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Apr 9, 2014

Meizu Shows Its MX3 Running Ubuntu for Phones

Canonical announced a while ago that it had chosen Meizu and BQ as the first hardware partners for the first Ubuntu-powered phones, and now an official video of Ubuntu running on a Meizu phone has been made public.

Not all Ubuntu fans understood why Canonical chose these two companies to be the spear point of Ubuntu in the busy phone market. Both Mark Shuttleworth and Canonical representatives tried to explain why Meizu and BQ. “Meizu is one of China’s most successful high-end smartphone manufacturers with over 1,000 employees, 600 retail stores and a global presence in China, Hong Kong, Israel, Russia and Ukraine. In January, the company announced its strategy to expand into other international markets as well as to ship phones in America later in 2014 and Ubuntu will be a key part of this expansion,” said one of the many communiques from Canonical. Users can only try Ubuntu for phones by installing it on Nexus devices and on a handful of other unsupported phones (like the latest Nexus 5). This will remain in place until the new Meizu and BQ phones hit the market.

There is no news of the BQ phone, but Meizu MX3 will be used as the flagship phone for Ubuntu. The phone comes in two versions, one with a Quad-core 1.6 GHz Cortex-A15 processor and one with a Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7 processor. It's unclear which one is used in the video, but presumably it's the fastest one. As you can clearly see from the clip, most of the system seems to be in place, but the Ubuntu version used to illustrate the features is a little old. Some of the new features promoted by Canonical can't be seen in this video, like the new Scopes. In any case, the performance seems to be rather smooth, with the exception of a few apps that open slower than they should. On the other hand, the gallery app looks amazing and the transition effects look very good.

There is no official launch date for the first Ubuntu phones. Until now, the only proposed date is the fall of 2014, but there is no certainty about it. Based on the progress made in the development of Ubuntu Touch, we might even get a 2015 launch. Canonical made some great headway with the operating system and there is no reason to doubt that it will be ready to ship its OS in time.

Ubuntu running on Meizu MX3
Image credits to MeixuMXOn
Short demo showing Meizu MX3 running Ubuntu.
Video credits to Meizu MX On


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