The ZTE Open is one of the first phones to ship with Mozilla’s Firefox OS. While it’s not exactly an incredible piece of hardware, the phone does have a few things going for it: It’s cheap, and it’s now available in the US.

You can order one from ZTE’s eBay store for $80.

ZTE Open

The smartphone has a 3.5 inch, 320 x 480 pixel TFT capacitive touchscreen display, a 1 GHz Qualcomm MSM7225A ARM Cortex-A5 single-core processor, 256MB of RAM and 512MB of storage.

In other words, there’s a reason the phone’s cheap.

The GSM phone supports HSDPA 850/1900 bands, which means it’ll work best on AT&T’s network in the US, although you should be able to get 2G speeds if you use the phone with T-Mobile.

For $80, you could also treat the ZTE Open as a WiFi-only device for playing games, streaming media, and surfing the web. It has dual-band 802.11b/g/n WiFi.

Other features include a 3MP rear camera, a microSD card slot with support for up to 32GB of removable storage, and a 1200mAh battery.

Firefox OS is an operating system designed to support apps written in HTML5, JavaScript, and other web technologies. Mozilla’s been working on the operating system for a few years, but the first Firefox OS devices are just starting to hit the market in mid-2013.

While the operating system is designed to run well on low-end phones like the ZTE Open, there’s nothing stopping device makers from releasing more powerful devices with higher quality screens or faster processors. Part of the reason for the entry-level specs on the first Firefox OS devices is that they’re meant to be sold in Latin America and other emerging markets as well as in developed countries like the US.

If you’re looking for a more powerful device, the $200 Geeksphone Peak+ runs software based on Mozilla’s open source Boot 2 Gecko software which is very similar to the Firefox OS software available on the ZTE Open. That phone has higher-end features including a 4.3 inch, 960 x 540 pixel IPS display, a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, and 4GB of storage.

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10 replies on “Now you can buy a ZTE Open Firefox OS phone for $80”

  1. I don’t even know what I’d use it for, but I bought one. I know the performance is probably going to be sad and it will probably feel cheap. I couldn’t resist the price and that’s it on one of the first Firefox OS devices and it’s orange. I think I’ll use it as a back up phone or for when someone goes out of the country and needs an unlocked phone.

  2. Am I missing something or is there no international shipping?
    They’re just shipping to the US from the US site and parts of Europe from the UK site 🙁
    If anyone has a link I’m missing…

  3. This is the reason that Firefox OS has grown on me. Cheap hardware makes for an easy backup phone or an mp3-player equivalent. Firefox OS might just become a big contender in prepaid.

    1. For me a backup phone must have very good baterry life. Do we have data about battery back-up of this phone?

  4. slap in a 32 GB SD card and this becomes a poor man’s version of a cheap camera/ipod alternative. To heck with activation. Did I mention, it also functions as an emergency 911 device.

    1. You could easily make this a feature phone replacement considering that service with T-mobile and at&t mvnos are very cheap. For $30/month, LycaMobile offers Unlimited talk, text and 2G web (plus 100 MB of up to 4G web, which would be irrelevant for this phone), It uses T-Mobile’s network, which has fairly decent voice service.

  5. Let’s cut the crap, i think for an extra 10$ they could have equiped it with 512MB RAM and at least 1GB ROM.

      1. You can buy an ZTE 4” Cortex-A9 Dual-core, 512MB/4GB directly from China for as low as 90$, (i know, you have taxe, transport,etc) but anyway, if we’re talking qauantities, it’s getting cheaper

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