Mozilla launches its new $170 dual-core developer phone, the Flame

Mozilla has launched its new developer device for Firefox OS, and it's not exactly a flagship. Mozilla says that its new 'Flame' handset is "a milestone in Firefox OS device releases", but its spec sheet puts it roughly on par with many new entry-level devices recently announced by manufacturers on other platforms. 

For $170 USD (€127 EUR / £102 GBP), including worldwide shipping, you'll get a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 chipset, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of onboard storage (with a microSD slot for cards up to 32GB) and a 4.5-inch FWVGA (854x480px) display. There's also a 5MP rear camera and 2MP front-camera. 

Additionally, the Flame includes proximity and ambient light sensors, an accelerometer, A-GPS, FM radio, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0 and a rear camera flash; the device does not support 4G LTE connectivity. 

While this may be "a new milestone" for Firefox OS, it's old news for other platforms that are currently offering far more advanced handsets with far more developed software; Firefox OS clearly has some way to go. 

Source: Mozilla via SlashGear | image via Mozilla

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39 Comments

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I dont understand the backslash. Many here act very defensively against this or similar projects, like someone is stealing your slice of the cake or something. I thought we needed diversity.

Do you really think it's foolish to challenge the market leaders? A waste of time?

Imagine if Apple and Google had the same mentality seven years ago when s40 and Blackberry OS 5 where the undeniable kings.

And Im not implying that Firefox OS can challenge them and become the next iOS or Android, Im saying that there is nothing wrong in a modest mobile OS targeted specially at low end devices.

Don't forget that this is how Mozilla was born, by challenging Microsoft. And now we have multiple browsers where we can be pretty sure that the same website will work well on all of them. This isn't the reality with smartphone apps.

Don't want and don't need. We already have iOS, Android and WP. We don't need an other mobile OS. It will not sell and its a waste of time for Mozilla to spend. They need to focus more on Firefox.

ACTIONpack said,
Don't want and don't need. We already have iOS and WM. We don't need an other mobile OS. It will not sell and its a waste of time for Google to spend. They need to focus more on search.

People said the same thing about Android...

riahc3 said,

People said the same thing about Android...


Its common sense that there will always 3 different OS be in the market. Remember Windows, Mac and Linux.

_Alexander said,
I will stick with an entry level Windows Phone. Thank you very much.

Well, yeah. This is aimed to developers. Are you a developer?

Princess Katie Pixie said,
Well I think Firefox phones are only targeting developing countries where people doesn't have alot of money to pay for a premium phone. =)
The same countries where WP does best, as well as the now discontinued Nokia Asha phones.

Chikairo said,
The same countries where WP does best, as well as the now discontinued Nokia Asha phones.

Reluctantly agree. You'd be amazed of how many Ashas you see here in Mexico. Easily five per day by different people.

To be fair, companies that produce those phones are also those that have a history of producing devices. Mozilla isn't really a device manufacturer.

A third point to add: Developer devices are always slightly more expensive to extensive support and limited run. This cannot be compared to regular phones, altho it would be interesting to check performance experiences.

Agree with mikeaspatrick, on this one. Developers need to design and build for low/medium spec phones. Not everyone or most people don't own a high end phone. Not just because of target consumers, but to also avoid power or resources hungry apps. There's always ways to optimize most apps. And a medium or low budget phone is always welcome for people wo don't need a high spec phone.

MidnightDevil said,
Agree with mikeaspatrick, on this one. Developers need to design and build for low/medium spec phones. Not everyone or most people don't own a high end phone. Not just because of target consumers, but to also avoid power or resources hungry apps. There's always ways to optimize most apps. And a medium or low budget phone is always welcome for people wo don't need a high spec phone.

The problem with developing for low end devices is that the app would look bad or not function to its best when run on a high end device. You would have to kill features and UI design just to make it work (ie game developers forcing PC games to look like console versions).

That said, the low end market is a big one. You could hit a larger market and make more money if your app functions on said devices. Its a juggling act.

Every smartphone is a rectangle with a "button" or two, speaker on top and microphone at the bottom. There's not much you can do design wise.

It's not about creating a "high-end" handset. Developers need to create apps that will run on the slowest and least-featured handsets that will run the OS. That's why developer handsets are never high-spec devices. I would have expected Neowin to know that but you've been disappointing me more and more in the last year :(

mikeaspatrick said,
It's not about creating a "high-end" handset. Developers need to create apps that will run on the slowest and least-featured handsets that will run the OS. That's why developer handsets are never high-spec devices. I would have expected Neowin to know that but you've been disappointing me more and more in the last year :(

Conversely, you cannot build for the latest hardware to take advantage of it if you cannot test for it. It goes both ways.

adrynalyne said,

Conversely, you cannot build for the latest hardware to take advantage of it if you cannot test for it. It goes both ways.

but still i have to agree with mikeaspatirck, because if it can run smoothly on a low end device, chances are it will work perfectly on a high end one as well

Deyirn said,

but still i have to agree with mikeaspatirck, because if it can run smoothly on a low end device, chances are it will work perfectly on a high end one as well

Fair enough. If you want a cutting edge program, forget about it unless you have something you can actually test it with. It makes little sense to get a low end device for development when you can get a higher end device and artificially gimp it to test lower end qualities. Despite his original assertions, no, not all developer devices are low end. I'd daresay most are not.

adrynalyne said,

Fair enough. If you want a cutting edge program, forget about it unless you have something you can actually test it with. It makes little sense to get a low end device for development when you can get a higher end device and artificially gimp it to test lower end qualities. Despite his original assertions, no, not all developer devices are low end. I'd daresay most are not.

Firefox OS isn't an OS targeting high end phones; they're trying to bring smartphones to people who previously couldn't afford them. That means they really want to target low-end smartphones.

Not only that, but this device's purpose is that you won't have to keep buying new phones in order to keep developing for newer versions of Firefox OS. Mozilla plans on updating the firmware for this device regularly, unlike Geeksphone did with their smartphones from last year.

Pluto is a Planet said,
Firefox OS isn't an OS targeting high end phones; they're trying to bring smartphones to people who previously couldn't afford them. That means they really want to target low-end smartphones.

Not only that, but this device's purpose is that you won't have to keep buying new phones in order to keep developing for newer versions of Firefox OS. Mozilla plans on updating the firmware for this device regularly, unlike Geeksphone did with their smartphones from last year.

You cannot effectively break into a market by ignoring a rather large segment of it. They will see soon enough.

adrynalyne said,

You cannot effectively break into a market by ignoring a rather large segment of it. They will see soon enough.

Apple has already proven you wrong.

Pluto is a Planet said,
Apple has already proven you wrong.

Not at all. They sell the last year's models with current year to hit the mid markets. They also have the 5c now. Of course, Android's marketshare has shown that Apple's missing the low end market was a mistake.

Name one low end market that has thrived compared to those that hit mid to high range markets, much less all three? Then show me one that introduces a fledgling OS as well?

adrynalyne said,

Not at all. They sell the last year's models with current year to hit the mid markets. They also have the 5c now. Of course, Android's marketshare has shown that Apple's missing the low end market was a mistake.

Name one low end market that has thrived compared to those that hit mid to high range markets, much less all three? Then show me one that introduces a fledgling OS as well?

What you've mentioned still doesn't show that Apple is in the low-end market.

I'll name two. I would name the cell phone market, but I can't find data on the volume of feature phones vs. smartphones sold, though [url=http://www.euromonitor.com/mob...uth-africa/report]something like this[/url] sounds promising if you have $900 to buy the report.

Anyways, fast food. It competes with restaurants which have much higher prices and is a nonessential market.

In addition, there is the low end computer market. It's always been there, and if you want a brand to accompany it, the Raspberry Pi. I have one, and there are three million others out there. And it's increasing its pace; it took a year to sell the first million, 10 months to sell the second million, and 7 months to sell the third million.

Pluto is a Planet said,
What you've mentioned still doesn't show that Apple is in the low-end market.

I'll name two. I would name the cell phone market, but I can't find data on the volume of feature phones vs. smartphones sold, though [url=http://www.euromonitor.com/mob...uth-africa/report]something like this[/url] sounds promising if you have $900 to buy the report.

Anyways, fast food. It competes with restaurants which have much higher prices and is a nonessential market.

In addition, there is the low end computer market. It's always been there, and if you want a brand to accompany it, the Raspberry Pi. I have one, and there are three million others out there. And it's increasing its pace; it took a year to sell the first million, 10 months to sell the second million, and 7 months to sell the third million.

Er, did you read the part where I said Apple's mistake was missing the low end market?

Also non smartphone markets are not relevant to the discussion.