Two Firefox OS developer preview devices coming from a mysterious developer are available as of April 23.
Mozilla is not the first software developer to build an operating system based on a browser, or at least one that’s named after a browser. Google did that before, with its Chrome OS. However, Mozilla is the first one to bring such an OS to smartphones. Even though the launch of Firefox OS devices had been initially scheduled for February, nothing happened that month and people had to wait some more. Out of the blue, the company announced that on April 23 two Firefox OS smarphones would be available. The good news is that the company kept its promise this time. The bad news is that the phones are out of stock.
As mentioned before, the two handsets, that were named Keon and Peak, run a development preview version of Firefox OS. This means that Mozilla has yet to finish its mobile platform. However, the company promised to provide regular updates, so this should give early adopters some peace of mind. Keon and Peak are quad-band unlocked smartphones, so they can be used anywhere in the world where 2G and 3G networks are available. Mozilla’s decision to launch these devices before finishing the OS hints at the company’s desire to have its platform tested along with an adequate hardware. Apparently, this environment makes the experience much different than the one people would have when using a Firefox OS emulator on Android.
Spec-wise, the two handsets are not really otherworldly. Both come with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal memory. Other shared features include:
- Wifi N
- Bluetooth 2.1 EDR
- Radio FM
- Light & Proximity Sensor
What sets them apart is the CPU, display, camera and battery capacity. Keon, pictured above, comes with a single core Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 7225AB CPU clocked at 1Ghz, a 3.5″ HVGA multitouch display, a single 3MP camera and a 1580 mAh battery.
Peak, on the other hand, comes with a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 8225 CPU clocked at 1.2Ghz, an 8MP flash camera at the back and a 2MP camera in the front, a 4.3″ qHD IPS multitouch display and 1800 mAh.
All in all, these look like smartphones big companies have launched 3 or more years ago. Unless Mozilla’s target audience isn’t exclusively located in third world countries, I would suggest coming up with some decent hardware, if they want to compete against the likes of Google, Apple and Samsung.
Keon is available for €91/$118 USD, while Peak costs €149/$195 USD. Both can be purchased from the Geeksphone website, as soon as the stock is replenished.