This is pretty cool – I don’t think I’ll be giving up my Moto X anytime soon for a Flame, but I’m intrigued by a phone with a OS that is basically a browser. As a web dev, I’m all about tech inside the browser, so the idea of all apps running out of a browser means job security for me… just kidding, well, sort of, but it does mean that building apps becomes simplified in some ways. And as someone who has done native iOS and Android development, being able to build apps in the browser that feel native would be great. And I would normally jump at the chance to get new tech, but I definitely have too many toys laying around that need some love before I can add to the already neglected family. Anyone else thinking about getting one?
Mozilla today opened pre-orders for the Flame, its first official developer handset for Firefox OS. The mid-range handset can be pre-ordered right now for $170 through everbuying.com and should take roughly four weeks to ship.
The non-profit says the Flame reflects the middle-of-the-road hardware that it’ll be targeting with its partners over the next 12 months. Firefox OS is tailored towards customers in emerging markets, so it’s unsurprising to see the company avoid high-end parts for its new Flame handset.
The device features a dual-core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm MSM8210 Snapdragon processor, 8GB of internal storage and between 256 MB and 1GB of RAM (Mozilla says this is “adjustable by developer.”) There’s a 4.5-inch FWVGA display to feast your eyes on, as well as a 1800 mAh battery to keep everything ticking over.
Finally, photographers will have access to a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with flash, alongside a 2-megapixel snapper on the front. From a design perspective, the Flame isn’t particularly memorable. Some Firefox-inspired orange accents liven it up a bit, but this is a reference design after all – it’s understated look was to be expected.
Spanish startup Geeksphone offered some of the first Firefox OS handsets over a year ago. Aimed at developers, they’ve since been superseded by commercial devices from the likes of Alcatel and ZTE. It’s rare for Mozilla to get into the hardware business, but the Flame handset is a welcome indicator of the direction it wants to take Firefox OS in.
Now, it’ll be interesting to see whether the device can grow the developer community actively working around the platform.