Preview: Eyes on with Firefox OS powered GeeksPhone

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Today we received the developer preview device from  Mozilla and found it an interesting device. Doing things differently from what we previously had. This is the first Gesture UI device I am playing with outside of Nokia, and it feels pretty different. The device I have with me here is the Geeksphone Keon. Below are the device specs:

  • CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 7225AB 1Ghz.
  • UMTS 2100/1900/900 (3G HSPA).
  • GSM 850/900/1800/1900 (2G EDGE).
  • Screen 3.5″ HVGA Multitouch.
  • Camera 3 MP.
  • 4 GB (ROM) and 512 MB (RAM).
  • MicroSD, Wifi N, Bluetooth 2.1 EDR, Radio FM, Light & Prox. Sensor, G-Sensor, GPS, MicroUSB.
  • Battery 1580 mAh.

Of-course there is the Peak which is a higher end device with an impressive specs sheet, the Keon is an entry level Firefox Phone, in what I would call the Nexus of Firefox, wearing vanilla Firefox OS. It’s actually light, front is all black with an elongated bottom like that on the Huawei Ascend W1. It comes in the Firefox Orange and has all the usuals, microUSB slot on the right, 3.5 mm jack slot on the top and the left has the buttons, volume and power.

On the screen bottom is a single touch sensitive home control and no buttons on the face. It’s gesture, remember! At the back we have the protruding camera followed by the bold Firefox OS Developer Preview text, down below, still on the back cover we have the Geeksphone logo and just beneath the back cover the external speaker.

Gestures are the order of the day here and we have the power as the unlock button that is preceded by the touch sensitive home button that gives you options to head to the camera or just unlock screen to home on touching it. You navigate across various screens by swiping either right or left. It does have some pre-installed apps and actually has apps categories separated.

These are social, games, local, music, movies, funny, weather, TV, News, Sports, Shopping and an icon for more. With this you can add your own category and add apps to the list. Immediately I booted up the device and went through the set-up wizard, it asked me to connect to Wi-Fi and had an update available already, some  88 MB and an update to HERE maps. You heard that right, one of the apps installed here is Nokia’s HERE maps(See in the images).

The OS does indeed have a pull-down notification with toggles to turn some of the necessary features on or off, example is Wi-Fi, data, Bluetooth, Air-plane mode and a link to settings. It’s a smartphone so there is some level of multitasking, the download goes on without interfering with my use, although I am yet to figure out how to go to already open apps.

Guess I will be watching how-to videos in the next few days. It has some of the necessary features like SIM tool kit, multi-thread USSD that Microsoft failed to put in Windows phone 7.5 hence alienating very many users who use USSD for mobile money.

Before I write a full review, let me pause there and come a bit later with something comprehensive after some days of use. This is a developer phone, so I won’t complain if things don’t come out as smooth. ‘Meanwhile, enjoy the pictures.

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