HTC First: The Facebook Phone?

Ever since Facebook’s initial smartphones the HTC Cha Cha (or Status in the US) and the HTC Salsa. These were mid range smartphones with nothing more special than a hardware Facebook key that takes you straight to the Facebook site or app. They were decent phone, but there wasn’t any reason to just get a normal Galaxy S phone or another HTC and just infall the Facebook app.But now with the new release of Facebook Home it seems that there’s a brand new Facebook Phone called the “HTC First” with Facebook Home. It’s been long rumored and now it’s here, somewhat.

HTC First Design

The HTC One is definitely smaller than the average Android smartphone which scale in at about from 4.7″-5″. This is a decently sized 4.3-inch smartphone at 4.96″ tall and 2.56″ wide. It’s pretty curvy around the edges which sits in the hand perfectly. It’s very iPhone 3G/3GS like with the form factor. As the Verge said, it looks like the iPhone 3GS and the One X had a love affair to have the First to be born. It’s pretty chunky at 8.9mm, but still manages to be thinner than the One (9.3mm). This phone isn’t very high profile, but it reminds us that as we keep trying to making phones thinner and thinner as they get more and more uncomfortable to hold. The phone is flat on the back and it feels much sleeker than on paper. The body is made of a matte polycarbonate. There’s a headphone jack on the top left and the lock button on the top right. The volume rocker is on the left. The ear speaker is a very discrete on top with the LED indicator, and there are a lot of micro drilled holes on the bottom of the phone, similar to the iPhone. The button layout is normal and I love how simplistic the button look. The home button is a circle, the menu button is a horizontal line and the back button is a back arrow. It’s great, very original. It’s a double tap for multitasking and long press for Google Now. The phone isn’t very high end, you won’t feel like you are missing a lot by paying a mid range price. It’s very clean.

HTC First Display

As I mentioned before this is a 4.3-inch display. It has a resolution of 1280 x 720. This gives us a 16:9 aspect ratio and a sharp 341 PPI. That’s no where near the detail of those gorgeous 1080p displays. The good part is that the PPI is very much above the iPhone 5, which has a respectable pixel density. What really makes the phone’s display stand out in 2013, as a 720p screen, is the excellent color reproduction and balance. It’s very rich and makes the display a treat to look at. This is obviously a byproduct of the Super LCD 2. The viewing angles are near perfect with no discoloration at 90˚. The display viewing ability in sunlight is very poor and now that we’ve seen great stuff from Nokia’s Clear Black tech, it’s disappointing. It’s good viewing experience on the overall.

HTC First Performance

The HTC First is a decently powered smartphone that will keep Android and Facebook Home running just as smoothly as anyone will need it to. In 2013 a mid range smartphone isn’t a phone that’s as half as fast as high end phones, they are phones phones that will move fast and with you, but it’ll lack that zippiness. The HTC First is the first (no pun intended) phone to ship with a new Snapdragon 400 chip. It’s dual core and clocked at 1.4 GHz. According to the latest benchmarks the Snapdragon 400 is actually faster than the One X and the Galaxy S III. That’s very good for a mid-range phone. There’s a good 1GB of RAM. It’s got 16GB of inbuilt storage and no expandable storage. There’s 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE and NFC. There’s some fast cellular data tech here, like 4G LTE and world HSPA+. The great part about this is there’s a very sizable, non-remoavble, 2000mAh battery. It’s great to see that HTC isn’t skimping out on battery life anymore. A great and powerful phone for the price. It’s fast enough.

HTC First Camera

HTC has been one to be well known for good cameras. The rear facing shooter is a 5-megapixel sensor. There’s an ƒ/2.0 sensor which should handle low light situations great and the backlit sensor (BSI). The lens is pretty large and can capture a wider image thanks to a 28mm lens. There’s some good 1080p HD video capture abilities. The front camera is a 1.9-megapixel sensor with a wide angle lens. It can also record 1080p content. HTC has its ImageChip 2.0 here which does some advanced image and video post-processing, though sometimes the processing hurts the picture quality. These are good cameras that should serve all your Facebook pictures well.

Software

HTC First SoftwareThe HTC First the first, and as of now the only, Android designed only for Facebook Home. It has much more functionality since Facebook Home has access to way more system level files. Plain and simple it will allow you to get extra functionality like receiving of Coverfeed notifications for all apps and not just a handful like on other devices. There’s a full write up of Facebook Home’s features and look here. Interestingly enough the HTC First can run stock Android when Facebook Home off. Chat Heads can stay on which is awesome because it’s my favorite Home feature. It may be the perfect vanilla Android 4.1 Jellybean phone, because the Nexus 4 doesn’t have LTE. The point is that. This phone was built around Facebook Home with an amazing ability to run vanilla Android, but updates may be slow or fast, based on whether HTC or Facebook is handling them. Thank you Facebook!

HTC First End Colors

The HTC First is a great phone and Facebook Home is perfect for anyone that likes using Facebook. The First has stupendous hardware for the price and stock Android makes it better! The HTC First will be an AT&T-exclusive for $99 on a two-year contract. The phone will also reach the UK on Orange and EE. The phone could retail for $450 unlocked. It comes in black, white, cyan and red. It’s a very colorful affair only rivaled by the Nokia Lumias. Good phone for a good price. That’s what this is and stock Android adds a lot of value. In my opinion if you want a Nexus-like phone with 4G LTE, this is the phone for you.

To know about HTC one, click here

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