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ZTE's Firefox OS phone gets a spec sheet at MWC (engadget.com)
32 points by Garbage 889 days ago | 13 comments



The phone specification is similar to the original ZTE Blade [1] also known as the Orange San Francisco. This originally went on sale nearly 2.5 years ago with Android 2.1 and by today's standards is considered low end.

If Firefox OS provides as good or better user experience than Android 2.1 on such modest hardware, Mozilla have every chance to carve out a market in low end smartphones.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZTE_Blade

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It isn't right now, the interface is fine but the apps are really slow. The second problem is, the apps are written for the web, for example you often don't know where you are without an url.

Native apps, especially the popular ones are decent on a device like this. They were written for small screens and have a usage flow that is perfect for that form factor.

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I remember seeing a demo of Firefox OS running really smoothly on a phone which was even lower spec than this one. It made me realise the reason why mobile web apps are slow is bad browsers.

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I'm sorry, downvoted by mistake.

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Blade had arm6 and no neon, so this is a big step up for CPU, which was the Blade's weakest area.

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No information on pricing, sadly, but given that a similar phone (with a slightly better CPU and an IPS screen; there is no information about the screen technology used in the ZTE Open but I'd except it to be TN) running Android can be bought from a wholesaler for around $90 [1][2] for a single unit I expect it to cost no more than that when it shows up for sale online.

[1] http://www.pandawill.com/thl-a1-smart-phone-35-inch-ips-scre...

[2] http://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?minQuantity=1&maxQua...

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Those phones are insanely low resolution. So low as to basically be unusable. 480x320. Not even VGA.

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As low res an unusable as the iphones before the iphone 4....

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What? The iPhone was 320x480 and my current phone, which I am typing this on, is 320x480. It is a perfectly usable screen resolution, nobody needs HiDPI.

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The iPhone moved on from 320x480 back in 2010. Three year old tech in a new phone today is a bit odd. Half the resolution of VGA makes it a bit useless for browsing the web. And the browser is kinda the point of a smartphone.

Most of the give-away phones (free on any contract or about $100 without) here in the US have better than VGA resolution, twice the resolution of this bottom-end screen.

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>Three year old tech in a new phone today is a bit odd.

It's a budget phone, this is obvious from the rest of the specs.

>Half the resolution of VGA makes it a bit useless for browsing the web.

320x480 is perfectly adequate. You do not need a high-DPI screen to browse the web - indeed, most desktop and laptop screens aren't high-DPI.

Now, you know what IS inadequate? 240x320 phones. They are genuinely useless for web browsing. But 320x480 is fine.

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>Now, you know what IS inadequate? 240x320 phones. They are genuinely useless for web browsing.

As an owner of a Nokia E5 phone with a 320x240 screen I beg to differ. From personal experience I have come to a conclusion that 320 by 240 phones are only useless if you are using a desktop-like (or even an iOS Safari-like) browser. Opera Mini for the E5 tries to reformat pages to fit the main text content a single column and uses Symbian's own fonts to fit more text on the screen, which makes browsing the web surprising adequate. I wouldn't call it a great experience but it's far from useless. It is particularly noticeable when you contrast the results with using Android's Browser or even the Android version of Opera Mini at 320x240, especially since you don't have to touch the tiny screen.

In short, I'd say it depends on the platform.

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Oh, I meant 240x320 touchscreens. I used to have a 320x240 touch screen + keyboard phone, that worked fine (Samsung Galaxy Y Pro).

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