Meizu Pro 5
Does Ubuntu do the hardware justice?

As the flagship Ubuntu Phone the Meizu Pro 5 Ubuntu Edition has a lot of promise to live up to.

Announced earlier this year at Mobile World Congress, the Pro 5 smartphone has an octa-core processor, 3GB RAM and 32GB of internal flash storage.

It costs $369 and can be “pre-ordered” by adding your e-mail address to a mailing list (no, we’ve no idea how that constitutes a pre-order, either).

In short, this aluminium ensconced device is every convergence fan’s digital dream¹. But is the choice of OS it comes with a chink in an otherwise attractive armour?

Early hands-on reviews from The Verge and Engadget revealed that despite the high-end hardware the phone OS didn’t perform well enough.

As it gets ready to go on sale, have things improved?

A Flagship Gamble?

meizu pro 5 specs
Click to enlarge

Loading a premium phone like the Pro 5 with a mobile OS that’s more than a little tardy around the edges, is a gamble.

It the juxtaposition of high-end handset and emerging OS as jarring in hand as it reads on paper?

We often wonder the same thing, which is why we take great interest in noting what those who don’t breath Ubuntu make of its consumer appearances.

ZDnet Reviews Ubuntu PRO 5 Ubuntu Edition

Several well-known technology sites (and plenty of lesser known ones too) have had Meizu Pro 5 Ubuntu Edition review units to use over the past couple of weeks.

We, alas, are once again not among them. But ZDnet’s Jason Perlow is.

Or was. I can never structure my tenses correctly.

Back to task: In the following ~10 minute long video Jason Perlow introduces Meizu (the company), the Pro 5 (the phone), and,shows off how well the device handles HTML5 web-apps, like Tweetdeck and Facebook.

Perlow is clearly enthused by the idea of a smartphone running a fully open-source OS, as you’ll see:

The Negatives

Ubuntu Touch’s performance remains a noticeable issue, as Perlow notes: “It’s a bit slow to run some of these apps. If you have nothing in memory and you want to start firing up some tasks it takes a while. From start-up to getting [an app] running it takes a while.”

‘It’s a bit slow to run some of these apps.’

As for whether this phone with this OS has what it takes to bring Meizu success, Perlow is coy: “I don’t know if it’s going to be a huge consumer success, but from the perspective of looking at what Meizu is doing it’s a really neat device. Taking a risk with Ubuntu is kind of ballsy, to be honest with you.”

A text article (which you can view at this link) accompanies this video. Uf you are hoping for a detailed run-through  of this device as an Ubuntu Phone (and not just a phone that isn’t Android) you’ll be disappointed. Few characters are given to describing the software experience, but plenty to the who, what and why of Meizu.

If you spot a Meizu PRO 5 Ubuntu Edition review in the wild do give us a shout. We rely on your tips and article ideas to keep this site going.

Don’t forget to let us know your experiences with the Bq M10 Ubuntu Tablet if you’ve ordered one. Details on how to do that are in this post (and a big thank you to all who’ve e-mailed us so far — you’re awesome!). 

¹Perhaps worth us noting that the Pro 5 will rely on wireless display technologies to achieve ‘convergence’. The hardware lacks support for connecting to external monitor using HDMI (either via MHL/Slimport) or USB-C.

H/t Popescu Sorin

Ubuntu Phone Video Meizu Pro 5 Ubuntu Edition