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My observations on using Firefox OS phone, Peak, since 2 May 2013

My observations on using Firefox OS phone, Peak, since 2 May 2013

  • Auto-brightness is constantly changing when switching apps or views of an app, eventhough the surrounding ambient light doesn't change much. I've disabled it.
  • Press both 'Home' button and 'Sleep/wake' button, takes screenshot, like iPhone.
  • Gallery, Camera, Music app, etc don't work without a microSD memory card in the phone.
  • If 'USB mass storage' option is enabled in Settings app -> 'Media storage', Gallery and Camera app doesn't work while plugged in (charging) to the computer, stating that the memory card is in use.
  • 3 ways to install web apps; via Marketplace, Firefox browser or the Search screen. Sometimes generate different icons on the Home screen from each method.
  • Firefox browser seems to have a viewport issue, where web pages seems to be 2x zoomed out. Once the web page is added to Home screen, relaunch from there, the web page is no longer 2x zoomed out. [1] Marketplace app somehow still have issue.
  • Scrolling on the added home-screen web apps is not 1:1. Content under the finger scrolls faster than expected.
  • The sounds on the phone are inconsistent. Eventhough I've set the volume for 'Ringer & Notifications' and 'Alarm' to be around 50%, the 'Unlock screen' sound, keyboard's 'Click' sound, phone keypad's tap sound and Camera's 'snap' sound are emitted at >90% volume.
  • Some demos I'ved tried on runs at 1FPS on the Firefox browser.
  • YouTube videos don't play. Vimeo as well. [1] Vimeo mentions videos are not mobile-optimized instead.
  • Holding the 'Home' icon will show running apps for multitasking. Closing the app is abrupt and doesn't show any animation.
  • Music from Grooveshark's mobile site actually plays.
  • Orientation on some apps work for all four sides. So, it can be upside-down.
  • Camera shots are quite decent and sometimes look 'bright'.
  • Sometimes, images in Gallery are duplicated (shown twice) eventhough I only took the photo once.
  • FM radio app requires plugged-in headset (that can receive radio signals?) to work.
  • Added-home-screen web apps sometimes get frozen when launched. Have to kill then relaunch.
  • I can't tweet an image from Twitter mobile web site.
  • Geolocation (GPS) doesn't work most of the time.
  • There's no rubber-band effect or any indicators when scroll to the edges.
  • OTA update works. Got it since the first day unboxing the phone. Around 100MB download.
  • Compared to iPhone's keyboard, FirefoxOS's keyboard has 3 extra keys. , on left and . on right side of the space bar. ' on right side of 'L' key, which I think is very annoying.
  • <input type=file> doesn't work at all in Firefox browser. When focus on the field, it pops up the keyboard.

[1] Fixed after installing build 20130603202903

I couldn't use my Firefox OS Peak phone now because the battery became bloated. I'll need to wait for Geeksphone store to sell battery replacements so that I can buy from them.


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reinvented commented May 9, 2013

The FM radio uses the plugged-in headset as an antenna. This is familiar to users of Nokia headsets, which often have an FM receiver and also have this restriction.


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cheeaun commented May 10, 2013

@reinvented ah thanks, I thought that phones these days have solved that restriction 😞


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ghost commented May 14, 2013


  • No pinch-to-zoom in the browser
  • The gmail contacts importer seems flaky (does not import all my contacts, and every phone number). For now I am using the web version of gmail contacts, but this requires being online
  • Internet connection sharing (wifi hotspot) does not seem to work
  • I could not connect to a WPA Entreprise wifi network (with separate public and private identities...)

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cheeaun commented May 14, 2013

@roma1n pinch-to-zoom works for me, though it's a bit wonky. Does it happen to you on some specific web sites?


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ghost commented May 15, 2013

@cheeaun: nope, happens everywhere for me (except for specific websites, e.g. on google maps it does work as expected).

edit: your comment prompted me to try switching languages. I did and sure enough, changing from French to English resulted in pinch-to-zoom working (!). How weird is that? My fault for being a cheese-eating surrender monkey, I suppose...


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faffyman commented Jun 3, 2013

"I can't tweet an image from Twitter mobile web site"

I found that if you install twitter from the marketplace it has a web-intents listener such that you can share photos from the gallery to twitter. Though I expected to be able to share right form the mobile site as well.

"Sometimes, images in Gallery are duplicated (shown twice) even though I only took the photo once."

Again I get that, I'm beginning to think one is a thumbnail though as I see images on my SD card that are only 288 x 352 when the standard image size was 768 x 1024 - can't confirm that yet though.

"YouTube Videos.."

yeah, what the heck is with that? YouTube has an HTML5 player, and it's listed in the MarketPlace and it's icon appears on the Firefox OS marketing website (as does a cut the rope icon and it doesn't work either) What's weird is that youtube videos embedded in web pages will actually play.

"Google Importer"

I was able to import the contacts I wanted... but now I cant get rid of the importer icon, and it's a blank blurry white square.. I've had to drag it to a page of it's own, it wont delete.

Consumer Ready OS?

A couple of points that mean average users wont like, i.e. not consumer ready yet.

  • No custom ring tones - you can copy your own MP3 to the SD card but you can't use as ring/message tones
  • Scrolling in an app, e.g. facebook is a bit sluggish, the scroll lags behind your finger.
  • You cannot send an SMS to more than one person, it only lets you select one recipient
  • My biggest pet hate - The Alarm clock is unreliable. If you switch of the screen at night, chances are the alarm wont go off in the morning until you wake the phone from sleep mode. If you leave the phone screen to time-out.. then it 'might' go off.
  • Wifi turns off at random, I can't figure it out. I have to manually go to settings and switch wifi on every morning. And sometimes during the day if it loses a signal (such as travelling from home to office)
  • Email, doesn't support copy/paste and wont let you click on a link (but it will highlight the link in blue)
    So if someone emails you a URL you're stuffed.

More a fault of the individual apps than the OS, but there are no notifications from twitter/facebook.


You can also get the Firefox OS simulator addon for desktop firefox and use it to push apps as installed apps to your device. This means you can easily write your own webapps or download others from e..g github and push them to your phone.


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grigio commented Oct 4, 2013

For me the mayor "consumer ready" bugs on Keon are:

  • cut and paste
  • AGPS broken it localize me at 600km from where I am.
  • many social/email apps dosen't support notifications. But FirefoxOS support notifications via SimplePush and Websocket
  • on v1.2 regression with wifi driver random disconnection and video recording broken
  • webgl is unusable
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