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Canonical announces Ubuntu Edge smartphone, launches funding campaign

Posted: , by Maxwell R.

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Canonical announces Ubuntu Edge smartphone, launches funding campaign
Canonical, the central muscle behind the development of the Ubuntu operating system and the forthcoming mobile rendering of the OS, has launched an audacious crowd-sourcing campaign to launch what it describes as the Formula 1 of mobile technology.

The reference is based on the cutting edge automotive technology that is developed on the race track and eventually makes its way to the vehicles we ride in every day. Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical and front man evangelizing for Ubuntu, explains the need for a similar arena for mobile technology.

That means it is time to launch the Ubuntu Edge project. Its goal is to do for smartphones what racing does for cars, low-volume, high technology, funded by enthusiasts and professionals alike. What will the Ubuntu Edge bring to the table? More than just the hardware, Ubuntu OS is centered on a converged computing experience, not unlike what Microsoft is aiming for with Windows. However, Ubuntu is a vastly more open environment for developers.

What will the hardware be exactly? Well final specifications are not etched in stone, but expect a sapphire crystal for the screen. Pixel density will not be pursued at the expense of color quality or brightness, right now, it might be a 1280x720 display. It will definitely be 4.5-inches.

On the inside, the “fastest available” multi-core processor will be used, the Edge will have “at least” 4GB of RAM and a minimum of 128GB of storage. It is basically running an operating system design to deliver a converged experience, there needs to be room and horsepower under the hood. The battery will be a silicon-anode cell.

Other specifications are set to be an 8MP main camera with a 2MP unit on the front. Dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE and NFC will of course be present as well. The rest of the list is to be expected, GPS, compass, all the usual sensors, HD audio speakers, dual-microphone recording, noise cancellation and a 3.5mm headset jack. Dimensions will be 64mm x 9mm x 124mm.

The Edge will also feature a dual-LTE chip to allow use on any 4G network in the world. Because the Edge will be packing some power, it will be able to dual-boot Ubuntu phone OS and Android into a fully integrated Ubuntu desktop PC.

The total goal of the campaign is to raise $32 million, roughly $1 million per day. If they can pull it off, you will get your Ubuntu Edge next spring (May 2014). It is a lot to ask upfront, but Canonical is not some start-up looking to cash in, so those that are still waiting for your Pebble smart watch should take that into consideration.

What is your price of admission? Today only there are an introductory 5000 units available for $600, after that, they are $830. Shipping to the US and UK is included. If you must have a truly rare Edge, $10,000 will get you one of the first 50 numbered devices to roll out of the factory. You will also get a VIP invitation to join Mark Shuttleworth at the launch event.  If you are running a business and run Ubuntu in your enterprise, a $80,000 option gets you 100 handsets and a host of support elements for your CIO or IT department.

Are you going to get on the Ubuntu train? The user experience is looking really smooth, and it could be said a lot of things are still very “beta” in nature. It could be a sign of good things to come. Check out the photos and video below.

source: Ubuntu Edge (Indiegogo)

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posted on 22 Jul 2013, 12:04

1. apple4never (Posts: 1064; Member since: 08 May 2013)

so aside from the ram and 18gb storage its this years flagship youll get next year ? pass

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 12:04

2. apple4never (Posts: 1064; Member since: 08 May 2013)

sorry typo 128gb storage

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 12:14 1

5. Plesman (Posts: 11; Member since: 19 Feb 2013)

It looks like next years - or even 2015 - year device to me. Besides that it will never be as obscure as an Ouya for example. Up-to-date specifications at least, that is if you don't want XX Megapixel camera and 4k screen resolution on your phone.

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 12:25 7

7. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1635; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)

And we have another person thinking that specs are everything...idiot

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 13:22

15. apple4never (Posts: 1064; Member since: 08 May 2013)

i know specs arent everything idiot, however theres nothing really special execept for storage. and theyre gonna try and pull of 1million dollars a day. Cameras average in todays market, next thing you know all cameras are gonna be like the honami or 1020. not to mention that the phone looks a lot like a z10. I do like the os and ui but i dont see this as a practical end user phone. if you have a business thats all i see it for

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 14:27 3

19. Dr.Phil (Posts: 1642; Member since: 14 Feb 2011)

Well "fastest multi-core processor" assumes that it will be the fastest processor available by launch day. I think this might be the new Intel mobile processors that are rumored to launch around December of this year. It would also make sense considering it would be an x86 processor which would be able to run most desktop applications. The amount of RAM is also way more than you can expect from any device being offered this year. There have been rumors of seeing an Android device with 3GB of RAM but none of those rumors have been confirmed. The 128GB of storage is also way more than I think you will see in any upcoming devices this year.

You also forgot about the sapphire crystal display and the beautiful design (which seems to be lacking in the rumored upcoming devices).

All in all, I think this is going to be one beast of a phone. I doubt you will see anything come close to those specs until at least Q3 of 2014. At least in my opinion you won't.

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 19:55

22. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)

Quad core baytrails destroy A15.

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 12:07 5

3. LetsBeHonest (Posts: 1526; Member since: 04 Jun 2013)

It seems so cool and very nice OS especially with its unique user interface.
and 4GB ram?? 128GB storage?? Thats awesome......
I love to try one of these device...

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 12:14

4. JojoGo101 (Posts: 211; Member since: 17 Dec 2012)

This is unbelievable.

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 12:24 3

6. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1635; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)

I cant wait for this! Ubuntu is the best new OS!

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 12:32 3

8. Plesman (Posts: 11; Member since: 19 Feb 2013)

- Dual boot Ubuntu mobile OS and Android
- Fully integrated Ubuntu desktop PC when docked
- Fastest multi-core CPU, *** at least 4GB RAM, at least 128GB storage ***
- 4.5in *** at least 1,280 x 720 *** HD Sapphire crystal display
***extremely hard + Best panel with combination of resolution, color accuracy, dynamic range. ***
- 8mp low-light rear camera, 2mp front camera
*** no megapixel hype, big sensor ***
- Dual-LTE, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4, NFC
- GPS, accelerometer, gyro, proximity sensor, compass, barometer
- Stereo speakers with HD audio, dual-mic recording, Active Noise Cancellation
- MHL connector, 3.5mm jack
- Silicon-anode Li-Ion battery
*** extreme high energy density battery ***
- Crafted from single piece of metal.
*** unibody ***
- 64 x 9 x 124mm
This is how they explained the specs in the video.

At worst this is a unique Android phone. I'm pretty excited! I just ordered one, hope they'll make it. Good thing it is a fixed campaign so I get my money back if it turns out to be unsuccessful.

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 19:56 1

23. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)

Hopefully its not overpriced like the current flagships.

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 12:43 7

9. Doakie (Posts: 2227; Member since: 06 May 2009)

"introductory 5000 units available for $600, after that, they are $830" for $830 I'll definitely pass... At first I already doubted supporting a platform with no app ecosystem. But for $830 and next spring delivery. Big fail.

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 12:51 8

10. Plesman (Posts: 11; Member since: 19 Feb 2013)

I does run Android, and if you are quick it just costs $600...

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 13:52 4

17. kozza3 (Posts: 715; Member since: 17 Oct 2012)

i wish i had $600 laying around...

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 12:57 1

11. Rorschach (Posts: 83; Member since: 26 Apr 2013)

$600 upfront for a prototpye phone that hasn't hit production yet and will be expected next year? Seems like a good offer, but not worth the risk.. I'll pass.

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 13:11

12. Meleagru (Posts: 92; Member since: 03 Dec 2012)

By next year those specs will be severely outdated.

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 19:58 1

24. Shatter (Posts: 2036; Member since: 29 May 2013)

Nope, those specs are equal to phone you will see at the end of 2014.
4gb ram, most likely ddr3
Fastest multi core cpu = intel.

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 13:13 1

13. jellmoo (Posts: 2042; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)

I wish them luck, as it sound very interesting. But $32 million? That is one hell of a longshot. The biggest Kickstarter to date went just north of $10 million. Trying to more than triple that, using the pricing they are, is going to be very difficult.

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 13:22

14. poping (unregistered)


look to me it's a neat device... of course we need to check the real one...

except for the following (my opinion only):
1. top bezel needs to be equal to the bottom bezel
2. make the side bezels thinner
3. instead of the 45 deg chamfer at the top, make it 90 deg (no chamfer)

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 13:51

16. kozza3 (Posts: 715; Member since: 17 Oct 2012)

chamfer = comfort?

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 14:16

18. HTCOE (Posts: 635; Member since: 20 Nov 2011)

looks like the body would make out to be the microsoft surface phone

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 18:13 1

20. GeekMovement (unregistered)

Pretty exciting. Looking forward to it!

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 19:33

21. Techboi (Posts: 84; Member since: 20 Sep 2012)

This sounds very interesting.

posted on 22 Jul 2013, 20:38

25. aditya.k (Posts: 496; Member since: 10 Mar 2013)

Will there be any space for a battery lef? 1000mAh battery! :P

posted on 23 Jul 2013, 08:05

26. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 3718; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)

Wow dreams are coming true and with dual boot feature its truly awesome.

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