Mozilla details new ZTE and Alcatel OneTouch Firefox OS devices, teases upcoming software features

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| February 23, 2014

ZTE Open C Firefox OS

Mozilla's Firefox OS is one of several smaller mobile operating systems that are fighting for a piece of the wireless pie. Today at MWC 2014, Mozilla revealed that it's got some new weaponry for that fight in the form of new hardware that includes higher-end products, entry-level stuff, software additions and even some new developer-focused goodies.

First up, Mozilla announced new devices from ZTE and Alcatel OneTouch. The ZTE Open C features a 4-inch WVGA display and 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor, both of which are nice upgrades from the original ZTE Open's 3.5-inch display and single-core chip. The Open C also includes a 2-megapixel camera, 1200mAh battery and version 1.3 of Firefox OS. ZTE is also readying a new handset known as the Open II.

Alcatel OneTouch has cooked up a slew of new Firefox OS-powered hardware that even includes a tablet. Here's a quick rundown on each new model, courtesy of Engadget:

  • Fire S: 4.5-inch 960x540 display, 1.2GHz quad-core CPU, 8-megapixel rear and 2-megapixel front cameras, NFC, LTE, Firefox OS 1.3
  • Fire E: 4.5-inch 960x540 screen, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 5-megapixel rear camera, VGA front-facing shooter
  • Fire C: 3.5-inch 480x320 touchscreen, 1.2GHz dual-core chip, VGA camera
  • Fire 7 Tablet: 7-inch qHD display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, VGA front and rear cameras

On the lower end of things, Mozilla revealed that it's teamed up with Spreadtrum on WCDMA and EDGE turnkey reference designs for Firefox OS, as well as a chipset for $25 smartphones. The company hopes that this low-cost component will help to drive growth for Firefox OS in the entry-level.

Rounding out Mozilla's hardware announcements are three new developer devices. Here's what they're all about:

  • Flame smartphone (shown in gallery below): 4.5-inch 854x480 display, 1.2GHz dual-core MSM8210 processor, 5-megapixel rear and 2-megapixel front cameras, 8GB storage, up to 1GB of RAM, NFC, 1800mAh battery and 3G connectivity
  • VIA Vixen tablet: 7-inch 1024x600 LCD screen, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 8GB storage, 1GB of RAM, 2-megapixel rear and 0.3-megapixel front cameras
  • Foxconn InFocus tablet: 10-inch 1280x800 display, 1GHz quad-core CPU, 5-megapixel rear camera, 2-megapixel front shooter, 16GB storage, 2GB of RAM, 7000mAh battery

Mozilla also teased some of the new features that are coming to Firefox OS in future updates. They are as follows:

  • Customization options for carriers, manufacturers, developers and users. Examples include custom ringtones and replaceable home screens.
  • Universal search that can be accessed with a swipe from the top of the display. Can be used to find new apps or navigate to content on the phone or Internet.
  • New multitasking navigation features, such as the ability to swipe from the sides of the display to move between pages, content and apps.
  • Direct content and update sharing via NFC.
  • 4G LTE
  • Firefox Accounts, which allows a user to take their settings and content with them when signing in to other devices. Also supports locating, messaging and wiping lost hardware.

Overall it looks like Mozilla's got big plans for Firefox OS. It's good to see the company adding in important new features like LTE connectivity and the ability to customize a device, both of which should help to make Firefox OS-powered hardware more attractive to consumers. All of Mozilla's MWC announcements can be found at the links below.

Via Mozilla (1), (2), (3), Engadget (1), (2)