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The new version of BQ's Aquaris E4.5 smartphone is the first chance for the public to buy a phone running the Ubuntu operating system. It will be sold in a series of flash sales, each lasting for a limited time period. The details of the first sale will be announced on Tuesday 10 February on Ubuntu's Twitter, Google+ and Facebook pages and BQ's Twitter account bqreaders. Best known as an alternative operating system for PCs that aren't Windows or Apple Mac computers, Ubuntu is open source and beloved of developers and tinkerers. It is developed by British company Canonical, which plans to expand the operating system's reach to other devices such as phones, tablets, smart devices and even drones.

We first got a hint of those plans at trade show Mobile World Congress in February 2013, when we saw a version of Ubuntu for phones and tablets demonstrated on Google Nexus devices , At MWC 2014 the first proper Ubuntu phones appeared, made by Spanish manufacturer BQ and Chinese company Meizu, And now, a year later and $1 iphone cases just a couple of weeks shy of MWC 2015, one of those phones will finally go on sale, There's no sign of the Meizu MX3 yet, At this point, the E4.5 Ubuntu Edition will only be on sale in Europe, It's sold unlocked, but customers will be offered SIM bundles when buying the phone thanks to Ubuntu's deals with Portugal Telecom, GiffGaff in the UK, Three in Sweden and Amena in Spain..

There are no plans for a US launch of the phone. Flash sales are an interesting way of building buzz around a product by shifting a large number in a short time. In a recent flash sale, up-and-coming Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi claims to have sold out all 40,000 units of its new Redmi 1S Android phone in just 4.2 seconds. Ubuntu is an "upstart OS" -- one of a number of potential alternatives to Android or iPhone that have been building towards a consumer release in the past couple of years. At MWC 2013 we felt Ubuntu was more polished than rivals Firefox OS and Tizen, but in the intervening time Tizen in particular has surged forward. Backed by the might of Samsung, the troubled and long-gestating Tizen has finally limped its way into a phone, the Samsung Z1. But more importantly, Samsung wants Tizen to form an ecosystem across all kinds of devices, powering Samsung TVs, cameras and other devices.

The BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition will be at industry trade show MWC 2015, where manufacturers, app builders and other mobile companies gather to show off their latest phones, tablets, smart devices and other wares, We'll be there in force to bring you our first impressions with glossy hands-on photos and videos $1 iphone cases of all the coolest kit you need to know about, The BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition is an alternative to iPhone and Android and will be available in Europe, The first Ubuntu phone is finally going on sale, and it isn't just the software that's doing things a bit differently: the BQ Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition will be available in a grab-it-while-you-can limited-numbers flash sale..

Canonical is working with Spanish manufacturer BQ as well as Chinese manufacturer Meizu, and Ubuntu versions of the Aquaris E4.5 and Meizu's MX3 were previewed a year ago . The MX3 is still in the works, but the E4.5 is the first proper fruit of that labour to actually go on sale. Loaded with the Ubuntu operating system, the phone moves away from the familiar idea of apps downloaded to your phone, instead giving you "scopes", or home screens that mix online sources and the stuff on your phone. Ubuntu combines both apps and scopes, which are simpler to make, so developers working on Ubuntu phones aren't obligated to spend time and money building another proprietary version of their app as they would with iOS, Android or Windows Phone.

You control the phone by swiping in from each side of the screen, Bringing your finger in from the left reveals an app launcher filled with icons for your currently open apps and other favourites, all arranged in a $1 iphone cases column, Tracing your finger from the right opens the multitasking carousel, which lets you quickly scroll through all the apps you have open in a nifty 3D animation that looks like you're turning the pages of a book, Once you're in an app, swipe up from the bottom for that app's menu or to manage scopes, And pull down from the top for notifications and status indicators, which you select by swiping left or right, They include recent messages, network information such as your signal or Wi-Fi, upcoming events and a battery readout..

It isn't just the software that does things differently: the phone won't be sold like other phones, either. Instead, it will appear in a series of "flash sales", going on sale for a limited time. Flash sales will be announced on Ubuntu's Twitter, Google+ and Facebook pages, and BQ's Twitter account bqreaders. In these sales the Aquaris Ubuntu Edition costs €170, which converts to around £130, $195 or AU$250. The phone will only be on sale in Europe. Ubuntu has done deals with GiffGaff in the UK, Three in Sweden, Amena in Spain and Portugal Telecom to offer SIM bundles when customers buy the phone. It's unlocked, so you can use it on any network supported by the phone.

There are no plans for a US launch, as BQ does not have a presence there -- and the E4.5 doesn't $1 iphone cases support all American flavours of 3G, "Since we're at the beginning of the journey, we're targeting early adopters," says Cristian Parrino, the VP of mobile at Canonical, "A lot will come from the existing Ubuntu and BQ user bases, but it's certainly not limited to that, This is very much a consumer device."The biggest innovation of the Ubuntu experience is the use of scopes, Scopes are home screens dedicated to one topic -- for instance music, video or news -- that pull together content from various sources, For example, instead of having a YouTube app for watching online videos and a separate app for watching the videos saved on your phone, the video scope pulls them all together in one place, Each service on that aggregated home page -- like YouTube or Vimeo -- can then build its own branded scope, which is more like a traditional app..