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$99 ZTE Open C Firefox OS Smartphone Now For Sale on eBay

Waiting for a new alternative to Android, iOS or Windows Phone? You won't have to wait any longer. ZTE's Open C, the world's first smartphone running the latest version of Firefox OS (FFOS), is now available exclusively on eBay for just $99 unlocked. 

Firefox first announced its mobile OS in 2013, and collaborated with ZTE to bring the HTML 5-based system to the smartphone environment on the ZTE Open. The Open C will carry the updated version of FFOS that brings dual-sim support, music controls from the home screen, improved messaging, Bluetooth and organizational options. 

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Mozilla's operating system will feel familiar to those used to iOS or Android, since it features the same grid-based layout for apps, but what's different is its support of HTML 5. Since HTML 5 is already a common language used in many websites today, most pages can be pinned to your smartphone as an app.

When we tried out the Open C earlier this year, we were impressed with its universal search feature, that lets you type a single keyword or phrase and get results for items on your phone, in your apps on the Web or in Firefox's app marketplace. While the 4-inch handset carries just a 1.2-GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor and 512MB of RAM, its lightweight operating system is supposed to perform well without require heavy-duty hardware.

The Open C also sports a 3-megapixel rear camera and a 1,400-mAh battery. That seems small compared to the likes of Samsung and HTC handsets, which now carry power packs of at least 2,000-mAh, but its lighter operating system could mean greater endurance.

The Galaxy S5's 2,800-mAh battery lasted 9 hours and 42 minutes on Laptop Mag's battery test, while the HTC One M8's 2,600-mAh one ran for 9 hours and 52 minutes. We'll have to wait till our full review to see how the Open C will stack up against other smartphones.

According to ZTE, the Open sold out just 3 days after its launch last year. We look forward to seeing how well the new Firefox OS phone does.

Cherlynn joined the Laptopmag team in June 2013 and has since been writing about all things tech and digital with a focus on mobile and Internet software development. She also edits and reports occasionally on video. She graduated with a M.S. in Journalism (Broadcast) from Columbia University in May 2013 and has been designing personal websites since 2001.