We’ve written about how we yearn for smartphones that truly suit emerging markets like ours. The ZTE Open might just be the answer to that
The ZTE Open is the world’s first Firefox OS powered device. This baby was first launched in Spain, Venezuela and Colombia in July this year. Just about a month later – last Friday the 17th to be precise – it was officially released for purchase exclusively on eBay- in the US for $79.99 (about N 13,000) and in the UK for £59.99 (about N15,000). In less than a week of release on the US & UK stores, it has already sold out. Trust the enterprising individuals to start reselling their purchased units at exorbitant prices already.
We at Mobility never lag behind. We got ours early and we want to show you 🙂 Meet the ZTE Open:
The box itself is quite the beauty. I stared at it for hours on end before venturing to unbox it.
The ZTE Open wasn’t made with the intention of obliterating the competition (at least not yet). No, the idea is to showcase that smartphones can be very cheap and still kick some high-end ass (pardon the Spanish). whilst staying very open. So don’t cringe at the specs just yet.
The specs worthy of note are:
Data & Connectivity
- 2G & 3G (GPRS, EDGE, HSDPA…)
- Wi-Fi. And it works. Unlike some other “smartphone” I know.
Display Size and Type
- 320 x 480 pixels, 3.5 inches – Ideal smartphone anyone? I’m smiling here
- Oh, and.. TFT capacitive touchscreen
- 512MB internal,
2GB4GB external included in an envelope! Who puts a tiny memory card in a giant envelope?
- 256MB RAM – because kick-ass OSes do not need more RAM
- 1.0 GHz Cortex-A5 processor
- 1200 mAh Li-Ion battery – Seems really poor but we won’t be too quick to judge it’s performance
- 3.15 megapixel camera with geo-tagging available
- Can record video but there’s no front-facing camera
- Firefox OS, obviously
It’s barely been a day since the unboxing so we cannot really jump into conclusions about the performance. A couple of things are almost instantly noticeable though:
- Firefox OS looks (and feels) like a finer reincarnation of old Android. I’m talking back in the Android Cupcake, Donut and Eclair days
- Though there’s is no noticeable lag, the capacitive touchscreen is not very responsive. I suspect this has more to do with the hardware than the OS. Very specifically, the screen itself, not the RAM or processor speed. .
- The keyboard really really sucks. Switching to landscape alleviates the suckiness a little, but it still sucks. And as far as I know, there are not alternatives in the Firefox Makerplace.
- Firefox OS seems to be very internet-dependent – and I’m not surprised, as it relies heavily on HTML5 as the backbone – but don’t quote me yet.
That’s it for now guys, all about our first impressions of the ZTE Open. You can expect a full review from us in about a week’s time so stick around.
I’ll leave you with a few screenshots from the device: