Would you buy a smartphone that boots Chrome OS when docked?


Ubuntu has just announced a device that may very well change the mobile market as we know it. The ubuntu Edge can dual-boot Android and Ubuntu Phone OS. Aside from that, it also runs the full Ubuntu OS for desktop when docked to a monitor. If this device starts a new trend, we will see big changes taking place in mobile computing.

I have always said that when manufacturers start doing this it will be the real battle of the smartphones. Imagine if Windows Phone could do the same with desktop Windows? Or if Apple could make its iPhones run Mac OS? And as Google’s official platforms are Android and Chrome OS, those two would probably be paired together as well.

The Ubuntu Edge is able to run a full desktop operating system thanks to its stunning specs. Canonical claims the device will have the “fastest multi-core CPU”, along with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage. These specs are simply unheard of in smartphones and we are sure the fact it runs a full desktop OS is the main reason why such power is necessary.

The specs make the smartphone more expensive ($830 if you get it after the first day), an issue that Google wouldn’t have to worry about. Chrome OS is a very light, web-based platform that needs very little power to run like a boss. In fact, most current Android devices would probably have no problem running Chrome OS. Something no other operating system maker can claim.

Imagine away from home and taking your Android smartphone with you, only to get to your office and dock your device to a monitor and launch Chrome OS. Chrome OS is getting to the point where it can replace a full desktop OS for most people. You can even do some video/photo editing in the cloud, and offline features are improving by the day.


I know I would love my Android smartphone to run Chrome OS when docked. Then manufacturers could even start selling laptop docks (a la Motorola) and you could use your Android/Chrome OS smartphone wherever you go. Do you think this concept will take off, though? Or is Canonical’s attempt to change the industry unnecessary?

  • Kenny Larson

    This would be fricken awesome if google could keep that hardware prices down.

  • Nicolai Imset

    I would definitly be interested.

  • Michael Biermann

    I like the idea of one fits it all …

    but: Doubleboot is too complex for most users if the OS needs to be updated.

    I have a Retina Macbook (additional large monitor for office), a Nexus 4, a Samsung Ativ Smart PC and a IPad 3. Data is shared via Gmail, Dropbox, ITunes Match/Google Music (double upload from Macbook) and Flickr. I test on Geekphone Peak (Firefox OS) and will soon buy a Chrome OS tablet or notebook.

    Each of my devices is best for the tasks I use it for. I don’t like to compromise my user experience. When it comes to the price point, a combination of a Chromebook and a Firefox OS phone might be an option.

    I would love to see Chrome OS for phones, better WebGL-based libraries and last but not least the death of native development. HTML/Javascript/CSS ist the future of client side app development.

  • Brandon Watkins

    I would love that!

  • stucrmnx120fshwf

    Hardware software, is finally coming together, without bloatware, Chromecast, Nexus 7 FHD, $700 UD 39″ TVs this Christmas, Toshiba’s 10″ UD tablet prototype at CES, 6 months ago, fairly soon we will see FHD Chrome tablets, controlling UD Chromecast dongles. Snapdragon 800, Tegra 4 and other UD capable chips, only cost $40 wholesale, a PS4 has 8 GB GDDR5, just an 8 MP camera can record UD, flash is around 50ยข a gigabit. WiFi ac can pump 1GB/s, power line networks, can feed WiFi ac hotspots, all around your house and provide GB/s Ethernet. Fiber to the home, hybrid fiber coax, fiber to the node, mean we’ll soon be getting most of our TV shows over the internet, in UD, the barriers to compact code, big eye candy, are coming down all over.

    In fact if I say, there’ll be 4 billion 3D UD 6″ phablets in 2018, I may be being conservative, given that pixel densities double, every year and halve in price, per year, with 64 bit and 14nm, headed our way, within a year on mobile devices. Half a decade, can seem almost an eternity in tech, remember the revolution in desktop computing between 95 and 2000, well that kind of thing’s about to happen in mobile and TV, Chrome will help us get there. Hope you found Stu’s journey into techno babble amusing ๐Ÿ™‚ .

  • Peter Frazier

    i think this should be standard feature on all phones.. iPhone gets whatever they use.. windows gets 3.1 and android gets chrome..

    these phones are getting powerful enough to do a lot of what is commonly done by the majority of users. Also if its done properly the dock could have additional resources available, like graphics for better gaming.. I think this could be big if thought out properly..

  • Peter Frazier

    well said. if you toss in miracast or chromecast then you don’t even need wires..

  • stucrmnx120fshwf

    Lol, homie looks mighty hung over. With WiFi ac, we could load an hour and a half UD movie, to a phablet in 2 minutes, it only takes up 64 GB, with all the extras. I bought a 120 GB flash drive for $100 four months ago, a 2 TB HDD for less than $100, 3D monitor for $270 eight months ago, 3D Blue Ray player for $100, Android TV HDMI dongle for $50. My power line WiFi hotspot cost $120 and it’s connected to 2 PCs via Ethernet, a month ago I set up WiFi streaming FHD, to a $50 android TV dongle and power line / Ethernet FHD streaming video, at my sisters place.

    Now lets look at the PS4, to high end tablet situation, you could stream a game to its FHD and soon UD screen, a PS4 can run 2 TFLOP/s, that’s 2 million, million floating point operations per second. How ? Heterogeneous computing APU (CPU/GPU,) through 8 thousand million bits of 5 thousand million Hertz GDDR5 RAM. As to the APU, lets compare it to the original Pentium MMX, it has 8 times the cores, each with 8 times the transistors, running at 8 times the speed, (8*8*8=512 Pentium MMXs.) Its 8 series graphics, has a thousand million transistors, each 28 one thousand millionth of a mm wide, so running at a thousand million Hertz. To recap, 8 cores, 8 series graphics, 8GB 5GHz GDDR5, think of it as a triple 8 system, to achieve 2 TFLOP/s. Again hope you found my stroll down technobabble lane amusing and this is what we can do now!!

  • TheScienceEnthusiast1130

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, GIVE ME!!!!

  • stucrmnx120fshwf

    Yes, a $100 dongle, could have UD abilities, doesn’t need a battery, or screen, as it could use your $700, this Christmas UD TV, your Tegra 4 tablet could broadcast to it in UD.