So I installed UT yesterday on a brand new Nexus 5.
I'm happy to report that phone calls, video recording, selfies, photos -- all the basic stuff that a phone is supposed to do works well, to an acceptable standard,
After spending yesterday evening and most of today (It's 3:30pm now) investigating other stuff that I might need, I'm disappointed about these things:
- There's no working video chat messenger.
- Viber (my favourite messenger) doesn't work on it.
- GPS doesn't work. I tried both Unav and Puremaps (while inside and outside/in my car). Although this isn't a deal breaker, as I can just use a Garmin or Navman or something.
Although I'm happy to see Mattermost working. That's an app I use daily, for work.
Slack also works, which is something I use daily. Nice!
So at the end of the day, I'd rate the development to be in line with the functionality of a flip phone. You can call, sms and take pictures/video.
However, I can see the potential. I can't use this phone as my daily driver yet, due to the above bullet-pointed reasons. I'm still pretty impressed though.
I actually purchased 4 of these phones. I was hoping to give one to my mum, on to my dad and one to my wife. But after testing it out today and yesterday, I realise I'm prolly going to have to go the AOSP route, because I need to video chat. The main reason I am attracted to a Linux phone is to get away from Google, tracking and privacy issues.
I actually COULD use this Nexus phone as my own phone -- if I didn't have any family or friends and just wanted a phone in my pocket -- but with all this Covid BS, and the fact I didn't see my family for a year, the ability to be able to video chat is paramount. So again, I think it's gonna have to be AOSP for me (for now).
And having said that, I REALLY want to use Linux. There's just something cooler about running a Linux phone than AOSP. I'll keep playing with this one though.
*An anecdotal side note: I switched to Linux full time 2 years ago, and I haven't looked back. However, I'd been "trying" Linux every year for 13 year before that. For a decade, I considered Linux a toy -- something that couldn't be used as a daily OS. But on the 14th try, everything just clicked, and I realised I could FINALLY use Linux as my daily OS. I actually work for an IT company, doing digital marketing and web development -- and I am using Linux with absolutely NO hassles now.
I see Ubuntu Touch the same as I used to see Linux in general. It's a fun toy; or a great phone for a recluse); but I cant't see mass adoption until at least ONE (privacy respecting) video chat app works.
Who do we have to pay to get that to happen?
So that's my 2 cents after a 24 hour play around with UT.
I'm still HIGHLY impressed. For what it is and what it does UT is pretty awesome.