Mozilla Unveils new Firefox OS Smartphones from ZTE, Huawei, Alcatel OneTouch, Including a $25 Model

It's still Alcatel_ONETOUCH_FIRE_C-FINAL-VERSION[1]too early to say whether Firefox OS is going to be the next webOS or the next Android, but looking at the support it's getting today from telecoms and device makers I would say that the latter is a real possibility.Mozilla held a press event today in Barcelona. Like many tech companies, this web browser maker is at Mobile World Congress to show off their latest mobile tech, and today that is Firefox OS.

According to Mozilla, smartphones running on Firefox OS can now be had in 15 markets on three devices from four different telecoms, including carriers in Hungary, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Greece and other countries.

Over the course of the next year Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom plan to launch even more models in markets like Germany, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Macedonia, and Montenegro, as well as numerous countries in South and Central America: Argentina, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Uruguay.

mozilla firefox os 25 dollar smartphoneThe new smartphone models will be coming from a variety of smartphone makers, including LG, Alcatel, ZTE, and Huawei, and there's even reports of a $25 smartphone running on a Spreadtrum chipset.

It doesn't sound all that impressive, but Cnet got to play with it and they said that it's better than you might expect given the price:

I toyed with a prototype Sunday at its debut at Mobile World Congress here, and I have to say, I'm impressed -- given the price.

It's missing things like WhatsApp, its screen is small and coarse, and it's slower to scroll and launch apps than the state-of-the-art phones from the last decade. It's not something a rich kid from New Jersey or a businessman from Tokyo would be caught dead with.

And while that phone is going to go after what is now the feature phone market, the other new phones are going to go after regular Android smartphones.

Alcatel, for example, launched a trio of new smartphones which run Firefox OS. These phones, which are named the Fire C, E, and S, range in size from 3.5" to 4.5" and will ship with either dual-core or quad-core CPUs from Qualcomm. - TNW, Engadget

ascend y300And that's not all. Huawei officially unveiled their first Firefox OS smartphone.

They're relaunching last year's Ascend Y300 Android smartphone, only now it's going to run Firefox OS 1.1. Yes, it's an older version of the OS and not the v1.3 running on the latest smartphones, and it's on old phone hardware as well.

This model has a 4" screen and a dual-core 1GHz Snapdragon CPU .That's not bad, but between the specs and the OS version I'm getting the distinct impression that Hauwei is not investing a lot of effort into Firefox OS.

BTW, the Firefox OS version of the Ascend Y300 first showed up a few weeks ago. A Hungarian gadget blog found it at a trade show and shot this hands on video:

The reviews I found of the older Android version of the Y300 weren't terribly impressive, but that might not matter so much. I think the bigger issue could be the outdated version of Firefox OS.

And last but not least ZTE also had a new Firefox OS smartphone on display, the Open C. Like the Y300 this is described as a budget phone, albeit a slightly better one. It's running v1.3 on a dual-core 1.2GHz SnapDragon CPU with a 4" screen, 512MB RAM, and a 2MP camera.

ZTE_OpenC_FINAL-VERSION[1]

Engadget wasn't impressed with the Open C, describing it as chunky and plastic. But to be fair, only one of the smartphones mentioned in this post wasn't a budget model like the Open C. That was the Fire S froM Alcatel, and it had a 4.5" screen and a quad-core CPU.

Mozilla, Cnet

 

About Nate Hoffelder (11590 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

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