First Service-Backed Cyanogen Telephone Launches In Europe

First Carrier-Backed Cyanogen Phone Launches In Europe

The Cyanogen taste of open Android is getting just a little service love in Europe, with Spain’s Telefonica launching its first handset powered by the cellular OS at present, the BQ Aquaris X5, on its Movistar service model.

The handset is additionally as a result of launch on Telefonica owned carriers in Germany and the U.Okay. this yr — within the latter promote it will land on O2 subsequent month. Throughout 2016, Movistar says it is going to be rolled out to different nations the place the model operates.

Worth clever, the Aquaris X5 is being provided for €209 by Spain’s Movistar SIM-free. Or for as little as €eight.7 per 30 days on a two-yr contract.

At this time BQ & Telefonica launch the primary Cyanogen powered telephone in Spain. UK & DE to comply with #AndroidEvolved

— Cyanogen (@cyngn) November eleven, 2015

Hardware clever, the telephone has a 5 inch show, Snapdragon 1.4Ghz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB inner reminiscence and a 13MP rear digital camera — so it’s positioned squarely within the cellular mid-vary. Nevertheless it’s the OS that’s somewhat totally different: the 4G Aquaris X5 runs Cyanogen OS 12.1, which is predicated on Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop) however consists of further options resembling a Privateness Guard management for knowledge being shared with third events, and a caller ID that bakes spam name detection into the native dialer by way of a Cyanogen partnership with Truecaller.

For its half Cyanogen has been on a funding tear in current occasions, elevating some $one hundred fifteen million in three rounds, from buyers together with Andreessen Horowitz, Index, Qualcomm and Foxconn, within the hopes of scaling into a “huge significant cellular platform” in its personal proper, as CEO Kirt McMaster put it again in 2013.

How one can compete in a cellular area dominated by Google’s taste of Android? ‘Should you can’t beat Android, be Android — however add a little bit of particular sauce’ sums up the considering right here.

And whereas there are handset makers providing Cyanogen-powered units in Europe already, comparable to U.Okay.-based mostly WileyFox or Chinese language telephone producer OnePlus, Cyanogen getting service backing for the platform gives the promise of larger attain — given Telefonica’s community of retail shops the place cellular consumers get the prospect to attempt earlier than they purchase.

Service backing for Mozilla’s Firefox OS — a cellular OS platform which is usually focused at first time smartphone consumers in rising markets — has helped that Android various journey to round 30 nations so far. Cyanogen is concentrating on a wider swathe of cellular consumers, and thus arguably competes extra immediately with Android, so it stays to be seen whether or not service backing may give it a lot uplift towards Google’s dominant taste of Android.

However it certainly can’t harm if extra individuals have the prospect to grow to be extra acquainted with a brisker taste of Android.