Firefox OS developer handsets revealed, Keon and Peak

By on January 22, 2013, 9:30 AM

Mozilla has just taken the wraps off the first couple of devices designed to run Firefox OS. Developed in conjunction with Geekphone and Telefonica, the phones are not actually intended for the consumer market, but rather developers that want to start building and testing apps for the open source platform.

The lower-end model, introduced as Keon, features a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 7225A processor along a 3.5-inch HVGA touchscreen display, 3MP camera, 512MB RAM and 4GB of internal storage. Meanwhile, the higher end Peak offers a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon S4 chip, 4.3-inch qHD display, dual cameras (8MP rear / 2MP front), the same amount of storage and memory, and a higher capacity battery.

Other typical smartphone features are also present, including microSD support, Wi-Fi, light and proxmity sensors, G-sensor, GPS, and MicroUSB. Both devices will be made available unlocked and Mozilla is promising OTA updates to keep users running the latest version of Firefox OS.

The Keon and Peak will be shown off to developers later this month at Telefonica’s Campus Party Brazil and should go on sale in February, according to Mozilla. There are no details on cost just yet or where exactly you would be able to get one, but Geeksphone says it'll arrive with a price tag "you could never have imagined." The Spanish startup has been around since 2009 as a minor maker of Android phones

With Firefox OS, Mozilla is hoping to change how developers today must re-write their apps to run on the various closed mobile-phone platforms available. Apps are based on HTML 5 but will reportedly still look and feel like a native app with access to underlying phone capabilities like calling, messaging and games.

The first Firefox OS-powered devices are expected to launch in Brazil in early 2013 through Telefonica’s Vivo brand of entry level handsets. TCL Communication Technology (under the Alcatel One Touch brand) and ZTE were revealed as the first manufacturing partners, with operators like Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, and Telenor all committed to offering Firefox OS devices.

User Comments: 13

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MrAnderson said:

This is exciting. I know with each platform running its own store and apps it is hard to switch back and forth... and the fact that Google apps may not be present... I think in this case Google has the upperhand for any upstart OS. No google support in services and your app might be dead in the water.

Hope that the Browser parts can deliver Googles services with at least bet in class web experience and everything just might be okay.

I'm still curious and excited. Too bad that the headsets look like iPhone. I know they are developer models, but they could have maybe tried a different home button config or shape to make it look like they tried. Otherwise we might be stuck at refinement of what Apple has done and Apple might have to do the next major innovation yet again.

Guest said:

Oh look at that, more iPhone Android clone shit. Competition is great, but they can't expect this OS to get popular. Windows Phone seems to be the only mobile OS that manages to retain some amount of UI originality.

Guest said:

Oh, how much did Microsoft pay you for this post?

PinothyJ said:

Oh look at that, more iPhone Android clone shit. Competition is great, but they can't expect this OS to get popular. Windows Phone seems to be the only mobile OS that manages to retain some amount of UI originality.

You fail to understand Firefox OS and why is it is barely comparable to the OS's you have mentioned.

It is either going to be appropriate for your needs, or not...

MrAnderson said:

To the last guest posting... the previous poster Guest you responded to did have a strong way about pointing out a truth. Windows Phone is kind of doing something different from everyone else. Perhaps even MeeGo would have been a little refreshing too, but I was not pointing out UI in my initial comment.

I was just ponting out about the headset design. It looks like iPhone. I really don't want to give Apple credit for the layout for the apps on screen. It is pretty much the same old paradigm that both Apple and Microsoft lifted from Xerox... Android is using it, other Linux distros us it in their GUIs... nothing wrong with keeping something that works... so no body gets major point for using something that is tried and true in my book. I do given Apple credit for making it work on a mobile environment. Also, they get all the credit for giving us all a real internet browsing experience (san Flash) which to me had the most tremendous impact on the market. It raised the bar for what we expect.

But again... and I know this is just a developer headset and not a consumer product... it looks like an iPhone from the front. Apple made it so simple, but they kind of did it first, so any one else that follows is going to have to make an effort to stay simple and be different if they don't want this kind of critizim. I don't dislike it... just pointing it out.

Either way I'm interested in FireFox OS and anything new. We need competition and choice to keep even Apple from getting lazy.

lipe123 said:

Is that an apple lawsuit I smell?!

That device looks rectangular with rounded edges - can't have that now! Apple owns that =P

MrAnderson said:

Not for a development model... nah

Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

I briefly tried Firefox OS during CES and it's still very raw. It'd seem at this point however Mozilla is trying to grab whatever piece of the pie they can (being super late to mobile and all), and for now that looks to be the budget market considering -- I assume -- there will be no royalties whatsoever to use the OS.

Guest said:

PinothyJ, you do realize that this phone will do the EXACT SAME THINGS as EVERY PHONE OUT THERE. These guys aren't offing anything new. They all use the same kernel, the same GUI, and the same specs as most Android phones.

I can get an Android phone or Windows Phone or iPhone that can do everything this phone can and probably more.

MrAnderson said:

They might be able to be compete with price and you never know if they might innovate. Their platform might be easier to develop on. And even if it has gotten down to everyone is doing the same thing... the look might count. Also, FireFox is being forced into staying relevent. Apple's iOS does not allow new browser engines just the UI reskin and user case functionality, not to mention no new default browser options.

A good example regarding a use case that could stand some rethinking is getting from open app to open app (the old Alt Tab in Windows). WebOS had it down pretty good, Android's version is okay with a deicated hard/soft button, but I cannot stand the ackward switching on iPhone (wait there is none to my knowledge - I do hope that some new workflows will be in the next version of the OS.) Also on iDevices the modal popups that could be notifications or handled better... Android is doing this a little betterand the opportunity for a newer OS and even mature ones is wide-open. It makes a big diference when the user experience gets better even if we still have the old desktop retrofited for mobile across the board (okay MS did something a tad different).

Then a new OS/Platform could learn from the mature systems and offer better development envirnment, or easier, or more open. Don't count anyone out, innovation is limitless when you discover something you did not know you wanted and cannot go back to the old way, perhaps not in the recent leaps and bounds.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This is shit. I'm sorry.

There's no need for this OS whatsoever. There's nothing Android, iOS, BB10 or even WP8 can't do that this does.

(I've tried BB10, and it's awesome. Not better than Android though, but that's an opinion.)

Ubuntu mobile OS has a better shot than this.

MrAnderson said:

In software there is no absolutes as long as the hardware gets better and engineers are allowed to bring their ideas to reality.

Not everone can be Apple and release super polish. Android was not super great when it first released - but people wanted an alternitive for whatever reason. Apple did not have a lot of Apps when it 1st relaesed. They did not even want to allow developers to write apps. Now look where we are in a market with controlled App stores a polorization of platforms. The one thread is being able to communicate across them all with Apps on the platform and full Internet browsing. When you have all that your basic productivity apps work right, for the average person the OS does not matter.

Guest said:

Here's how tech product patterns tend to work: Company A comes out with a good idea, the market likes it and it takes off. Companies B-Z join the party with similar but different products. The market selects the winners. Companies A,B,C take the main market, Companies D,E fill a nitche market, the rest of the companies either get bought up or die. Repeat.

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