Geeksphone Peak+ seeks freedom from Apple and Android

Running Firefox OS mobile software, the Geeksphone Peak+ offers a memory upgrade and truly open Web-based platform, untethered from iOS and Android.

Brian Bennett Former Senior writer
Brian Bennett is a former senior writer for the home and outdoor section at CNET.
Brian Bennett
2 min read
The Geeksphone Peak+
The Geeksphone Peak+, a Firefox OS phone Geeksphone

If you're an untried phone maker hoping to break into the mobile phone business, there are certainly two safe bets in town: Apple's iOS and Google's Android. Upstart smartphone company Geeksphone, however, chose to place its bet on a dark horse in the handset OS war instead. All Geeksphone's gadgets run Firefox OS, which is crafted by Mozilla, the people behind the popular desktop browser of the same name. Geeksphone's latest device, the Peak+, boasts fresh upgrades over its predecessor and signals further commitment to this fledgling platform.

Under the hood
Powering the Geeksphone Peak+ is 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor paired with 1GB of RAM. While this is the same CPU found in the previous Peak handset, that device has half the RAM memory (512MB). Onboard is 4GB of internal storage to play with, which is on the skimpy side in my view. The phone does feature a microSD card slot to add more breathing room.

You likely won't be wowed by the Peak+'s small 4.3-inch qHD resolution LCD, either. Most Android superphones these days pack full HD 1080p displays spanning 5 inches across. In its defense, the Peak+'s screen uses IPS (in-plane switching) technology, so hopefully the display's viewing angles won't be narrow. On back, though, is an 8-megapixel camera backed up by a 2-megapixel imaging system for video chat in the front.

Geeksphone says that it used more-premium materials (compared with in the Peak) to create the Peak+ as well. I can't confirm this just yet since I haven't yet been able to do a hands-on comparison of both phones.

Open source and ready to rock
Hardware and specs aside, the big difference between the Peak+ and other competing smartphones is its unique Firefox operating system. Billed by both Mozilla and Geeksphone as offering a truly open-source (and free) alternative to iOS and Android, Firefox does look interesting. Just like the Jolla phone running Sailfish and the Ubuntu Edge, Mozilla says Firefox OS will adapt to your actions and behavior over time.

Essentially the more you use the Peak+, and other Firefox handsets, the device will adjust itself to better meet your needs. Going further, the device will alter its very appearance (wallpapers, color scheme, apps, and so on) based on your Web searches. Also, since Firefox OS relies on HTML5 rather than more conventional application software, developers can create solutions without enduring the onerous approval process associated with the Android and Apple iOS markets.

Getting your hands on the Peak+ will be tricky, at least in the U.S., since the Madrid-based Geeksphone plans to sell its products only in Spain, along with other European countries. Regardless, we hope to take a sample for a spin, so check back soon for a full review.