"Never settle for less than your dreams.
Somewhere, sometime, someday, somehow, you'll find them

- Danielle Steel, Bittersweet.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Gadget of the Week - Ubuntu Phone

On July 22, 2013, Canonical Limited announced a super smartphone, whose development and manufacture was to be crowdfunded on Indiegogo.
Ubuntu Edge was to have the most amazing features that few, if any phones, currently have. For instance, the phone would dual boot into Android and Ubuntu Touch operating systems. The battery was to be a silicon anode Li-Ion type. The 4.5 inch screen was to be made of Sapphire crystal display. It would have Dual LTE. and much more. Internal storage would be 128GB. An 11-pin connector would provide both MHL and USB on the go (OTG) connectivity.

With a $32 million goal, the campaign managed to raise only $12.8 million and the project was shelved.
Despite the demise of Ubuntu Edge, Canonical promised that the dream to have Ubuntu running on smartphones was still on, and would be realized someday soon.

Slightly over a year ago at the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2014), Canonical announced the Ubuntu Phone.
Thankfully, the phone is now available, manufactured by . Here is a promo video for Ubuntu phone:

Where it stands out

The first Ubuntu phone has been manufactured by BQ. The Aquaris E 4.5 has a 4.5 inch display and 8GB internal memory. Front camera is 5MP and the rear 8MP. RAM is 1GB and internal storage 8GB, of which 5.5GB is user available. This can be expanded through a MicroSD of up to 32GB. It is a dual SIM device, rocking a 1.3GHz quad core A7 Cortex MediaTek CPU. It has a 2150mAH Li-Po battery. Full specifications..

With Ubuntu, navigation and access to content is mostly through Scopes, not applications. Ubuntu Edge features are also incorporated, with swiping from the top revealing notifications and phone settings, swiping from the left the Launcher, swiping from the bottom Controls and swiping from the right revealing the running apps.

The phone comes in two editions. One that runs Ubuntu and another running Android 4.4 (above).

Expert Reviews and User Opinions

On Slashdot, the phone gets unimpressive reviews, thanks to its underwhelming hardware. Here is the full run-down. Some comments:
Sure, the hardware sucks, but honestly I think people here are more interested in how the software works. At least I am. - Nyder.

running a Big Boy's OS. You know, a device that gives its user a lot of freedom and power. A phone that could be connected to a keyboard and monitor to do the same or similar things my 6 year old desktop can do.
These specs are not a good match for that vision. I can live with the poor resolution, the mid-range camera and the relatively small screen size (though I'm definitely a fan of phablets). The slow CPU and limited amount of RAM are killers, though, and not in the good sense of the word. - blind biker.

At PhoneArena, the hardware specs of this phone are nothing spectacular.
I dont understand why they opted for that crappy old mediatek. they should have waited and gone with the newer mt6732, that thing is a beast. - TechNerd.

They should've continued with the Ubuntu Edge. I would've bought one at flagship prices easily and the pledge amount in the original campaign was lower than that. - Krjal.

Pricing and Availability

The listed price is 169.90 Euros, equivalent to $190.

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When Canonical first conceived Ubuntu Edge, it was out to make it. The super smartphone didn't make it, but the phone maker still held to the promise and dream of Ubuntu running on smartphones. Such a vision, being on a make it or make it mission, is what the following music video is all about it. This is the kind of thinking and purpose that results in a breath of fresh air, in life's breakthroughs. Enjoy!