Canonical’s Ubuntu Edge smartphone leaked, to be announced in the coming days


Ubuntu Edge banner

After we uncovered a Canonical trademark for an upcoming device calling itself the “Ubuntu Edge,” we had a good idea a smartphone announcement of some sort was in the works. Ever since the Ubuntu Touch OS was first announced in January, we’ve known about Canonical’s plans to launch several Ubuntu Touch devices by fall of this year. In fact, in a recent video interview, Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth revealed that 4 Ubuntu Touch devices would soon be hitting the market — one mid-range, and one high-end — with the other 2 being variants.


With the clock ticking down and October only a few months away, we now have even more information regarding one of these upcoming Ubuntu Touch devices — you guessed it, the recently trademarked Ubuntu Edge. A few days ago, the official Ubuntu website was teasing something that was to be announced in 4 days. The teaser read “the line where two surface meet.” Any guesses? Yup. The Edge.

If that wasn’t enough, French website Ubuntouch was able to dive in and grab some images from the teaser page (before the whole thing was taken down). What did they find? One sexy smartphone, that’s what. Say hello to the Ubuntu Edge.

Canonical Ubuntu Edge front back title

Ubuntu Edge sideview

While these images tell us little in terms of specs, it’s easy to see Canonical’s commitment to simple, clean design. Just like their mobile OS. Minimal is the name of the game. The front features small bezels, with sharp corners and edges. The back features a matte finish and a subtle Ubuntu logo. Along the sides, a line of dots gives the phone a touch of character, with very minimal square buttons for the volume rocker and power button.

Judging by the leaked images, I’m pleasantly surprised at what Canonical managed to accomplish with the Edge. Sure, nothing is set in stone at the moment, but as a tech enthusiast first and Android fan second, I love seeing new entries like this enter the market and shake things up. I hope Samsung is taking notes.

[via Liliputing]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Canonical, take my money now!

  2. Damn, this phone is super aesthetic to look at. I’m impressed if this is real.

    1. i agree..this is one sexy phone…slap some jellybean on it and BAM! good-to-go.

      1. That defeats the purpose of it being an Ubuntu OS phone though, it’s good to go with its own OS

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      2. You don’t really know what you’re looking at, do you?

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      It’s definitely a nice design and
      I like what I saw of the OS itself… But I wonder how app development
      will rally around it? As an enthusiast, I might buy a second tablet with
      Ubuntu on it, but I imagine it will be a while for before the ecosystem
      evolves enough for me to switch phones.

  3. I see no provisions for audio/media… where are the speakers?

    1. Maybe on the sides? Not sure

    2. Probably just one and it is under that slit.

  4. Meh, too much top bezel….

    1. That’s what i said about the HTC One

  5. Surface/Edge?!

    1. The line where two surfaces meet, is called an edge. And Ubuntu Touch relies heavily on it’s edges; left, right, top, bottom.

      1. There’s no denying from that pic looks like a mini surface tab. Not saying they copied design or anything, just that it looks extremely similar. The name to me also implies that they got some inspiration from Surface.

  6. Nice. I would love to see this succeed.

  7. don’t seem that ergonomic to hold but looks quite nice

    1. Indeed. I would expect a product like an Ubuntu phone to have abnormally rounded edges.

      1. Hehe Actually, I really liked the Eon Superphone concept I saw a while ago.

  8. less bezel would be nice but I’m digging the side design with the dots. looks hella dope

    1. IKR!? It’s different. I don’t remember seeing anything like that on a phone.

  9. It’s definitely a nice design and I like what I saw of the OS itself… But I wonder how app development will rally around it? As an enthusiast, I might buy a second tablet with Ubuntu on it, but I imagine it will be a while for before the ecosystem evolves enough for me to switch phones.

    1. Mark Shuttleworth said recently that the OS will come with the top 50 apps – whatever they are. I agree that apps are important, although when I rationalize it, I don’t use more than half a dozen. What’s more exciting though is the possibility of traditional desktop programs working on it.

      I hope widgets will work well too. :D

      1. I definitely use more than a half dozen; although I don’t mind if the same ones I use on Android aren’t available as long as competent substitutes are available.

        And desktop apps won’t work natively… The last I heard is that it would use a thin client solution to access desktop applications. I am interested in seeing how well that works though.

        1. :/ Have I got it all wrong? I thought it was being marketed as “one OS to rule them all” – the idea that the phone can be docked and becomes a desktop. It’s a tad misleading if that’s not the case.

          Smartphones have the power and speed that a desktop had a generation ago, after all. And on the whole people probably don’t need the full-featured Office…

          1. Yes, you’ve got it wrong. If you watch canonical videos from Feb… At least one of them mention that you will be able to talk on the phone or tablet and use a thin client solutions to simulate the desktop experience. So it’s not quite a one OS solution, as the mobile OS is different & cannot directly run desktop applications.but depending on the stability of the thin client solutions, it will probably still be a better solution than Windows 8.

          2. :( Oh. That’s rubbed a bit of the shine off. Ah well. Still better than the alternatives though.

          3. No, you’ve got it wrong. You’ve mixed two different things. It has built-in support to run _Windows_ applications using thin-client solutions. The idea is that you _will_ be able to run normal Ubuntu desktop, with all it’s software, but only when it’s docked to a larger screen with keyboard, mouse, etc. When you use the phone as a phone, however, you won’t be able to run desktop apps as that wouldn’t make any sense in any case.

            It won’t be a different operating system. It’s the same Ubuntu that runs on your desktop. It’s the interface that changes. You will be able to install all kinds of servers on it, for instance, enabling you to reuse your devices when they’re no longer sufficient for your mobile needs.

          4. That makes absolutely no sense. Number one, you don’t need a thin client to run Windows applications on Ubuntu. You just need Wine.

            Number two, Canonical themselves explained the difference between the two versions of the OS and the fact that a thin client is used to access Ubuntu desktop… Otherwise, your phone or tablet would NOT need to be docked in order to use desktop applications.

          5. No, it is impossible to run native x86 applications using Wine on an ARM processor. They’re completely different things. If that was to be possible, then you would have to emulate the CPU using something like QEMU. Remember; Wine Is No Emulator.

            No, a thin-client is not used to access Ubuntu desktop. Ubuntu phones currently run directly on Surfaceflinger, which is the Android window system. In the near future, both Ubuntu Phone and Ubuntu Desktop will run on Mir, which is a new window system. There is no kind of thin-client functionality used in order to accomplish that. However, as I said before, Ubuntu has built-in support for RDP and ICA in order to run Windows applications from a remote location.

            And you’re right. You don’t need to dock the phone in order to run a desktop application. It’s just that desktop applications are not specialized for non-desktop environments, whereas the Ubuntu Desktop is specialized to handle desktop applications. I don’t understand why that’s difficult to understand.

            By the way; I run Ubuntu Touch on my tablet as we speak.

          6. I was going off the February video which stated that docking the tablet will allow you to access full Ubuntu desktop software and Windows software via thinclient. There did not seem to be any differentiation b/w ubuntu software & windows in that statement. I read one or two articles at the time that seemed to corroborate this.

            I dual boot Ubuntu (12.10) but it is not on my primary system of choice and I hadn’t followed any recent developments… but I just read up on 13.04 and the switch to MIR to smoothly scale across all devices.

            Also back in February, I believe there were video interviews that introduced Ubuntu Touch developer preview as a means to garner support around the Touch OS for app development… as if it were a separate environment. I don’t recall Canonical’s intentions for 13.04 being available at that time (the beta didn’t start for another month)… but it’s possible I simply hadn’t read up on it. At any rate, I do see in the notes for 13.04 that developers will be able to build applications just once and launch them across all Ubuntu form factors… which is awesome. I would have been okay with a thin client solution, but this is definitely better.

          7. Tell that too my school. I require too much formatting to use any other version of a word processing program.

            I was using some free one, but the issue was when opening office programs, I’d lose so much formatting. Luckily my school had released 2010 for me to get.

          8. If you’re formatting so much, wouldn’t you be better off using a desktop publishing package? Or couldn’t you save your documents as PDFs? (not that that addresses your valid point of compatibility between Office and its free equivalents – or even different versions of Office).

            I guess one of the benefits of having a pocket computer (just recycling a very old phrase) should be that you carry your software with you, so the formatting issue wouldn’t arise.

          9. I have Office already. That’s what I meant with my last sentence. Sorry.

            Lately mobile office variant apps have been quite useful. They’ve gotten better.

            It’s starting to become a rare case with me needing Office. Mainly with using Excel. Professors would have it where certain cells can only have certain information and you choose from a drop down. Office variants lose that formatting and I end up not doing the assignment correctly. LoL!!

            After chatting with you about this, it looks like I’d be content with the alternatives. Maybe I’m just still scarred from that time period of not having Office so I had to drive ALL the way to school to do my assignments. LoL!!

          10. I used to be on the train a lot, and I’d use QuickOffice on my iPhone, which had an unfortunate propensity for crashing. Plus, before Dropbox came along, you then had to wrestle with iTunes to transfer the file…

            I quite understand why Apple were reluctant to let M$ anywhere near the iPhone/iPad – but they missed a trick by not making Pages etc. available for quite so long. (A USB connection to a printer might’ve been helpful too, but this page isn’t about dissing Apple.)

            Much to their credit, I think Canonical have realised that people do want something more from their gizmos than games and social networking.

          11. Yea, formatting has continued to be a minor issue for me on Office alternatives.

            They are okay for starting work that will later be corrected and formatted. But I don’t start anything in Office and then finish it in Quickoffice (or Google Docs which is my preferred app). I mostly use Office alternatives to start work on the go, or to view Office documents on the go.

        2. [Thinking about it, of course I use more than half a dozen apps :/ ]

    2. It’ll take some time for apps to get there, but what Ubuntu Touch has over other new platforms, is web apps. They’re first class citizens in the system and can integrate very, very well. That way developers can quickly bring their services to Ubuntu Touch before they release a native application.

  10. The line where two surfaces meet? The returns counter at the Microsoft Store would be my guess.

    Thank you, thank you. I’m here all week. Tip your waitress and try the veal.

    1. As a surface pro owner I approve this message!

  11. I really want to see the Ubuntu OS do well – I find the concept of Unity very exciting, and well ahead of other phone OSs. I’m pleased that Canonical are bringing out a selection of devices – hopefully it will encourage other manufacturers to do the same.


    1. Same here, though I do hope they make a phablet. Ubuntu Touch is made for big screens.

  12. Nice! Now all they have to do is very the os running good :-P

  13. I really wanna dual boot this on my one but haven’t seen the option to as of yet.

    1. Ubuntu for Android will let you run Android on your phone and Ubuntu when connected to the big screen.

      1. Yeah, that’s not what I’m after. I’m after being able to dual boot Ubuntu Touch and Android.

  14. Looks eerily similar to a Nokia WP phone

  15. wish stock android looks this beautiful

    1. Android ? Where have you seen we where talking about Android ?


  17. It’s beautiful, but it looks A LOT like the Surface phone renderings from a while ago. Before you bash, check them out on Google, they look very similar! Perhaps the Surface phone was actually the Ubuntu phone.

  18. Looks completely 100% fake

  19. I am not a Ubuntu fan, but do like Linux, that said I would love to see a openSuse phone.

  20. Bezel of peace

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