ZTE Open Firefox OS phone announced at MWC 2013, we go hands-on

Alcatel wasn't the only one to flash some Firefox OS hardware at Mozilla's big MWC event. ZTE was also showing off two shades of its new smartphone, the Open. The device will launch in orange and blue in global territories starting in Q2. It has a very handy 3.5-inch screen, meaning there's no issues holding it in one hand but there's not a lot of premium feel going on here. The plastic shell felt like any low-end Android device, though we won't fault the grippy finish here.

Other specs (that we've already snuck a peek at) include a Cortex-A5-based Qualcomm processor that could be clocked at either 600MHz or 800MHz -- we're trying to get a confirmation on that. There's also 256MB of RAM, 512MB of expandable storage and a humble 3.2-megapixel camera on the back. The 480 x 320 screen itself is nothing to shout home about. Again, it feels like a flashback to those sub-$150 smartphones that did the rounds back in 2011 and while it's not the flashiest spec sheet, ZTE (and Firefox) are pitching this at those millions of future smartphone users that haven't already plumped for a mobile OS. However, the search function looks pretty pervasive, able to tap into apps, the web and more in search of the answer you're looking for. Specific carriers will be able to add in their own apps (pre-installed or not) for its customers. We got a glimpse at a data monitoring app that could pull together your data habits and respective carrier plans -- even if there's no word on a US release beyond some time in 2014. There's a quick hands-on after the break.

Myriam Joire, Terrence O'Brien and Sharif Sakr contributed to this report.