Firefox OS is a mobile platform that is generating great excitement. The support of industry and the operators seem refozar the chances of a project that has many virtues and we already have a first representative in our hands: the GeeksPhone Keon.
This low cost terminal is an excellent example of the market that, at least preliminarily, wants to get Firefox OS. Emerging open mobile platform and most options conventional smartphone segment. Let’s analyze the Keon.
This smartphone Geeksphone analysis complements the analysis of the Firefox OS platform that you can read in full at Technology Ace.
Do Not Compare, Because the Keon Will Unfavorably
The reaction is totally involuntary. You take the Keon in hand and assault you references to other terminals “cheap”. Hardly so cheap, of course-the Keon costs € 91 ex VAT, but also arise from your head to force you to compare, however much you try.
The Keon-developed by the Spanish company GeeksPhone-Mobile is not comparable to virtually anything that is on the market. Neither the base range Android models offered by operators at bargain prices even free, or solutions increasingly fashionable as the Nokia Lumia 520.
Nor is comparable-and this is important-to what almost anyone would expect from a smartphone at this point in our country. Are already accustomed to devices which are themselves small PCs. Beasts of the process as the Samsung Galaxy S4 or HTC One, and even more modest models but equally popular as the Nexus 4.
And again, one should be forced to disregard these alternatives, and try to look at this first look at Firefox OS for what it is: an experience with very basic device, with still a lot of polishing, and guidance to developers absolute.
The Keon and many other smartphones in this range are not intended for that-no offense-“first world of mobility.” This product is oriented, in addition to the aforementioned developers, users in emerging markets whose needs and circumstances are very different from those countries that appear to be normal and have smartphones than 600 euros.
Keon Design with Firefox OS
With that thought in hand, begins the description of the experience of using the GeeksPhone Keon that begins with that first impression in hand. 3.5 inch their tricks, because upper and lower frame which surrounds the screen is remarkable. And yet again the great advantage of these diagonals restrained: use with one hand is perfectly possible in almost all situations.
The Keon design is striking for that orange back cover could not be in another tone: Firefox has always been associated with that color, and its presence in the smartphone seems quite natural. The design is Spartan plastic materials pleasant to touch, and whose construction makes use of a readily removable rear thanks to a small flange at the top.
On the left side we find the power button and the volume controls while on the right is the microUSB connector allowing charging mobile phones, and, of course, connect to your computer to transfer data (including applications developed by us).
The top has the headphone jack, while Keon back shows his camera and speaker on the bottom, a somewhat strange but we assume solve design allowed without increasing costs.
When removing the housing we are in first place with 1,580 mAh removable battery. We also have the SIM card slot full-size, which is adequate but situation-minor problem, of course, does not facilitate the removal of the card. Next to it is the microSD card slot which, I anticipate, will be important to take advantage.
A hardware line with its price
Of course, the 91 € that Keon VAT costs have not given too many liberties to the manufacturers, who have had to make a shopping list too tight. It highlights the S17225 Snapdragon processor at 1 GHz, a model recently introduced but with a decent performance and features, but of course, below.
To accompany that processor 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of storage capacity, of which only 1.7 GB are available to the user. Not much, but to supply the microSD slot section is also absolutely necessary to save shots taken with the terminal (not stored in internal memory left, at least in our tests) and of course to have more options in question multimedia content, particularly video.
But the worst part of that shopping list takes her screen, which in this case is especially difficult not to compare with the prodigious Full HD screens we see lately in the high-end smartphones. In this particular case the problem is that the screen is not easy to digest even in a product with this cost.
In fact, lately we see how the resolutions QVGA (960 × 540) is imposed on low-end models from many manufacturers, and have a resolution of 480 × 320 (165 ppi density) is hard, but is made even more painful by the fact that its quality is generally poor, with poor color rendering and presentation of the fonts clearly below average. And that, despite the choice of this fonts-Feura Sans is a great alternative-capable screen that will bring out every detail.
The camera on the back of Keon (no front camera) has a 3-Mpixel sensor, but its inclusion probably has had to do for compromise. The images are of poor quality, grainy and noise except acceptable light conditions, but as said earlier, this is not a phone that is designed for that function much less. Connectivity is covered with support 2G and 3G networks, Wi-Fi networks (including 802.11n) and Bluetooth 2.1 EDR.
With these specifications in hand strange not verify that the overall performance of GeeksPhone Keon is limited, but not only is the hardware to blame, of course. The preliminary version of Firefox with which we could work these days-later update to a modern edition-still has much to polish.
The execution of benchmarks to use is somewhat complicated by the time this platform and just made that performance can be measured directly: how to watch videos, how slow to launch applications and what is the sense of flow in them, or how multitasking, for example.
In our tests with the GeeksPhone SunSpider Keon scored 3781.3 ms (3,580 with the preliminary version of the ROM 2.0) and PeaceKeeper 172 points (176 points with ROM 2.0). The figures are very decent, and although we have no model to compare hardware equivalent, the latest generation smartphones (HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4) end SunSpider in about 900 ms, while gaining 350 points in Peacekeeper.
The browser therefore behaves very acceptable, but also gets things to polish. Thus, we have no history, management preferences, bookmark sync or private browsing. It’s like other applications, only a first step that will probably evolve much too quickly in the first few months of the existence of Firefox OS.
But as we said, those are the only synthetic benchmarks provide numeric data performance. In the other sections have to be driven by our daily use of the smartphone, and as expected, the feeling is bittersweet. Firefox OS suggests ways but their fluidity is so far limited.
Response times to touch gestures are decent, but not instant and visual interaction effects have yet to be polished. The task switcher, however, works perfectly, and switch from one application to another is convenient and fast.
The state premature Firefox OS makes some applications still have a long road ahead as in the case of the camera, capturing a photo takes longer than desirable, and the same goes with other intensive solutions and mobile data consumption Maps HERE . But web browsing, as mentioned works fine, and so do the task-related applications such as Twitter client when it contains links that we want to visit.
It is important to re-emphasize that GeeksPhone Keon is a terminal oriented developers. Both hardware and OS platform Firefox still have much to polish, but this first step is definitely unique.
In fact, this phone is an extremely valid for the markets in which it is expected to land Firefox OS first. Keon benefits of which are more acceptable in view of its cost and the state of the platform, and decent behavior is most common sections. This applies especially to begin developing applications and evaluate them in the terminal and not just Firefox OS simulator.
Thus, we find a smartphone that is perfect for developers, but it also leaves us clear indications where they are headed Firefox OS and its devices. The GeeksPhone Keon is only a first step, but it certainly is a brave first step not only confirms the expectations that Firefox OS generates.