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Firefox Smartphones: A Quick Review

Updated on April 24, 2013

The FireFox Peak

Short Introduction of Mozilla & FireFox

Mozilla is known for the Firefox browser, although it has given us wonderful things like the email client ThunderBird and the alternative online identity called Persona, very handy web developer tool called FireBug and Platforms like Gecko. The latest addition to it was FireFox OS which created much uproar when the program was first announced. The OS, which is almost like Google Chrome OS in the sense that it is a browser turned into an operating system and it is very highly dependent on the cloud computing technology. The OS can be tested using a Firefox add-on called Firefox OS Simulator which allows you to get a first hand experience of what the OS is like.

Statutory Warning & All Those Things

The non-profit organisation Mozilla also announced that they will be launching smartphones based on this OS and the great news is just yesterday they did. We are deeply involved in developing mobile apps and as any mobile app development company, we were actually waiting for the hardware very expectantly. So, when Mozilla offered the phones through an online partner store, we were among the first new bodies to snatch one. We took the phone apart as much as we can in 24 hours and here are some features which you might want to know before you purchase this phone.


Firstly, the statutory warning. Mozilla has explicitly mentioned that the phones, yes two models were released, are developer’s preview. So, things might not work as smoothly like your neighbour's cat may fall sick or someone may steal your car etc. if you use this phone. In case you hate your neighbour and have the car properly insured, please read on.

Keon & Peak Spec Comparison

Aspect
Keon
Peak
Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 7225AB 1Ghz.
Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 8225 Dual Core 1.2Ghz
RAM
512 MB
512 MB
Display
3.5" HVGA
4.3" qHD IPS
On Board Memory
4 GB
4 GB
Camera
Rear: 3 MP, Front: None
Rear: 8 MP, Front: 2 MP
Battery
1580 mAh.
1800 mAh.
Price
$120
$199

The Mozilla MarketPlace

If you know what is Google Play and/or Apple Store, you don't need any introduction to this. It is Mozilla's store to get apps from. The best thing is, just like the browser cum OS, all the apps are HTML5 as well. This adds to excellent runtime environment matching. The apps are snappy and very lightweight. Add to that, most, if not all, apps are free. At least, we could not find any app which is paid. Please add in the comment section if you can add us to any Mozilla declaration regarding this or a paid app. We tested some handy apps like Wikipedia or MTV and they are quite satisfying.

On the downside, obviously, the app store isn't as large as Google Play or Apple Store. How can it be, anyway? You can't find most of your favourite apps. Also, many of the apps are mere shortcuts for quick access to the internet and not exactly an app, in the Google or Apple sense.

Overall, it seems to be a very promising albeit nascent store and apps.

Our Experience

Truthfully, it is very difficult to form any opinion within 24 hours. But it is true as well that the first impression is the last impression. And we are happy with the first impression, frankly.

  1. The phone is snappy, especially the higher end Peak which we purchased. The phone responded well when we tried to work around.

  2. The camera quality is not bad. We snapped a few images here and there, under different shades and the photos came out well. Although the manual tweaking option isn't that great but it's passable for a first release.

  3. Firefox's Gecko rendering engine looks very promising. Everything on the phone screen is HTML5, in fact the whole OS and all the apps are based on HTML5, and Gecko handled everything just perfectly.

  4. Gaia, the touch screen layer, is easy to understand and get accustomed to in today's world as it closely resembles the normal touch screen interface you see on any Android device.

  5. As Mozilla pushes almost everything in the Gecko rendering engine, rather than the Gonk, we feel the upgradation will not be Network Operator dependent. This is one key advantage over Android we think.

  6. The map is HERE map, yes the Nokia one, and well, you know how it is.

  7. While setting up, we had to pull our hair till few of us went bald before we could find a timezone suited to us.

  8. The error handling isn't helpful at all. If you are stuck, well, you are just stuck. Forget the solutions, nothing seems to suggest the problem.

Verdict

Did you read about our warning about your neighbour' cat or car getting stolen? Read it again because we are going to place our verdict about this phone.

We, our HTML5 app developers rather, at IT Chimes, gave the phone a 7/10 rating which means you can go forward but with a certain caution. The phones are not much beefy, as you may see from the tech spec table above and has a few issues which need immediate attention but its great.

The phone is available through geeksphone, a online portal but while writing this report, they are are out of stock very badly. Enlist to get your turn, if you want.


Do let us know in the comments, what you think of this phone.


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    • profile image

      Ejaz Khan 3 years ago

      Hey I have read wonderful things here, all it is very promising and you are right saying Mozilla is rendering engine etc so I am agree with your all point, nice posting, I would like to say thanks

    • sudhir kumar shah profile image

      Sudhir Shah 3 years ago from New Delhi

      I am surfing internet on Mozilla Firefox browser and I love this browser for providing great apps for free. So I am excited to get this phone.

    • Faisal Kaleem profile image

      Faisal Kaleem 3 years ago

      I wanted to buy new Smartphone, which should be cost effective. And once I review the features for this new Smartphone I get everything which I am expecting including batter backups, memory, VGA, etc.

      Thx for this article that will save my time and energy for looking another option.

    • profile image

      ARYAN 3 years ago

      his add-on really deserves 5 star....

      Thanks for this interesting post!!!! keep posting..

    • profile image

      Girjesh 3 years ago

      This is a really very nice introduction about Mozilla Firefox. I hope this will very helpful for new users of Mozilla Firefox. thanks for sharing all the important points of your experiences....

    • Aryan Anshu profile image

      Aryan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      These add-on really deserves 5 star....

      Thanks for this interesting post!!!! keep posting..

    • profile image

      Prankur 3 years ago

      totally argee with all the facts mentioned above.

      Would love to know more bout it.

      Keep on posting such useful contents.

      Cheers

    • profile image

      Manish 3 years ago

      Hey..this is the great news ..our favorite browser going to launch smartphone..

    • vibhusatpaul profile image
      Author

      Vibhu Satpaul 3 years ago from New Delhi

      thank you all for your feedback. Appreciative feedback like these encourage me to publish better and more on hubpages.

    • profile image

      kkmaurya 3 years ago

      Nice Article!! You have done a great job. Great information about Firefox Smartphones. I really appreciate this type of professional information. Thanks for sharing it and keep sharing this kind of data in future. This is one of the most wonderful articles I have ever read.

    • profile image

      Anurag 3 years ago

      Thanks for great and unique information about Firefox Smartphones you write here very clean.Keep the great articles coming.

    • ejaz-khan profile image

      Ejaz Khan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Really very nice information about Firefox Smartphones and i listened first time about wonderful things like the email client ThunderBird etc and many new things in this phone so i like and i would like to take this smartphone early, thanks for sharing this information

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