Much like the Apple-Microsoft dominance in the PC world, Linux is a key contender in the Android-iOS-ruled mobile phone category as well. The flavour of choice is Ubuntu Touch â€” Ubuntu in its mobile avatar â€” and while the OS has historically been introduced in lower-end devices, the newest addition is Meizu PRO 5, and it apparently packs quite a punch.
Meizu is a Chinese smartphone-manufacturer, possibly known best for its M3 Note, and the PRO 5 is its second Ubuntu phone. While the MX4 Ubuntu Edition featured a 5.3" screen and 2GB RAM powering a 1.7 GHz octa-core processor, the PRO 5 has the same processor as the one found in Samsung Galaxy S6.
The Samsung-built Exynos system-on-chip (SoC) has eight cores and has been clocked to 2.1 GHz. It also has a 21MP primary camera and a 5MP front-facing camera, besides 3GB RAM and 32 GB of internal memory, making it, as Canonical, Ubuntu's parent company, calls it, "the most powerful Ubuntu phone."
The 5.5" touch-screen display is now a full-HD AMOLED one and the camera has a laser-assisted AF system. The phone also reportedly accepts two nano SIM cards and supports voice-over LTE (VoLTE), which, in theory, is supposed to offer better battery life.
The 3,050mAh battery reportedly offers outstanding performance owing to Meizu using an AMOLED screen, low-power DDR4 (LPDDR4) RAM and the 14nm microarchitecture used to build the processor. Charging is done via a USB Type-C port.
The advantage behind the Ubuntu ecosystem is Convergence. Much like Continuum on Windows 10 phones, Convergence allows users to make their Ubuntu phone their primary device, whether for making calls or spreadsheets. All one needs to do is plug it in to an external display. However, as Slashgear notes, the lack of a physical video out might mean that Meizu PRO 5 might lose out on Convergence, but Ububtu, being open-source, might result in somebody figuring a way around the issue.
The phone is available online here and carries a price tag of $369.99.