Firefox OS is Mozilla’s operating system which runs apps based on web technologies such as HTML5 and JavaScript. Mozilla hopes to attract device makers and wireless carriers to the platform with the promise of a mobile OS that’s open to customization, while attracting customers with the promise of a powerful OS that runs on low-end and high-end phones alike.

One of the first smartphones to feature Firefox OS is the ZTE Open, and it’s not exactly a superphone. But it is cheap. You can buy one from ZTE’s eBay shop for just $80.

ZTE Open

The ZTE Open went on sale via eBay in August, but only in limited quantities, and the phone sold out quickly.

While it’s nice to see ZTE offering its cheap, unlocked Firefox OS phone to the public again, the primary audience for this type of device are customers in developing nations where high-priced smartphones are out of reach for many people.

The ZTE Open features a 3.5 inch, 320 x 480 pixel TFT capacitive touchscreen display, a 1 GHz Qualcomm ARM Cortex-A5 single-core processor 512MB of storage and 256MB of RAM. It has a 3MP camera on the back, a microSD card slot, and a 1200mAh battery.

The phone has 802.11b/g/n WiFi, and it’s a GSM phone that should work on the AT&T ‘s 3G network in the US. You can also use it with T-Mobile, but you’ll only be able to get 2GB speeds.

If you’re looking for a high-end smartphone, this isn’t it. But if you’re looking for an inexpensive way to play around with Mozilla’s new operating system, a phone to help you develop and test web apps for Firefox OS, or just a spare handset, it’s hard to go wrong with an $80 smartphone.

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8 replies on “ZTE Open Firefox OS phone is available again for $80 (unlocked)”

  1. For cell phone with a low price, it does not look cheap. It looks really nice. As a backup phone or a phone for emergencies, it seems like a bargain.

  2. what sort of prepay type service would this phone work with? My wife wants a cell phone mostly for emergency use.

    1. Should work with any AT&T compatible MVNO such as Straight Talk, Aio, AirVoice, Good2Go, and others… you might be able to find an even cheaper option if you don’t need fast data and want to look for a T-Mobile compatible service.

    2. best bet is lycamobile, which offers 250 minutes, unlimited texting, and 50 MB of data for $16/month.

        1. just be forewarned that it uses T-Mobile’s network. They have pretty decent voice service, so you shouldn’t worry, but take a look at coverage maps.

  3. I have one of these and it’s a pretty neat little phone. I’d compare it to the first iPhone or early Android 2 phones. It feels cheap, but not bad considering the price. Probably due to the low/cheap hardware it’s not very snappy and the screen isn’t the most sensitive, but it’s usable. The battery lasts a long time (I have mine in airplane mode, wifi on and no sim). At only $80 for an unlocked phone it seems pretty good especially if you want a real device to test Firefox OS apps on or as a back up phone.

    On higher spec hardware I wonder how well it runs, but I guess it would not be $80 if they raised the specs.

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