What comes to mind when we talk about an extremely budget-priced smartphone? Something like the Nokia Lumia 530? Maybe the Motorola Moto E? Aggressively low prices can be key to adoption in markets where smartphones are still making inroads upon the populace, as we see in recently industrialized nations like India. There, you might pay the equivalent of $145 for that Lumia 530 or $120 for that Moto E – cheaper than many phones, sure, but can’t we do a little better? Firefox phones are still trying to establish their niche in the market, and largely they’ve been coming in at the very bottom of the pricing range. This week India’s getting one that outdoes even some of the most affordable models we’ve come across in the past, selling for under $40.
The Spice Fire One Mi – FX 1 isn’t much to write home about spec-wise: the phone has just a 3.5-inch HVGA display, 1GHz SoC, and 1.3MP main camera – the front-facer is an even lower-res 0.3MP. The fact that we haven’t heard anything about storage or RAM can’t be good signs, and there’s not even any 3G data – the phone maxes-out at EDGE.
“Well that’s just useless,” you argue. For the established smartphone user, perhaps, but consider who this phone is for: someone who may want basic news, social sites, and maybe email – not for LTE-crazed, Modern-Combat-playing, HD-Netflix-watching types. It’s got dual-SIM support, which is a big deal in nations like India, and a sticker price that comes out to just about $38, with no contract to speak of, is just too hard to ignore.
Will Firefox OS offer every feature a user could dream of? Of course not. But if the low-priced hardware it attracts can help turn a non-smartphone user into someone curious to check out this world for the first time, that still sounds like a win in our book.