So here it is. The $35 Firefox phone from the Indian manufacturer, Intex. Named as the Intex Cloud FX, this was certainly one of the phones I was waiting to try out, given that it is popular as a smartphone, but the pricing is unbelievable. Of course, for that price range there are a lot of compromises to be seen, and for an Android user, this wouldn’t be an easy ride at all. But still, the Cloud FX is not a phone for the masses of all categories, but only for those who wanted to have something better than a feature phone but don’t want to spend a lot.
The little “smartphone” isn’t that smart on the initial looks, because during the first hour of usage; the phone got stuck once where I had no other option than to remove the back cover and pull out the battery and put it back to restart the device. That wasn’t again the unresponsiveness of the OS in particular, because the circular home button in the bottom was still producing a vibration, and the unresponsive screen lit up when I pressed the power or home button. Here’s the reason many people ask for a removable battery, isn’t it?
For the size, it is very ideal, again for the feature phone users who have presented themselves with only a small screen always. The 3.5-inch screen made the phone too small and very easy to hold, and the device is quite light, thanks to the plastic body. The power button is on the top, and the volume rocker buttons are on the left side. The back area has the 2MP camera, branding for both Intex and Firefox OS, and the speaker grill towards the bottom.
The removable back cover exposes only the 1250 mAh battery, and only after removing it, one can insert either the SIM card (it is a Dual SIM phone) or the MicroSD card. Although the specs sheet claimed that one can add up to 4GB MicroSD card, we tried a 32GB one, and the phone detected it very well.
The OS is not bad at looks, because you are looking at a good lock screen, taking you to either the home screen or the camera app, and then the big list of pre-installed apps, which is the reason about 70MB of free storage is remaining for the app downloads. The apps that we see Camera, Gallery, FM Radio, Marketplace, Data Usage, 2048 game, Connect A2, Facebook, Youtube, Calendar, File Manager, Video Player, Contact and Firefox browser. Plugged the headphone pin and turned the FM Radio on to check how it was, and the speaker volume level was great, and this is quite important to note because with entry-level devices, FM Radio, calling and such are more important than the actual smart stuff.
The other thing to test out properly before coming to a conclusion is whether the battery in the Intex Cloud FX is good enough, and whether it can give an entire day of usage although I am very much skeptical about this. I feel the battery might not stay for more than half a day, and that is what the falling battery levels claim to show in the initial usage.
The camera on the back is as good as not having a camera on the device. Or you could say, there might be no big difference in the 2MP camera of this, and a VGA camera on any phone. We would be coming up with a full depth review after some regular usage, to understand how Firefox OS works to make itself better than the basic platforms that run on the entry level devices. Another question would be on how well Intex has optimized everything and where compromises are made to bring out a phone for Rs. 2000, still having the looks of a standard smartphone.