ZTE Open review first-look

News Richard Goodwin 18:47, 24 Feb 2013

We go hands-on with one of the first Mozilla Firefox OS-powered handsets at MWC 2013, the ZTE Open

We all knew ZTE would be first out the blocks with a Mozilla Firefox OS-powered handset. Not much was known about the device, other than it’d be carrying Mozilla’s HTML5-based operating system, although we’ve heard plenty of talk about the handset during the last couple of months. 

Mozilla told us at last year’s MWC that Firefox OS, because of its lightweight nature, wouldn’t require the level of hardware found inside nowadays Android and iOS-powered handsets. It’s more hardware efficient, according to Qualcomm boss Paul Jacobs. 

The ZTE Open, however, is not aimed at competing with the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S4, or the BlackBerry Z10. It’s about introducing a new philosophy into the mobile space – one that’s not driven by profits. 

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17 key operators have committed to devises, these include: América Móvil, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Hutchison Three Group, KDDI, KT, MegaFon, Qtel, SingTel, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia Group, Telefónica, Telenor, TMN and VimpelCom.

Consumers will get a dynamic, rich and open smartphone experience that provides easy access to everything they love on the Web, including Facebook and Twitter integration, with a simple, fast interface and built-in cost controls, said Mozilla during the launch. 

The Open is colourful, fun-looking, and clearly aimed a very lucrative demographic of users currently catered for by Nokia’s Asha and Samsung’s newly launched REX range of smartphones. 

We were only allowed the briefest of time with the device, but initial impressions were good – it’s better looking and the OS is more intuitive than what you get on Nokia’s Asha range of phones. 

The ZTE Open runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM7225A SoC, which has a Cortex A5 CPU with unmentioned clock speed and an Adreno 200 GPU, a 3.5-inch, HVGA capacitive touchscreen, 3.2 megapixel camera, 512MB of storage memory and 256MB of RAM, Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1, EDR, GPS, FM Radio and a 1,200mAh battery.

Video coming very soon.

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