What to expect from the first generation of Ubuntu smartphones

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The Ubuntu Touch smartphone OS has come a long way, but it still has further to plod before it's ready for market - all Canonical will tell us that it hopes to see an Ubuntu phone before the end of this year.

Nevertheless, now that some phone manufacturers are on board with the project, we've been able to play with a couple of prototypes: One was just a non-functioning handset from a Spanish company called BQ, showing off plain but solid build quality reflective of a mid-tier device.

The other was more interesting -- a re-purposed Android handset from a second Ubuntu partner, Meizu, which makes light work of the operating system and interface.