1 Year on Ubuntu Touch!


I got the phone repaired, but after a few days, the screen cracked again… bummer…
So when I heard that Ubuntu Touch would be coming to the BQ Aquaris e4.5 I IMMEDIATELY had to get one.
After doing my searches on how to get one, I quickly noticed that getting a BQ Aquaris e4.5 Ubuntu Edition was quite difficult.
So I decided I would go take a nerd trip, and flash the device myself.
I ordered the 170 Euro from the BQ site, and after two days, it arrived at my house.
Two days from Spain all the way to The Netherlands is quite fast as sometimes, sending a package from my town, to the other side of The Netherlands can take up to five days.

When it arrived, I booted up the phone into it’s android operating system to check that everything works.
After using the phone for a week, I decided that the phone was working correctly.

Busting out the flashing tools!

When I tried to flash my phone, I first used a tool called `ubuntu-device-flash`, which did not end very well.
My phone refused to unlock the bootloader, and it got me pretty frustrated.
After contacting the BQ support, I had one of those eureka moments: the bootloader already was unlocked.
After trying to run the script again, I got… nothing???
It seemed that at the time, the script was only made for the Nexus series… bummer…

After a long time of fiddling, and not having a phone to use, I managed to get my hands on the images I needed in order to flash my phone!
but in order to flash the phone, I had some steps to go trough, of which you can find a complete guide here.
So I charged my phone, turned it off, installed all the needed drivers, opened up the flash tool, imported all the images, and hit download…
After 5 minutes of being afraid to brick my device, the phone finally rebooted and showed a nice orange Ubuntu logo!

It took quite a while to fully boot, but I already expected it as it was the first boot of the operating system.

First Impressions

My first impressions where actually quite disappointing.
I couldn’t install Whatsapp, the Facebook and twitter app sucked, and the Instagram app was completely useless.
Also, the soft touch buttons on the button seemed to not be working either.
But, I liked the way that the “home screen” looked like as it was quite simple and more productivity aimed rather than being able to drop a crap ton of widgets on the homescreen.
Yet, even today, there is no option in which I can replace the background of the home screen, which I really would like to do to add a bit of extra flair.
My WiFi and 3G where found almost instantly, but I had to enter my WiFi password first of course.
After about 10 minutes of setup, I already noticed the first issue with the operating system: there was no option to create a hotspot!
Now while this might not be a big deal for some of you, it is quite helpful for me to setup a hotspot with my phone.
When I discovered there was no version for Whatsapp coming to Ubuntu Touch yet, I decided to look for an alternative, which seemed to be an old friend of mine: Telegram!
But there was a problem here: none of my friends used Telegram.
After convincing my girlfriend to use Telegram, I only used my phone for quick googles in the train, music listening and texting with my girlfriend.
after half a year of use, I finally found a better Facebook app, and by that time we where going to England.

Half a year on Ubuntu Touch

Roughly half a year after I flashed my phone to Ubuntu Touch, I was going on a holiday in England.
England, being foreign ground for me, I could lose the way quite easily, so I decided to look for a simple compass app.
But instead, I found an app called `Cacheamere` the app itself sucked quite hard, but it opened a new hobby for me: Geocaching.
After trying to find a better Geocaching app, I figured out that there is no app for it yet, so I used my Android tablet for it. again, bummer…
When trying to build an app myself on the laptop I had with me, I quickly realized that the GPS of the phone, didn’t work for some weird reason.
And after about 3 days in England, my phone just stopped working?
the phone has hung on the lock screen, and I couldn’t do anything.
I couldn’t remove the battery, and the power button didn’t do anything either.
I tried to do my best to figure out what was going on, but after another day, the phone started working again!
After I returned from England, I had 1 week of doing nothing at home before I left to Spain with my girlfriend and her parents.
Although nothing happened in Spain, I still had my phone for music while we had to drive some distance, or in the airplane.
Once I returned from Spain, I got a message saying that there was a system update availbable. yay?
After I installed the update, my phone seemed to have changed… nothing?
But wait, after reading the release notes, there where some changed, but none that would affect me.

Conclusion

Right now, we are at OTA-9.1 with OTA-10 beeing released soon(?).
I still use Ubuntu Touch as my daily driver, and except some minor issues (like for example, no Whatsapp) it runs quite well, with improvements every new release.
Would I recommend Ubuntu Touch to you?
The answer is probably a no.

Ubuntu Touch is amazing, but due to the lack of applications like Whatsapp and a decent Instagram and Facebook app that pass notifications, it’s simply not usable for the average user.
I hope Canonical and the Ubuntu community will make Ubuntu Touch even better, and I hope that Facebook will release a whatsapp and facebook app soon.

I hope you guys enjoyed this review, leave a comment if you want, register on my site for more updates, and ofcourse, make a donation if you want to: 1Gay22nGSs5tXArmABtSHGjKQTerMpptFV

G33k Out!

Leave a reply