So Far Ubuntu Phone Hasn't Tempted Me, But Would Highly Consider A Tizen Device

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 1 August 2016 at 03:58 PM EDT. 27 Comments
With writing this weekend about switching to an S7 Edge powered by Android as my primary smartphone, it generated a flurry of comments in the forums and elsewhere with people wanting to share their two cents. A surprising number of people have contacted me to ask why I didn't buy an Ubuntu Phone or to try to fault me for not buying an Ubuntu Phone.

I didn't buy an Ubuntu Phone because I haven't yet seen a device I've liked and the software stack is far from finished. The specifications and build quality of the few Ubuntu Phones so far -- in the BQ Aquaris and Meziu lines -- haven't been of interest to me. While I haven't had my hands on a Meizu Pro 5, the S7 Edge seems to have better build quality, the screen is clearly better, etc. If there was a device similar to the originally proposed Ubuntu Edge, I might be more tempted, but still the software side isn't fully baked.

I've tried out Ubuntu Phones just a few times but still continued reviews from general tech press and customer feedback posted on Reddit and elsewhere continue to confirm that the user experience is lacking, the app coverage is well behind (or comparable scopes), it's slow, and still very much a work-in-progress. It would be fun to easily run legacy Linux desktop applications on a phone / converged device, but not something that I'd do on a daily basis or have much of a need to do besides doing it for fun or wanting to run benchmarks. I'd also not use any converged experience as my primary desktop, unless there was like a NVIDIA Tegra like device to offer very capable CPU and graphics performance where my desktop experience wouldn't be degraded. So on the software side, no super compelling reason I'd go for an Ubuntu Phone at this point.

Thus I continue to be quite happy with the Samsung S7 Edge running Android. But to address another range of comments from my earlier article: Tizen does tempt me. If there was an S7 Edge option for Tizen I would have gone for it or if an official/semi-official ROM of Tizen for the S7 Edge is released by Samsung, I'd give it a shot. (It looks like there may be some unofficial community spins available, but that's not for me.) Having closely followed Tizen's development since its inception, it does excite me a lot from a technical perspective and is already being used by a wealth of Samsung products. I haven't tried Tizen myself on a phone yet, but from all indications it's much further baked than Ubuntu Phone right now and more versatile.

Hopefully by the time I need to upgrade the S7 Edge in a few years, Tizen and/or Ubuntu Phone will be appearing on high-end smartphones in the US. What's your thoughts on Tizen and Ubuntu Phone? Share them by commenting on this article in the forums.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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