I suddenly had the chance to buy a Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition phone and I decided to bite the bullet and go for it. Ubuntu phones such as the BQ Aquaris E4.5 or E5 didn’t appeal to me since they both lacked 4G support and had similar specs to my previous phone. (Vodafone Smart 4 Turbo) I did love my previous phone but also felt the need to get a high spec Ubuntu phone to see what all the hype is about.
The hardware itself is absolutely stunning! The specs would make most geeks swoon!
- Octo core processor (4 @ 2.2Ghz and 4 @ 1.7Ghz).
- 2GB Ram.
- 5.36 inch full HD screen (1920 x 1152 pixels) covered with Gorilla glass 3.
- PowerVR G6200 GPU.
- 20.7 MP Sony camera (lens also protected with Gorilla glass 3).
- 2 MP internal camera.
- Bluetooth 4.0.
- 16 GB internal storage.
- 3100 mAh battery (89h on an endurance test)
The product had very impressive top notch packaging. The phone is sealed inside the manual like a hidden treasure, the plug is small, stylish and compact. The fact I feel the need to write a little about it here says enough really. Impressive presentation!
Ubuntu Phone OS
I went through a helpful wizard in the beginning, getting all the setup out of the way. Everything here was flawless, I connected to WiFI and ran some updates to the OS. I then hooked up to the usual services such as Facebook, Twitter and Gmail which all run in the form of webapps currently. I didn’t see an issue as certain things on Android such as the speech bubbles on Facebook really annoy me! (I’m sure im not alone on that one) To manage my own e-mail I found a neat app called Dekko.
The camera is truly amazing, in the future I plan to take lots of pretty pictures with it! You can also record full HD, so maybe a few videos may be worth a shot too.The default apps I launched one by one for a peek. All worked fine. Next I wanted to put some music on it, so I connected to my PC. Showed up immediately but didn’t allow me to paste files. You need to enable developer mode to mount the phone properly. Minor annoyance but I’m sure it will be ironed out in the future!
- The fact all apps are either web based or C++ native code means everything runs really fast. (Unlike Android’s Java apps)
- Being able to reply to a text inside the notifications. Nice touch!
- The introduction wizard was really easy to use and worked flawlessly.
- The app switcher is both fancy and effective.
- The default apps have had much thought and effort put into the UX.
What was not so good?
- The file manager should be included by default. (Who won’t need it?) Everyone will need it.
- The music player has yet to include .m3u support for my old playlists.
- Turning up the volume when the phone is horizontal will not rotate the volume indicator.
- Youtube as a webapp isn’t as usable as the Android Youtube app.
- Needs something like a quick toggle button bar for WiFi, Bluetooth, Data-switch, brightness.
So at the end of the day, do I miss Android? No. Not quite. However, Ubuntu OS is not perfect yet either. Anyone else lucky enough to win a chance to buy one? If so what is your first impression of the phone OS?