UPDATE: The Ubuntu smartphone will be available from 9am to 6pm (CES) tomorrow Wed 10 February, or for UK dwellers that's between 8am and 5pm (GMT). The number of phones available will be limited, says its creator.
Canonical has announced it will launch the Ubuntu smartphone, at last, next week under the name Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition.
The Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition has, as the name suggests, a 4.5-inch QHD display which means a frankly poor 540 x 960 for a 245ppi resolution. The handset is powered by a MediaTek quad-core Cortex A7 processor running at 1.3GHz with 1GB of RAM. The Aquaris features an 8-megapixel rear camera with autofocus, dual flash, 1080p video, BSI sensors and Largan lens. The front-facing selfie camera is a 5-megapixel snapper. The phone will have 8GB of storage, a 2,150mAh battery and is dual SIM. But it's the software that aims to really appeal.
Scopes is Ubuntu's reimagining of the smartphone UI and apps within that. The home screen aggregates information from different sources – rather than simply holding apps. For example the music scope pulls in from different channels, tapping into one like YouTube will link you there. You can also set one as a default screen, say if you use YouTube the most.
But it's about the developers as well as the consumers. Scopes can be built at a fraction of the cost of apps – making them more accessible. Mainstream HTML5 apps will also be supported and the SDK will be friendly with native apps like games.
Canonical has learned from Chinese launches which focus on early adopters. Ubuntu users will be the first to receive the handset today. Next week there will be a flash sale online, exclusively in Europe. The date and time for the flash sale will be announced via Ubuntu's social media. Special data packages should be available from networks providers. Once these sales are completed there may also be general sales, depending on how the flash sales are received.
Over the next 6-months there will be several software updates then it will revert back to the usual 6-monthly updates that the current Ubuntu OS has been receiving.
The handset will launch for GiffGaff in the UK. You can buy offline then you'll have the option to take on the SIM bundle.
The Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition will cost €170 which is about £127.