ZTE had a very big booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in order to be able to house in as much people as possible. After we were first denied by ZTE for the video demo of the phone carrying Mozilla’s future mobile platform, we finally gained access thanks to the Mozilla staff.

After our quick tour with the ZTE Open, we’ve learned that it’s aimed for the low-budget sector of the market and wishes to get in the hands of any Android lover which does not have the budget to purchase a smartphone, but cannot live without smart functions and fancy applications. Just like Mozilla’s CEO was saying:

Is the farmer in the Indian countryside going to have the same needs and requirements as a lawyer sitting in New York

ZTE Open Hands on Video

ZTE Open Hands On: Shell and insides

ZTE Open is a pretty well-built device, at least from our first impression. It is mainly built from plastic, like most Android phones, and has only one virtual button located on the front-facing side. Physical buttons arelocated on the sides, where we found one for Volume and one for Power. When it comes to ports, the ZTE Open has only one microUSB plug which will be meant for charging and connectivity purposes, a regular 3.5-mm headphone jack and a microSD slot card.

Like other Firefox-OS based products from GeeksPhone and Alcatel, the general feel of the product was warm and pleasant. The back surface feels polished, but not glossy. We were informed that the phone will come in various colors, including orange and blue, but I do not believe the final variant will arrive with swappable cases, like Nokia Lumia line. ZTE tried to minimalize the production costs by using cheaper materials, but without affecting the experience too much.

When it comes to internal specifications, ZTE incorporated only standard equipments, such as a sufficient processor, a small internal memory and something to capture pictures:

  • Processor: Snapdragon MSM7225A clocked at 800 MHz
  • Display: 3.5-inch wide HVGA TFT
  • Battery: 1200 mAh
  • Storage: 512MB of internal (although the guy at the show told us it has 2GB), up to 32GB using a microSD
  • RAM: 256MB
  • Others: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1, GPS, microUSB 2.0, FM Radio

As for those that like to know a bit more about the upcoming Firefox OS and how it will look on future handsets, the demo above shows the ZTE Open performing through normal applications, without relying on processing power that much. As a trick, we’ve found that EVERY application can be tried first, before purchasing, which is a pretty nice thing to do.

Moreover, all of the applications are made using HTML5 technology, which is also present in the browser itself. Theoretically, this should increase developer adaptation and make things simpler.

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Feature Writer

Alex holds an engineering degree in Telecommunications and has been covering technology as a writer since 2009. Customization is his middle name and he doesn’t like to own stock model gadgets. When he’s away from the keyboard, simpler things like hiking, mountain climbing and having a cold drink make his day.