For all you Linux operating system lovers out there you are going to be excited about this post. Ubuntu is probably one of the most well-known Linux operating systems around that is competing against Microsoft and Apple Os’s. Well, the company responsible for Ubuntu, Canonical, have decided to enter the smartphone market. The phone which is currently only in concept form is called the ‘Ubuntu Edge’.
Canonical elected to raise funds to build the phone through an Indiegogo (a crowd funding website similar to Kickstarter) campaign. They are attempting to raise $32 million dollars to build and launch the Ubuntu Edge, the fundraising started off strong but now with only about a week to go they have only raised approximately $11 million dollars and it is not looking like they will reach their target. If the campaign is successful the launch date for the phone is May 2014. However if the campaign is not successful all Indiegogo supporters who bought a perk will be refunded their money.
Now onto the phone itself, I think the phone looks great, as it is a bit different to the current form factors of other phones. I really do like the fact that they have removed the home button, which makes it significantly different from most other smartphones in the market today! The display is made out of sapphire crystal which will make it quite heard to scratch, I hope this is true as I would love to remove the need for a screen protector.
Specifications (we do not have all the details as they are still being worked out by Canonical)
Dual Boot – Ubuntu Mobile and Android (with the ability to launch the Ubuntu Desktop off both)
Display Size – 4. 5 inches (720×1280)
Display Type – Sapphire Glass
Ram – 4GB
Internal Memory – 128GB
Camera – 8 megapixel Rear, 2 megapixel front camera
Battery – Silicon-Anode Li-Ion
Stereo Speakers (HD Audio)
Dual Mic Recording
Active Noise Cancellation
Size – 64x9x124mm
Other specifications such as CPU and GPU still to be finalised
Launching the Ubuntu desktop from within Android currently works, however launching the Ubuntu desktop from Ubuntu mobile is still to be delivered. Canonical will deliver software updates monthly to the phone and they guaranteed to support the Ubuntu Edge for three years.
In regards to usability however I don’t think that going the dual boot route (Android and Ubuntu) is the right one. I can understand that Canonical would like to create an ecosystem with the Ubuntu desktop but this approach seems lacking to me. Will people really dock this phone so they can use this as a desktop PC? However I do like what I have seen in regards to the Ubuntu lock screen notifications. I hope this will be better realised if the campaign is successful and the phone goes into production.
I will be pretty excited to see the Ubuntu Edge launch in May 2014 if the campaign is successful, let’s see what happens!
Update: Unfortunately the campaign was not successful as they only raised $12.8 million dollars (still impressive!) so they will not be building the Ubuntu Edge.