Firefox OS returns with new mid-range devices, $25 smartphone and more

firefox os returns 25 smartphone mwc 2014

We haven’t heard much about Mozilla’s mobile creation Firefox OS lately. We took it for a test drive back in December and while it was an interesting experience, it still had a long way to go. Mozilla is ready for the next step though, and has announced a slew of news about Firefox OS at MWC, including both new high-end Firefox OS devices by ZTE, as well as a ridiculously cheap $25 smartphone design.

For those who have never heard of Firefox OS, don’t be too surprised you haven’t: This mobile OS from the makers of Firefox has only been on the market for a year now, and so far the only three phones that run it are not available in the United States. America will remain out of Mozilla’s picture for new markets this year. Again, the focus is on developing countries, where price is everything. At its Keynote event, Mozilla announced partnerships with carriers to launch Firefox OS devices in a number of countries in Eastern Europe and Central America, including Croatia, The Czech Republic, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. 

Along with these markets, Mozilla announced plans for new devices along with a new $25 smartphone design. The devices, seven in total, include LG, ZTE, Huawei and Alcatel OneTouch as manufacturers. The ZTE Open C will be featuring a Qualcomm 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 512MB of RAM, and a 4-inch display. This hardware is certainly mid-range and nothing compared to the latest iPhone or Galaxy devices, but Mozilla isn’t looking to release high-end smartphones into price-conscious countries. 

Finally, Mozilla announced a new chipset that will allow for the creation of $25 smartphones. The chipset is being built by Chinese semiconductor company Spreadtrum, and Mozilla hopes to use it to power dirt-cheap smartphones to make it a far more accessible OS than competitors such as Android and iOS. When you consider the $600 price tag that devices like the iPhone 5S cost, we can certainly see the advantage to sticking to low-cost devices and not fighting the high-octane war that companies like Apple and Samsung are up to.

Mozilla offered a lot of interesting news for its MWC keynote, and it’s clear the company still has its eyes set on everywhere but the United States. We’ll have to wait and see if it can make a dent in a market with the power of really cheap smartphones.

Mobile

A render video gives us a 360-degree look at the midrange Pixels

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL.
Mobile

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.
Mobile

Quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed

Looking for a few accoutrements to make your smartphone even better? If you, or someone you know, is a sucker for accessories, you'll want to check out our collection of quirky smartphone accessories you never knew you needed.
Deals

Save up to $750 with the best smartphone deals for December 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $750.
Mobile

Apple is spending $1 billion to hire up to 15,000 new employees in Austin

Apple has announced a series of expansions across the U.S. -- including a massive expansion to the company's Austin campus that will see it spending $1 billion to accommodate for up to 15,000 new employees.
Outdoors

Google Maps makes it easier than ever to find a Lime bike or scooter

Google Maps has added a new feature that helps you find a Lime bike or scooter in just a few taps. The feature currently works in 11 U.S. cities served by Lime, with more coming next year.
Mobile

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.
Mobile

Ditch your smartphone for a year and win $100k from Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater is willing to part with $100,000 if you're willing to part with your smartphone partner for a year. Could you last for a year armed with only a 1996-era phone? Here's your chance to find out.
Music

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Apple Watches and other fitness trackers

Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearable heart rate monitors from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin are popular gifts. Wearables are smarter and more capable than in earlier years. We found the best wearables deals on Walmart.
Wearables

The best Wear OS watches

There are a ton of different Wear OS watches out there, but which one's right for you? No matter what you're looking for from a smartwatch, here are the best Wear OS watches out there.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.
Mobile

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.