After years of speculations, Canonical has decided to bring Ubuntu for smartphones.
The latest Aquaris E4.5 smartphone is the first to be run by Ubuntu, marking the operating system's debut in the dominated mobile OS market. The handset is finally ready to cruise in the competitive mobile arena by commencing sales in Europe starting next week. Like the Android version of Aquaris E4.5, the Ubuntu version will be light on pocket, a much needed factor to set off early sales.
The Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition will be available on BQ.com and compete against Android smartphones in the low-and-mid range phones. The device has decent specs to catch consumers' eye. It is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek processor and sports 1GB RAM and 16GB storage. Aquaris E4.5 features a 4.5-inch Full HD display, 8-megapixel rear facing camera with BSI sensors and Largan lens. There's a dual flash to bring clear photos in dark and a 5MP front snapper for selfies.
In terms of specs, there isn't a massive difference but certainly a vast change for those who are accustomed to Android and iOS devices because Ubuntu on mobile features a refreshed interface, which according to the company puts all the necessary services on the home screen.
After viewing a walkthrough video of Ubuntu-powered phone, it appears the OS has several swipe gestures for various functions. For instance, swipe from left side of the screen to make a call and swiping from top shows recent calls and quick settings. Similarly, swiping from right side of the screen shows all open apps, which can also be used to switch apps at any screen. The company calls these card-based navigations as Scopes.
"Ubuntu presents users with an entirely different way to engage with their devices – Scopes guide you to content you want – in the same way you think about it – to deliver a smooth, engaging experience," Cristian Parrino, VP Mobile at Canonical, explained in a company's blog announcing the new phone. "For developers, Scopes are a much simpler and more valuable way to build mobile experiences than apps – significantly changing ecosystem dynamics."
Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition will be on sale for the first time in Europe for €169.90 ($195) and the company will adopt the much-trending flash sale method through BQ.com. The company will reveal more details on the availability through its online Twitter, Facebook and Google+ accounts. There are no immediate plans for the smartphone to be available in the U.S. or India. The smartphone will be on public debut during the upcoming MWC 2015 trade show, where majority smartphone makers are expected to announce new flagships.