The first worldwide official Ubuntu phone

Slashdot it! Delicious Share on Facebook Tweet! Digg!

Apps en Masse

Canonical made sure that at the launch of the first official Ubuntu phone more than 1,000 apps (according to the distributors) would be available. Nevertheless, certain key applications like Whatsapp are missing. Meanwhile, users must make do with alternatives like Telegram [8].

Regardless of what's said about Whatsapp from a privacy perspective, the absence of this and similar apps is a major downside. There is a Facebook application, but it consists of only one web page – more like mere window dressing.

The Ubuntu phone easily synchronizes contacts and calendars from Google accounts, and Ubuntu Touch takes over appointments in a native calendar app.

The Google Maps replacement is a web app with Nokia's Here [9] map service. There is also a web app for Google Mail, with the promising mail program Dekko [10] as an alternative. Dekko is still in beta, but it is showing no more major weaknesses.

A document viewer, assignment and reminder app, video players, and music program are also on board right from the factory. Several good games are also included from the start. All in all, the device makes a well-rounded impression, even if the selections have some growing to do.

A special feature of Ubuntu Touch are the so-called scopes. The basic idea is something like the home screen widgets you get with Android. Unfortunately, scopes with Ubuntu Touch take up the entire screen, are not necessarily associated with an application, and are on the level with the application view as soon as you mark them as favorites. Thus, you can have a scope marked My Music , another one for Vimeo , news, and many other full-screen widgets.


The Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition, based on a price-performance ratio, is on a level with comparable Android smartphones of the class. The new, well-thought out operating system leaves you wanting more – even when a few quirks tarnish the overall impression a bit.

The operating concept using swipe gestures seems more complicated than it really is. The selection of apps is naturally not as full as with established smartphone systems, but the major ones for everyday use are there. Converts from other systems will soon find themselves at home, because Ubuntu Touch borrows various operating concepts from established systems.

The Ubuntu phone is certainly a must for technical enthusiasts, developers, and hardcore Linux fans. However, even regular users who just want a simple yet technically pioneering operating system should consider the Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition and its successors.

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF

Pages: 3

Price $0.99
(incl. VAT)

Buy Ubuntu User

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content