Canonical Demos Ubuntu For Smartphones at CES 2013, We Go Hands On

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News Posted: Wed, Jan 9 2013 3:53 PM
Although Canonical is still hunting for OEM partners to develop handsets for Ubuntu on smartphones, the OS is alive and well, running smooth and pretty on prototype handsets at CES 2013.

The Canonical folks were kind enough to give us a demo, which you can see below:


Note in particular the lack of any hardware button on this device; that’s on purpose, as Canonical wants Ubuntu to be a touch-only affair. Because there are no hardware partners on board yet (that we know of), the best we can do on specs is what Canonical says will be basic system requirements for entry-level and high-end phones.

Ubuntu for smartphones

At the least, Ubuntu will need a dual-core Cortex A9 processor with at least 512MB of memory, and 4GB to 8GB of eMMC plus SD flash storage. More heavily spec’d handsets will require a quad-core Cortex A9 or Intel Atom chip, 1GB of memory, and 32GB of eMMC plus SD. Although all Ubuntu-flavored phones will be multitouch, the higher-end version will also feature desktop convergence, which is a major feature of the operating system.
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It seems to work well. It looks good too.

Review please,.......

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I will second this, I would like to read a review on this doing a direct comparo between mobile ubuntu vs Jellybean and ICS

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mhenriday replied on Thu, Jan 10 2013 8:40 AM

I third the motion ! From this description and others, not least that of Mr Shuttleworth himself, the Ubuntu developers seem to have done an excellent job of thinking this one through. But what is needed is an impartial review on the part of HH, but presumably we'll have to wait until some hardware with this system installed is released before that is done, that is, in the event HH doesn't want to install it on one of their own devices for purposes of comparison....

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OSunday replied on Thu, Jan 10 2013 10:05 AM

Review for sure, I wonder if eventually it'll be able to do what the desktop platform often does and give new life to older hardware

Does anyone know if there's a fee/price associated with using Android as an OS and if Ubuntu on smartphones would have a leg up on competition in terms of pricing since it would be open sourced?

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rapid1 replied on Thu, Jan 10 2013 12:28 PM

I would most definitely like to see a review although really I have an issue seeing the point in this. This is or could be implemented as a premium ROM it seems to me. I mean all Android is is a somewhat closed/open micro version of Linux with some special drivers etc.

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3vi1 replied on Thu, Jan 10 2013 12:47 PM

I wouldn't mind seeing a review either, though I personally think Canonical is making a mistake by not concentrating on the desktop and filling the vacuum that's being formed by the direction of Apple and Microsoft.

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scolaner replied on Fri, Jan 11 2013 10:51 AM

Canonical IS focusing on the desktop; this is more of an extension of the desktop OS than a completely new and separate mobile OS.

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3vi1 replied on Fri, Jan 11 2013 6:11 PM

No... they're *woking* on the desktop, but they're definitely not focused on it - or this phone wouldn't be the only thing they showed at CES and currently sitting all over their home page with the OS relegated to the bottom right corner.

I'm very afraid that this thing will end up just like UbuntuTV from last years CES (a great looking thing... where partners never materialize), and that they would have missed the best chance ever to tout their OS since Steam's up and running and the monopoly choice is sucking hard.

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