Ubuntu Edge Smartphone Announced

In case you forgot, let me refresh your memory. There exists a variant of Ubuntu for smartphones, that's optimized for mobile machine architectures, and a touch-centric user-interface, it's been out since January, and barring a few enthusiastic announcements by OEMs taking their pick between Ubuntu and Firefox OS, we haven't really heard much about it, until now.

Ubuntu community took it upon itself to launch a device running its operating system, to serve as both a tech-demonstrator for the platform, and a mass premium product in itself. True to its community roots, the undertaking relies on the success of a crowd-sourcing campaign on IndieGoGo, which attempts to raise the $32 million needed to mass-produce and market the product, if it has to stand any chance against the Android swarm, iOS clique, and the Windows Phone niche.

Named Ubuntu Edge, the smartphone features a design that just might qualify as unique, featuring a simple black monolithic design, with no contrasting highlights. It's somewhat ingot-shaped, with the back-panel getting the smaller surface. The larger surface bears a 4.5-inch HD (1280 x 720 pixels) screen, working out to a pixel density of 300 ppi, an unnamed "fastest" multi-core SoC, and 4 GB of RAM, ride under the hood.

That's right, Ubuntu isn't held back back by Android ecosystem's archaic reluctance to toy with a 64-bit kernel, and so it will build most of its ecosystem around 64-bit, starting with 4 GB of RAM. The other big item on the specs sheet is a staggering 128 GB of internal storage. Even if Ubuntu turns out to be a bigger bloat on storage, there's enough space to go around. Other specs include a combination of 8 and 2 megapixel cameras, and modern connectivity such as LTE, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, and what have you.

Right off the bat, it's clear that Ubuntu may not find Firefox OS a competitor. Its innovations appear to be targeted more towards the mid-thru-premium smartphone segment, compared to Firefox' entry-thru-mid.