BQ Launches Updated Aquaris E5 Ubuntu Mobile Smartphone


The second smartphone running Ubuntu Mobile is announced by Spanish firm

BQ has taken the wraps off the Aquaris E5 Ubuntu Edition, an updated version of the Aquaris E4.5 announced ahead of Mobile World Congress (MWC) earlier this year, and has reiterated its support for Canonical’s open source operating system.

As the name suggests, the Aquaris E5 boasts a larger five inch display while it has a more powerful 13 megapixel rear camera to complement the five megapixel front lens.

It has the same 1.3GHz MediaTek Quad Core Cortex A7 processor as its predecessor and ships with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. Dual SIM support comes as standard.

Ubuntu Mobile

BQ Ubuntu Mobile 2The Spanish manufacturer says the success of the E4.5 – the first to run Ubuntu Mobile – has encouraged it to release an updated version, adding its collaboration with Canonical is a long term project.

“Working with Canonical on bringing the Aquaris E5 Ubuntu Edition has been very satisfying,” said Alberto Mendez, CEO of BQ. “We share the same philosophy as them along with the same commitment to the Open Source Initiative.

“At BQ, our goal is to help people understand technology, encourage them to use it and inspire them to create it. That´s why the opportunity for creation that Ubuntu affords is fundamentally important to us.”

Manufacturing partners

BQ and Chinese manufacturer Meizu were signed up as partners last year after Canonical failed to achieve its crowdfunding target to build the ‘Ubuntu Edge’ – a high specification smartphone that would have served as a showcase.

Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth has previously said Ubuntu Mobile devices would most likely not appeal to iPhone owners, but the firm is adamant it wants the platform to become “mass market”, but admits it will take time. However Canonical has admitted in the past that it doesn’t expect a major manufacturer to make Ubuntu smartphones.

“Bringing a new operating system to market requires partners who are willing to challenge the status quo of the mobile industry,” added Cristian Parrino, vice president of mobile at Canonical. “BQ is a fearless innovator whose risk with Ubuntu has already paid off – the launch of this second device in Europe marks an amazing milestone for both companies.”

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