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Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Phone: Everything You Need To Know

The eight-core wonder will finally wash ashore in Europe — but there's a catch

ubuntu phone from meizu

The Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition

The Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Phone will finally go on sale in Europe this month, we can exclusively reveal.

The launch is set for Thursday, June 25 and will mark the first time that Chinese hardware company Meizu has sold ANY of its devices directly to consumers in Europe.

The Meizu Mart storefront currently only sells select Android-based devices to the USA.

In this updated and expanded article we recap everything you need to know about the MX4 Ubuntu Edition — from its hardware specs to commonly asked questions and more information on the invite-only purchase system.

Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Phone: Everything You Need To Know

The Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition went on sale in China (briefly) last month and was targeted at developers.

The Ubuntu version lasted a brief 48 hours on sale before selling out entirely. Gallingly, Meizu reduced the price of the Android-based editions by ¥300 shortly after.

‘The phone will be sold in limited quantities and on an invite-only basis’

From Thursday, June 25, Ubuntu fans in Europe will finally be able to get their hands on the device, priced from €299.

As with the first Ubuntu Phone, the Bq Aquaris E4.5, buying the new-fangled MX4 Ubuntu Edition won’t be entirely straight forward. Canonical say it will be sold in limited quantities and — importantly — on an ‘invite-only’ basis.

But before we bang our heads against the origami wall (a reference that will only make sense if you keep reading) let’s recap the core features of this phone.

meizu mx4

Hardware Specs

The MX4 has some great hardware specs for the price, including an eight-core processor and eye-popping pixel-packed screen. The following specs ship as standard:

  • 5.36-inch IPS screen (1920 x 1152 pixels, 418 ppi)
  • MediaTek MT6595 CPU @ 2.0GHz (octa-core)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16GB eMMC storage
  • 20.7 MP rear camera, 2MP front-facing
  • 3100 mAh battery

When Can I Buy It?

meizu origami wall invite ubuntu

Invites — you’ll be hunting for one of these

From Thursday, June 25 on the Meizu website (link not yet live).

But here’s where things get complicated. You won’t be able to just head to an online store and hit ‘buy’ on June 25.

Instead you’ll need to head over to a special webpage on the official Meizu website and find an invite in an animated, interactive origami wall. 

Although Canonical remains coy on the exact number invites being made available we have heard that several hundred invites will be made available per day. 

This should mean that most people who want to buy the device will be able to, despite how patience sapping the origami wall initiative sounds.

Why Is it Being Sold By Invite Only?

‘Canonical is targeting the phone at enthusiasts and developers and not the general public’

The reason for taking this approach is several fold (origami pun wholly intended).

During “phase one” Canonical is targeting devices at enthusiasts and developers and not the general public. Sales volume matters less than getting phones in the hands of the right people, the types who will make the most of it, improve it and tell others about it.

So to balance the limited number of stock Meizu have, to ensure that only people who know what they’re buying do, and to ensure word-of-mouth and momentum is spread among users, they’re intentionally limiting sales.

How Much Does the Phone Cost?

When you find an invite you’ll be able to buy the phone itself. It costs €299 (excluding shipping) within the European Union.

Meizu say they won’t ship this phone beyond the EU. If you somehow manage to wrangle a handset beyond here be aware that it may cost more.

‘This is not a convergence device; it does not turn into a PC when you attach a monitor and keyboard’

If I attach a monitor, keyboard and mouse does it turn into a PC?

No.

The first Ubuntu Phone to support ‘convergence’ will be made by Spanish company Bq and will be released (tentatively) in October, 2015.

A future OS update could enable convergence features on this phone but this is not guaranteed.

Is the hardware the same as the Chinese/FlymeOS version?

Exactly the same hardware. The difference is solely at the software level.

Is there an SD Card Slot?

‘With no SD card slot, 16GB is the storage limit on this handset’

No. 16GB is the ceiling for storage on this device.

Is the battery replaceable?

No.

The back cover pops off so you can see the battery, but you can’t remove it.

What colour is the handset?

Two colors choices are available:

  • White with silver-edges
  • Gold

The grey version you see plastered about this site, our social media and on our YouTube channel is a limited edition 32GB model given to us by Canonical.

I own a Flyme OS version. Can I flash Ubuntu?

‘The boot loader is unlocked; you can replace Ubuntu with Android if you want to’

Possibly.

Meizu will make a recovery (i.e. flashable) image of the Ubuntu Phone OS available at some point. The stickler is that not all MX4’s sold with the Android-based Flyme OS and Yun OS are ‘flashable’. Some units have locked bootloaders.

Best advice is to buy the version pre-loaded with Ubuntu when it becomes available and not preemptively buy an Android version under the assumption you’ll be able to flash it.

If I don’t like Ubuntu can I flash FlymeOS?

Yes.

The Ubuntu Edition ships with an unlocked boot loader.

Meizu say they want customers to be able to choose their operating system. If Ubuntu and its web-centric, Scopes-heavy interface isn’t right a-ok with users flashing their Android fork FlymeOS.