Al sends us the Fx0, a "beautiful mid-range phone running Firefox OS announced in Japan today by KDDI, one of Japan's largest mobile phone companies."
Unlike earlier (disappointing) Firefox OS devices, this one has a much higher spec and might be powerful enough to actually run the OS. It also comes in a gorgeous, transparent plastic case (for which I am a perennial sucker — I really miss my transparent Palm Pilot!).
Designer Tokujin Yoshioka has impeccable credentials, including a design that made it into MOMA.
The Fx0 marks a break from Mozilla's established strategy of making the cheapest possible phones and dares to stray into the middle of the smartphone price and spec range. At a cost of 50,000 yen (roughly $420), this smartphone is significantly more expensive than the average Firefox OS handset, but it seeks to justify that price rise with its good looks and greater capabilities. NFC, LTE, and other widely adopted features are making their Firefox OS debut on the Fx0, making it a much more competitive and compelling proposition for buyers that are less constrained by their budget. Still, Firefox OS shouldn't be confused as any sort of competitor to the smartphone high end, and the base specs of the Fx0 are relatively underwhelming: a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor, 1.5GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, and a 2,370mAh battery.
The device is built by LG, and it embodies the next big step for Firefox OS, but KDDI is the company in charge of its fate. Together with Mozilla, the Japanese carrier hopes to promote the concept of "a new worldwide WoT (Web of Things) experience, which connects various objects using Web technology regardless of PC or smartphone." KDDI has created a dedicated Fx sub-site and is encouraging developers to get involved and build out the Firefox OS software ecosystem, marking a significant investment into helping the platform prosper and grow. The Fx0 goes on limited sale this Thursday, December 25th, and will be available across Japan from January 6th. It's unlikely that the custom KDDI design will ever go global, but it certainly sets a beautiful tone for future devices in the Firefox OS family.
The transparent Fx0 will finally make you want a Firefox OS phone [Vlad Savov/The Verge]