First Firefox OS phones revealed

We have been talking about it for months, but without any sight of the Firefox OS phone. Finally, we have our first glimpse.

Not a leak, this is Mozilla itself showing the hardware off. But before you go rushing to your local phone dealer, it is worth noting that these phones are developer phones, produced to assist in the development of the platform. We still have no real idea of just when a Firefox phone will hit retail.

It's an interesting first glimpse though. Firefox OS is described as a new mobile operating system 'built entirely using open web standards'. In Firefox OS, HTML5 apps can do 'phone things'. For example, they can make the phone vibrate, make a phone call or send a text message.

As for the hardware, the phones are being developed by Geeksphone in partnership with Telefonica (which owns O2) and will be available to developers from February.

Two models are being offered. Neither could be described as high end, but both should do the job. The Keon model has a 1Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 processor, a 3.5-inch HVGA Multitouch screen, 3-megapixel camera, 4GB of storage, 512MB RAM and all the connectivity you would expect. It's also open for over-the-air updates, which might be vital with the platform still being developed.

Alternatively, there's the more upmarket Peak handset, with a 1.2Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 chip, 4.3-inch qHD IPS Multitouch screen, an 8-megapixel camera, 2-megapixel networking camera, 512MB RAM, 4GB of storage and again, the connectivity you would expect of a modern smartphone.

Mozilla is keen to get the phones into the hands of serious developers, knowing full well that apps = phone sales in 2013. It will also be running Firefox OS App Days throughout the year, for an opportunity to 'learn, hack, share and celebrate Firefox OS'.

If you want in, you'll need to sign up at the Mozilla Hacks page. The rest of us can sit back and wait for the results. Might be a long wait though, with retail sales unlikely to start until at least the second half of 2013.

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