BQ Launches the first Ubuntu Phone: BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition

Canonical is launching its first Ubuntu Phonein partnership with Spain’s BQ, an European company known for making ebook readers, smartphones and tablets. BQ Aquaris E4.5, till now ran on the Android 4.4 Kitkat platform but will now be released in a new version running Ubuntu OS for phones, which has previously also been called Ubuntu Touch OS and will now be called BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition. The phone will be made through flash sales system in coming weeks. The smartphone is priced at € 169.90 (~Rs. 12,000). There is no word about the phone’s sale in India.

The BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition measures 137 x 67 x 9mm, weighs 123 grams, is backed by a 2150mAh Li-Po battery and will be available in Black colour variant only. The smartphone features a 4.5-inch qHD (540×960 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 dual-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. 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 smartphone also sports 8-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash and a BSI sensor, apart from a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. Both 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.

Twitter, eBay, Amazon and Yelp among others will have Ubuntu native apps at launch, and Spotify and Dropbox are supported via third-party apps. Despite the long development time, the first version of Ubuntu is expected to need some polish and refinement.  The phone is due to hit the market soon. The date, time and URL for the first flash sale will be announced through @Ubuntu and @bqreaders on Twitter as well as Ubuntu G+ and Ubuntu Facebook within the next week.

Aditya Gupta

A compassionate supporter of gadgets and dedicated to informing those around him. Aditya Gupta is a high school science student from Jaipur, Rajasthan. He covers the topics which he feels are not covered anywhere else so that more people get involved in the world he loves so much. After graduating from high school in 2016, he plans to start his under-grad studies in Computer Science. Follow: @TheBrainyGeek

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