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World’s first Ubuntu phone BQ Aquaris E4.5 to be released in Europe


The world’s first Ubuntu Linux phone Aquaris E4.5 will be available for sale in Europe by next week. The smartphone will be available in limited quantities and a series of ‘flash sales’ will be held.Clipboard012-624x351

The smartphone was developed by BQ, a Spanish-based company will only be available online. The availability of the phones will be notified to followers via @ubuntu and @bqreaders Twitter accounts. Cristian Parrino, vice president of mobile and online services indicated that they were following the model of unknown smartphone makers in China who have been successful instead of launching the devices in retail stores.

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“We are going for the mass market and it’s something we will do intelligently over time,” said Parrino.

The Aquaris E44.5 is powered by a MediaTek SoC with 1.3GHz quad-core processor with internal storage of 8GB which can be further expanded through a MicroSD slot. The smartphone features a 4.5-inch qHD display with  960×540 pixel resolution, two Micro SIM slots and a 5MP front camera.

Despite being a basic smartphone, the phone’s interface and hardware integrates with applications and services. Ubuntu mobile OS will utilize Canonical’s Scopes which will bring in content like music, videos and news in a series of home screens instead of separate players and apps for playing media. Scopes was developed with Ubuntu’s native version apps called Ubuntu SDK C++ tools.

Parrino mentioned that users were looking for something more engaging, faster and richer on their device. The smartphone will face tough competition from leading players in the market like Apple iOS, Google Android and HTML 5. However, tweaking of HTML 5 apps will allow adding the apps to Ubuntu, the company added.

Ubuntu hopes to market the easy use of Scopes and the ability for developers to use the C++ skills. The smartphone will be priced at 160 Euros.

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