So here I am. I took the plunge and made up my mind. I went went Ubuntu Touch (UT) for a few reasons:
- Easiest to install of the linux phone distros (way easier than sailfish IMO)
- A fairly active community
- Devs that seem to be paying attention and updating regularly
I did one other thing and ignored the warning about things still being fairly developmental and decided to use this as my daily work phone. On stable branch of course (I'm not that crazy). As of writing this I am currently on OTA 2. (Updated for OTA 3)
Here are the pros and cons I've found with the phone:
Battery life. I have never seen such phenomenal battery on a phone that isn't in super power saving mode or something comparable. I honestly feel like I'm making up these numbers but on average I get anywhere between 60-90 hours on battery usage. The most I ever saw out of the phone was 120 hours. Now granted I barely used the phone at all that week but still on average I get about 3 days out of the phone on regular usage.
Usability: This is both a pro and a con. (I'll cover cons later) For a new user this is a bit of a leap from Android or Apple but once you get a feel for it the phone just flows. Want to switch between tabs on a browser? Quick swipe to the left and your there. Need to check the date or battery life? Swipe down and and as a added bonus you can run your finger across that bottom bar and it moves across all your setting options. Need to close stuff? Long swipe left and then it zooms you out to everything that running and you can pull down or up to close apps.
Support: This is a free OS developed by people who clearly love Linux and didn't want to see this project die. To that I am truly in debt. The amount of love and attention taken into developing this is amazing. Tip the devs for me.
Ok here's what all the glass half-empty people want:
Apps (sorta): I say this is sort of a con mainly because it's a catch 22. Want great apps developed by developers for free? You got it. Want to make web apps for the platform so you can make app icons for websites? You can do that too. Want android apps? Anbox (not on my phone atm). Want to run XYZ Android app flawlessly on the phone? That's where the real challenge comes in. Anbox emulates that app you want to work and if you know anything about emulation there is no 100 percent guarantee that XYZ app will or will not run flawlessly. Now that's not to say things won't get better in the future but for now it's not there. But it's getting better. My money is on snap packages but we will see.
Openstore: I only see this one as a issue due to the fact that it slightly fails in my eyes. I can see the app I want to download but I don't really see reviews. To me reviews are good feedback to let me know what apps are working and which don't. I also like the idea of donating to devs for apps. Kind of like Firefox add-ons used to do before quantum (I can't find the button at least). That or if one wanted a paid app require a minimum donation in order to download? (Or a link to their website to pay to download) Honestly this may just be thoughts in the wind but still an idea nonetheless.
Usability (cons): (Updated to reflect OTA 3 upgrade) The screen rotation lock no longer shows up in the notification bar, but can still be found in system settings. Most other issues I had with the previous version have been fixed. I have had a few random crashes but nothing that hinders my daily usage. Also signal is a thing now, but no push notifications. One can hope this will change in the future.
So that's my experience so far. Any feedback is appreciated and thanks devs for all your hard work!