ZTE is continuing its commitment to the open-source Firefox OS platform. The latest ZTE Open C that runs Firefox 1.3 is a major step forward for the ecosystem, with many improvements to the user interface and general performance.
The Open C itself is an entry level smartphone with a 4" WVGA TFT display. We didn't expect too much from it when the phone got announced, and meeting it in person didn't change our mind. The display has punchy colors but the contrast isn't spectacular, and neither are the viewing angles.
Anyway, the Open C is made of plastic and looks sharp and modern. The blue color in particular really helps it stand out. The silver accents on the sides are cool, too.
As for Firefox OS, it has come a long way since its inception. That said, despite the improvements to the UI and performance, it's still a bit laggy. Most probably, the entry-level hardware of the Open C are to blame. It packs a 1.2GHz dual-core Cortex-A7 CPU on the Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8210 chipset, with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage.
At the back there's a 3MP camera and beneath the removable back cover lies a 1,400mAh battery.
The Firefox OS browser is quite intuitive and features a minimalist UI, as does the camera interface. Check out the short user interface video of the ZTE Open C below.
ZTE brought along another Firefox OS running smartphone. The ZTE Open II is even more basic than the Open C and packs only 256MB of RAM on the same MSM8210 chipset.
Its 3.5" HVGA TFT display is as basic as they get, to be honest. Overall, a phone with this specs is hardly doing Firefox a service, as we're sure the OS would fly on just slightly more capable hardware, say 1GB of RAM.
Anyway, the phone's build quality isn't as impressive as that of the Open C. Pricing is yet unknown.