BARCELONA, Spain -- Making its debut at Mobile World Congress 2014 is Alcatel One Touch and Mozilla's first Firefox OS-based tablet, the 7-inch Fire 7. I was lucky enough to attend a briefing to try out the slate, but as luck would have it, the only working prototype available broke when I tried to unlock it.
Sadly, that left me with only a dummy shell unit to play with, but I was able to get a good idea of how the tablet feels. The one great thing about the Fire 7 is the material used for its rear. It's somewhat similar to the Kindle Paperwhite, and gives a really good grip. I really like how it's not the same glossy plastic that you'd find in most other Android tablets.
Weighing in at 285g and a thickness of 9.9mm, the Fire 7 feels just right for one-handed use. I didn't find the tablet heavy at all. The rounded edges sat nicely in my palm and had no sharp edges to poke me with.
I wasn't able to really get a feel of the quality of the 7-inch qHD (960x540-pixel) display, since the only glimpse of the working prototype died as soon as I unlocked it. I do, however, think that the resolution's too low for a 7-inch device (I've been spoilt by the glorious high resolution of the Google Nexus 7), and I'd expect icons and fonts to look fuzzy to the naked eye.
The tablet's powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz processor and sports VGA front and rear cameras. It also has 4GB on internal storage (up to 32GB with a microSD card) and 2GB of RAM. Sure, it's nothing too fancy, but we already know that Firefox OS can run on very low-end devices, so perhaps this is sufficient for now.
Priced at 79 euros ($108), the Fire 7 comes across as really cheap tablet for the masses. It's definitely not going to rock the Android or iOS boat, but it sounds like a cool new toy to try out without burning a hole in your wallet when it finally debuts in Q3.