When it comes to smartphones, or even mobile phones in general, it's a good time for companies to be focusing on low-end devices. Developed markets are pretty much already saturated with high quality, high priced handsets, but the low-end is where the next billion smartphone owners will come from. So it's no wonder then that many big name companies like Samsung and Nokia are heavily competing for this segment. It's also very clear why smaller companies, such as ZTE, view expansion in this part of the market as their stepping stone towards success.

While Samsung has seen huge success with low-end Android smartphones, Nokia has been trying to bring some extra polish and a premium feel to this corner of the market and the numbers pretty much speak for themselves, with Nokia's Lumia 520 clearly being a very desirable product for many people.

Now ZTE is trying its own approach by delivering low-end hardware with a brand new and free operating system that already has a number of adoring fans: Firefox OS. The company released its first such handset, the ZTE Open, a couple of months ago and the first batch quickly sold out. Was it out of passion for the nascent Firefox OS or a combination of hardware reliability and low price that made the ZTE Open look like a small hit? Read on to find out.

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This review is brought to you in partnership with Neowin.