ZTE is one OEMs that’s been eager to embrace new platforms, and last year we saw it get started with Firefox OS hardware. Back at MWC in February we learned of its next efforts, as the company announced the Firefox OS 1.3-running ZTE Open C . We didn’t have much in the way of a firm release date at the time, and not being a particularly high-profile model to begin with, it managed to slip off our radar in recent months. But now the ZTE Open C is back in a big way, as the manufacturer kicks-off a retail blitz by starting early sales of the very affordable smartphone on eBay.
General sales of the Open C won’t commence until June, but shoppers in the US, UK, and some other European nations can already start picking up the smartphone on eBay. As shouldn’t be surprising for a Firefox OS phone, we’re talking seriously budget pricing, with shoppers in the US paying just about $100, and those in the UK 70GBP – and either way, free shipping is included.
Keep in mind, though, the hardware reflects that very low price: we’re looking at a four-inch WVGA display, Snapdragon 200 SoC, 512MB of RAM, 4GB of storage, a 3MP main camera, and a petite 1400mAh battery. You also won’t find any high-speed LTE data here, with the Open C a 3G-only affair.
The Open C is a quite affordable handset, but is it cheap enough to compensate for those specs and the unfamiliar OS? That remains to be seen, but we’re inclined to describe ZTE’s effort here as competitive, even in the face of those challenges.