Accessibility in Aquaris E5 HD Ubuntu Edition

Thursday, 14 January, 2016

By Amóvil

The Aquaris E5 HD Ubuntu Edition

BQ has recently unveiled the Aquaris E5 Ubuntu Edition, a smartphone powered by Ubuntu, an operating system developed by the British company Canonical UK, Ltd. Although it offers interesting features and a completely different experience, it lacks important accessibility options that would allow people with disabilities set up the device to their needs. In fact, we can only recommend it to Deaf users.

General features and specifications

The phone is powered by Ubuntu 15.04 and runs on a quad-core MediaTek Cortez A7 at 1.3 GHz. It is a dual SIM phone, so users can have two different numbers and use a single device.

It has a simple yet elegant design with dimensions of 142 x 71 x 8.65, and weighs 134 grams. In addition, it includes an IP HD 5 inches display with 720 x 1280 pixels resolution protected by a panel of Dragontrail.

The smartphone comes with 16GB of storage expandable up to 32 GB with micro SD card and 1 GB of RAM. It also has Bluetooth 4.0, wifi support, GPS and A-GPS.Accessibility review


People with vision impairments will not be able to use this smartphone. On one hand, it has no compatible screen reader available to grant access to blind people to the available visual information. On the other, it is not possible to change the size of the text. This particularly affects people with low vision as they will be unable to set up the device to meet their needs.

While personalizing the screen brightness is possible in this device, it provides no options to configure color contrasts. People with difficulties perceiving color will have a hard time using this phone.


The Aquaris E5 HD Ubuntu Edition is not compatible with hearing aids and cochlear implants, so it is not suitable for hard of hearing users who wear these devices. However, while it can be useful for deaf users a major setback is that it does not support videocalls even though it includes a front-side camera. This can hinder the experience of sign-language users.


The Aquaris E5 HD Ubuntu Edition is also unsuitable for users with dexterity disabilities. Among the barriers identified is the lack of a voice recognition system or a personal assistant that would provide the opportunity to control the device hands-free.

The phone includes a side launcher that contains icons for basic features such as the phone dialer, settings or home arranged in a column. These icons are small and the distance between them is not enough to allow a precise hit. Users with certain dexterity disabilities such as tremors will have a hard time with this launcher.

Another barrier affecting these users is that is not possible to control it using assistive devices such as writing sticks. In addition, the micro-SIM slots are not easy to handle. These users may need the help of someone else to successfully insert the micro-SIMs.


This smartphone is not suitable for people with comprehension issues or learning disabilities because icons do not comply with accessibility standards. Another problem affecting them is that there is no text under the icons on the launcher previously described that would clarify their purpose. This can hinder the learning experience to some of these users.

For more information about the accessibility features available in this device, please consult the full accessibility report available in Amóvil.

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