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You’ve had Android phones, and you’ve had iPhones. Buying a smartphone for most people is a polarized, A/B choice. And for some, the experience of choosing a new phone is becoming… jaded.
You might think that Android and iOS have the mobile market sewn up, but what if I was to tell you that you don’t need to look at Windows 10 Mobile or BlackBerry as alternatives? Various others are available, but perhaps the most impressive of them all is the Ubuntu Phone, which uses the Ubuntu Touch platform, and can be found on devices such as the Meizu Pro 5.
Sure, it’s Ubuntu, which means it’s based on Linux — but then, so is Android. And no, you don’t need an Ubuntu PC to sync data with the phone. But that’s not the only reason why you should consider switching to Ubuntu Phone…
1. Mobile Security from Malware
Linux is famously secure when compared to Windows, and by building Ubuntu Touch upon the basic Ubuntu operating system, this security is translated into the mobile space.
Additionally, the lack of apps (not necessarily a bad thing — see below) means that there is a restricted attack vector for any malware developers hoping to capture your data via an app store, and as long as you keep your phone close (preferably in an internal pocket) while out and about, it’s unlikely to leak any secrets.
(However, as a new platform, be aware that Ubuntu Phone does not yet offer any encryption. It seems likely that this will be added in future.)
2. Scopes Bring Search Convenience
Back when Windows Phone was launched, Microsoft attempted to negate the lack of certain apps by incorporating their features into the platform. This is a tactic that Canonical has copied for Ubuntu Phone, combining social networking, email, and photographic services with a Google Now-style interface.
The result is Scopes, a collection of pages that pull the information you’re most likely to need from the networks and services you’re involved with. No more launching the Facebook or Twitter apps — the latest updates are pulled to your Ubuntu Phone.
Basically, this phone is about YOU.
It’s also a useful way to get around the lack of certain apps (and their battery-draining habits). And don’t think that there are no apps at all for Ubuntu Phone. You’ll find them available to install on the Ubuntu Store screen.
3. An Office in Your Pocket
The Convergence Mode is a built-in feature that means that you can turn your Ubuntu Phone into an Ubuntu PC with the connection of a keyboard, mouse and monitor.
It is literally an office in your pocket!
Consider this: you wake up, pick up your phone, and head to the office, where you plug it into a monitor, which displays the Ubuntu desktop. You work as normal, and when it’s time to go home, you disconnect your phone, head home… connect it to your monitor there, perhaps play some games, or edit photos, do some social networking, etc.
4. Performance is Impressive
Whether you’re using Android or iOS, from time to time, things seem to hang. In my experience so far, this has happened only with Ubuntu Phone, during intensive use on a hot day.
The user interface is slick and the hardware reliable. While I can only base this on the Meizu Pro 5, booting is fast, switching to the camera is almost instantaneous, and Internet access is swift and uncomplicated.
Most importantly, these are top-end devices, most of which are also available as Android devices. As such, you know that when you buy an Ubuntu Phone, you’re getting your hands on a decent handset that will last.
5. Most Devices Also Run Android
Whoah, hold on there: I know what you’re going to say. “Dumping the OS in favor of Android isn’t a selling point!”
Well, actually, the keyword is “also”. Just like you can dual boot a PC to run Windows and Linux, so you can install Android alongside Ubuntu on many of these devices. One of the reasons to dual boot Windows and Linux is to ease yourself into a new computing paradigm. The same is true here.
There’s another side to this, however. Being able to install any other operating system on an Ubuntu Phone makes it a particularly useful device to mobile developers and hackers (the white hat kind of course!), which can in turn potentially increase the device’s lifespan and relevance.
Case in point is the HTC HD2, released in 2009, and still receiving custom ROMs of the most recent versions of Android (oh, it runs Linux too). If you can buy a phone that supports multiple operating systems, there’s a strong chance you won’t need to buy another device for quite a few years.
The Ultimate Mobile Productivity Solution!
Isn’t it amazing that in this day and age of dominance by two ubiquitous mobile platforms, that we can still enjoy the release of a new platform, see what it’s got to offer, and make an informed decision? While Ubuntu Phone is short on apps, it is long on features, many of which negate the need for several “vital” apps.
Throw in its power as a portable office, and you’ve got the mobile productivity solution to end them all! If you want to know more about this new mobile platform for smartphones and tablets, check our review of Ubuntu Phone..
Have you tried Ubuntu Phone? Would you like to given the chance? Or are you sticking with Android, iPhone… or even Windows Mobile 10 or BlackBerry? Tell us in the comments!