MWC: ZTE launches first Firefox OS smartphone, plus 5.7″ Grand Memo

Alex Walls
February 26, 2013

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, ZTE have  unveiled what it says is the world’s first Firefox mobile operating system, the ZTE Open.

Telefonica was on board to offer the first commercially available smartphone running Mozilla’s Firefox OS in mid-2013 to customers in Spain, Venezuela and Columbia, the manufacturer said – no news as yet on other markets.

What Mobile’s sister publication, Mobile News, reported that ZTE EVP and head of mobile devices division He Shiyou said he expected the company to be among the world’s top three manufacturers by 2015, but that it was a long way to Apple and Samsung.

Mozilla’s mobile operating system is based on HTML5 and open source, which meant ZTE Open users could run Web apps and view websites without losing features, ZTE said.

The device is being billed by ZTE as entry level, good for “young people who are keen to experience the very latest technology, and people on limited budgets looking to make the move from a feature phone to their first smartphone.”

ZTE had moved “very quickly” and worked with Mozilla to develope a robust smartphone, Mozilla co-founder and chief technology officer Brendan Eich said.

No kidding – Mozilla this weekend previewed the first commercial build of Firefox OS and announced its app marketplace, Firefox Marketplace.

Ovum principal analyst Tony Cripps said the level of support shown for Firefox OS at the announcement of 17 major operators on board was a huge achievement, but that the real acide test would be the quality of software and user and developer experiences.

The demo handsets had shown the devices were still some  way from being market ready, he said – so whether ZTE have got it right with an entry-level Firefox OS offering that still does the job well, remains to be seen.

The breakdown – ZTE Open

  • Mozilla Firefox OS
  • Size: 114 x 62 x 12.5mm
  • 3.5inch screen
  • 256MB RAM
  • Bluetooth 2.1, accelerometer,  ambient light sensor
  • GPS, with AGPS, WIFI 802.11b/g/n
  • 3.2M FF Camera
  • Battery: 1200mAH

Grand Memo

Meanwhile, the manufacturer also launched the ZTE Grand Memo, a 5.7 inch handset with 720x 1280 display.

Running Android Jelly bean (4.1) on a Qualcomm 800 processor with quad-core Krait CPUs and 2GB of RAM, the handset packs a hardware punch.

It sports a 13MP camera with 1MP front facing camera and 1080 HD video.

The device is 8.5mm thick but has a grunty 3200mAh battery and is LTE enabled.

Features include GPS and car-mode navigation, the Mifavor user interface for what ZTE says is a simpler user experience and ZTE’s cloud service.

The device is expected to launch in the second quarter of this year, but specs will vary between countries and regions, ZTE said.

The breakdown – Grand Memo

– Android 4.1 – Jelly bean

– Thickness: 8.5mm

– 5.7inch, HD.TFT, 16M color, multi-touch capacitive screen

– Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with quad-core Krait CPUs

– 3200mAh super-long standby battery


– WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, accelerometer, proximity sensor,   ambient light sensor, gyro

– LTE 100/50Mbps

– 13MP Camera with face recognition and panorama,1MP front-facing camera, 1080p HD video playback

About the Author

Share this article