The Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition, an Ubuntu mobile device based on a Linux distro, branched from Debian, is bringing a open-source mobile unit with the launch of its first smartphone.
Christened as ‘Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition’ and will be hitting the European market next week (sorry not in the USA) as the for €169.90, and is manufactured by Spain-based BQ.
The Aquaris E4.5 has a 4.5-inch (540 x 960) qHD display, (Quad High Definition) that is a resolution standard for high-end monitors, televisions and mobile devices.
The device features a 5 megapixel front camera, and a 8 megapixel rear camera which is also equipped with high-quality BSI sensors and a Largan lens.
It features a MediaTek Quad Core Cortex A7 processor which runs at up to 1.3 GHz with 1GB RAM. While there’s no LTE (Long-Term Evolution) option, and the onboard storage is limited to 8GB the Aquaris allows for memory storage expansion via a microSD card and also has two micro-SIM slots.
The Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition is aimed at the budget-conscious phone buyer, the Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition phone, of course, faces stiff competition from less expensive mobile alternatives from the excellent Moto E on the Android platform as well as Microsoft’s latest Lumia devices running on the Windows platform.
Canonical, believes it has a unique proposition to offer consumers with its concept of Scopes, a reinvention of the mobile UI which present a new way to rapidly and visually access services directly on the home screen instead of burying content within multiple apps in an icon grid. By foregoing the conventional app-based interaction model in favor of
“a new UI paradigm, designed to deliver content and services directly to categorized home screens, giving users a rich, un-fragmented experience.”
Allowing content aggregation by serving web videos from YouTube and Vimeo as well as one’s own recorded media on the same screen.
Before this, there was a crowd funding campaign for the ‘Ubuntu Edge’ where Canonical wanted to push the high-end smartphone as a powerful Linux phone that once docked with a monitor, mouse, and keyboard – it could turn into a powerful desktop PC, but the $32 million fell short of expectations.
Now both Cristian Parrino, VP of Mobile at Canonical, and Rodrigo del Prado, Deputy Director General of BQ, are putting their heads together in a new strategy to make a play at the difficult and fickle mobile market. Now with the initial release in the European market they are focusing on “convergence” across its desktop and mobile versions to work seamlessly across hardware form factors and allow for developers to reach multiple hardware platforms with minimal changes to their code base.
For better or for worse there will be no initial retail availability of the Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition. It will be on sale with sporadic flash sales over the coming weeks, recruiting early adopters (beta testers?) in its aim to build up the Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition into a viable mobile platform. A risky play with the competition but we shall see how it plays out.