A Ubuntu Phone Will Finally Go On Sale Next Year

Fans of Ubuntu have been waiting patiently for a phone running Canonical’s mobile OS to make its way to retail shelves. Thanks to Chinese OEM Meizu, they may only have a few more months to wait.

The Meizu MX-series phone with Ubuntu is expected to launch in China and select European markets in the first quarter of 2015 following an agreement signed with Canonical this week. Meizu won’t be shipping it with a vanilla OS, however. It will feature a new version of the company’s Flyme OS, based on Ubuntu instead of Android. While the core software will be radically different from Meizu’s Android-based OS, the user experience is expected to remain very similar.

Meizu hasn’t announced specific hardware just yet, though some are predicting that they’ll load Ubuntu onto the flagship MX4. It’s a 5.4-inch beast powered by a MediaTek octa-core processor, with 2GB of RAM, a 418ppi display, 20MP camera, LTE radio, and a retail price of around $350.

Back in April of this year, Meizu and Canonical showed off an early look at the Ubuntu Mobile experience on a slightly older, less powerful MX3 handset. While rough around the edges, the OS still showed a lot of promise.

What will be interesting to see is whether or not Meizu’s first Ubuntu-based smartphone will be able to launch a full-blown Ubuntu desktop session. That functionality has been demonstrated before, and it’s one of the most intriguing features of Ubuntu Mobile — that your smartphone could essentially do double duty as a desktop computer.

I Write Things.