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Mobile World Congress 2017
Meizu MX3 and BQ Aquaris are the first Ubuntu phonesThe Ubuntu two are the first phones to ditch Android for Ubuntu. See what you think of the new software in our hands-on video.
Meet the Ubuntu two. These are the first two phones to bring Ubuntu to you, the Meizu MX3 and the BQ Aquaris. Ubuntu is best known for providing you with an alternative to Windows on your PC, but the British company behind the software is branching out into phones and tablets too. And these little pair will be the first phones with Ubuntu on it that you can actually buy. So, the first existing Android phones that will be outfitted with new Ubuntu software. The Meizu MX3 is currently on sale in China and other parts of the world, and it's a 5.1-inch phone with a Samsung 8-core chip inside. The kind of glossy design actually kind of reminds me of a Samsung Galaxy phone, but my favorite of the Ubuntu two is this Spanish-made 4.5-inch, quad-core BQ Aquaris. Just take a look at the understated design of this minimalist slab of smartphone style. So, those are the phones, but what about the software? Ubuntu is based around home screens called 'scopes,' which can be as simple as a screen collecting all your music or your photos, or they can be customized and themes. You can have a scope for the World Cup, for example, showing you the latest news about the beautiful game. Or your phone carrier or network can display a dedicated scope showing your bill and your account information. I like Ubuntu. It's a sleek and elegant system that's based around swiping your finger in from the edges of the screen. Swiping from the left through an app launcher to quickly fire up your favorite apps. Swiping from the right and you get a multitasking carousel so you can browse through the apps you currently have running. Once they're in and out, swipe off from the bottom for sub-menu and at anytime pull down from the top of the screen to see your notifications, recent messages and the important information you need to know about your phone like the battery level or signal strength. So it's early days for Ubuntu, and a lot is writing on which networks and manufacturers get on board, but we'll be keeping a close eye on the Ubuntu two to see if it can mount a real challenge to Android. I'm Richard Trenholm. For more on the latest cutting edge mobile phones, tablets, and wearable technology, check out CNET.com.