Huawei is getting ready to launch its first phone with Firefox OS. It’s called the Ascend II Y300 and the Chinese phone maker was showing off a demo at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

I didn’t notice the phone on the show floor, but Adam Kovacs at got a chance to check it out. It’s not exactly a looker… or a particularly powerful device. But like other Firefox OS devices from Alcatel and ZTE the Huawei Ascend II Y300 isn’t supposed to be a powerhouse. It’s a low-cost device aimed at developing markets.

huawei ascend ii y300

The phone features a 4 inch, 800 x 480 pixel TN display (with poor viewing angles), a 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8225 ARM Cortex-A5 dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, and a microSD card.

The phone has a 5MP rear camera and 0.3MP front-facing camera and a 1730mAh battery. It features 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1, and works with GSM, EDGE, and UMTS networks. The demo version was running Firefox OS 1.1 software. 

Firefox OS is a smartphone operating system designed to run web apps written using HTML5 and other web technologies. It’s developed by the folks at Mozilla, the group behind the open source Firefox web browser. Mozilla positions Firefox OS as an open, customizable alternative to Android and other operating systems, allowing device makers and wireless carriers to have more control over the products they offer (rather than ceding some of that control to Google, Apple, BlackBerry, or Microsoft).

At this point Firefox OS is still a relatively young platform with a limited selection of apps, a pretty simple user interface, and a limited feature set. So while it can run on high-end handsets, Mozilla’s strategy has involved targeting developing markets with low-cost phones. That market’s not already saturated, which means there could be room for a new OS to compete.

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6 replies on “Huawei’s first Firefox OS phone is… cheap”

  1. Mozilla says Firefox phone is for emerging markets but I haven’t seen any firefox phone in India. Not even a imported phones in ebay.

    1. I don’t know… I am not entirely sure that yet another flavor of Linux running a browser is the best way to go for phones. It might work though, no idea. But I am not yet completely decided that this is a very good OS…

  2. Wonder how this stacks up against Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which ran on comparable hardware, but also had the advantage of running many of the apps in the Google Play store.

    1. Get a Huawei Ascend Y300 (without the “II”), it’s the same but with Android and more buttons. It’s under $120 or so.

  3. Well, my N900 was half as powerful as this and was still a decent device running a somewhat similar system.

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