It was no secret that ZTE was going to announce a Firefox OS phone at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and here it is: the ZTE Open.
The handset runs on Mozilla’s Firefox OS, which has been in development for a number of years and finally coming to market in 2013.
The ZTE Open is a 3.5-inch handset with a low 480 x 320 pixel resolution display, so pitching at the affordable end of the market. It has the Qualcomm MSM7225A chipset sitting at the core with 256MB RAM and minimal 512MB of storage.
Around the back is a 3.2-megapixel camera and internally there’s a 1200mAh battery.
Of course it offers all the connectivity you’d demand from a smartphone, budget or not, with Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth, GPS and a bunch of sensors.
In the hand, it is inoffensive, but likely to appeal only to those in the developed world on a budget so tight that they probably shouldn't be worrying about a smartphone.
Of course the chances are that this isn't for the developed world, but more likely for developing countries which want a phone without having to pay Western prices.
What that means in reality is you get a first-generation iPhone-type device that can manage and cope with running websites designed for the mobile world today.
The similarities with the iPhone don't stop at the inner specs: there is only one button to get you back to the home screen and the fact that the iPhone started with web apps that were free is of course nostalgic.
While this isn't a phone you are likely to own, it's an interesting folly that is being entertained by many important people, either because they believe in what Mozilla is trying to achieve, or because they want to use the Firefox OS and the ZTE Open as a way to ruffle the feathers of those who matter.