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Hands on: ZTE Open C with Firefox OS 1.3

updated 03:46 am EST, Wed February 26, 2014

ZTE Firefox OS device is massive improvement from last year

At last year's Mobile World Congress, ZTE launched its first attempt at a smartphone running Firefox OS. This year, the company is following up on the ZTE Open with the ZTE Open C, a similarly-styled device that is also aimed at emerging markets. This time, the smartphone arrives with a fair number of improvements over its debut. Electronista took the budget Firefox OS device for a spin to see what's new.

Keeping the same general appearance as the earlier model, the Open C opts for inexpensive plastic construction, though this can partially be forgiven because of its intended destination market. The biggest change is the replacement of the original 3.5-inch, 320x480 display for a higher resolution and larger four-inch 480x800 model, with a similar brightness to the original Open.

ZTE Open C
ZTE Open C

The 1GHz Qualcomm processor from last year has been upgraded to a 1.2GHz dual-core version, RAM has doubled from 256MB to 512MB, and storage has been pumped up to 4GB from the 512MB used previously. It also has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity and a GPS, as well as a 1,400mAh battery -- and though it lacks a front-facing camera, the rear three-megapixel model is sufficient for this class of device.

Despite the modest specifications, the Open C combined with Firefox OS 1.3 runs considerably better compared to the Open, with barely any lag when moving through menus or using the EverythingMe-based search. Overall, it feels much tighter as an operating system compared to what has previously been shown.

The ZTE Open C is a massive improvement from the Open, and when combined with the latest version of Firefox OS is now a viable choice for users looking for a cheap phone. The company did not reveal specifically how much it will cost when it goes on sale in the near future.

by MacNN Staff



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