As was expected, Facebook last week unveiled some of their new plans for Android including a new Facebook phone called the HTC First and more importantly, a major update to their Android app called Facebook Home.
Both the First and Facebook Home will be available later this week– on Friday, April 12th– but here is what you are going to need to know about both before they get here.
The new Facebook Phone, the HTC First
Later today, Facebook will be holding a big event to showcase their “new home on Android.” While there has been a lot of speculation about what exactly Facebook will show off, thanks to some recent rumors it looks like we now have a pretty good idea. Yes, Facebook isn’t just announcing an update to their Facebook Android app, they also are expected to announce the Facebook phone to go along with it.
Before the event gets underway at 10 AM Pacific Time, here are some of the latest rumors on what we expect Facebook to show off.
Late last week Facebook sent out invitations for an event at their headquarters teasing a “new home on Android.” As expected the internet is now filled with rumors about a new Facebook phone. While we still have a few days until the April 4th event, here are some of the latest and most interesting rumors about the Facebook phone and what else they might announce.
When we first saw the HTC Status for ourselves a couple of weeks ago we were very impressed. It’s fast, sleek, and has an excellent keyboard. But there’s a reason we called that a First Look and not a full-blown review, as those were just our first thoughts after spending a few minutes with AT&T and HTC’s new Facebook and teen focused phone.
For the last couple of weeks we’ve put the Status under some much more intense testing. So, how does it hold up and if you’re on AT&T should it be your next phone? For those answers and more read on for our full Teen Review of the HTC Status.
While sadly there was no new Blackberry Bold Touch 9900 shown off today at AT&T’s Unwrapped event we did get to finally get our hands on one of AT&T’s most interesting new phones, the just announced Facebook-focused HTC Status.
So what are you waiting for? Read on for our Teen First Look of AT&T’s upcoming Facebook phone.
If you’re a Facebook addict and need to always have your Wall one click away this phone is definitely for you.
Previously known as the HTC ChaCha when it was announced back in February, the Status is not just a “Facebook phone” but also a pretty solid, cheap smartphone. Here are the full specs: thin design with 2.6 inch touchscreen and full keyboard underneath (at a resolution of 480 x 320 this screen isn’t as nice as HTC’s other Android phones, but it should be more than enough for the goal of Facebooking 24/7), 5 megapixel back camera with auto focus and LED flash and a VGA front-facing camera for video chat (what great timing! Unfortunately we don’t know if this will be able to Facebook video chat out of the box or if it’ll have to wait until Facebook updates their apps later this year), Android 2.3 Gingerbread with HTC Sense (including new widgets for Facebook chatting from the homescreen), and an 800 MHZ processor (again, this is not gonna be EVO 3D, Sensation 4G or ThunderBolt fast, but it should be more than enough for constantly updating your Facebook all day. And this lower processor speed should allow for much better battery life so you can stay connected even longer). And of course there’s that Facebook button on the bottom of the phone which allows you to instantly post on a friend’s wall, check in on Facebook Places, or share pictures, videos or links.
Best part about all this? The price. The Status will cost a very solid $49.99 with new 2 year contract and data plan (which starts at $15 a month for 250 MB or enough for more status updates than you could imagine) when it launches next Monday, July 17th (and for those who can’t wait you can pre-order the Status right now from AT&T).
Personally, I would rather just a more powerful phone like the Infuse 4G or iPhone 4 and just install the Facebook app as opposed to a “Facebook phone,” but AT&T readers we wanna know: are you completely addicted to Facebook that you need a phone like this or would you rather a phone like the Infuse 4G or iPhone 4 and just have the Facebook app installed? Let us know in the comments.
The HTC ChaCha
Remember how last year we wrote about all this talk of Facebook actually making dedicated Facebook phones? Well, contrary to Facebook’s denial of such things last year it looks like there are gonna be some special Facebook-focused phones coming later this year to AT&T thanks to HTC.
Today at MWC HTC took the wraps off of these two new phones– the ChaCha (pic above) and the Salsa (pic below), two Android powered phones with as you’d expect, a heavy emphasis on Facebook.
The Facebook loving HTC Salsa
The Salsa looks a lot like any other HTC phone with a sleek 3.4 inch all touchscreen design, while the ChaCha looks more “BlackBerry-ish” with its full physical QWERTY keyboard underneath its smaller 2.6 inch touchscreen. Both phones also feature a dedicated Facebook button on the bottom of their respective designs for one-touch Facebook sharing. One tap of that button and you can instantly share whatever you’re doing– what song your listening to, what restaurant you just “checked-in at” or what website you just looked at– with all your Facebook friends.
Specs wise both are pretty similar: Both have a 5-megapixel back camera with auto focus and LED flash and a VGA front-facing camera for video chat, Android with HTC Sense (including new widgets for Facebook chatting from the homescreen), 600 MHZ processors (not gonna be EVO or ThunderBolt fast, but should be more than enough for constantly updating your Facebook all day. And this lower processor speed should allow for much better battery life so you can stay connected even longer), and a 480 x 320 resolution screen (again not as powerful as HTC’s other Android phones, but more than enough for the target goal of Facebooking 24/7).
The question is though, can this succeed where the Microsoft KIN phones failed? I mean, if the price is similar to what AT&T is charging for an iPhone, BlackBerry, Inspire 4G or Atrix 4G wouldn’t you just want to go with the much more powerful phone and use the very good iOS, BlackBerry or Android Facebook apps that millions are currently using today? Personally, unless there is some special data plan (this is where I think the KIN really failed– smartphone price for a phone that clearly wasn’t a smartphone) that makes monthly data cheaper on these phones compared to those “normal” AT&T smartphones I’d go with a normal smartphone and just use a Facebook app.
But that’s just me– what would you do? Do you want a specific “Facebook phone” or are you more than happy with a more powerful phone and a Facebook app? Let us know in the comments.