I recently (today) received the ZTE Open Firefox OS hand set. This is a £60 hand set running Firefox OS. I’ve been watching the development of FirefoxOS since it was called Boot2Gecko with great interest. As a advocate of open technology, the idea of using HTML5 (HTML,CSS,JS) as a platform for developing mobile apps really interested me, so I was keen to support an OS that is essentially a web-browser. Now this concept isn’t new. Palm did it, Google are doing it (With their Chrome OS). So I was incredibly interested when Mozilla decided to focus on what they do best (after all Firefox Web Browser is one of my favourite browsers).
I was suprised when opening the packaging. The shell of the phone does feel a little flimsy and plasticy – not sure it will handle too much of a hammering, but the actual feel of the phone in my hand was nice. The shocking Orange colour wasn’t too bad on the eye. It was a breeze to set up – with a very nice and slick wizard that holds your hand all the way. I havn’t found the interface at all clunky, or sluggish – which was a bit of a suprise as nearly all the articles I’ve read have indicated that it wasn’t a particularly nice experience. But then I’ve recently been using a terrible HTC wildfire with Android 2.2 which is a pig.
I’ve not spent a great deal of time with the phone, played with a few apps (FirefoxOS allows apps to be either hosted, or installed – hosted apps are essentially just short cuts to web-sites that run the app, installed are ones that you dl and keep on your phone). I’ve made a few calls and the sound quality was good, and the dialler app worked as expected. From my experience so far things seem to be quite nice actually!
Firefox OS main emphasis is to focus on the emerging markets (China, India), so they want an OS that will run on low end handsets – and to be honest so far so good. I fully anticipate some teething problems, after all this is an OS in its infancy (well the very foundations is GNU/Linux – so not too infant) – but at the moment I am pleased to be supporting Mozilla and their Firefox OS.
I’ll add some more posts as I continue to use this new handset – my main reason for getting it was to do some development work on Firefox OS and also to move away from Google / Apple products.