We all love a new phone right? We all love fledging mobile OS’s right? We all love web apps right? If you said yes to all three then there is a phone coming out soon that’ll be right up your street. The Ubuntu edition of the BQ Aquarius E4.5. Yesterday Canonical the owners of Linux Distribution Ubuntu announced a new phone made by BQ and an updated mobile OS.
So for starters who are BQ? Well Ubuntu have us covered there.
BQ is a Spanish consumer electronics and software development company. It is one of the main European technology players, with a presence in more than 40 countries. It operates in the sector of multimedia devices, 3D printing and educational robotics and is one of the companies most committed to the DIY and open source philosophy.
And what on earth is Ubuntu for phones? Well it’s a Linux based mobile OS, that uses web based (HTML5) apps in much the same way that Firefox OS does. Just with some fancy animations and a cool clock widget. As to how it’s any different. Again they’ve got us covered here.
What makes Ubuntu for smartphones so different to other OSes?
We are filling some real market gaps with an innovative platform for a new category of ‘superphone’ as well as providing a much richer experience for entry level phones. Not only is Ubuntu backed by a strong app ecosystem, it brings great new capabilities including a superb user experience, strong OEM support, customization opportunities and an ability to support all hardware from the low end to the most highly specified smartphones.
Key points about the release are:
– First Ubuntu smartphones available in the coming days with BQ on the Aquaris E4.5
– Ubuntu’s Scopes introduce a new mobile experience for users, a smarter ecosystem dynamic for developers, and unprecedented differentiation opportunities for device manufacturers and mobile carriers
– Operators in Europe, including 3 Sweden, amena.com, giffgaff, and Portugal Telecom are all offering SIM bundles at purchase.
So onto this phone then, the Ubuntu Edition of the BQ Aquarius E4.5, spec wise is pretty basic.
- Screen: 4.5” qHD 540×960, 240 ppi, 5 points multi touch, IPS, Dragontrail display.
- Processor: CPU Quad Core Cortex A7 up to 1.3 GHz MediaTek.
- GPU: Mali 400 up to 500 MHz.
- Memory: Internal memory 8 GB (5.5 GB free).
- RAM: 1 GB.
- Battery: LiPo 2150 mAh.
- Connections: dual micro-SIM, micro-USB OTG slot, Jack 3,5 mm TRRS for earphones (CTIA), MicroSD slot (up to 32 GB).
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth® 4.0, GPS and A-GPS.
- 2G GSM (850/900/1800/1900).
- 3G HSPA+ (900/2100).
- Rear Camera: 8Mpx.
- Front Camera: 5Mpx.
- Sensors: Brightness sensor, proximity sensor, accelerometer, eCompass, gyroscope.
- Dimensions: 137 x 67 x 9 mm.
- Weight: 123 g.
Do you want to watch some videos about the phone and the OS? Here you go then.
Next week you should be able to buy the phone from the BQ website or through Giff Gaff.
Mike Fairman, CEO of giffgaff, the UK PAYG network says:
Ubuntu gives us another fresh new way to provide even more options for our valued and engaged users to choose from. We’re offering competitive SIM-only bundles to customers purchasing the Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition
BQ sell the Android version of the E4.5 for about €169 which I feel is a bit steep, especially for a device with a low resolution display and lack of 4G. Hopefully they’ll go cheaper with the Ubuntu Edition. Under £100 I’d certainly get one to try out the OS, over that I’ll just stick with my Moto G. How’s about you guys? Is Ubuntu for phones doing it for you?
9th February 2015, London and Madrid: The world’s first Ubuntu phone – the Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition – will be available across Europe from BQ.com through a series of Flash Sales over the coming weeks. The BQ Ubuntu smartphone, which puts content at the heart of the experience, is the perfect balance between price and specifications and will cost 169.90 Euros. The date, time and URL for the first Flash Sale will be announced through @Ubuntu and @bqreaders on Twitter as well as Ubuntu G+ and Ubuntu Facebook within the next week.
Jane Silber, CEO at Canonical comments; “The launch of the first Ubuntu smartphones is a significant milestone. The new experience we deliver for users, as well as the opportunities for differentiation for manufacturers and operators, are a compelling and much-needed change from what is available today. We’re excited that a rising star like BQ has recognised this opportunity and is helping us make it a reality.”
The Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition’s slim design and 4.5 inch screen are perfect to experience Ubuntu’s edge interactions and Scopes. Scopes are a reinvention of the mobile UI, presenting a new way to rapidly and visually access the most important digital life services – music, social, web, local services, photos etc – directly on the home screen. The richness and unfragmented experience delivered by Ubuntu Scopes are a world away from burying content and services inside multiple apps in an icon grid – reversing the industry’s hackneyed status quo.
“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,” says Cristian Parrino, VP Mobile at Canonical. “For developers, Scopes are a much simpler and more valuable way to build mobile experiences than apps – significantly changing ecosystem dynamics.”
As any kind of content can be presented via Scopes – they provide developers an easy path for their creations to be integral to the device experience. It is simple to create new Scopes via an easy to use UI toolkit with much lower development and maintenance costs than traditional apps. Canonical and BQ have worked with a host of partners to ensure that there is a wealth of interesting, relevant and dynamic content available at launch, with more content partners to follow.
Alberto Mendez, CEO at BQ comments; “Ubuntu is a totally different concept in mobile operating systems and we are proud of the fact that our customers will get to enjoy it before anyone else in the world. At BQ we support diversity in operating systems because it brings positive benefits for the technology sector and also for the user, who has the freedom to choose.”
The Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition is dual SIM and completely unlocked so consumers can use it with their current network. Operators such as 3 Sweden, amena.com in Spain, giffgaff in the UK and Portugal Telecom are offering SIM bundles at purchase for buyers in those regions.
The sleek, 8GB Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition comes in black. It features a five megapixel front camera and eight megapixel rear camera with autofocus and dual flash and full HD (1080p) for super-sharp video. The rear camera is also equipped with high-quality BSI sensors and a Largan lens. It features a MediaTek Quad Core Cortex A7 processor running at up to 1.3 GHz and 1GB RAM for a faster experience.
For more information please visit: www.ubuntu.com.