23
Jul
edge-1-large

So, the folks at Canonical have been talking up their Ubuntu smartphone platform for a little over six months. Today they revealed their ultimate plan to revolutionize the smartphone world, a fantastic Death Star of a concept device: the Ubuntu Edge. It's a beautiful slab of metal that features some of the most outlandish mobile hardware ever seen, it runs Ubuntu for smartphones, doubles as a dockable ARM-powered desktop, and dual-boots Android. And all you'll have to do to get it is fork over thirty-two million dollars.

Well, not you, personally. It's an Indiegogo crowdfunded campaign that's asking for $32,000,000 from a variety of users... starting at $600 for the hardware. (And that's a one-day early bird special.) Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth describes Edge as a Formula 1-style testbed for new ideas in both software and hardware. Basically, it's one of those wild concept devices you see bandied about at trade shows. But Canonical and Ubuntu want to make this one real.

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The $32 million goal would shatter records for crowdfunding. According to the description, it's so large because they need to "produce enough volume to bring the unit costs down." But if their goal is big, their dream is bigger: Edge will be nothing less than the most advanced, flexible mobile hardware and software combination in the world, if it ever sees the light of day. Some of the specifications for the device are a bit pedestrian: a 4.5-inch 720p LCD screen (the better to swipe with), 8MP/2MP rear and front cameras, 9mm thickness, et cetera. But some aren't. Canonical wants to shove (at least) 4GB of RAM and 128GB of Flash storage into this thing, to say nothing of dual LTE radios, stereo speakers, and a next-generation silicon-anode battery.

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It's hard to deny that the hardware is beautiful. The phone body is a single piece of metal, with (and we're not making this up) "precisely chamfered edges for the optimal grip and perfect control of the edge gestures." Easily the most impressive part of the fantasy hardware is a full sapphire crystal screen - that's the synthetic crystal they use for extremely expensive wristwatches. It can only be scratched by two tickets to that thing you love. Crazy dream or not, this is what the RAZR wants to be when it grows up.

And of course, the phone will dock with a desktop monitor, mouse, and keyboard to boot into a desktop environment, while still being able to run either Ubuntu or Android on the phone itself. Users can switch between Android and the native Ubuntu at will, though there's no word on important Android stuff like Google Play Store support. Unfortunately, the description mentions that desktop docking in Ubuntu smartphone will only come after a post-launch update - apparently ten months isn't long enough to get it quite ready.

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Edge is a limited-run, ultra-premium device, and if it's made, it probably won't ever be sold via a carrier. At the moment the only plans for hardware are through the Indiegogo campaign itself. The $600 donator level is for today only, and includes one phone (and free shipping!). After today the price for a pledge phone goes up to a whopping $830. The next donation level is $10,000 - that's ten, with a "thousand" behind it - for one of the first 50 individually-numbered Edges. You'll also get email access to the design team (they don't have to listen to you) and a VIP invitation to the unveiling event. For the low, low price of $80,000, you can get 100 edges for your business, 30 days of free workshops, and a pony and a plastic rocket free support for 30 days.

You can also donate $20 for a pat on the back. You have thirty days to contribute: the campaign ends on August 21st.

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If Edge is successfully funded, Canonical hopes to deliver the hardware in May of 2014. A lot of things can change in ten months, and the finer points of the design aren't even finalized at the moment... like the processor. But if you'd like to lay down $600 for the promise of the coolest open-source phone on the planet, go for it. If the plan is successful, Shuttleworth says that they may do yearly runs of new Edge hardware.

The future of mobile Ubuntu does not depend upon the Edge campaign. Canonical is still developing the operating system and desktop syncing components, and plans to have it ready to license to device manufacturers in 2014. Edge is sort of a pie-in-the-sky dream for them, and they're just hoping that the Ubuntu userbase and larger open-source community is inspired enough to give them the money. Lots of it. Thirty-two million dollars.

Good luck, ladies and gents. At the time of writing, there's 487,000 dollars down, and just over 31.5 million to go.

Update: After a bit more than 24 hours, the Ubuntu Edge campaign has raised $3.4 million, securing more than 5,000 individual phone pledges and three $10,000 backers. This would put the project on pace to comfortably reach its goal, assuming that donations continue at the same rate.

I'm still pretty skeptical that this will go through. I'd guess that the majority of those who will donate already have thanks to the first-day incentive, and I'd be very surprised if the total pledged amount surpassed $10 million. But I'm prepared to put my money where my mouth is: our fearless leader Artem (who digs the Edge, by the way) and I have a wager. If the Edge reaches its goal, I'll buy him one. And if it doesn't, he'll buy... hang on a second, I've got a call to make.

Source: Indiegogo - Ubuntu Edge

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • TY

    $600 for a phone that can boot into Ubuntu and Android, open like the Nexus, the latest and best hardware (both internal and external) as of May 2014, can be used as a laptop/desktop PC... Count me in!
    BTW for 32million, they are aiming to sell 40000 of these. Hope they can succeed,

    • Zach Erwin Ruedy

      Yeah, I'm really disappointed with the way tech sites are reporting this.
      "a bit pedestrian: a 4.5-inch 720p LCD screen (the better to swipe with), 8MP/2MP rear and front cameras, 9mm thickness, et cetera."

      As Shuttleworth says, the current smartphone race is caught up in the past race of megapixels. 720p on a 4.5inch screen is all that you need; and it'll be covered by SAPPHIRE, that cannot be scratched by anything but DIAMONDS. It'll also be a quality CALIBRATED panel; aka, it's going to look better than any other screen on the market because they'll focus on what matters.
      Similarly, the camera will be better because of the factors that matter; not simply megapixels.
      9mm thickness is kind of necessary for so much RAM and storage, don't you think? The processor too: which it didn't say whether it was x86 or ARM, we don't know yet.

      Seriously disappointed in the reporting here.

      • David Margolin

        isn't it true that the higher you go on the hardness scale, the softer the material is.... wont that mean the glass wont get scratched but will be easily dented?

        • Zach Erwin Ruedy

          I'm not sure but to my knowledge diamonds sure don't dent easily, and they're the top of the top.

          • fonix232

            Depends on the thickness of the material. A thin layer of diamond would bend the same way (well not EXACTLY the same way, but quite similarly) as a reinforced glass layer. What gives sturdiness here is the main body, plus the internal structure being united instead of scattered around like in the case of the iPhones.

        • GraveUypo

          no. those are two separate proprieties. in fact, these harder minerals are the opposite of malleable. they're brittle. they crack and shatter, they don't bend. high malleability with moderately high hardness is something usually found in metals.

      • TY

        Yep, at first I was not that excited, after reading the article. But after watching the video, wow. Just wow.

      • fonix232

        No, the thickness is not really necessary, but for one, I prefer a phone with some depth, instead of a slice of paper dangling in my pocket.

        Some of the specs are really "not up to todays smartphones", but as you said, they are countered with the care and quality of them. Though I'd still like to see a 1080p screen in it :D

      • Ricardo

        The reporting here is miles better than the ones on engadget or the verge. It seems to me they didn't pay attention to the more ambitious specs of this phone (they omitted the sapphire screen and the nanowire battery)

        • Zach Erwin Ruedy

          Even I omitted the nanowire battery; this thing oozes the future and the tech blogs don't even care. I still can't believe the Verge's lack of coverage.

      • BB

        Don't know why Android Police would be complaining about the depth of the Ubuntu Edge seeing how both the Nexus 4 and HTC One have a depth of 9mm. More megapixels doesn't automatically result in better photo quality. 720p display pedestrian? Can the human eye really tell the difference between 1080p and 720p on a smartphone (actually curious)?

        • blunden

          Given that an app having an xxhdpi icon or an xhdpi icon on an 4.7" 1080p screen is quite noticable I'd say yes, it's noticable. At least for people with good eyes.

        • GraveUypo

          it's not nearly as noticeable as people like to point out. certainly not comparable to the step up from 848x480 to 720p. you can only spot the differences if you look for them your use your phone held against your forehead.

        • mesmorino

          At normal viewing distances, no the eye cannot see the difference on a smartphone.

          But the android fanboys and evangelists keep on harping about meaningless figures.

    • romeo

      This article also neglect to report the most important factor, CUSTOMIZATION.
      I just read on original indiegogo page:

      "This is an Open Device, so users can tinker with the software and use standard flashing tools to upload custom builds."

      I'm in. :)

      • Royal2000H

        So... like most Android phones..?

        • Guillermo

          Not so easy in some of them. I can tell as an i9300 owner, that getting it to work properly with CM has been not without an effort from some great guys.

          • http://bytemypanda.mp/ SleepingPanda

            Fellow i9300 owner here. I can't state enough how right you are. I'd like to point you in the direction for a custom CM solution that works for me. Here you go: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=29339117

          • Hal Motley

            But Samsung used to be known for its customization on its Android devices. Getting my i9100 wasn't too difficult, although its only nightlies because the whole Exynos documentation controversy. Where did they go wrong?

    • hyperbolic

      I would differently buy one.

  • Mathew Hudspeth

    If they sell all of their limited options, they are only at $7.5 million. That means they either hope to sell another 30,000 phones, have 1.3 million donors at the $20 level, or some combination of the two. In a month? I frankly just don't see how that math will work out.

    Then again, they are getting lots of media from this. They have already sold 834 phones as of 1:55pm. Just in the time I've looked at the page, they seem to be selling about 100 phones per hour. Maybe the math will work out after all...

  • David Margolin

    so a million a day... theres a chance... considering they just got half a million within about 4 hours... obviously the donations will slow down later during the month but never the less... there's a chance...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft
      • Arun

        Its $722,722 already.

        • Merri Mogridge

          It's up to $807,401 in the 17 minutes since you posted that comment. I would love to see this get fully funded!

          • Arun

            I am damn sure it will be around $5 million by the end of this day or may be even more !!!

          • David Margolin

            up to 3.1 million now... that's crazy

    • ScottColbert

      Still a long ways away from being produced even if it is funded. And if it isn't produced), there's going to be a lot of pissed off people.

  • Karan O

    This is by far the most beautiful and well made Smartphone i HAVE EVER SEEN!

    and materials they used to build this Masterpiece is so impressive !

    and god it's flexible ANDROID + UBUNTU

    i hope they place a KILLER CPU on it too + it's 4GB of RAM and 128 GB Memory !
    but ithink they must change it to 4.8" 1080P + 8MP Ultrapixel Like Camera !

    they must find a funder/ company to fund them properly i don't think they find their desired money via PEOPLE!

    MUST BUY for 600$ !

    • Zach Erwin Ruedy

      Pretty sure it is going to be a 8MP ultrapixel-like camera as they said they care about low-light.

      As for the size; they won't be enlarging it because they focus on edge-based gesture and bigger than 4.5" is not ideal for that.
      Also the resolution won't be higher because the PPI is plenty as is; they'll focus on calibration and quality of the screen instead of a needless PPI/Megapixel race.

      • Karan O

        if it's going to stick to the 4.5" screen i don't care about resolution cause i loved my ONE X 4.7" Screen as much as my S4 but i would love to see it less bezel 4.8-5.0 (1080P) Screen !

        and they should use Super-LCDs too if they care about quality

  • Spittie_

    I think the 32 million goal is quite irrealistic too, but you're making it sound too bad.
    First, for a phone with this hardware, 830$ is not much. I think that an iPhone 5 64gb cost more than this (remember, off contract). The biggest problem is that you pay now, and get it the next year.
    The screen hopefully it's not going to be pedestrian. I'd rather have a great 720p panel (as they're promising) than a mediocre 1080p panel. Contrast and gamut are more important than resolution, especially when we're already above the 250ppi.
    Same for the camera. More mp is hardly better (many times is worse, as the pixel are smaller and get less light). It's really depend on the quality of the sensor and the optic.

    Beside that, 128gb of space seems damn good, and 4gb of am seems great if you're going yo be able to run a full desktop and desktop applications.
    Dual booting with android should make everyone happy about the operative system.

    I really hope they success, as a fan of open source (Ubuntu, while it's not exactly the best in this regard, it's still better than Microsoft/apple) and as a fan of that phone.

  • Emmanuel Buttigieg

    Synthetic sapphire isn't that rare in watches you know, €350 Steinhart divers have them, as do a number of cheaper quartz devices.

    This is the second time I've seen it in a phone though. The Motorola Aura had one I think.

    • Paul

      You can buy watches for $20. A watch over $150 is what I would call 'expensive'.

      Handmade mechanical watches are something even more expensive and unique.

    • Ror

      Vertu's luxury phones have sapphire screens. They practically started the sapphire screen trend.

  • MrHaroHaro

    Really don't like the level of hate this phone is getting. It seems pretty innovative actually. If I had $600 to spare I'd throw money at this.

    • Zach Erwin Ruedy

      I'm arguing with myself; I'm going to be in the market for a ~$550 phone in a years time anyways...so should I shell it out now and gamble on this? I can't decide...

      • ranova

        on the funding page:

        If you are not happy with the product, you may return it within 28 days of receiving it for a full refund.

        Im tempted to buy it, $600 for an unlocked phone is normal. $600 for a phone with these specs and dual boot? LETS DO IT

        • Zach Erwin Ruedy

          That's a really good point...I'm only wary as to what everyone else will put out in a years time; Android could've gone this route with Chrome OS by then or Windows Phone may have met with Windows 8.

          • David

            Canonical has been developing and publicizing the concept for more than a year and a half. There hasn't been anything similar from Google or Microsoft. And with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, this will still be a top-of-the-line phone in a year's time.

        • Mr E

          Good to know. I'm really tempted by this. I assume it won't work on Verizon?
          Also, I'm guessing you just pay the $600 today and hope you receive something later?

          • Jordan Pt

            Technically you don't pay $600 until the end of August, and even then, only if they get their cool $32 million in pledges.

          • dalex7777

            Actually they take your money the first day. IndieGogo has a rule about holding money over $500: it has to be paid via PayPal the same day.

            If the project doesn't fund, you'll get your money back: after providing Canonical with a 30 day, no interest loan.

          • Hal Motley

            It only seems to support GSM carriers via a SIM card like AT&T and T-Mobile (in the UK we call T-Mobile, Everything Everywhere).

            From my understanding, it would have been more pricey to put in a CDMA radio and Canonical would have had to work with the proprietary drivers for it and whatnot...

            Why can't the USA have more GSM love to it? XD

    • Arun

      Yes I agree with you @mrharoharo:disqus . Also the author tried his level best so as to make the readers to hate this phone.

      • kamiller42

        This is Google Police after all. Don't let "Android" in the title fool ya.

        • Thomas’

          Bullshit, AP is one of the least fanboyish source for news.

          • kamiller42

            I would prefer this site be an Android fanboy site rather than a Google fanboy site. This site covers all things Google (99.9% of the time glowingly) but not all things Android. That's fine but "Google Police" would be a more proper title.

  • skaterjosh98

    So this looks almost identical to the "Surface Phone" you see when talking about a Microsoft branded phone. It looks like a smaller version of my Surface.

  • Jadephyre

    32 Million... yeah, dream on Mark.
    Specs look interesting, but by the time they plan to release that, other phones will have at least similar specs.

  • fonix232

    It's all nice, all together good specs, though the price, hmm... hopefully some carrier will pick it up and sell it a bit cheaper on contract. Open source or not, 830 US Dollar is still way too much for a phone, even if it has polished diamond screen and a quantum CPU tucked under the cover (well, in that case it is not too much, but, you get me).

    Still, I miss a few little things:
    - Wireless charging. It wasn't mentioned anywhere, but I think it should be necessary if they want a market-leading phone.
    - NFC. Same goes as for wireless charging. Must-have.
    - Those little holes on the side, while very designer-ish, I could see some more functionality. For one, notification LEDs neatly positioned in every hole, so if you put your phone down, it can notify you of events without lighting the screen up (and apps could have their own notification pattern, animations, etc. As we already have multi-color LEDs on the market, same size as the regular one-color ones, I see nothing against having such a nice addition). Or, dual stereo speakers on each side. Meaning, you can get a 4.0 system in your hand: top and bottom, left and right. Unlike the Nexus 4 it would never be muted accidentally by putting it down, and watching movies would be an actual experience on it.
    - I also miss the declaration of the ports. Will it have a SlimPort-enabled microUSB connection? Some proprietary port? Only wireless connection (stupid)?

    I know it is early to ask most of the questions, but still, if we're to pay for it, let it be a complete design!

    • Barnassey

      You aren't used to buying your phones outright are you?

      • fonix232

        No, not really. In an economic situation where my monthly income barely hits the 500-600EUR, I can hardly buy a phone worth that much. Plus, I have a subscription any way, so why not use it for discounts?

        • Barnassey

          I save up €35 a month and buy a new one every year.

          • fonix232

            Good for you. I could cancel my subscription, would save monthly 20EUR, and I would be with a phone in two years, but without any connectivity to use it with. Given that I have a good package (20EUR for 10GB data, unlimited voice call, SMS, MMS, for 2EUR more I can get LTE), with a subscription locking me for one year, I can do the same, without saving up separately and saying no to my previous life mode.

          • Barnassey

            Considering the average charge cycles for a li-po battery is now 400 to 500 charge cycles and that article stated 2010 it may be higher now due to the time.

    • Spittie_

      http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ubuntu-edge
      Go to the "hardware" section, this will anwer some of your questions.

      NFC is supported, and it will have a microUSB port (with MHL support, so outputting video to supported devices).

      • fonix232

        Indeed, must have skipped it.

  • Anthony Sanwo

    I wonder if they looking to put 4gb ram in this does that mean it could have one of the 64bit arm chips coming out soon? But man am liking the sound of this.... The pricing doesn't seem that much for what you will be getting if I had the money I would signing up :)

    • Anon

      Doubt it, 4GB should be almost fully addressable by a 32-bit processor, save for some special memory-mapped regions.

  • http://bertelking.com/ Bertel King, Jr.

    I love that back. I think Samsung and HTC would both do wonders for their designs by just coming up with logos that don't involve text. The Ubuntu logo is as easy and attractive to plaster on things as, well, an apple with a bite taken out.

    • Ror

      There's plenty of good examples of well done text logos. Sony, for instance.

  • GraveUypo

    okay i'll just say the specs are solid where it matters (not to say impressive, love the storage, the ram and specially the sapphire screen. COME AT ME, SAND!) and i've always loved the concept of a pocket "desktop computer". i would buy this in the blink of an eye.

    • Ricardo

      I love the specs too but I remain sceptical about the silicon anode battery. I'm afraid they won't be able to ship this phone with such a battery. I really really hope I'm wrong because if they succeed, it would be quite a revolution.

      • Barnassey

        Silicon Anode batteries are already out. They are simply used in industrial applications, (mainly due to the fact when not plugged into a source of charging power they lose 0.001 percent of battery per month).

        • Ricardo

          Assuming a constant loss, you'd loose 0.1 percent in 8 years. That is a nice trade-off IMO. Clearly there's at least another ship stopper in the technology. Otherwise every phone would ship with one of those.

          • Barnassey

            Price they are VERY costly since it is newer tech. I think the average 5000Mah battery it is something on the order of $200 - $300.

          • didibus

            Wikipedia seems to say the problem with them is that they loose their holding capacity as you recharge them. After 250 recharge, they can only hold 80 percent of what they could do on the first charge. Maybe that's the hold up.

          • Barnassey

            Considering the average charge cycles for a li-po battery is now 400 to
            500 charge cycles and that article stated 2010 it may be higher now due
            to the time.

          • Ricardo

            And what would be the voltage of one of those batteries?
            Edit: Do you know the energy density of these things?

          • Barnassey

            I dont know the energy density of them. I do know the voltage is 4.35 volts when it is almost completely discharged. so i would guess that they run at or close to 5V.

          • Ricardo

            A 25 Wh battery? That's almost as much as a tablet! if this is small enough this would be amazing to have indeed. However I remain sceptical they'll ship the edge with one (unless they're willing to make little to no profit of of it).

          • Barnassey

            I dont think this is a profile type of thing. I think it is to make a point that custom high end phones are still wanted.

          • Guillermo

            I don't think Canonical expects to make a profit. I think they expect to pay components and engineers.

  • eleazar

    If this was guaranteed to come to Verizon, I would sign up right now... Alas, I'm sure Big Red won't allow it (at least they won't allow it on their 3g network, the 4g network is open I believe)

    • Mr E

      maybe i missed it, but i didn't see cdma radios listed

  • mesmorino

    The only thing I am interested in... The ONLY thing, is battery life. Basically, battery life or gtfo. Man's talking about dual LTE antennas, 4GB RAM and some next level processor, with no mention of the juice levels.

    If it doesn't come with something approaching either the Anker or the Zero Lemon batteries (preferably the latter), I don't want to know. THAT is where the innovation is. Anybody can shove more ram, and more cpu into a phone, and as for making it look good? Please. But battery life? Nobody seems to be able to figure that one out.

    • didibus

      Well, they did say they would use the new Nanowire batteries: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanowire_battery

      The batteries are supposed to be able to have 10 times the power of current lithium ion batteries. The only problem with them was that as you recharge them, it's maximum holding capacity would decease significantly. They were working on a way to not have that happen, don't know if they found a way or not.

      • Ark

        Yeah, here's the problem I have with that concept: If it was doable, it would have been done by Samsung or Apple. You know, companies to whom 32 million is almost literally pocket change.

        • Ror

          This is entirely the point people are missing on this.

        • Guillermo

          They don't want to take the risk or there is no battery producer for such large series as Samsung or Apple need. We are talking 100 times more.

          • Ark

            What risk? The risk of making trillions? There is no risk. Whoever designs a battery that is suddenly 10x better than the current ones for the best seller phones in the planet, is set for life. Their kids are set for life. Their grandkids are too. Anyone with money would be begging for the opportunity to invest in a company that made batteries that were ten times more powerful than the current ones.
            it's bullshit.

        • simp1istic

          This is a pretty terrible outlook. Nothing new would ever get made if everyone thought this way. Pebble exists well before apple and google's watches. Many MANY cell phones existed before Apple and the iPhone became what they are.

          • Ark

            Being sad that big companies have more money to invest in innovation doesn't change the fact that it's true.

            Pebble being released before other smartwatches has nothing to do with this article, my argument, battery technology or even technology, it has to do with the nature of time itself, and I'm not sure why you brought it up.

            And yes, phones existed before the iphone.
            Wait, are you high? These are arguments from someone who's tripping on LSD.

          • simp1istic

            Big companies are not agile, they don't often take big risks, and something like pebble has everything to do with this. It was a 10 million dollar crowdsourcing campaign that is now sold in best buys all over the US as a pretty much "new" category.

            Again, the If it was doable, it would be done already, is an awful, incorrect outlook. There are technologies that absolutely work that don't fit the numbers that Apple or Samsung want to hit. Hell, samsung won't even make a phone that doesn't creak like garbage.

          • Ark

            BECAUSE it's a new category. They didn't make a better smartphone than Apple. They made a cool smartwatch because they don't exist.

            I don't know what planet you live in, but in mine, It's 100% obvious that as soon as a new, better battery technology is available, it will be in the flagships of the most successful companies on earth.

    • Jasonc07

      The ONLY thing you care about is battery life?

      The only thing you care about is not plugging your phone in at night? I don't understand why that is such a huge issue for so many people. Get a wireless charger (or a wired one for that matter) and put it next to your bed. As long as a phone lasts the day I have no need for extra battery life and definitely would not sacrifice other advances for that alone.

      Im glad your not the one designing the phones of the future, sounds pretty dull to me.

      • mesmorino

        I on the other hand, am VERY glad that you're not the one designing the phones of the future, since you seem to be incapable of imagining a scenario where you might want, no, NEED your phone to be able to last more than one stupid day. Don't go making baseless assumptions without thinking them through, what makes you think I care one way or the other about charging every night? I have the Zero Lemon battery for the Galaxy s3, and I still charge it every night, except that I know I can go to London on a friday night and come back on monday morning with my phone at 30%, if not more.

        You have no need for extra battery life, so just be quiet and let the rest of us who need more get on with it, eh? And just in case you still can't think of a reason you might want your phone to last more than a day, here's a couple:

        It's 7pm and your phone's at 40% (and draining). Then you get a call, so and so's got a broken leg, meet us at the hospital. You go there and they're in A&E (or the ER, for Americans). So it's a 3-4hr wait since it's not life threatening, then it's another 3 hours in surgery because what do you know, it's a compound fracture and shit's getting real. Meanwhile, you're getting calls and texts from people who want to know wtf's going on. And then your phone dies. So now you're sat in the hospital, people are trying to reach you and get updates, and you're sitting there with a dead phone. Like a div.

        You're on the road, commuting from Milton Keynes to London and it's 9pm. You're charging your stupid phone with the one day battery using your in car charger, and because it's fucking 2013, your phone is also your satnav. Then you bust a tire, swerve into the hard shoulder and end up with a concussion, whiplash, and a broken clavicle. You're barely conscious and anyway you can't find your phone to ring the emergency services but that's okay because passers-by do it for you. By the time they get there you're unconscious, but they manage to revive you. They know your name from your license, but they don't know where you're going, where you live, who to tell about where they're taking you. Check my phone you say, except they can't find it. You rattle off the number and they ring it, except the stupid phone is dead. Nobody at home can reach you, because the stupid phone is dead. The paramedics are trying to get some numbers out of you but you keep mixing up your work and home numbers and the strain of remembering is about to push you under again.

        So there you are in a helicopter ambulance off to god knows where and nobody knows where you are or what's happened to you.

        Don't bother poking holes in those scenarios, I can do that myself. The point is not about how realistic they are or how plausible or possible, but that there are REAL situations where you might NEED your phone to last more than one poxy day.

        Hell, here's a more realistic and less convoluted one- You're off on a four day camping trip and your forget your charger at home (nevermind the question of where you'd be charging it in the wilderness anyway), and your phone dies on the first night. And then you get lost on the second day, chased by a badger on the third day, and get the flu on the fourth day. So there's you sat in your tent trying not to cough your lungs up and you can't ring anybody for help...

        Because your stupid phone is dead.

        • simp1istic

          You're off on a camping trip and you forget to bring gas and food! You starve in the wilderness and can't drive back!

          • ergu

            that happened to me once, they made a movie about it

          • mesmorino

            If you want to be an ass, sure let's play along- You forget to bring gas and food on your camping trip, but you bring your phone. Fortunately, it lasts more than one poxy day on a single charge, so you are able to a) either call someone for help, or if you don't have a signal b) find somewhere with good reception and make that call, without wondering if your phone will still be operational when you get there

          • simp1istic

            I really don't want to play along. You're being ridiculous.

            Here's another twist ending: Your phone only last one day, so you bring a battery pack that last 4 or 5 you bought for 30 bucks on amazon because you're not an incompetent moron who can't pack for a trip. Oh, and nothing bad happens and you go home and had a fine time.

          • mesmorino

            Of course you don't want to play along, you're being a troll. Like I said CLEARLY in the post, the point was not about how realistic or plausible those scenarios are, but rather that there are situations where you might need your phone to last more than a day.

            So to recap, I've acknowledged that the scenarios aren't realistic... And then you come along and post one that's even more ridiculous. Why? To be a smartass? Or to show how clever you are at coming up with more and more stupid scenarios? Why, exactly? To what end? Do you disagree with my point? Or do you agree? Or are you just trolling?

            If you cannot see the point of that post, which I have stated clearly twice now, then I don't know what to do with you without resorting to name calling. If you do understand what I'm talking about and are just being a troll, then er... knock yourself out, I guess. Have a good day and all that.

        • Jasonc07

          Why are you so mad dude? Didn't realize I couldn't have an opinion different to yours.

          You say "The only thing I am interested in... The ONLY thing, is battery life. Basically, battery life or gtfo." I say that's a boring future and I'm sticking to it. If you said the main thing fair enough I guess but you say only and feel the need to repeat in caps.

          Sorry that I don't want the whole future of phone development based around the very few times in my life I will be away from a power point for days. I think the fact that it takes a whole convoluted paragraph to explain a few instances that you would require a battery to last as long as you would like makes my point for me.

          Would I like battery life to be longer? Sure.. There are times it will come in handy. At the expense of other advances no thanks.

          PS: If you feel the need to write a reply that big because someone says your ideas are boring your going to have bigger problems in life than a flat phone.

          • mesmorino

            1) I'm not mad.

            2) You can have whatever opinion you like, but when you then start making statements like

            "The only thing you care about is not plugging your phone in at night? I don't understand why that is such a huge issue for so many people. Get a wireless charger (or a wired one for that matter) and put it next to your bed. As long as a phone lasts the day I have no need for extra battery life and definitely would not sacrifice other advances for that alone.

            Im glad your not the one designing the phones of the future, sounds pretty dull to me"

            Then you are coming off as antagonistic and are inviting a response, a response which is tempered to the tone of *your* comment. If I sound like an arse, do you have to sound like one too?

            3) I don't feel a need to write a reply of any size, rather I feel a need to clearly explain my thoughts. The reply is that long by necessity, because it takes much less time to read or say something out loud than it takes to type it. If it takes a whole convoluted paragraph, then that's what it takes, and no, it doesn't make any point for you. If it does, kindly explain said point.

            4)You're making assumptions again- Where'd you get the idea that I have a problem with flat phones? Or that I want a bigger battery at the expense of other advances? *My* overriding concern is battery life, and that's exactly what the original comment says. "Battery life or gtfo" is supposed to mean that I would rather hear about that than how ever many mega pixels the camera has or whatever the screen resolution is.

            You're the one coming up with baseless assumptions. I have a problem with *small batteries*, no more, no less. Get it right.

            You can have all the opinions you want, and you can disagree with me all you want. Ain't nobody trying to fight with you, you responded, I responded.

  • Kenny O

    If I could buy it right now, I would very seriously pony up the $600 (probably even $830) assuming the Android side had full Google Services.......but a year is a long time, even longer when you think of when you will most likely get the device. I hope they are successful, because I would definitely buy one retail.

    • Bernhard Mähr

      It won't be available after the 30 days.

  • dudi

    "apparently ten months isn't long enough to get it quite ready"...
    Jeremiah Rice, a self-described blogger that "watches Star Trek in his spare time" is criticizing people that are actually trying to build something. I guess Jeremiah would have done it in 2 months.
    Better keep your "funny" cynical comments to your mother when she helps you "cook eggs".

    • didibus

      He also missed the fact that the feature will be available at launch inside of Android, only when booting into Ubuntu Mobile will the feature be missing at launch, but available in a following update.

      And since this is an Android blog, the author should have expected the readers to want to boot into Android on this phone anyway, which mean that the feature is available at launch, for us, android lovers.

    • Jeremiah Rice

      I'm not the kind of guy who gets personal in Internet comments, but if I was, I'd point out that I'm getting paid to do something I enjoy, while other people are commenting on Internet stories in the middle of the U.S. work day.
      I don't tell you what to think. I tell you what I think. If you want to get upset about it, be my guest.

      • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

        Dude, I like your work, but this article is a bit offensive in tone more than once. Sometimes, you need to grow up and learn from your mistakes and correct them, I guess you didn't say anything with the intent of coming off as insulting, not to mention ill-informed (there's a bunch of factual inaccuracies), but you did anyway.

        • ergu

          What are you complaining about? He crossed *out* the pony and plastic rocket jab. How much more can a man give?

      • dudi

        Sadly, your response just proves my point. You didn't check where I'm located, you made an assumption about my pay/interest in my work, therefore you formed your offensive "opinion" based on no research and wrong assumptions.
        Exactly like in your article.

        You take the power given to you as a writer on a public blog and abuse it by writing with a lot of arrogance and not a lot of knowledge.

        • ScottColbert

          The only arrogance, matched by ignorance I see here, is yours.

        • http://bytemypanda.mp/ SleepingPanda

          I don't usually dislike an AP post but you hit the nail on the head with this one. I can only hope he sees this as a way to improve rather than as plain bad criticism.

      • hahaha

        Grown up. Little baby!

  • DragonGunner

    What happens if you donate the $600 and the mark is not met and the phone is not made? Or is it still guaranteed that the phone will be made? Is there a refund of some type if this happens?

    • Dipish

      Unlike Kickstarter, Indiegogo charges your credit card right away, but you'll be refunded if the campaign fails to reach its goal (if it's a fixed funding campaign).

      Canonical looks committed to continuing to expand on mobile but there's no guarantee that things will happen as promised on IGG campaign page if they don't raise enough money.

  • Felipe Pimenta

    Specs sound amazing, but I'm far from excited about it. The rest sound so meh for me. Guess it was the 2 tries I gave to install Ubuntu on my AMD PC and it was horrivel after the first reboot...

    • Leonardo Baez

      dual boot.... it also have android in it

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    This is brilliant, IMO. If this were a year ago or one year from now, I would most likely do this.

    I live Ubuntu, and I love Android. I also adore the idea of one device meeting all my personal computing needs.

    I hope this is a massive success, and I hope Google partners with Canonical in some way to grow this idea in the future.

  • Freak4Dell

    That is some beautiful hardware, and I'm almost tempted to drop the $600 on it. However, the risk of having Canonical just give up on the mobile sector should they decide this didn't work out as planned is too high. They probably should have tried to partner with one of the cheap phone manufacturers (like Blu) and established their presence in mobile before they went all out on the best hardware like this.

    • didibus

      The article seems to mention that the Ubunto mobile OS and the PC sync capacity is not tied to this edge phone project. They will do it no matter what happens to Edge, this is more of a side project.

  • Asphyx

    While I doubt we will actually see this phone in the next two years...

    The Concept is kind of what I would like to see the mobile market go to in the future.

    A Mobile unit that can do phone, data and act as the central processing unit to drive a desktop, Laptop Tablet sized screen, Drive your smart TV and perhaps even turn your car into a smart car.

    A mini computer that fits into your pocket, but can be used in any form factor you choose.

    The only hurdle to actually realizing that is the fact that it is difficult to put enough power into something that small that can drive all those purposes. But upgrading your phone would then essentially be an upgrade of your computer, tab, laptop etc...

    And that might justify the high price they will be asking for.

    Great concept but I'm not sure it's time and feasibility has actually arrived yet.

    • Ark

      I think you're picturing putting this on a dock and playing Starcraft 2 on it.

      This will not happen anytime soon. It will take over a decade for current phones to be anywhere as powerful as CURRENT x86 pcs.

      • Asphyx

        Well I wasn't suggesting it was going to be a Windows Computer...
        It would however be all the majority of computer users need considering most of them simply browse the internet, Send Emails, Write a text Document maybe even edit an image or two.
        As for Games it could play anything that currently plays on Android.

        And of course the Procs are being picked for their ability to work under low power drain. So they are not going to scale to desktop proportions anytime soon.

        But in time you might see something like the Exynos approach where it uses the low power proc on a battery, Jumps to a more powerful core when needed and when docked to a power source kicks in a more robust set of cores on the chip.

        Think 12 Core in that scenario.

        Not here yet but it's not impossible to get there.

        • Ark

          I'm sorry, but we had that. They were called netbooks, and they vanished from the face of the earth. There is no market for a simple pc that does the things you described.

          And the potency of the cpu has very little to do with how many cores it has.

          • simp1istic

            Lots of people buy (ARM) Chromebooks, and people buy asus transformers and ipads. The netbook went away because it was replaced by better (similar) things.

          • Ark

            Tablets are not netbooks. Chromebooks don't sell.

          • Asphyx

            No because people can do what they use to buy a netbook for and do it on a tablet or phone!

            What your missing here is that the same power that drove a netbook, is driving the tablet and phones everyone has now!

            Hardly anyone is playing games on PC anymore they all have consoles to play games with.

            Many are not replacing their desktops and using smart TVs to browse the internet or some other set top box.

            So the ONLY thing you mentioned that my concept can't do is the one thing that there is already a dedicated machine for and owned and the rest is all being done on Mobile procs on their tablets and Phones.

            Asus did something similar with the transformer series. Buy a tab, add a keyboard, instant netbook!

            And you obviously missed my point regarding the cores.

            Exynos is an 8 core chip. Only 4 of which operate at any given time. 4 Ultra Low power cores for idle and low performance background tasks. 4 Higher Power Cores for more CPU intensive operations like Video and Graphics and in future could contain 4 HIGH POWER cores that could give you desktop power because it is not constrained by the need to preserve battery power.

  • Colin Kealty

    i think you should have a counter point article like you sometimes do, Counter point: Maybe the Ubuntu edge IS worth $32 million.

  • icyrock1

    Am I the only one who was mesmerized by this guys voice? His accent is... enticing.

  • Jake Whitaker

    Awesome!

  • Brfield

    I REALLY want to put the 600 down, but I just cant afford it right now. If I could get the same deal in 2 or 3 weeks, all would be good. Ohh well. Even better if they didnt charge my card right away.

  • Sootie

    I find this to be extremely amusing :)

    "It can only be scratched by two tickets to that thing you love."

  • Luis Augusto Fretes Cuevas

    It looks outstanding. And the hardware is going to be top notch, if it comes with full Android (i.e. Play store and friends) this device is very hard to beat.

  • Claian

    Very nearly $3.2 million and all 5000 $600 units gone already.

    Might actually make it after all.

    • Ark

      Read what you just wrote.

      Notice a problem? Yeah, all the $600 dollar phones are gone. Everyone now has to pay more than the price of a regular unlocked flagship now.

  • http://www.skyledavis.com/ S. Kyle Davis

    At $3.1 mil and 30 days to go. Not so pie in the sky now...

    • Ark

      Still pretty pie in the sky. If you know anything about crowdsourcing, you know a good 75% of the money gets in almost instantly in this kind of project.

      • Guillermo

        An average of $40000 an hour is needed for success. Not so crazy, just a little. I think funding will improve after Google's and Motorola's events.

        • Ark

          why would it improve after google's and motorola's events?

  • Ark

    I suspect that if such a battery was doable at all it would be in every S4 and iPhone 5.
    It sounds like bullshit.

    • Guillermo

      Probably not doable in the numbers S4 and iPhone 5 need. Is not the same to make 40000 batteries than tens of millons.

      • Ark

        I don't follow. What, is it made out of rare metals? Do they have to be hand crafted?

        Moreover, why wouldn't battery companies make these, if the problem is mass production (which it isn't)? I suspect S4 batteries with 10x the original's capacity would sell reasonably well.

        It sounds like bullshit.

        • Guillermo

          I'm sorry if I offended you. I was just guessing.

          No kidding. We know what they are made of (silicon, lithium, some copper, plastic...). And I bet some of the work is done by hand (or it is hazardous), that is why it is cheaper to make them in Asia.

          As far as I know, no company starts producing something by millions overnight, and less when it is a new technology. New products are made first in laboratory to prove the technology, then in small numbers to prove manufacturing processes, and when the technology and the manufacturing processes are proven you can make as many as you want.

          If these batteries are not in mass production I bet it is because no company has yet the equipment to make them by millions. To do 40000 for Canonical requires much more equipment than making 40000000 for Samsung.

          • Ark

            They don't need to start producing by the millions. All they need is to produce one.

            A single one of these batteries would be enough to waltz into samsung headquarters and leave with quite a few billion dollars to spend on a huge manufacturing plant.

          • Guillermo

            But they do need to prove in some way that they will be able to produce them in such numbers with little percentage of failure.

            For example, in aerospace industry (I'm sorry, that is my thing. Maybe my vision is professionally deformed), you may have something awesome, but, before selling it in a plane, you have to be sure that 99.99% of the parts you are going to make are perfect. You have to be sure that no unexpected failure is coming up.

            If you are going to make 10 planes, you can afford a process which only guarantees you 99% success, as it is rather unlikely that you get a faulty part. If you make 1000 planes, and success probability is 99%, you can bet that around 10 parts will be wrong. Explosions in the media don't sell planes.

            In consumer electronics I bet it is not 99.99% nor explosions (or maybe yes haha), I don't know, but it seems logical to me.

  • vaghoust

    So many hundreds of $ for top hardware but with what software?Will it have decent apps, the hardware and openess today should cost that much?

    • Leonardo Baez

      it has android... read for once

  • Ubuntu Sceptic

    So basically if they don't reach the goal, they don't have to make the phone, and they still keep the money, right? Now I know why the goal is so high ;-) So that's how you sell hope to the fools :-D

    • boobster

      Do you think they are marketing it directly to you? Because you sound like you don't know how this works. Try going over to indiegogo and reading the FAQ

    • simp1istic

      Yeah no, the money gets refunded. You should read things.

    • Marcell Lévai

      ? Erm, no they don't. If they don't reach the goal, they have to give the money back.

    • Cuvis

      If they don't reach the goal, they don't get the money. That's how crowd funding sites like Kick starter and Indiegogo work.

  • Tony Byatt

    Wow, over $3 million on day one. If this rate keeps up a lot of doubters of it reaching the goal will be eating crow...

    • ScottColbert

      Getting funded and getting it made are two very different hurdles.

  • David Margolin

    yeah, looks like it slowed down... still waiting for someone to pick up the enterprise tier..

  • nathaniel

    Amazing amazing Amazing I hope they get the money they need. Would love to get the edge at a nice low price next year.

  • vs8

    If I had the money, I would pledge the $800. It's worth it. Think about it, the much more inferior GS4 is $600+ and has just a fraction of storage and RAM, plus it's made of the shittiest plastic available and the screen breaks easily.

    • Ark

      Except by the time this sees the light of day, it will have to be compared to the GS6.
      If it's ever released, of course.

      • vs8

        I don't know if you read the article correctly. If this makes it, it will be launched on May 2014, it would be compared to the GS5.

        I don't think the GS5 will have a sapphire crystal screen, single piece metal uni-body, 128gb of storage or will have 4gigs of RAM.

        • Ark

          And neither will this

          • vs8

            There's only one way to find out.

          • Ark

            It's dead. They need about 40k an hour and it's down to 6.5k an hour.

  • Ark

    You guys really need to be more skeptical than this.

    If they invested in mass producing ANY of the components they claim this phone will have, they would be billionaires. 128gb really thin and fast internal memory? Reliable and cost effective sapphire glass? Batteries that last way more(I've heard anywhere from 40% more to ten times more) with the same size?

    You can take ANY of these ideas to investors, with a prototype, and you'd instantly have infinity dollars. Now, some people will say "but look at pebble, it's beating apple and google at their own game!" NO. Pebble invented a new game. It's not like Apple had this kickass LCD black and white always-on watch and pebble made a better one.

    These guys are claiming they have better components than any of the giant, multi-billion dollar tech companies in the world, and nobody bats an eye?

    • Kapil

      What's up with you Ark? Looks like you had a bad start for your day. Don't you have work to do, other than criticizing every comment?

      • Ark

        Your concern is touching.

  • Sergii Pylypenko

    Canonical is trying to build their own don't-call-it-Android mobile OS, for like 3 years already. And I don't see any point in that from technical point of view, they just don't want to share any profits with Google (as much as I hate Java, it's lightyears better than pointers-everywhere coding style of typical Linux UI code).
    You already can run and somewhat comfortably use Ubuntu on something like Galaxy Note, with a stylus instead of mouse. You don't even need rooted device to do that, just install it from the Play Store. But Canonical isn't interested in developing that, they want those crazy profits from their own don't-call-it-Play-Store.

  • topgun966

    I don't think its going to make it much past $10-15m IMHO. Main reason being you are gambling a lot that next year, that will still be specs worth the price. You can dual boot to Ubuntu and Android now. I think when we learn the next Nexus crop will really set the pace. But they are looking to launch in the middle of a release schedule. And will more than likely be a couple in the interm. Personally, I think when it releases it will be mid range specs. If it was released now, that would change the game a little.

  • Mat

    I missed the opening day 600$ promo but probably still wouldn't have put money down on this tho I can't help but think that I'll kick myself for not doing so once this sees the light of day and gets reviewed as one if not THE best phone on the market...

  • http://wave-france.blogspot.com Supercopter

    The Edge is now available for the first 1250 bakers offering a 625 $ contribution.
    Then 675 $. Then 725 $. And finally the unlimited 830 $ pledge.

  • Scott Fitzgerald

    WOW alot of controversy going on here so, Im going to cover a few things.
    The writers article was good and even went into detail about phone specs , etc. nice . Good article for an Android site. Well all these butthurt people in the comments need to realize this is an android site. NOT Linux discussion. I personally love the idea because im more enlightened in Linux , im sure alot of you posters are too and can see the crazy benefits of this phone . Basically plug it into any monitor/tv and you got a full computer WITH internet .

  • Scott Fitzgerald

    This IS the future guys . If only they dropped a future/new gen intel ATOM in that sucka . BAM!