Dan Blair - Addicted To Technology

Firefox Keon Developer Preview

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The Keon is the developer preview device for Mozilla’s new mobile operating system Firefox OS. This phone is a small reference device similar to the ZTE Open and the Firefox Flame with lower end specs and a small profile. The Keon is manufactured by Geeksphone and is intended for developers, generally not regular consumers.

This phone is similar in size, shape, and amount of orange to the ZTE Open, and is at the opposite side of the spectrum from the Flame. If you are looking to use this device as an every day phone you might be slightly disappointed due to the low memory and small screen size you may look towards the flame instead.

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Hardware

The hardware in the Keon is what you would expect for a nice little developer phone. It has 512mb of RAM, 4GB internal memory, a 1GHz snapdragon processor and is orange (that makes it faster right?). The phone has a 1580mAh Lithium Ion battery and 3mp rear facing camera.

Specs (via CNET)

GENERAL

  • Packaged Quantity
    1
  • Form Factor
    Touch
  • Integrated Components
    digital camera
  • Body Color
    orange
  • Manufacturer
    geeksphone

CELLULAR

  • Technology
    WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM
  • Band
    WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM 850/900/1800/1900
  • Mobile Broadband Generation
    3G
  • Service Provider
    not specified
  • Operating System
    Firefox OS
  • Input Device(s)
    Multi-touch

MESSAGING & INTERNET

  • Cellular Messaging Services
    SMS
  • Supported Social Networks and Blogs
    Yes

COMMUNICATIONS

  • Data Transmission
    HSDPA
  • Wireless Interface
    Bluetooth 2.1 EDR
  • Communication Features
    Internet browser

PHONE FEATURES

  • Phone Functions
    vibrating alert
  • Sensors
    proximity sensor

ORGANIZER

  • Personal Information Management
    calculator

PROCESSOR

  • Clock Speed
    1 GHz

MEMORY

  • Bult-in Memory
    4 GB
  • User Memory
    4 GB
  • Supported Flash Memory Cards
    microSD

DIGITAL CAMERA

  • Sensor Resolution
    3 pixels
  • Features
    video recording

NAVIGATION SYSTEM

  • Navigation
    GPS receiver

DISPLAY

  • Diagonal Size
    3.5 in

BATTERY

  • Capacity
    1580 mAh

GENERAL

  • Manufacturer
    geeksphone

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Software

Software wise this phone is running Firefox OS 1.1 out of the box but you can upgrade the phone up to 1.3 which is currently the latest version before heading into the developmental area with 1.4. The OS is pretty snappy compared to the ZTE Open which can be kind of slow sometimes. The small screen does make it difficult to type on the keyboard but it is totally usable.

If you are looking for apps then you can expect the usual like Facebook and Twitter, but there is an entire market that is sitting right there waiting for you to make some apps for it. This is the developer preview phone and if you have one, chances are you are making apps for the OS. If there is something missing, that is your big opportunity to build something for the platform. You can check out my first Firefox OS app, the Peercoin Tracker.

Usability

This device is really intended for developers and that is where it shines. The device is small and nice to put in my bag and take to work with me. It is quick to be seen by ADB on my mac and it never seems to cause me any grief. I have has some issues developing with the ZTE but so far the Keon seems to be a lot faster and more responsive.

I have used the ZTE Open to run my apps which I have been developing, the Keon has been an improvement on that process especially with added bonus of actually getting updates for the phone.

If you plan on actually using the phone you will be happy to know it is unlocked and should work in whatever country you are in. The downside is you are missing out on 4G and LTE internet which might not bother you. The WiFi is super good and it would work nice as a traveling phone if you want to leave you fancy new phone at home and take this small device instead.

Let me know what you think, I am enjoying this device as a developer tool but I see it has potential as a usable handset as well. I recommend the Flame as a better solution though. I will leave you with some photos of the unboxing and the device it’s self.

Photos