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article imageCanonical and Meizu launch the most powerful Ubuntu phone ever

By James Walker     Feb 23, 2016 in Technology
Pre-orders are now open on the Meizu PRO 5 Ubuntu Edition, the most powerful smartphone ever to run the mobile version of the popular Linux operating system. Ubuntu may hold a tiny share of the smartphone market but has strong fan support.
The Meizu PRO 5 Ubuntu Edition was first announced last week. Ubuntu creators Canonical, manufacturer Meizu and joint sales partner demonstrated the phone at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona yesterday though, revealing more details and formally starting pre-orders.
The Meizu PRO usually runs Android but is now optionally available with Ubuntu phone. The handset's specifications remain the same, a set of high-end components to provide a flagship smartphone experience.
It has an octa-core 2.1GHz Samsung Exynos 7420 processor, a 5.7-inch Full HD AMOLED display, 21-megapixel rear camera, dual-SIM support, USB Type-C, a fingerprint sensor and a large 3,050mAh battery. The Meizu PRO 5 Ubuntu Edition is the fifth Ubuntu phone to launch in the past year and the most powerful ever, giving fans of the platform a phone with flagship specifications and performance.
Li Nan, vice president of Meizu, said of the deal with Canonical: "Having successfully launched our first device together in 2015, this new innovation demonstrates our close partnership, and continued desire to develop the most innovative and interesting mobile experiences for consumers all over the world. We have some interesting plans and so we’re looking forward to further deepening our partnership with Canonical in the future."
The Meizu PRO 5 Ubuntu Edition
The Meizu PRO 5 Ubuntu Edition
Canonical / Meizu
Ubuntu Phone doesn't have the market share of iOS, Android or even Windows but is continuing to develop and sell its own vision of what a smartphone should resemble.
The operating system is based around scopes, app-like services that are integrated into the system and can be accessed directly from the home-screen by swiping between pages. It's very different than the app drawer of Android and iOS where "apps" are deliberately compartmentalised and experience minimal interaction with each other.
Canonical is still working hard on its "Convergence" feature which will bring elements of Ubuntu desktop to the phone, letting users access the full power of the Linux subsystem, navigate the entire filesystem, use multiple windows and sync their work seamlessly between devices.
Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical, said the launch of new Ubuntu devices will help with the platform's development: "Our partnership with Meizu continues to result in the creation of beautifully designed hardware that perfectly complements the Ubuntu user experience. Users are always at the heart of our work together –something that brings an intuitive and rewarding experience to consumers everywhere."
The Meizu PRO 5 Ubuntu Edition is now available to pre-order as its demonstration at MWC has concluded. It is being sold exclusively on and costs $369.99, a comparatively low price considering the premium hardware inside.
The Ubuntu platform is likely to put many people off buying though, especially as an Android version of the same phone can be had instead. Canonical says Ubuntu is growing, noting that services including Twitter, Instagram, Spotify and Soundcloud are now available, but its vision of a less app-focused mobile experience has still reached only a handful of people.
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