Monday, June 29, 2015
Ubuntu Launches New, Invite-Only Smartphone
Canonical is launching an invite-only handset manufactured by Meizu. The company had hoped to launch an Ubuntu phone back in 2014, and now it seems they have finally done it in a really weird way. The new MX4 Ubuntu Edition has been available for a few months only to developers in China, but now you are able to order one in Europe too if you are one of the few people who are able to get an invite. They aren't announcing how many are available, but every day you can visit their teaser site and complete a few puzzles and other nonsense to compete for your chance at an invite. They also haven't said if they will release the phone outside of this odd invite system, or if it will be sold in other markets besides Europe. The whole thing is pretty much just extremely unusual.
The company has launched a few other phones, like the Aquaris E4.5 and E5, which are basically modified versions of Android phones that are already out, and the MX4 is basically the same idea. Its main features include a 5.36-inch display, an octa-core MediaTek 6595 processor, 2GB of RAM and a 3,100mAh battery. It also has a really nice 20.7-megapixel rear facing camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera for all of your selfie needs. It looks like a pretty good, solid smartphone, though there aren't really any features that make it stand out from the crowd and be the next "must have" phone.
Maybe it is coming out at a bad time. Compared to the Ubuntu Edge, it doesn't really seem very cool at all. Canonical has been really slow at developing the software for the device, and now it is almost outdated when put up against iOS 8 and Android Lollipop. There are also other operating systems about to drop soon, so it seems like the launch wasn't even thought out very well. Some people think that this phone's release is a strategic way of keeping expectations for the company low so that they can come from left field with something awesome and unexpected in the future. Whether this is true or not, who knows. But the phone isn't super awesome, that's the main point here.
The coolest thing about the phone is really the mystery behind its release, which is riding a fine line between being super cool and interesting, and really stupid and frustrating. Either way, the website is worth checking out, even if you don't end up getting an invite. At least check it out to see how weird it is.
Content originally published here