Launched in 2013, Ubuntu Touch used to be one of the most ambitious projects by Canonical. This OS, based on Ubuntu LTS and the Unity 8 user interface, was probably ahead of its time, promising convergence between desktop and mobile applications. However, after a failed Indiegogo campaign that didn't reach the (huge) $32M goal for the Ubuntu Edge smartphone, slow development and a limited number of supported devives, Ubuntu Touch was abandoned alongside Unity by Canonical last year and is now maintained, more actively than ever, by the UBports community. Several portings have been made, and the OS usability has improved considerably.
The latest device to receive Ubuntu Touch "unofficially" is the Snapdragon 435-based Xiaomi Redmi 4X (santoni) smartphone, thanks to Twitter user and developer @RealDanct12, who previously ported postmarketOS to this and other devices.
While Ubuntu Touch for is currently still in pre-alpha stage, several things like the 4G/LTE modem are already running properly also thanks to libhybris, which allows Android libraries and graphic drivers to be run. Will this fairly powerful, inexpensive Android smartphone become the ideal budget Linux smartphone for casual users?