5 Mobility Devices You Can Buy Right Now That Support Ubuntu Touch
Here’s what we know so far. Ubuntu Touch is coming, and yes it’s officially called Ubuntu Touch. We also know that it’s not likely that we’ll be seeing any manufacturers shipping Ubuntu powered devices until first quarter 2014. However, devs, tinkerers, and the just plain curious have been downloading and flashing their devices with the latest developer image since late February.
So what do we know about the hardware it will support? What OEM partners are lined up and ready to build hardware specifically to support this new mobile OS? Firefox’s recently announced OS already has solid commitments from Sony and Telefonica. Unfortunately, to date, there have been no such announcements for Canonical/Ubuntu Touch but Canonical has mentioned that they are in talks with some OEMs and the partner inquiry page definitely seems open for business. Shuttleworth and the gang are also doing what they can to make the OS hardware-compatible with already existing Android devices and embedding support for webapps.
Have no fear though early adopters, there are already a handful of devices out right now that we know for a fact will support Ubuntu Touch, because they already have developer images running on them. The proof is all over YouTube. So here are the 5 devices you can go out right now and grab that are already running developer previews or have already been announced will support touch. You can flash them and be up and running a developer preview or be poised and ready when a more polished release is available.
The 4.65″ HD Super AMOLED display is definitely ready to show off the beautiful design we’ve seen on present Ubuntu Touch releases. The device also features a 1.2Ghz dual-core processor and is carried by Sprint.
Obvious choice is obvious. If you’re going to set out to prove your OS is superior to Google’s the first thing you’ve gotta do is put it on a device that bears Google’s name. With a Qualcomm Snapdragon™ S4 Pro processor, an 8 megapixel camera, and 2 GB or RAM, this is likely to be the device to focus on when looking for benchmarks.
Oddly enough, or perhaps not so much considering the baffling (to me) lack of interest in 7″ tablets, this is the cheapest option of the Nexus group. The Galaxy will set you back a head turning $699 bucks and the Nexus 4 and 10 cost $299 and $399 respectively. So at $199, if you’re one of those people who buy 7″ super tablets and use them for nothing more than an e-reader, then this baby is for you. You can flash it with Ubuntu right now, and if you don’t like it, you can be back reading trashy romance novels in no time.
As someone who has been a fan of Samsung devices since the first time I searched Google for “largest smartphone available by screen size” and found the Note, I have to say I get a little excited at the idea that Samsung may be one of the first mobile OEMs to put out Ubuntu devices next year. Its dual-core ARM Cortex A15 processor and 2560-by-1600 (300ppi) display are probably 2 good reasons why the majority of the touch preview demo videos on YouTube are using the Nexus 10 as their platform.
As I mentioned last week, the Australian company Intermatrix is already taking pre-orders for their Intermatrix U7 (soon to be) Ubuntu powered tablet that will begin shipping in October 2013. The U7 features a quad core processor, clocked at 1.5ghz, with 1 GB RAM and a quad-core Vivante GC1000+ GPU. So you can pre-order that device today for around $299 or you can order the Aionol Novo7 Venus for
$149 (update: looks like the price has dropped to $129) which appears to be the exact same device minus the branding, the cost, the 7 month (possibly longer) wait, or the pre-installed Ubuntu Touch OS.
Of course these are just for the not so adventurous. There are actually 56 more devices not counting the ones listed above that are being ported right now and that are either a work in progress or “sort of working”. You can see that list here. So beyond the fab 5 mentioned earlier your options are fairly plentiful. All that without even mentioning Ubuntu for Android… Oops!