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Firefox OS Smartphones, Tablets and Reference Designs at Mobile World Congress 2014

February 24th, 2014 No comments

Beside the $25 smartphone, Mozilla has also announced a number of smartphones and tablets running Firefox OS during an event at Mobile World Congress 2014. The first devices such as ZTE Open featured a single core processor, the new models come with more powerful dual and quad core processors, mostly from Qualcomm, but also WonderMedia and AllWinner, together with better screen and features. Let’s have a look.

ZTE Open C and Open II

ZTE_Open_CZTE Open C smartphone features a 4″ display (800 x 480 resolution), powered by Qualcomm Snadragon 200 SoC @ 1.2 GHz, 512MB of RAM, a 2MP camera, as well as a 1,200mAh battery. Engadget has an hands-on video.

ZTE Open II sports a 3.5″ (HVGA -> 480×320) display, with a dual core Snapdragon processor @ 1.2 GHz, 256 MB, 2GB flash, a 2MP camera, and a 1150 mh, according to CNet. It also supports 3G networks.

Both devices run Firefox OS 1.3.

Alcatel OneTouch Fire C, Fire E, Fire S Smartphones, and Fire 7 tablets

Alcatel_OneTouch_Firefox_OSAlcatel unveiled three Firefox OS smartphones:

  • OneTouch Fire S – 4.5″ IPS display, 960 x 540 resolution, with Quacomm Snapdragon quad core processor @ 1.2 GHz, with 4G LTE support, an 8MP rear camera, 2MP front-facing camera, NFC, and GPS.
  • OneTouch Fire E – 4.5″ display (not IPS), dual core CPU, 512 MB RAM, 4GB Flash, and 5MP and 0.3MP cameras.
  • OneTouch Fire C – 3.5″ display (HVGA), dual core @ 1.2 GHz,  and VGA camera.

OneTouch Fire 7 will come with a 7″ diaplay (qHD -> 960x 540), a 1.2 GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor, 4GB NAND flash (expandable via micro SD card slot) and a whopping 2GB RAM (Or is it 2Gbit?), as well as front and rear VGA cameras. It weights  285g and has a thickness of 9.9mm.

CNET reports Fire C and Fire E smartphones will be available in Q2, for respectively 59 and 139 Euros, whereas Fire S and Fire 7 will retail for 169 and 79 Euros in Q3 2014. All new Alcatel devices run Firefox 1.3.

Huawei AscendY300

Huawei_Ascend_Y300Huawei Ascend Y300 will come with a 4″ WVGA display, and be powered by a dual core Snapdragon 8225 processor @ 1 GHz with 512MB RAM. It also packs a 1,950mAh battery, and 5MP and VGA cameras. Contrary to the aforementioned devices running Firefox OS 1.3, Huawei phone runs version 1.1 of the mobile operating system. You can find more details on Huawei Ascend Y300 F1 post.

Firefox OS Flame Reference Smartphone

Firefox OS Flame Reference Smartphone

LG Fireweb

LG will also run Mozilla Firefox OS 1.1, and features a 4″ display (480x 320), Qualcomm snapdragon processor @ 1GHz processor, and 5 MP camera. It also supports 3G, GPS and FM radio. Fireweb will be available in Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.

Firefox OS Flame and VIA Vixen Reference Designs

Beside consumer products, Mozilla also added two reference designs for developers and manufacturers on top of the existing InFocus New Tab F1 powered by AllWinner A31:

  • Firefox OS Flame – Smartphone with a 4.5″ display (854 x 480 pixel), a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 (MSM8210) dual-core processor @ 1.2 GHz , 8 GB  NAND flash, and between 256MB and 1GB RAM (adjustable by developer). The phone also includes 5MP rear and 2MP front-facing cameras, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G UMTS, and NFC wireless, as well as a 1800mAh battery.
  • VIA Vixen – Tablet with 7″ LCD screen (1024×600), powered by VIA WonderMedia WM8880 dual core Cortex A9 processor @ 1.2 GHz with Mali-400MP2 GPU, 8GB storage, 1GB RAM, 0.3 MP and 2.0 MP cameras, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, and a 4,000 mAh battery.

Developers, testers, and people ready to localize and translate Firefox OS UI, can apply for a free Infocus or Vixen tablet via Mozilla’s Expanded Tablet Contribution Program.

Via Liliputing

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Mozilla Working on $25 Firefox OS Smartphones With Spreadtrum SC6821 SoC

February 24th, 2014 5 comments

The cheapest Android smartphones cost about $50, and this price is still a barrier to entry to many, as about 46.4% of phones sold worldwide in 2013 were feature phones according to Gartner, which still corresponds to about 838 million units per year. Mozilla and Spreadtrum are currently working together to bring $25 smartphones to market, and that’s retail price, running Firefox OS and powered by the latest Spreadtrum SC6821 SoC.

25_Dollars_Firefox_OS_Phone

$25 Firefox OS Smartphone – Source: Twitter

The $25 smartphone will come with 128 MB RAM, 256 MB NAND flash, and feature a 3.5″ HVGA touchscreen, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, FM radio, and run Firefox OS with HTML5 apps such as Twitter and Facebook, and access to a full web browser, according to Spreadtrum representatives. You would certainly not trade this phone with your existing Android phone, but if all you could afford until now was a feature phone, these upcoming ultra low cost Firefox OS smartphones could be appealing.

Spreatrum also put out a press release about their new SC6821 SoC with WCDMA support, but gave very little details, preferring to mention Mozilla partnership. I could not even find out if it is ARM based or not.

The $25 phone prototype is now being showcased in Mozilla booth at Mobile World Congress 2014.

Via EETimes

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Geeksphone Revolution Multi OS Smartphone Supports Android, Firefox OS, and Soon More…

February 21st, 2014 2 comments

Geeksphone, the company behind the earlier Firefox OS developer’s phones, and the privacy-enhanced Blackphone, has now officially launched the Geeksphone Revolution powered by a dual core Intel Atom Z2560 processor and supporting Android, Firefox OS, or more exactly Boot2Gecko (B2G), and potentially other OS supported by the community such as Sailfish OS.
Geeksphone_RevolutionGeeksphone Revolution specifications:

  • SoC – Dual core Intel Atom processor Z2560 up to 1.6GHz
  • System Memory – 1GB LPDDR2
  • Storage – 4GB EMMC + MicroSD support, Up to 32GB
  • Display – 4.7″ IPS LCD Multi-touch, qHD resolution.
  • Cellular network – HSPA/WCDMA: 2100/1900/900/850 MHz, GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, HSDPA up to 21Mbps, HSUPA up to 5.76Mbps, GPRS Class 12 / EDGE Class 12
  • Connectivity – WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth Class 3.0, GPS, AGPS
  • Camera – 8 MP rear camera with LED Flash, 1.3 MP front camera
  • System I/O – 3.5mm audio jack, micro USB
  • Sensors – G‐Sensor + E‐Compass + Light/Proximity Sensor
  • Battery -  2000 mAh.

I understand the phone ships with Android 4.2.2 by default, but you can go “Settings – > System updates – > Install another OS” and select B2G instead to download and install it automatically. B2G is the open source version of Firefox OS, which does not require an official certification/license from Mozilla. So it appears relatively easy to switch between operating systems, no need for a computer, USB cables, drivers to install, and scripts to run. You can watch the video below to see Android, and B2G, and the menu to switch between the two OS.

I understand the phone does not dual boot, which would be problematic anyway since it only features 4GB internal storage, so you have to choose between Android, Firefox OS, and other potential OS released for the phone. Switching from Android to Firefox OS can be done in the menu, but for switching from Firefox OS to Android, there’s currently no menu, at least with early samples sent to developers. You can get some help on Geeksphone Revolution forms, and firmware files should eventually be available for download. Previous Geeksphone deviced are supported in CyanogenMod, so you should eventually be able to build your own firmware from source both for Android and B2G, and if you please, even port an other OS to the phone.

The phone can be purchased for 222.31 Euros on the company’s website, excluding shipping, and VAT, if applicable. Based on some comments from the forums, I doubt you should be expecting fast shipping, and may have to wait a few weeks.

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Huawei Ascend Y300 F1 Firefox OS Phone Features Qualcomm MSM8225 SoC

February 3rd, 2014 No comments

Firefox OS devices are slowly coming to market, but it could be that most of them are existing Android phones or tablets repurposed to run Firefox OS with little, if any, hardware changes. We’ve already seen Mozilla selected InFocus New Tab F1, an Android Tablet, for its development program, but actual products such as Huawei Ascend Y300 smartphone, will soon be sold with Firefox OS using the model name “Ascend Y300 F1″ or “Ascend Y300 II”.
Huawei_Ascent_Y300_Firefox_OSHuawei Ascend Y300 F1 specifications:

  • SoC – Qualcomm MSM8225 dual core Cortex A5 @ 1 GHz with Adreno 203 GPU
  • System Memory – 512MB RAM
  • Storage – 4GB NAND Flash, microSD card slot
  • Display – 4″ touchscreen (WVGA – 800 x 480)
  • Connectivity – 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, GPS with A-GPS
  • Cellular networks – GSM/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900, UMTS 850/1900/2100.
  • Camera – 5MP rear camera, 0.3MP front-facing camera
  • Battery – 1730mAh
  • Dimensions – 124.5 x 63.75 x 11.05 mm

These are the specifications from a post by tech2.hu guys who saw the device at CES 2014, but a quick look on pdadb.net shows the original Ascend Y300 has just about the same specifications. If both versions of the phone are indeed the same that means you’ll be able to install either Android or Firefox OS on the device, and it could be interesting to compare the performance of Android 4.1 using Java/Dalvik against Firefox OS using HTML5 in the same low-end device.

No price has been announced with Ascend Y300 F1 yet, but I don’t see why it would be any different from the Android version which costs as low as $100 including shipping on Aliexpress, and $120 and up on Amazon US.

Via Liliputing

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Firefox OS Running in InFocus New Tab F1 Tablet Powered by AllWinner A31

January 18th, 2014 5 comments

So far the only products I’ve seen selling with Firefox OS are entry-level phone such as ZTE Open. Mozilla is now also working on Firefox OS for tablets, with the chosen tablet being InFocus New Tab F1, powered by AllWinner A31 quad core  processor with 2GB RAM, and featuring a 10.1″ IPS capacitive multi-touch screen.

firefox-os-tablet

Here are the specs of the tablet:

  • SoC – AllWinner A31 quad core ARM Cortex A7 processor @ 1.0GHz with PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU
  • System Memory – 2GB DDR3
  • Storage – 16GB Flash + micro SD slot
  • Display – 10.1″ IPS capacitive multi-touch screen @ 1280×800
  • Camera – 2MP front camera, 5MP rear camera
  • Connectivity – 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS,
  • Sensors – Gyroscope
  • USB – micro USB port
  • Audio – Headphone jack, speakers
  • Battery – 7000 mAh
  • Dimensions – 266 x 170 x 9.7 mm
  • Weight – 580 g

This mid-range tablet originally runs Android 4.2.2, but Mozilla has chosen it for its Firefox OS development program, and appears to have named the tablet “flatfish”.

The tablet is available from a couple of sellers in Aliexpress for just over $400, but is also available from Taobao for prices ranging from $250 to $280 equivalent.

Via Liliputing

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VIA APC Rock and Paper Boards Now Officially Support Firefox OS

January 6th, 2014 2 comments

VIA has just announced a partnership with Mozilla for support and development of Firefox OS for APC Rock and APC Paper platforms based on WonderMedia WM8950 single core ARM Cortex A9 SoC.

APC_Rock_Firefox_OS

$59 APC Rock Now Runs Firefox OS

Firefox OS source code and documentation for the APC boards are available on the company’s apc-firefox-os github repository. To motivate the developer’s community, the company is also offering free APCs to developers that fix specific bugs.

A first version was released on the 22nd of November 2013, with the following fixes:

  1. Updated firmware package to support HDMI hotplug as the solution from VIA
  2. Switched to latest base from Mozilla and using master branch for all Mozilla repos
  3. Support multiple hardware keyboard hot plug
  4. Fixed so that Mozilla soft home button can be enabled via settings
  5. Supports Ethernet cable hot plug
  6. Enabled SNTP with Ethernet network
  7. Set default display timeout to never
  8. Fixed some orientation bug due to migration to master
  9. Fixed WiFi connection bug due to migration to master
  10. Supports Mouse wheel event

But I can’t find a way to download this version via a tarball, a branch, or tag on github, nevertheless it’s probably better to use the latest code as several commits have been done since that release, although there appears to have been no activity in the last three weeks.

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149 Euros Geeksphone Peak+ Phone Running Firefox OS (B2G) is Available for Pre-order

July 26th, 2013 5 comments

The first Firefox OS phone, ZTE Open, has been selling in Spain since the beginning of the month, and Alcatel One Touch Fire has been available a few days later in Germany. Both of those phones have low hardware specs with a single core processor, and 256 MB RAM. There’s now a more powerful alternative, Geeksphone Peak+, based on Geeksphone Peak Developer Preview phone, featuring Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8255 dual-core processor with 1GB RAM.

Geeksphone_Peak_Plus

Here are the specs of the phone:

  • SoC – Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 (MSM8225) dual-core processor @ 1.2 GHz with Adreno GPU
  • System Memory -  1 GB RAM
  • Storage – 4 GB Flash + micro SD card slot
  • Display – 4.3 inch, 960 x 540 pixel IPS display
  • Camera – 8MP rear camera and 2MP front camera
  • Connectivity – WiFi, Bluetooth, FM radio, GPS
  • Networks – GSM 850/900/1800/1900 (2G EDGE), UMTS 850/1900/2100 (3G HSPA).
  • Sensors – Light & Prox. Sensor, G-Sensor
  • USB – 1x microUSB port
  • Battery – 1800mAh

Liliputing reports the phone is not actually a certified “Firefox OS” device, but instead is based on Boot 2 Gecko (B2G) technology. This is what a Mozilla spokesperson had to say:

Today, Geeksphone announced the pre-sale of a new device based on Boot to Gecko technology. We want to clarify that this new phone that was announced is based on Boot to Gecko technology with pre-release software, but is not a certified or supported Firefox OS device.

I find this confusing as I really thought Firefox OS was the new name of B2G. So apparently Boot to Gecko (or B2G) is open source, but only officially approved devices will ship with “Firefox OS”. It could be Firefox OS is to B2G, what Chrome is to Chromium. If somebody has an insight into this, it would be nice to comment.

You can now pre-order Geeksphone Peak+ for 149 Euros, excluding VAT and shipping, and the phone will be shipped on mid September.

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