ZTE Open C Review: the Firefox experience

Image of Firefox OS logoFirefox smartphones are not widely known, because their distribution is limited to just several countries. Mozilla is focusing on still developing markets and the company is trying to offer budget devices for entry-level customers. We all know that Firefox is still young operating system with limited capabilities, when compared to top three OS, but this might be enough for a person who is new to the world of smartphones. ZTE Open C is something like high-end device in Mozilla’s ecosystem (don’t count the newly announced au Fx0, which is absolutely not comparable with any other device from Mozilla’s family).

Main specifications

  • Screen – 4.0″ WVGA 800 x 400 pixels
  • Processor – Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor with dual-core CPU at speeds of up to 1.2 GHz per core
  • Camera – single back camera 3.15 MP (no flashlight)
  • RAM – 512MB
  • Storage – 4GB plus microSD card slot up to 32GB
  • Battery – 1400 mAh
  • Networks – GPRS/WCDMA/HSPA+

Design and build quality

The design of ZTE Open C is simple, with big bezels around the screen, especially at the top and the bottom. There are two metal-like frame sides at the right and lef, however they are made of plastic. The whole body is plastic, but it feels good in hand and it’s not slippery. There’s a volume rocker at the right side and no buttons at the left side. The power button is at the top, which is a little bit inconvenient. You should either use two hands to turn off/on your phone or to try with the same hand that is holding the phone, which leads to a small risk of dropping it, because of the inconvenient hold. You can see the audio jack on the top side as well. At the bottom there’s a micro usb port in the middle. As we mentioned there are thick bezels around the screen and one single capacitive button with backlight, which gives a nice look to the phone. At the back you can see the camera at the top left plus ZTE and Firefox OS logos. The edges of the phone are soft and round and as we already said the phone feels good in hand. Under the back lid you can find the removable 1400 mAh battery. There’s a sim slot above the battery and microSD card slot a little bit higher at the right side.

The build quality looks solid, although the power button of our unit was a little bit loose. The back lid fits perfectly and doesn’t move at all. It fits so tight that we found it’s extremely hard to remove it. We hope that this issue is just with our unit. There is some space between the back lid and the battery and this allows you to press down the back lid in the middle, when it’s closed. However we don’t think that this may cause you any issues with the everyday phone use.


ZTE Open C side viewing anglesThe display is nothing special to write about. With the 480 x 800 pixels resolution it leads to 233 ppi pixel density, which is not bad. However it has only 256K colors. The viewing angles are something interesting. Leaning the phone left or right gives you decent view angle even at almost 90 degrees. The same applies for back lean – again the view angle is quite good. The colors get a little bit darker, but it’s almost not noticeable. ZTE Open C side viewing anglesHowever everything disappears, when you lean the phone towards you. The whole display looks like an old camera negative and it’s, let’s say, unusable. Probably it has something to do with the display illumination and the direction of the pixels or something else, but leaning the phone towards you will easily darken the display and it’s almost impossible to see anything. You can’t hold the phone in vertical 90 degrees position in front of you, because it’s not visible. Unfortunately the effect is not quite visible on a picture and we didn’t upload such.

While using the phone outdoor, we found that the display is not very reflective and it’s still easy to operate. We don’t find many troubles using the phone even at direct sunlight.


Even though the phone has only dual-core 1.2 GHz processor plus only 512MB RAM, it doesn’t perform too bad for such hardware. The lag, when using the phone, is between none and acceptable. Opening apps or switching between apps is not always instant and it’s performed with some delay, but it’s not something to bother and doesn’t ruin the overall user experience. Actually we can say that the phone performed well and it delivers decent user experience.

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