Geeksphone cuts cost of Android and Firefox OS smartphone

The Revolution will soon cost $275 from Geeksphone's webstore and Amazon in Europe

Geeksphone's Revolution comes with Android, but lets users switch to Firefox OS with voiding the warranty.

Geeksphone's Revolution comes with Android, but lets users switch to Firefox OS with voiding the warranty.

Spanish smartphone maker Geeksphone has lowered the cost of the Revolution, an Android smartphone on which buyers can easily install Mozilla's Firefox OS, to €199 (US$275) without a contract.

The smartphone will be available at that price, a €40 reduction, on May 1 from Geeksphone's online store as well as at Amazon's European shops, Geeksphone said on Monday.

The Revolution runs Android when first booted up, but users can replace it Mozilla's Firefox OS. Users will also be able to upgrade to Android 4.4 and install the Android-based OS CyanogenMod 11.

Geeksphone said the Revolution will also be able to run Firefox 2.0, which will soon be available in a beta version that adds an enhanced lock-screen, a universal search feature and copy-and-paste.

Firefox OS is built around applications written in HTML5, and Mozilla Foundation is pitching it as a more open alternative to Android and iOS, better suited to low-end smartphones.

Unlike with other platforms, content purchased by the user is owned by the user, not tied to a particular device, according to Mozilla. Developers are encouraged to distribute apps however they want, and even to build app stores that compete with Mozilla's Firefox Marketplace, it said.

However, the Firefox OS has struggled to compete with Android on sales and performance. Around 390,000 Firefox OS phones shipped last year, according to IDC, a figure it expects to rise to 2.5 million this year.

Geeksphone hopes the freedom to choose between different OSes without voiding the warranty will make up for somewhat underwhelming hardware specifications.

The Revolution is powered by an Intel Z2560 Atom dual-core processor running at 1.6GHz, with a 4.7-inch, 960 by 540 pixel screen. It has 1GB of RAM and 4GB of integrated storage, which can be expanded using a microSD card. The phone also has an 8 megapixel camera and a 2,000 mAh battery.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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