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Motorola introduced the Moto G today, promising to bring premium Android smartphone features to a budget phone that sells for as little as $179 without a contract. But the Moto G is hardly the first budget smartphone around… or the cheapest.
ZTE and Alcatel are already selling Firefox OS smartphones in developing markets for well under $100. While Mozilla currently has no plans to push its smartphone software in the US, you can even buy a developer version of the ZTE Open from eBay and use it in the States. It costs just $80.
Of course, it has a small, low resolution display, a slow processor, and a new operating system with a relatively small third party ecosystem when compared with Android. But hey, it’s cheap.
Here’s a roundup of tech news from around the web.
- Mozilla has no plans to launch Firefox OS phones in the US (yet)
You can buy a ZTE Open and use in the States, but Mozilla considers that a developer phone and has no upcoming announcements with carriers or device makers about US availability anytime soon. [CNET]
- Asus Miracast Dongle – the Asus answer to Google’s Chromecast?
A Miracast adapter for your TV isn’t exactly the same thing as a Chromecast… but it could provide a simple way to stream content from a phone or tablet to your TV. I’ve seen a number of these from small Chinese companies, but Asus is one of the bigger names to get in on the action. [Asus]
- Goodnight sweet Zune Marketplace
If you’re still hanging onto a Zune or Zune HD (which I actually rather liked), you’re going to lose access to the Microsoft’s content store for the defunct portable media player next week. [TechCrunch]
- Sprint to offer the 5.9 inch HTC One Max for $250 on contract starting November 15th
What, a top tier smartphone with a 5 inch screen isn’t big enough for you? Soon US customers will be able to get their hands on a 5.9 inch version of HTC’s flagship phone. [CNET]
- iPad mini with Retina Display teardown from @ifixit
Another high profile piece of consumer electronics, another guide that shows you how to rip it to shreds (and probably not put it back together again) from [iFixit]
- Motorola plans to update the Moto X to Android 4.4 KitKat in a “matter of weeks”
Today may have been the big day for the Moto G, Motorola’s new $179 smartphone which will ship with Android 4.3 and get an Android 4.4 update by January. But Motorola isn’t leaving Moto X customers out in the cold — an Android 4.4 update should be available for the Moto X within weeks.
You can keep up on the latest headlines by following Liliputing on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.
You don’t need to leave the country or even go to Firefox OS to get a deal… try the $50 Kyocera Event with Ice Cream Sandwich ($20 on Black Friday). Its not glamorous, but it is relatively recent Android for a lot less.
I was giving serious thought to the ZTE Open, because I like the idea of Firefox OS and wanted to support it, but the Nokia Lumia 520/521 seems to be the best overall value for a cheap smartphone (at least in the US).
Firefox OS in the States will probably be like what Nokia Asha is to a large part of the world: cheap, potential advanced feature phone alternative
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