A brand new Ubuntu Phone will go on sale in Europe next Tuesday, June 9th, we can reveal.
The Bq Aquaris E5 is the second Ubuntu Phone to made by Spanish device company Bq Readers. It will retail online in Europe at €199.90.
It follows the Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition launched in February and is, once again, a repurposed version of an existing Android handset.
Why a new device so soon? The enthusiasm, feedback and hype to greet their first device was so strong they began working on a follow-up a few weeks later. That device, the Aquaris E5, is now almost ready to buy.
Meet the Aquaris E5 Ubuntu Edition
Bigger, faster and a touch more expensive than the earlier E4.5 phone, the Bq Aquaris E5 reads like a great mid-range smartphone.
It will sit nearer the low-end E4.5 device rathe than the upcoming eight-core Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition, which also launches in Europe this month, but is still a respectable device.
It also won’t feel as high end as the MX4 (which has a swanky aluminium alloy casing) but the plastic casing is sturdy and attractive. It’s also €100 cheaper than Meizu’s offering.
Overall the device should be a decent ‘in’ to the Ubuntu Phone experience, possibly bettering that of the Aquaris E4.5 thanks to the larger screen, roomy internal storage and a better battery.
A pair of improved cameras will deliver crisper photos and the bump to a 5-inch HD display will show them off perfectly.
Bq Aquaris E5 Ubuntu Edition Specs
Bq Aquaris E5 smartphone uses a Mediatek MT6582 processor running at 1.3GHz paired with (a decent) GPU and 1GB of RAM.
Yes, this phone has the same core specs as the E4.5.
The 16GB of internal storage is bump up and should be sufficient for most (if rather modest for the price) and the inclusion of a MicroSD card slot supporting SD cards of up-to 32GB will please many.
The 5-inch IPS screen has a HD resolution (1280 x 720p) at a respectable 294 pixels per inch. It’s coated in ‘dragon trail’ glass — which sounds cool if nothing else!
4G is not supported by this handset (as was the case with the E4.5) but there is dual SIM support.
- 5-inch IPS screen (1280 x 720 pixels, 294 ppi)
- MediaTek MT6582 CPU @ 1.3 GHz (quad-core)
- 16GB eMMC storage
- 1GB RAM
- 13 MP rear camera, 5MP front-facing
- 2500 mAh battery
- 4.5-inch IPS screen (540×960, 240 ppi)
- MediaTek MT6582 CPU @ 1.3GHz (quad-core)
- 8GB eMMC Storage
- 1GB RAM
- 8 MP rear camera, 5MP front-facing
- 2150 mAh battery
Intrigued? We’ve a few more details below.
When Can I Buy It?
Spanish phone makers Bq will sell the E5 Ubuntu Edition on their website directly — yep, no more flash sales — from next Tuesday, June 9th.
More details on the device will be blasted at willing media outlets during the next week through press releases.
How Much Will It Cost?
A not-too-shabby €199.90 (excluding shipping and fees), which is €9 less than the equivalent Android model costs (but €30 more than the 4.5-inch version).
I own the Android version: can I flash Ubuntu to it?
Most likely; Bq devices are easy to unlock, the hardware is identical between Android and Ubuntu editions (though do note that not all features can or will work under Ubuntu) and flashable images are made available.
Again, don’t assume that this will be the case and, if attempting, be aware that bricking your device is entirely possible.