CNET First Look
ZTE Open does Firefox OS on the cheapIs this entry-level Firefox phone aflame with promise? Eh, not so much.
What's orange/black and foxy all over? It's the new ZTE Open, which is one of the first phones running Firefox's operating system. I'm Jessica Dolcourt and I'm gonna show you a quick look. Let's talk about the design first, which, I think, is the nicest part of the phone. It's really comfortable. This one is an [unk]. We've also seen it in blue, has a sort of luminescent, shimmery finish. It's soft to the touch and doesn't pick up fingerprint marks. So, that's always nice. It's a compact phone, but still pretty thick, little bit thicker than most, still slides in to pockets really easily, feels good on the ear, and is very easy to use one handed. I also like some of the smaller accents like the volume rocker and the power button. ZTE deliberately scale down the specs. We've got a 3.5 inch screen here, pretty low resolution. I think, it's a little bit dim on the automatic mode, and the colors look a little bit off as well, even with full brightness. On the back, there's a 3.2 megapixel camera, no flash, no front-facing camera on here. All of that's fine, but I wasn't very impressed with photo quality at all. Images were really dull and I found it incredibly hard to focus. The 1 Ghz processor is also very laggy. This is a 3G phone. You won't get 4G speeds with it, but since it is unlocked, you will be able to use AT&T and T-Mobile networks. I use the AT&T simcard here. Keep in mind that this is a standard-sized sim, so it's a lot larger than the micro and nano sims that you see in a lot of phones today. The operating system is also purposely simple. It runs on the web-based Firefox OS. The intended audience is therefore, mostly, developers who will develop for Firefox OS apps and things like that. It is also suitable for people who are transitioning to their first smart phone. The ZTE Open sells globally. Here in the US, you'll be able to buy it for $80 on eBay. As far as the phone goes, the price is right. The operating system covers all of the basics, but I do think there are more exciting phones out there in this price range for general consumers. This phone is really meant for developers and those are the people who should really look into it. I'm Jessica Dolcourt for CNET. You can read my full review at CNET.com.