As you read this, the world’s first commercially available smartphone running Mozilla’s Firefox OS will have gone on sale. Sadly, unless you’re in Spain, you won’t be able to buy one, as it’s local network Telefonica which has bagged the ZTE Open. Launched at Mobile World Congress, the ZTE Open will be sold from 2 July, and like the majority of Firefox OS hardware, it’s really cheap.
According to Telefonica, the ZTE Open costs just 69 euros, or about £60, and comes with 30 euros of credit, plus a 4GB microSD card. While Android phones can be had for less than £100, it’s rare to find them bundled with any free airtime or other goodies.
What the ZTE Open isn’t is a particularly impressive phone, as it’s specs are basic even by last year’s standards. The screen measures 3.5-inches and has a 480×320 pixel resolution, and there’s a 1GHz Snapdragon processor with 256MB of RAM inside the admittedly quite cute body shell. A 3.2 megapixel camera sits on the rear, and that’s about it.
But what do you expect for the price? Plus, it’s Firefox OS’s open nature and potentially varied HTML5 app catalogue which makes in attractive, especially in places where high-end Android hardware is prohibitively expensive. Only time will tell if it’s a success, but the ZTE Open is the first of several phones running the OS which will launch this year, along with the similar Alcatel One Touch Fire, and potentially phones from LG and Sony too. Whether the ZTE Open or any other Firefox OS phones will launch in the UK this year isn’t known.