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Ubuntu smartphones are finally making their way to America

While we wait for the “year of the Linux desktop” to actually happen, Spanish smartphone maker BQ is helping to make Ubuntu phones a thing. While it’s doubtful that Ubuntu smartphones will ever come to challenge the likes of Android or iOS, it’s still nice to see the mobile market diversifying, and those of us not living in China or Europe will finally be able to experience that diversification for ourselves. BQ has announced that it’s selling the first Ubuntu smartphone, the Aquarius E5, worldwide for the first time. 

After a long wait, Ubuntu phones became a reality this year. But now Linux fans outside of Europe and China will be able to try out the newcomer OS for the very first time. Spanish smartphone maker BQ has announced that it is now shipping its Aquarius E5 Ubuntu smartphone across the world. The E5 Ubuntu Edition has a fairly barebones set of specifications that matches its affordable €199.90 price tag. It has a 5-inch, 720 x 1280 display that’d be more at home on a top-tier smartphone from a few years ago. There’s also 1GB of RAM, 16GB of memory (thankfully upgradable thanks to its microSD card slot), and a 1.7GHz, quad-core Mediatek chip. Of course, the phone itself isn’t what’s exciting — it’s about getting to use an Ubuntu phone. Canonical’s long-gestating mobile OS sells itself on changing up the typical app-to-app user paradigm. Instead, it uses customizable “scopes” that bring in related content (like photos or videos) to a single homescreen. Instead of building self-contained apps, developers can simply plug in their services to a scope. That said, Ubuntu OS still faces a considerable uphill battle to try to make any gains after Android’s massive head start.

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