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Canonical Launches FirstUbuntu Phone WithSpain's BQ (1 Viewer)


28 Sep 2013
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Canonical is all set to release its first
Ubuntu -based smartphone in partnershi
with Spain's BQ, a company known for
making ebook readers, smartphones and
tablets in Europe. The smartphone,
named Aquaris E4.5, has till date been
available with Android 4.4 KitKat OS, an
will now be released in a new version
running Ubuntu OS for phones, which
has previously also been called Ubuntu
Touch OS. The smartphone is dubbed th
BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition.

The BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition, as
per Canonical, will be available across
Europe in the 'coming weeks' through a
flash sales system, which has proven to
be successful for handset makers in Indi
lately. The smartphone is priced at EUR
169.90 (roughly Rs. 12,000). Both
Canonical and BQ have not yet
mentioned the handset's availability
details outside the European region as o
now. As TheNextWeb notes however, the
partnership with BQ is almost a year old,
and the Spanish manufacturer, along
with China's Meizu, did not stick to their
original 2014 launch timeline. Not that
BQ has announced its Ubuntu phone, we
can expect a similar offering from Meizu

The dual-SIM (Micro-SIM) supporting
Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition has
identical specifications to the original
model except the software, which has
now been changed from Android to
Ubuntu. The smartphone features a 4.5-
inch qHD (540x960 pixels) resolution
display with pixel density of 240ppi.
Powered by a quad-core MediaTek
processor (Cortex-A7) clocked at 1.3GHz,
the handset includes a Mali 400 GPU for
handling the graphics, coupled with 1GB
of RAM.

The smartphone also sports 8-megapixe
rear camera with dual-LED flash and a
BSI sensor, apart from a 5-megapixel
front-facing camera for video chats. Bot
the cameras feature interpolation or
picture-stitching technology that allows
users to take 13-megapixel images with
the rear camera, and 8-megapixel
images with the front-facing camera.
Featuring 8GB of inbuilt storage with
microSD card expandability (up to 32GB
card), the Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition
also houses Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n,
Bluetooth 4.0, 3G (HSPA+), GPS/ A-GPS,
Micro-USB with OTG, and FM radio
connectivity features.

The BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition
measures 137x67x9mm, weighs 123
grams, is backed by a 2150mAh Li-Po
battery and will be available in Black
colour variant only. Ubuntu is detailing
its the edge interactions and Scopes
features of its OS for smartphones. Users
can access sections like music, video
and social quickly with swipes from the
home screen. The sections that show up
feature the company's Scopes UI, which
is claimed to be a 'reinvention' of the
mobile UI. Scopes, or categorised home
screens, provide a unified view of conten
in the particular category. The Ubuntu O
for phones run native apps or HTML5
apps. The company has tied up with
major developers to ensure Facebook ,
Twitter, Dropbox, Evernote and Amazon
apps are available at launch.

"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 lik
BQ has recognised this opportunity and
is helping us make it a reality," stated
Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical about the

Canonical, with the BQ Aquaris E4.5
Ubuntu Edition, has made a move in the
smartphone market after more than two
years since its first showcase of Ubuntu
Phone platform in January 2013. It is
worth noting that the firm tried raising
funds for its Ubuntu Edge smartphone i
2013 but failed to achieve the $32
million goal as the campaign closed with
$20 million outstanding.


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