The BQ Aquaris EQ HD Ubuntu Edition is a smartphone with a 5 inch, 1280 x 720 pixel display, a quad-core MediaTek ARM Cortex-A7 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage.

It’s now available for pre-order for about €200 and the phone should ship after June 22nd. There’s one small catch though: the BQ Aquaris HD Ubuntu Edition is only available in the European Union, Norway, and Switzerland at launch.

bq aquaris e5 hd

The device has the specs of an entry-level or mid-range phone. But that makes the Aquaris E5 HD a lot nicer than the first BQ phone with Ubuntu software: that model had just 8GB of storage and a 960 x 540 pixel display.

BQ’s second Ubuntu phone also features a 13MP rear camera, 5MP front-facing camera, a 2500 mAh battery, and a microSD card slot. It supports 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth, HSPA+ cellular connectivity, and support for dual micro SIM cards.

All told, this is the third phone to ship with Canonical’s smartphone-friendly version of the Ubuntu operating system. The first was the BQ Aquaris E4.5 and the second was the Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition which is currently available in China and coming soon to Europe.

Each phone runs a version of Ubuntu that’s been optimized for phones and other touchscreen devices. Dig deep enough and the phones share some common code with the Ubuntu software you can install on desktop or notebook computers, but they’re designed to run smartphone apps and provide a finger-friendly user interface with a lock screen, and Scopes which bring content from apps to your home screen.

Eventually Canonical hopes to work with phone makers to deliver devices that can operate both as phones and as portable desktops. Pull a phone out of your pocket and you get the touch-friendly UI and support for mobile apps. Connect it to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse through a docking station, and you can run desktop apps.

Canonical’s been promising a “convergence” device of this type for a few years… but Microsoft might actually beat the company to market. Microsoft has a similar feature in the works called Continuum for phones, and the company has said it’ll be included on future devices that will ship with Windows 10 Mobile software later this year.

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5 replies on “Pre-order BQ’s second Ubuntu phone for €200”

  1. The Ubuntu-flavored Meizu MX4 is not available in China. Apparently some phones were released through their developer channel(s), but that’s it.

  2. If you’re trying to enter the smartphone market, Canonical, you’re doing it wrong!

    Why did they work with a rebranding company, instead of working directly with the chinesse manufacturer (Umi, Meizu, Oppo … etc.)

    I really would like a decent smartphone runnig Ubuntu OS for a reasonably price, without bells and whistles like transforming your smartphone into a desktop and other (just not now, perhaps maybe later…..).

  3. Is is currently possible to plug an external monitor to an Ubuntu phone ? How ?

    1. Not Currently. However, the technology is in the works with the Mir display protocol and other technologies quickly advancing. It’s funny how all these articles are saying Microsoft beat them to it, but you can find on youtube videos of them connecting external monitors to phones and working on them from 3 years or so ago. Microsoft has a concept which hasn’t actually been seen in the wild. Canonical’s already done it, but they wanted to do it right from the ground up with their own OS and everything, so they could have a standard of quality beyond android. A good example is updates, Canonical has built a system where the kernel and all the userspace is seperated in a way that you can update without breaking the proprietary binary blobs which make your device work, solving the main problem with android: system updates.

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