Jide’s Remix OS has been grabbing a lot of attention as an operating system that takes Google Android and turns it into a desktop OS complete with a taskbar and multi-window support. But it’s not the only Android-as-a-desktop-OS option.

Recently we took a look at Phoenix OS, which works in a very similar fashion. Now it looks like the developers of Phoenix OS have found at least one hardware partner.

Alcatel is showing off a 17 inch all-in-one desktop PC running the customized version of Android.


The Alcatel Xess features a 17.3 inch full HD IPS touchscreen display, a MediaTek MT8783T octa-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, and a 10,000 mAh battery that lets you use the system unplugged.

Alcatel actually unveiled the Xess last September, but at the time the company just said it would run Android. In January Alcatel brought demo units running Phoenix OS to the Consumer Electronics Show, and this week the company is at Mobile World Congress, showing what the Xess can do.


Charbax from ARMDevices got a hands-on demo, and it looks like Phoenix runs at least as well on a device with an ARM-based chip as it did on the Intel-powered computer I used to test the operating system recently.

The Xes is expected to be available in the US in the second quarter of 2016, and it should hit Europe a few months later.

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6 replies on “Alcatel’s Xess 17 inch all-in-one PC runs Phoenix OS (Android fork with multi-window support)”

  1. You realize this is another Linux Machine. Its been around for like 20 years? I mean nothing exciting…

  2. The hardware kind of kicks ass. Though the hide-away ports are a bad idea. Just something else to break. Other than that I’d rather have it with Chrome OS than Android.
    ‘BigPad’ is a great name.

    1. Chrome is already very well represented in hardware out there, and not saying anything against it. But I’m a lot more interested to see if Android has any legs as a pc productivity platform. The recalcitrance of Google to do this is puzzling. The app support (other than productivity) is so strong on Android, and the user base so huge and growing so fast, it’s hard to believe this won’t happen. The fact is that a huge and growing mass of people are and will be on Android as their sole computing and communication platform, and in fact it is rapidly becoming the largest computing platform worldwide, period. It is starting to dwarf Windows, Mac, Linux, all of it. The hardware horsepower is already more than adequate. So it is already a platform that can span everything from a watch to a phone to a tablet to a desktop pc. That convergence is a very short step – it’s much easier to add a mouse and kb and windowing to a mobile OS like Android, than to adapt touch to a old PC OS like Windows and get mobile app developers. Remix and Phoenix are demonstrating that. Office apps are already on Android. So the only thing remaining is other more robust productivity apps like photo, graphic design, video editing, and those exist too but are not as robust as the desktop sets. With the kind of user base we’re looking out, I think that’s not going to be long in coming.

      1. I’ve nothing particularly against Android and agree with you that they are a hop, skip and jump away from adding the GUI tools they’d need to make it a viable desktop OS.
        My experience with Chrome OS though has been eye opening. The security model and the transactional updates along with the way they are done are simply fantastic. It takes 11 seconds to update my Chromebook. Literally 11 seconds. And it updates often. Every few weeks. This rather than yearly massive updates which then most people never receive.
        The other big difference right now is the power of Chrome desktop browser vs mobile. The ability to use extensions.
        I think you’ll see Google split Android into two streams. One staying more open like the current model but another following the Chrome OS model where Google does the updating and does it often. The price to pay for that is strict hardware requirements and so much slower and much less differentiation in hardware.
        Ideally I’d like Chrome OS but with containers and enough of the Android systems onboard that it can run any Android app in a container. Also straight Linux apps in containers. This would be a fantastically powerful and flexible and convenient system.

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