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Second Ubuntu phone announced

Canonical has announced the second smartphone to run on the Ubuntu operating system, and it’s launching this month.

It took some 18 months for the first Ubuntu phone to become available after a failed Indiegogo campaign. In fact, it only became available back in February.

It’s perhaps a surprise, then, to learn that the second Ubuntu phone has been unveiled. Or perhaps not, considering how out of date its predecessor was by the time it saw the light of day.

That’s not to say that the second Ubuntu phone is going to be troubling any flagship Android phones on the spec front, or many mid-rangers for that matter. It is a big improvement over the first effort, though.

The Aquaris E5 HD Ubuntu Edition, which is being manufactured by Spain’s BQ, sports a 5-inch IPS 720p display and a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek processor.

It’s also got 16GB of internal storage, a 13-megapixel main camera, and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. Two SIM slots allow for swift switching between a pair of accounts.

The Aquaris E5 HD Ubuntu Edition is only going to be available to EU customers. It’s launching later this month, and it will cost €199.90 (£144).

Of course, that price band has seen a significant increase in smartphone competitiveness in recent years. Will the second Ubuntu phone be able to stand up to the latest Moto G, for example?

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The key difference here, of course, is that you’re getting the Linux-based Ubuntu OS, which runs apps written in either HTML5 or QML. The OS renders apps more discretely, as swipable widgets called ‘Scopes’ rather than walled-off programs.

It all leads to an ‘unfragmented’ experience for users that’s far removed from Android and iOS. That’s the idea, anyway. Let’s hope that the hardware can finally match such laudable software intentions.

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