$38 Firefox OS smartphone - the Spice Fire One Mi-FX1

Pictured above is the Mozilla Flame which has recently been made available to developers

Earlier this year, Mozilla announced its intentions to launch a $25 Firefox OS smartphone. So far they haven't made good on their claim, however the Indian smartphone manufacturer Spice Mobility has launched a device that is almost there.

Priced at approximately $38, the Spice Fire One Mi – FX1 will be targetting first-time smartphone users and those on an extremely limited budget. The specs are nothing to write home about, with the biggest limitations hovering around the low-resolution display and the lack of 3G connectivity, but it does various useful elements such as dual sim functionality, bluetooth, and a front and rear camera.

“With the ultra-low cost Spice Fire One, we at Spice, aim to convert the feature phone users into smartphone users, thereby, aiding them with the power of internet. This partnership with Mozilla showcases our commitment to providing the best technological innovations first hand to our customers.” Mr. Prashant Bindal, Chief Executive Officer, Spice Mobility

The full list of specs are as follows:

  • 1 Ghz single core processor
  • 3.5" HVGA display (480 x 320 pixels)
  • 2.5G connectivity
  • 1.3 megapixel selfie camera
  • 2 megapixel rear camera
  • Bluetooth, WiFi support
  • Dual sim functionality
  • Firefox OS
  • GPS/Gyroscope

It comes with some very reasonable bloatware-- Twitter and Facebook are pre-installed. Other apps can be installed via Firefox's Marketplace. Screencaps (shown below) also show apps like HERE Maps and AccuWeather installed on the device, however there is no mention if this will come with the device or if it will need to be acquired seperately via the Marketplace. One thing that does make this notable however is that if HERE Maps is included, then the device must also have some sort of GPS and gyroscope sensors, which is definitely a plus.

The Spice Fire One Mi - FX1 is following a very similar design language to other Firefox OS phones

Although there is no mention of battery capacity, on-board storage or RAM size, all-in-all it is definitely worth its value at such a low price. More importantly, however, is that this may usher in a new niche for the smartphone manufactuers-- previously we had the high-end market, mid-tier market, and low-tier market, but now we are also seeing the development of the ultra low-tier smartphone market that will slowly see smartphones replace feature phones.

“Just one year after the first Firefox OS device launched, Firefox OS smartphone is now available in 17 countries across Europe, Asia and Latin America. Our partnership with Spice will be an exciting Firefox OS launch in India. Having one more strong partner as Spice, we are confident that Firefox OS devices will realize a whole new category of smartphones with affordable price. Furthermore, we can ensure every user to enjoy the power of Web” Dr. Li Gong, President of Mozilla Corporation

This month has been a fairly significant month with Firefox OS, as just last week Mozilla made the Flame, a Firefox OS smartphone, available to developers.

Source: Firstpost | Image via ComputerHoy

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19 Comments

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xPutNameHerex said,
For that price, you can get a significantly superior Lumia 520, so yeah I would say you could go wrong with this phone.

Off contract?

The place were it is being sold, contract phones are not available.

"the biggest limitations hovering around the low-resolution display and the lack of 3G connectivity,"


No

If they Like android do not provide updates to the OS that will be the biggest limitation.
Lot's of people will got for it as a first time user or as a phone which has a good mix of battery life & smartphone functionality with ease of use.

Personally, I do not see OS updates as something crucial (except for security updates).

Things like lack of 3G connectivity means the usability of the smart features of the phone will be significantly reduced. The theoretical maximum of 2.5G is ~14.38kb/s, meaning with 75% reception in a real-world scenario the phone can only get a speed of about 8kb/s:
----------------
Where Q == theoretical maximum and r == reduced real-world speed:

r/s ≈ [(Q - Q/4) * 3/4] ≈ 8kb/s.
----------------

This means everything from viewing videos to basic internet browsing will be tediously slow. It is practically dial-up internet slow, with the added issue of latency.

I understand what you are saying but this is an entry level phone for users who
are moving from basic phones.
OS updates means missing apps/features can be added to the phone later on.
Most users will use it for communicating through whatsapp/twitter/chats.
Developing countries don't have 3g coverage everywhere so no point.
& also keeping the price of the phone was important too.

I agree. But this also brings up a fairly important point: even if OS updates were available, would they be downloadable with such slow internet? Either way I understand and agree with your position.

Regarding the updates- they don't have to be very slow on a good 2g.
ASHA series added loads of features through 3-7mb updates every few months.
adding features is most important as the buyers of these phone won't change their phones until they are broken/dead.
also they are they can be manually downloaded & saved to memory card & installed from there.

this is a phone for communicating & good battery life.
It's for enabling the buyers to get features of a smartphone @ a resonable price.

duoi said,
I agree. But this also brings up a fairly important point: even if OS updates were available, would they be downloadable with such slow internet? Either way I understand and agree with your position.

there is wifi you know

OS updates for Firefox OS are about 125 MB right now. I don't see why updating has to be fast though, it's not like you have to wait for your phone to download to do anything special. I agree that listening to music/watching videos would suck without 3G, assuming you're planning on getting a data plan.

Personally I'd have a bigger problem with the camera specs. I remember owning a feature phone, and even 2 MP wasn't very good.

Pluto is a Planet said,
OS updates for Firefox OS are about 125 MB right now. I don't see why updating has to be fast though, it's not like you have to wait for your phone to download to do anything special. I agree that listening to music/watching videos would suck without 3G, assuming you're planning on getting a data plan.

Personally I'd have a bigger problem with the camera specs. I remember owning a feature phone, and even 2 MP wasn't very good.

Thanks for the info of update saize.
Do you know if it is possible to switch to dev build? is it easy?

On feature phones it's usually vga cameras,
only Few nokia phones were different in that respect.

itisomegakai said,

Thanks for the info of update saize.
Do you know if it is possible to switch to dev build? is it easy?

On feature phones it's usually vga cameras,
only Few nokia phones were different in that respect.

For my phone, yes. However it's not part of the OS. I'm hoping they'll eventually incorporate that into the Settings app, but it's not like that now.

To do it on my phone, I go to this page by my phone vendor: http://downloads.geeksphone.com/. Then updates are delivered for that update version/channel. Notice if you click Latest Stable for any of the two first smartphones (the older ones), the link is for November of last year (showing how they don't support my phone anymore). Mozilla is supposed to be doing something to change this, but until then...

Anyways some versions are extremely buggy for my phone because Geeksphone isn't actually supporting it. Luckily, 2.0 is working great. The only thing is because it's considered a nightly channel by Geeksphone, I get system updates every day (which is pointless).

But yeah on your phone in Settings > Device Information > More Information, this is what I see (sorry for the crappy quality): http://imageshack.com/a/img673/5193/lWSgAq.png