The BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition comes in a nice, fancy package, with the right dose of orange color. Inside the box, you will find a phone that's neither too big nor too slim. It's more like what the mainstream market used to offer a couple of years ago, which makes far more sense than the ultra-slippery models today. Aquaris reminds me of iPhone 4, not that I'm a great connoisseur of phones and what they should be like, but that's how it is.
Ugoos launched a $179 “UT3S” TV-PC that dual boots Android 4.4 and Ubuntu 14.10 on a 1.8GHz quad-core Cortex-A17 Rockchip RK3288, and supports 4Kx2K video.
Finding a media player or mini-PC that runs Android is easy, but finding one that ships with other species of Linux pre-installed is a bit trickier. Now Ugoos has released a TV-focused Ugoos UT3S mini-PC that can run either Android 4.4 or Ubuntu 14.10 in dual-boot mode.
Whereas Ugoos’s earlier Android-based UM2 stick-PC and UT2 mini-PC used the quad-core, Cortex-A9 Rockchip RK3188 SoC clocked to 1.6GHz, the UT3S moves up to the quad-core, Cortex-A17 RK3288 at 1.8GHz. The RK3288, which ships with ARM’s Mali-T764 GPU, is also found in new Android media players including the Tronsmart Orion R28.
The BQ Aquaris e4.5 Ubuntu Edition is not the debut Canonical must have envisaged for Ubuntu Phone, in the early days of the platform’s development.
It’s a perfectly functional smartphone for the most part, and we like the concept of scopes, but the hardware is humdrum, performance is sluggish, and the software running on it is rough and ready, and full of holes.
We’ll be tracking the progress of Ubuntu Phone with interest – it surely must get better than this – but this first device is one to write off to experience.