The Ubuntu powered smartphones have been a long time coming, but the first one is finally ready for the European market. The Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition will be available next week for €170 through a series of online flash sales.
As the price already reveals, we won’t find the highest of specifications in this device, but it’s still interesting. The Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition has a 4.5-inch 960×540 display, a Mediatek SoC quad-core 1.3GHz Cortex A7 CPU, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of onboard NAND storage. It also has a microSD slot and two SIM card slots. The only thing that makes it stand out a bit extra is the 5-megapixel front-facing camera.
The downside as it is now, is that Ubuntu phones won’t become a desktop PC once a monitor has been docked as initially proposed. Instead, the new key feature is called Scopes and it originally debuted as Lenses in the desktop version. According to Canonical, Scopes is “a new UI paradigm” that essentially consists of a bunch of categorized home pages: one home page for news, one for music, etc.
It’s great to see some more competition in the mobile OS market as it will force everyone to put a little more thought and effort into their own version to stay ahead of the competition. People interested in the new Ubuntu phone should keep in mind that the app availability is limited as with any new OS, but the apps are based upon HTML5. This should make porting apps from other systems easy and the basics are covered upon release with apps such as Facebook and Twitter.
The first Ubuntu phone won’t be available through the usual retail channels, instead you’ll have to follow the Ubuntu account on Twitter and wait for a series of flash sales over the next few weeks.
Thanks to Arstechnica for providing us with this information