Oversell Fx0 and people will never glance at Firefox OS ever again

Does it have a transparent-gold chassis? Yes. Does it have a somewhat big screen and decent innards? Yes. Will it make you renounce your Apple or Android smartphone? Not likely.

Those are the key words to describe LG’s new Firefox OS-running Fx0.

Created by Tokujin Yoshioka for KDDI, a Japanese carrier, the phone is quite fetching aesthetically speaking. The outer chassis is mainly composed of transparent gold plastic which enable users to see the SD card holder, the battery and other such innards, a subtle reference to the fact that Mozilla and Firefox OS pride themselves of having freedom and openness as their founding members. This latest LG phone has mediocre technical specs. It packs a mere 1.5GB of RAM and a mid-range Snapdragon 400 SoC which only has four Cortex-A7 CPU cores. It also has only 16GB of internal storage and, for now at least, there is no word regarding resolution on the 4.7-inch IPS screen. But the home button is a golden Firefox logo which is kinda cool.

Even if you take into account these frankly poor specs, the Fx0 is the most performant phone running Firefox OS since the first model came out. So far, Mozilla and a few select carriers have created rather cheap phones ($100). The reasons behind this vary from person to person but this is mainly due to the fact that Firefox OS really is not that good of an operating system. It functions just fine but only with the most common and rudimentary of functions. You can make calls, use the internet and other apps and functions you find on other operating systems but you don’t have the same ecosystem you get when using iOS or Android.

More simply put, Firefox OS is ideal for those who haven’t owned a smartphone and are reluctant to use one due to its complex system or if your financial situation does not allow you to buy something too expensive. However, it will never rival Android and iOS. It should come as no surprise, then, that Mozilla is advertising low-cost Firefox OS phones in countries where the browser after which the operating system was named is most popular. Those said countries are in fact nations in the making and their citizens cannot afford to spend well over $700 on a mere phone.

Having said that, what probably makes very little sense is the fact that the Fx0 is not cheap at all with its 50,000 yen ($420) price tag and Firefox is not that popular in Japan either. Being a highly developed nation, Chrome and Internet Explorer dominate and the citizens already own an iPhone, a brand which is extremely popular in Japan. It’s quite possible that the fancy appearance of the Fx0 will boost sales but the entire move seems misplaced to begin with. Or Tokujin Yoshioka is a lot more famous in Japan than one might think and the phone will do just fine.

If you’re in the least bit curious about how a Firefox OS works, Mozilla has made a standalone simulator available for download and glance over the Firefox Marketplace if you want to know how an app ecosystem works. The Fx0 will be released in Japan on December 25 with no intentions whatsoever to go outside the country (though import is not out of the question).