After making its initial debut in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress this past February, the ZTE Open with Firefox OS will soon be available in the U.S. Just don’t expect to find it at your local Best Buy or carrier retail shop.
Mozilla and ZTE announced on Monday that the ZTE Open will hit eBay in the U.S. and the U.K. for $80. The orange handset will be unlocked upon purchase, which means owners will be able to use the device on any mobile network. There’s no hard and fast release date, but the companies promise that the Open will be available “soon.” ZTE and Mozilla’s announcement comes just one month after the Open commercially launched on Telefonica’s network in Spain, Venezuela and Colombia.
Dai Wenhong, Vice President of ZTE, described the Open as ideal for first-time smartphone users, saying that its low price makes it “ideal for cost conscious consumers or those looking to upgrade to a smartphone for the first time.”
The budget-focused ZTE Open comes with a 3.5-inch HVGA display, 256MB of RAM and an 800-MHz Qualcomm 722 CPU, but the real appeal is in its operating system. Along with the Alcatel One Touch Fire, it’s among the first handsets to launch with Mozilla’s Firefox OS, which is based on the popular Web browser of the same name.
During our demo of the ZTE Open and Firefox OS at Mobile World Congress, we were impressed with the software’s attractive Contacts application and the dynamic search functionality. The OS was still in its early stages during our hands-on, so we’re looking forward to seeing the final product.