently.

Your next choise for one hand use is an iPhone mini.

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Be a bit gentle with @lolek. I think it is helpful to put that topic on the agenda once in a while, although choosing a different forum category would have reduced the number of complaints :wink:
One-handed use of SFOS is a discussed topic here and there in this forum. It pops up whenever there is a design discussion (excuse me for not giving links), mostly after updates were released. The thing is, that one-handed seems to be one design factor by the developers but not the most priorized, so it competes with others such as quick buttons, visual design, etc.
But as I recall there were one-hand-favoring changes in the recent past, like making the app grid draw more flexible. Way to go, but keep more specific ideas coming to increase the chance of integration.

Leaving HW aside a “project” to find all the long reach areas in SFOS and redesign them is not a bad idea at all but i doubt jolla will commit to and spend any time on it. :neutral_face:

The UI of SailfishOS was designed to be easier to use with one hand, for instance that’s one of the main aims of the pulley menu, but there’s probably always room for improvement. Some more specific info about exactly which interactions couldn’t be reached might prompt a few useful discussions, and improvements to one-handed use have been made quite recently:

Quick tip if you didn’t know - the app grid was given a ‘stickiness’ that you can use to launch apps that would otherwise end up at the top of the screen. Just swipe up from the bottom, but instead of releasing, hold your thumb in one place until the handle at the top changes colour. Then you can release and the app grid will stay there so you can reach those icons that would otherwise end up at the top.


The app grid stickiness only works on the first page of the app drawer, though.

In many cases, listing objects from the bottom to the top - exactly opposite to what we are used to - would improve single-handed usage. However, this would be contrary to our expectation and thus might cause other acceptance problems. However, I would prefer such upside down approach (make as much as possible everything controllable from the bottom part of the screen so there is no need to reach out for the top part. Many of the approaches Jolla took (like pull-in menues) could be adapted to such approach)

Yeah, it only works for the first page, but it’s still a useful addition that shows that one-handedness is still somewhat a goal. I’ve often wondered why app folders aren’t anchored at the bottom of the screen instead of the top - probably another hangover from the smaller Jolla1 where a fat header at the top brought everything down enough to single-handed use.

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You have a phone that is made by the brand that introduced “Bananaphone++” devices in 21:9 format and now you expect them to be useable with just one hand, while many other phones that have the “regular Bananaphone” format are not ?!

Good luck with that! :wink:

The only thing you could hope for is something similar to what Huawei once did with their Mate 8 and 9 series : “Small hands mode” or whatever it was called…

What they basically did was only use like 75% of the 6 inch 16:9 screen to display the OS and the rest of the screen was blacked out! :slight_smile:

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I didn’t realise until just now that the app grid lock also works in the app folder view, so you can drag folders down to your thumb’s reach.

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Oh, I just discovered a bug doing this!

I think this would be better implemented if it was speed dependent. Fast swipe open as usual, slow drag make it sticky.

And yes while this is a step towards better one hand use there are a lot other areas where better design is needed (browser camera etc). Because when they were designed in the first place the person who did the work seems to have never used SFOS ever.

At some point at least jolla should dedicate some time to fix all those problematic areas. Long reaches, “paper cuts” and inconsistencies that seem to have pilled up and keep piling up.