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Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Phone Goes On Sale In China

Forget the low-powered Bq handset, the real Ubuntu Phone has arrived.

Meizu MX4 in Gold

Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition

The Meizu MX4 Ubuntu edition has gone on sale in China.

The second Ubuntu Phone to be commercially released is a 5.36-inch smartphone powered by an eight-core MediaTek MT6595 SoC (modified by Meizu), a healthy 2GB RAM and 16GB of built-in flash storage for files, photos and apps.

Two cameras are included: a 20.7 megapixel rear snapper and a front selfie cam pushing a more modest 2 megapixels.

It runs the latest version of Ubuntu (for Phones) rather than the Flyme OS Android fork Meizu traditionally ships on its handsets.

Like the Bq Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition, the Ubuntu version of the Meizu MX4 is also being pitched at developers initially.

It arrives just in time for the final push in the China Mobile Ubuntu Developer Contest.

Ubuntu MX4 Will Be Sold In Europe ‘Soon’

Don’t be glum if you’re not in China. Canonical say the eight-core Ubuntu MX4 will “be sold across Europe soon”.

The American readers among needn’t look cross at yet another ‘European only’ Ubuntu Phone release either.

Canonical has previously said that the USA will get its own exclusive Ubuntu Phone (from an as-yet-unnamed OEM), details of which are expected in June, 2015.

It may be that this will be the device that Ubuntu Founder Mark Shuttleworth recently said will boast “convergence” — the staple selling point of the Ubuntu mobile approach for many.

Not that anyone contemplating a purchase of the Ubuntu MX4 should hold off.

With an eight-core processor the device is certainly powerful enough to drive “convergence” capabilities long spoken of (though may need to wait on a future software update to transform into a desktop when a monitor, keyboard and mouse is attached. There is also uncertainty over whether the device supports MHL/slimport).

Developers, Developers, Developers

‘There are now a slate of Chinese scopes and apps available in the Ubuntu store’

Canonical say the launch “…kicks off Meizu’s push towards strengthening the Ubuntu ecosystem in China, ahead of launching the Chinese Edition to its user base later this year.

And, as we noted on Twitter in the week, there are now a slate of Chinese scopes available in the Ubuntu store, including Baidu, Weibo, and Chinese-centric versions of the Today, News and NearBy aggregator scopes.

Web apps make up the bulk of Ubuntu for Phone’s application store and, right on cue, a batch of popular Chinese sites are now available.

Meizu + Ubuntu = Everything to Play For

dianping ubuntu phone scope

Dianping Scope

In 2014 Canonical signed a ‘strategic agreement’ with Meizu to ship Ubuntu Phones in China and other territories (excluding the US).

Meizu is a growing brand within China but with below 2-percent marketshare lags behind domestic leader Xiaomi, and behind Lenovo, Apple, Huawei and Samsung.

To differentiate and grow the company has struck various partnerships with other companies to offer more operating system choice on its handsets — and extend its reach outside of China.

Alongside home-grown Android fork FlymeOS, and now Ubuntu for Phones, Meizu also offer YunOS, the Android-fork created by retail giant Ali Baba (who invested $590 million in Meizu earlier this year).

Meizu is expected to announce an expansion into India during a press event on May 18, 2015.

Buy the Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition

The Ubuntu MX4 is available to buy directly from the Meizu website in China. It’s priced at ¥1,799 (less than US $300) and available in a choice of two color schemes: ‘Silver’ and ‘Golden’.

Hit the link below for more details (in Chinese) on the device, specifications and for purchase information.

Meizu Website Product Page for MX4 With Ubuntu

Update May 20: The device is currently not showing up as an option available to purchase.  Meizu is running a 20 day discount on the MX4 (dropping to ¥1499 ) but the Ubuntu version seems to be excluded.We’ve reached out to Meizu to find out more.