The BQ Aquaris E4.5 is the world's first Ubuntu phone, will cost €170 and feature mid-range specs
The world's first Ubuntu phone will be made commercially available in Europe on Feburary 9th for €170 through a web store that will be announced on the @Ubuntu and @bqreaders Twitter handles within the next week. We'll be looking at a flash sale, with more scheduled to take place thereafter. The phone will also be made available through various telecoms, including 3 Sweden, UK's giffgaff, and Portugal Telecom, all of which will be offering SIM bundles at purchase.
As mentioned, the first Ubuntu phone is nothing more than a mid-ranger. It will feature a 4.5-inch display with an unimpressive resolution of 540 x 960 pixels, an unspecified MediaTek quad-core processor clocked at 1.3GHz (MT6582?), 1GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel rear camera, and a generous, 5-megapixel selfie shooter.
As for the software, it is primarily gesture-based, and in some ways reminds of Jolla's Sailfish. Still, in many ways, it's quite similar to competing platforms in that it features a dedicated notification bar with quick toggles on top, an app drawer (or a sidebar), and a multitasking menu. The OS' main differentiating point is its hard-coded ability to provide you with relevant contextual information, including reviews of nearby places, news, and the like.
BQ isn't the only partnership Canonical struck, and Chinese Meizu is also expected to release a phone based on the British company's software. The initial plan was to release an Ubuntu edition of the Meizu MX3, but with the MX4 and MX4 Pro already on the market, the timeline could have changed.