When coders hear the word ‘Ubuntu’, they get excited. Not only coders but also many people who have had experience of using this beautiful OS give the same response. You know Ubuntu as an OS for PC’s but for your surprise the Ubuntu dev team has taken one step forward and the OS will be soon out for smartphones with the launch of Aquaris E4.5 [Ubuntu Edition]. But does it come anywhere against Android, iOS and Windows? Let’s see as we explore in depth about it’s features in this article.
Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition is the first ever Ubuntu phone that was made in partnership with BQ, a Spanish producer of smartphones, tablets, electronic readers, and 3Dprinters.
Let’s have a look at it’s specs:
- Screen: 4.5”, 540×960 resolution
- Dimensions: 137 x 67 x 9 mm / 123 g weight
- CPU: Quad Core Cortex A7 up to 1.3 GHz MediaTek
- GPU: Mali 400 up to 500 MHz
- Camera: 8 Mpx rear interpolated (Dual-flash and autofocus), 5 Mpx front
- Internal memory: 8 GB
- RAM: 1 GB
- Battery: LiPo 2150 mAh
- Dual micro-SIM
- MicroSD slot, up to 32 GB
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
- Bluetooth® 4.0
- 2G GSM (850/900/1800/1900)
- 3G HSPA+ (900/2100)
- GPS and A-GPS
- LED notification, Dolby® sound technology, FM radio, microphone, noise canceller
The phone doesn’t come anywhere when you consider the hardware but for a price tag of €170 along with the brand new and flashy OS, it is good enough as a mid-range phone provided you are interested in the mobile version of Ubuntu.
Wait scopes? What are they? No idea? Well, it’s an innovative feature incorporated by Ubuntu to redefine the use of multiple apps in an entirely new level. You don’t have to switch to different apps as you’ll be provided with everything related at one place…at the same time.
According to Ubuntu’s official site, “Ubuntu’s scopes are like individual home screens for different kinds of content, giving you access to everything from movies and music to local services and social media, without having to go through individual apps.”
For an example, the main screen consists of “Today’s scope” which includes the date with the sunrise and sunset time, weather, upcoming holidays, upcoming events, recent calls, messages, headlines from various sources and more. You can even enable or disable any feature you want which means it can be used to display all the information you need according to your relevance. Sounds pretty coll, isn’t it?
The same goes for other scopes – let’s say, the Music scope includes sources such as SoundCloud, YouTube and Songkick, but if you only use YouTube, you can disable the others. Or, you can completely disable the Music scope if you don’t plan on using it.
You also have the usual native apps on any smartphone like browser, music, camera, gallery, media player, calculator, phone, messaging, contacts apps and so on. In fact you can access the Ubuntu Store to browse for more apps. In order to use services like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Google Maps, Ubuntu Phone uses web apps, which even though integrate with the OS, are not as nice as the official applications for Android or iOS. One major drawback on Ubuntu Phone is apps like WhatsApp, Instagram, etc., seem to be missing. Let’s hope that they will be out soon on the Ubuntu Store.
For your surprise, on Ubuntu Phone you don’t need any hardware buttons and instead, you swipe from all the four screen edges for navigation, app switching, settings and indicators. This clearly exhibits the flexibility and creativity of this OS.
If you are enthusiastic about using Ubuntu as a mobile OS then you can go ahead and spend around €170 to get Aquaris E4.5 that is good enough to serve your basic needs as a mid-range phone. But if you are really into specs, then it is advisable to rather go for something else.
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