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ZTE Open with Firefox OS for $80

Discussion in 'Mobile Devices for All Other Operating Systems' started by rjniles, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. rjniles

    rjniles Member

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    ZTE Firefox OS smartphone available globally for $80


    Summary: In an attempted preemptive strike on other would be number three smartphone OS makers, Firefox and ZTE has partnered up to bring an $80 Firefox OS, unlocked smartphone to all users everywhere via eBay.
    Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

    By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols for Linux and Open Source | August 12, 2013 -- 21:53 GMT (14:53 PDT)

    No one doubts that Android is the number one smartphone operating system and that Apple's iOS is number two. The real question is "Who will be number three?"
    ZTE-Firefox-PhoneWould you buy a smartphone over eBay? What if I told you it was the new unlocked ZTE Open with Firefox OS for a mere 80 dollars?

    Windows Phone is moving up; Blackberry is imploding; and, the Linux-based Ubuntu and Firefox want to be in the mix as well.

    What's a would-be number three smartphone operating system to stand out from the pack? Well, Ubuntu has proposed a do-it-all, crowd-sourced smartphone/PC hybrid. And, Firefox has also shown some creative thinking by partnering with smartphone OEM ZTE to sell the inexpensive ZTE Open worldwide via eBay for $80.

    Yes, you read that right. ZTE will be selling the smartphone globally over eBay. By doing this, Mozilla, the Firefox operating system parent organization, will reach a worldwide market without needing to jump through the telephone carriers' hoops. It's an outside the box idea and, who knows, It Might Just Work.

    ZTE announced that sales of the ZTE Open Firefox OS phone will start within the next month on the ZTE store on eBay in the United States and the United Kingdom. It's already available from Telefónica in Spain, Venezuela and Colombia. The ZTE Open will be available for $79.99 (£59.99) and will be unlocked to allow use on all mobile networks.

    Mr. Dai Wenhong, VP of ZTE said in a statement that, “It is great honor to launch the ZTE Open Firefox OS phone worldwide through eBay. ZTE is devoted to providing more options for customers globally and enabling them to live better lives via advanced technology. The ZTE Open offers customers a smartphone experience at an incredible price point, making it ideal for cost conscious consumers or those looking to upgrade to a smartphone for the first time.”

    Mozilla in its announcement added that, "There won’t be any local apps or features because these devices are general, unlocked global variants targeted at developers and early adopters around the globe. As the devices are open market devices, they are not optimized for specific networks."

    While we don't have all the ZTE Open's specs yet, here's what we do have:

    Size: 114 x 62 x 12.5mm 3.5inch,
    HVGA.TFT, One Point touch + Gesture Captive (two point option) screen
    Memory: 512MB Rom +256MB RAM
    Bluetooth 2.1, accelerometer, ambient light sensor
    GPS, with AGPS
    Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n
    3.2M FF Camera
    Battery: 1200mAH

    It seems safe bet with the specs and this price this will not have a high-powered ARM processor. Unofficially, I am told by sources that it will be using a Qualcomm MSM7225A Snapdragon ARM processor. This is a single-core 1 GHz processor.

    It may not be fast, but for $80 for a smartphone that will work with any network I can see it finding a broader audience than just gadget fans and open-source enthusiasts. And maybe, just maybe, Firefox OS will become the number three mobile operating system.



    ZTE Firefox OS smartphone available globally for $80 | ZDNet


    For that price, I am buying one just to play with.
     
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  2. rjniles

    rjniles Member

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    Just ordered 1 off eBay. $79.99 and free shipping. I will post after I get it and play with it.
     
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  3. budney

    budney Resident Headbanger
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    Can't wait for the review. If it turns out to be decent I may buy one too. :)
     
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  4. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
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    I too am tempted just to get one to play with...what size SIM does it use?
     
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  5. rjniles

    rjniles Member

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    Mini-SIM from the specs I found.
     
  6. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Thanks for all the updates, I am getting interested as well. :)


    Sent From My iPhone 5 Using Tapatalk
     
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  7. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    I'm not understanding the interest in this phone - from people that have a more powerful smartphone already.
     
  8. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    LOL VF, we aren't replacing our phones. It's something different to play with and hopefully will make a solid backup.


    Sent From My iPhone 5 Using Tapatalk
     
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  9. rjniles

    rjniles Member

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    I like the form factor compared to the overpriced mini-tablets that are becoming the new norm. Also the Fireflx OS interests me.

    Can this be the smartphone for the masses?
     
  10. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Not much is known about the phone, but for certain its not LTE. At lot of gaps in the specs. Given that phones are available for less than $80 (even an iPhone 4, 4S)
    I'm not certain its makes a good backup.

    But I understand the drive to play with a new OS.
     
  11. QLR

    QLR RIP Note!
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    That price alone is enough to spark some interest. Not everyone can spend $500 for a backup (or any) phone.

    Sent from the Blanco Beast, SCH-I605
     
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    #11 QLR, Aug 18, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
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  12. rjniles

    rjniles Member

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    An unlocked phone that you get for under $100 without a 2 year commitment.

    Definately not LTE, it is a 3G phone.
     
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  13. budney

    budney Resident Headbanger
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    A phone like the Open shouldn't need LTE, and with out it the battery life will be much greater. Also the specs shouldn't matter much as long as the software is optimized for the hardware it should be a good experience. :)


    Sent from my Lumia 820 using Tapatalk
     
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  14. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    Yes we are phone junkies, not iSheep, Fandroid, or whatever WP fans are referred to as (no, not Window Washers. :D)

    When that opportunity comes with no strings attached and about the same price as some good cases, it makes it better yet. ;)
    Agreed with both of you.
     
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  15. viewfly

    viewfly Mobile RF Advisor
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    Yes, $90 is just the cost of a dinner to have some fun and check it out. And you get a back up phone.

    I agree with that.

    If it was just a back up phone, I'd say there are other options. Still have my Nokia 6230 :) I picked up a iPhone 4 last year for less than $200. Unlocking costs only a few bucks. Not selling my iPhone 5 this next upgrade.
     
  16. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    My dinners usually cost $9, guess we'll never bump into each other in the same restaurant ;)

    Are there any any plans to release any higher-spec FireFox OS phones? Or are they just focusing on budget phones?
     
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  17. budney

    budney Resident Headbanger
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    From what I understand this phone is mostly for devs and the curious. So other phones should appear in the future.



    Sent from my Lumia 820 using Tapatalk
     
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  18. dmapr

    dmapr Silver Senior Member
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    So now that it has sold out, who's nabbed one? :)
     
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  19. rjniles

    rjniles Member

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    I have delivery confirmation on mine


    Estimated delivery Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - Friday, August 23, 2013 Shipping status In transit
    ZTE Open -3G Unlocked , Firefox OS Cellphone ,Orange - eBay exclusive!

    Item price
    $79.99
    Quantity
    1
     
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  20. rjniles

    rjniles Member

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    Today's mail. Very little documentation, will have to look on line.

    Phone , get started instructions, house charger with mico USB plug, ear buds.

    Charging the battery now. Will post more after I play.

    Photo310.jpg
     
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  21. rjniles

    rjniles Member

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    First impression(s):

    The "getting started: pamphlet does nothing more than show how to insert the battery and turn on the phone.

    Operation is not very intuitive.

    I have not been able to find a user manual on line. Not listed on the ZTE web site.
     
  22. charlyee

    charlyee Ultimate Insanity
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    That's frustrating, sorry to hear that.

    Out of curiosity I just did a search for the user manual, and this came up. :(

    "Sorry, ZTE Open User Manual PDF not Officially available yet
    We will add it soon once available.
    If you have Please send this User Manual PDF to admin@gsmarc.com"
     
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  23. budney

    budney Resident Headbanger
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    Ouch! What was ZTE and Firefox thinking to not release a manual for a phone with a brand new OS installed on it. I still want to check it out though, so hopefully they have more available in mid October.
     
  24. rjniles

    rjniles Member

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    Getting the hang of it. I have got it connected to my WIFI and have set up my gmail account. I have not installed a SIM card yet so I am only using it on WIFI. Haven't tried the camera yet as it has to have a mico SD card and I don't have one handy. Has a AM/FM radio that I have not tried yet. I visited the Firefox app store and the apps are kind of slim (but they are all free). Would like to get a WIFI calling app.

    I sent an email to ZTE support about the lack of a user manual; here is the response:

    Thanks for contacting us & really sorry for the late reply. As per our update this device not launched in USA.so the user manual is not available still.

    DOH, were do they think I got it?

    Will keep plugging
     
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  25. rjniles

    rjniles Member

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    Interesting to note; these phones are selling on eBay for up to $170. Looks like people bought them at the $80 price and are reselling them. And these are completed sales not asking prices. Wish I had bought a couple of dozen.

    More feedback: Installed my SIM (standard mini SIM) and made some calls, voice quality and volume is good (I wear hearing aids and the phone is T coil compatible). Multiple ring tone and alert tones are standard. Since it only has a 3.5" screen, the on-screen keyboard is quite small and causes a number of mis-keys. (Maybe my fingers are just to big.)

    Included apps:
    Calendar
    Wikipedia
    Calculator
    clock
    weather
    notepad
    various video & usic
    maps
    facebook
    twitter

    I downloaded a flash light and a GPS app.

    I like it so far but someone who is heavy into texting and emails amy find the small keyboard off putting.
     
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  26. budney

    budney Resident Headbanger
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    Nice! It seems like it's turning into a nice little play/backup device? I have noticed that too with the reselling of the device on eBay. :)
     
  27. rjniles

    rjniles Member

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    Here is my final take on the ZTE Open:

    My experience is not good: not sure if it is the Firefox OS or the ZTE hardware, but the phone is very buggy. Particularly on email. The phone hangs up and will not download new messages or allow me to delete old messages. Even rebooting does not correct. Then it will start working again without any action by me.

    The touch screen is not very sensitive and it is very had to hit the soft key you want. The onscreen keyboard is just too small.

    I have used a SIM from a line without data so I have only used the phone on WIFI networks. I was traveling last week and found it would not connect to some hotel WIFIs. My tablet connected fine to the same networks. BTW, I was in Seaside Heights NJ for the boardwalk fire (about 2 blocks away).

    The camera works well but you must install an optional micro SD card. Editing options a limited.

    The appointment calender app does not have an reminder alarm feature.

    As a phone it works well and the voice quality and volume are good.

    Bottom line: I am not keeping the phone. I am going to put it up on eBay and see if I can get back my investment.
     
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  28. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    ^^ Sorry to see it didn't work out. I guess there's always that risk when you get in on an OS in it's early phases that there will still be bugs that need to be worked out. I'm sure the low-budget Chinese mfgr ZTE didn't help things either.
    Oh well, on the bright side, you can probably get your money back on ebay, possibly even a little more, since they seem to be in demand.
    Will be interested to see if FireFox can clean up some of the bugs and get a more reputable mfgr on-board in the future.
     
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  29. RadioRaiders

    RadioRaiders RF Black-Belt
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    Actually, Looking into it a little more, it seems that the ZTE Open that you got is tagged as a "developer preview" phone to give developers a head-start in making apps. It doesn't look like it was really a typical "commercial launch" meant for regular consumers, which I think would probably explain the lack of user guide and the general "bugginess" of the phone:

    https://marketplace.firefox.com/developers/dev_phone

    I'm actually kind of interested in this OS now, but still want to wait for a more reputable mfgr to release a phone, as I don't have much faith that the Chinese ZTE company can release anything of quality.
     
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