Canonical, the company behind popular open-source desktop computer and server operating system Ubuntu, has tried to step into the smartphone market with its operating system a couple of times. But up until now, the company hasn’t succeeded in doing so. Its latest crowdfunding project to come up with an ambitious smartphone was up in tatters after it failed to reach its enormous $32 million budget. But the company is not giving up yet. As part of its deal with BQ, the first Ubuntu phone to actually see a consumer release is just a day away.
Made by BQ, the Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition is a variant of its already-existing Android phone of the same name. The phone goes on sale on February 9 in Europe and will cost 169.90 euro, about $194.
Specification wise, the phone packs a decent 4.5-inch QHD display with a MediaTek quad-core processor clocked at 1.3 GHz and 1 GB RAM under the hood. The phone also packs some decent cameras. It has an 8 MP camera on the back and a 5 MP camera on the front for selfie fans.
Where Canonical hopes that the first Ubuntu phone will truly shine is the new features called Scopes. In a smartphone world where apps are the deciding factors of a smartphone ecosystem, Ubuntu wants to break away and try something new. The company believes Scopes will be a game changer and completely revolutionize how people interact with and experience their smartphone.
With Scopes, Ubuntu will aggregate content from the local disk and the web in a simple, easy to use and easy to navigate interface. For example, Music Scope on homepage will give users easy access to music stored on their device as well as music content from third-party web services such as Grooveshark. Similarly, Video Scope will show content from YouTube and other video-sharing websites, Nearby Scope will show you news content, weather update, restaurant reviews and other useful information based on the user’s physical location.
Although the pricing and specification of Aquaris E4.5 has been announced, what remains to be seen is when the phone actually goes on sale. BQ and Canonical asked interested customers to keep an eye on BQ and Ubuntu’s social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook where the companies will announce the time of the phone’s availability. So Ubuntu fans who want to get their hands on this device may not be certain that they will be able to buy this as soon as the device hits the online stores.