Posted By Simon Montford on Feb 7, 2015
In 2013 Canonical attempted to raise $32 million via crowdfunding to build the Ubuntu Edge. Unfortunately their Indiegogo campaign did not succeed, however the company did manage to attract $12.8 million by the time their campaign ended. The Edge was intended to double as a desktop PC when connected to a monitor, mouse, and keyboard, which would have been pretty cool. Cononical's second attempt, the "Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition", will not transform into a PC, but retains the Edge's best feature - the OS.
In fact the phone itself is pretty standard. It has a 4.5 inch screen, a quad-core A7 chip running at 1.3Ghz, 1GB RAM, 8GB of storage capacity, 8MP rear camera and 5MP front-facing camera. An additional feature, that will appeal to frequent travelers, is a dual-SIM slot. The RRP will be around £125 ($190), and the phone will be unlocked to any network, so if price and flexibility are important this could be the phone for you.
Of course the primary reason for purchasing an Aquarius E4.5 is not the hardware (an Android version can already be purchased), it's for the Ubantu OS, which is pretty sweet. Canonical have worked hard to create a really clean and intuitive UX called Scopes, which puts icons out of sight until needed. The user swipes either from the top or side to reveal app icons, however they can also be gathered together on a single Scope card, if preferred.
Although very different in appearance to Android and iOS, Scopes isn't entirely unique as more than a few design cues have almost certainly been taken from, or at least inspired by, the likes of Palm, BlackBerry, and Jolla’s Sailfish.
If you're the kind of person who likes novelty and you don't care about the fact that a phone, such as this will lack support from app developers, we recommend that you check out Jolla smartphone or maybe take a look at the Puzzlephone.
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