Alcatel's Fire 7 looks to be a no-frills budget Firefox OS tablet

Priced at 79 euros and due in Q3, could the first Firefox OS-based slate be a game changer?

Aloysius Low Senior Editor
Aloysius Low is a Senior Editor at CNET covering mobile and Asia. Based in Singapore, he loves playing Dota 2 when he can spare the time and is also the owner-minion of two adorable cats.
Aloysius Low
2 min read
First Look
Watch this: Alcatel One Touch Fire series (Firefox OS)

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.

Unfortunately, this is a dummy set, but the working prototype I saw looked exactly like this. Sarah Tew/CNET

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.

I love the matte rubber-like plastic material used in the tablet. Sarah Tew/CNET

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.

It's a pretty thin tablet. Sarah Tew/CNET

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.

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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.

The Fire 7's low price is its key attraction. Sarah Tew/CNET