Meet the Ubuntu Edge and the insane amount Canonical wants in crowdfunding

The Ubuntu Edge
Forged from crowdfunding

Canonical wants to be on the leading, well, edge of converging computing, and to that end announced the Ubuntu Edge "superphone" and a $32 million plan to crowdfund it.

"We're fascinated by converged computing, the idea that the smartphone in your pocket can also be the brain of the PC on your desk," the software company said in announcing a phone that dual boots Android and the Ubuntu for smartphones OS.

Leaked renders gave us our first glimpse of the Edge earlier today, but now Canonical is confirming the phone as well as launching an Indiegogo campaign aimed at bringing the device to users by May 2014.

The goal is to hit that $32 million (about £20.8m, AU$34.5m) mark in the next 30 days, circumventing the roadblock Canonical Founder Mark Shuttleworth said manufacturers place in the way of new technologies. If it succeeds, the Indiegogo plan will smash "every record in crowdfunding history."

Those who pledge $830 (about £540, AU$897) will receive an Ubuntu Edge and find a place on the phone's Founders page. U.S. and U.K. residents aren't liable for a shipping fee, while residents of other territories will need to fork over an extra $30 (about £19, AU$32) to receive their phones.

For the next 24 hours, however, Canonical is selling the Edge for $600 (about £390, AU$648). The offer lasts until tomorrow at 8 a.m. PT/11 a.m. ET/4 p.m. BT.

Do you Ubuntu?

The idea behind the Edge is that it's not just a smartphone. Instead, when connected to a monitor, the phone transforms from an Ubuntu phone into an Ubuntu PC, "with a fully integrated desktop OS and shared access to all files."

Ubuntu Edge

While no spec is set in stone, Canonical said its testing has found a 4.5-inch screen to be the ideal real estate needed for comfortable, one-handed control. Screen res won't be driven by the race to the top, so look for something no higher than 300ppi.

Pure sapphire crystal, not glass, will protect the 1280 x 720 HD display, so if you have a diamond in your pocket, be careful - apparently that's the only mineral that can scratch it.

Camera-wise, users can expect an 8MP low-light one on the rear and a 2MP snapper facing front.

Inside, the Edge will pack at least 4GB of RAM, a multi-core processor and 128GB of storage. The battery will be a crafted from silicon-anode tech. A dual-LTE chip should help with 4G hook ups no matter where you take the phone.

If you're struck by this Ubuntu phone, you may want to jump in the order line: Shuttleworth said that if the funds aren't raised, the Edge isn't going to happen.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.