Age of Aquaris E4.5 passes by in a couple of hours as Ubuntu phone sells out

11 Feb 2015

The first ever Ubuntu smartphone, the Aquaris E4.5, went on sale in Europe and sold out in a few hours.

Canonica and BQ announced the flash sale yesterday, with the smartphones available, theoretically, until this evening.

However it took a couple of hours for the limited number of devices to sell out, with more flash sales coming on stream quite soon.

Priced at €170, the smartphones gained significant interest in the past week when details of the planned sales emerged.

The device, built with the open-sourced Ubunto software in mind, features a 4.5in display with dragontrail glass for scratch and impact resistance.

There’s also, as is the norm now, a front- and back-facing camera (5mpx  and 8mpx respectively). A nice touch, too, is the availability of two micro-sim card slots, so you can use the phone across two networks.

An achievement already

John Bacon, a former employee at Cononical, recently wrote of the major achievement it was in just getting a Ubunto-based smartphone to market, especially given the limited time and resources available to developers and engineers.

“There is no doubt that the engineering team has pulled off an incredible feat to deliver what we can already see in the current images,” he said in a post at Opensource.

“They built a convergent mobile environment, app developer platform, display server, a range of apps, all the sundry pieces (settings, networking, bluetooth, etc), and performed the hardware enablement. Even the most vitriol-filled observer should tip their hat at the Ubuntu engineering team for their accomplishments with a relatively short set of resources and tight timelines.”

Bacon feels the success of the phones will hinge on scopes, given that both simplicity and security – two corner stones of successful tech creations – are relatively well regarded in Ubuntu software.

Canonical will be at the Mobile World Congress showing off both its devices – there is also an Ubuntu version of the Meizu MX4.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic