Firefox phone arrives with Keon and Peak developer devices

The Keon and Peak are developer preview phones to give you a taste of Firefox OS, a potential rival to Android.

Say hello to the Firefox phone. The Keon and Peak are developer preview phones to give you a taste of Firefox OS , a potential rival to Android.

The two phones are designed for app-builders to learn about the new Firefox OS and create apps for the software. Clad in orange or white, the phones boast 3.5- and 4-inch touchscreens respectively, and single home button.

The 3.5-inch Keon is a modest little number: it's powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 processor clocked at 1GHz, with 512MB of RAM. There's 4GB of storage and the camera is a mere 3-megapixel job.

The Peak steps things up with a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon chip, 8-megapixel camera and roomy 4.3-inch screen.

The built by GeeksPhone, which with the GeeksPhone One became the first European company to launch an Android phone back in 2010. And they're backed by Telefonica, the European meganetwork that owns O2, probably in a bid to wrestle back more say in the world of phones. You can't buy them yet, but ZTE and Alcatel have already said they will make Firefox OS phones.

So what is Firefox OS? It's an open operating system that makes use of HTML5 apps. Instead of proprietary apps that only work on one type of phone, apps are built for Firefox OS to open Web standards. It's a less closed approach than Apple's iPhone -- iPhone apps only work on Apple devices -- or even Google's open source Android.

And the HTML5 apps still do what Mozilla calls 'phone things', like making a call, vibrating when you get a call, or sending a text message.

To learn more and get stuck in, app developers are invited to a series of Firefox OS App Days, where developers from the Mozilla community can learn about, hack, and build apps for Firefox OS. If you can't make it, you can preview Firefox OS on your Android phone or on your computer.

Is Firefox OS the future? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.


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