Last fall when rumors started surfacing about Facebook and a smartphone it was originally believed that Facebook was working on their own phone. At the beginning of 2011 it was revealed that Facbeook wasn’t working on their own phone. Rather, HTC was doing some deep integration on some forthcoming Android phones, and they were adding a “Facebook” button.
More after the break
HTC unveiled the HTC Cha Cha and the HTC Salsa at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Spain this past February. Both devices had the new Facebook button which allows deep Facebook integration. Press the button to jump to a posting screen that allows you to quickly post text or photos to your own Facbeook wall. If you would rather post to a friends wall just scroll through the menu bar to the friend you want and your posting in just seconds.
The Facebook button allows you to quickly check in to your favorite Facbeook places based on GPS location data. You can also share what music your listening to when you’re listening to something on your internal library. All you have to do is hit the Facebook button and it will post the song title, artist and album art to your Facebook wall.
Both of the new Facebook integrated devices do all of these functions. The Salsa is a full touch screen version. The HTC Cha Cha ran into some name problems and has arrived in the US as the HTC Status. The Status has all the same functions as the Salsa and a nice full qwerty keyboard in a portrait style form factor. It is rumored that the HTC Salsa may not even make it to the US. With the recent arrival of Google+ it may not matter (especially for Android fans)
The HTC Status actually feels really good in your hand. It’s very light weight coming in at just 4.37 ounces with the battery. It also features a contoured design which makes it feel less obtrusive when holding it to your ear and it feels good in your hand. The HTC Status is also white, we don’t know what it is but white phones are perceived as “sexier”.
When you take the Facebook button out of the equation you still have a rock solid mid-range device and one that we would highly recommend for those converting from Blackberry. It features a full 4 row qwerty keyboard and puts the numbers on the left side letters very similar to the Blackberry. Until we started using the HTC Status the Droid Pro was our favorite portrait qwerty however the buttons on the HTC Status are wider, more spread apart and a raised a little higher which makes you feel like your fingers are gliding and typing at the same time.
Under the hood you have an 800 mhz Qualcomm processor on 512mb of RAM. There is only 512mb of internal storage however HTC threw in a 2gb microSD card. Of course the microSD slot is upgradeable up to a 32gb microSD card. The screen is a 2.6 HVGA screen with 480×320 resolution making it easy to see.
The HTC Sense is only 3G however it comes with a 5 megapixel rear facing camera and a VGA front facing camera for those brilliant Facebook self pics or video chatting. There are dedicated send and end buttons for calls and 4 capacitive touch buttons for Home, Menu, Back and Search, as with any Android device.
It’s operating on Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread with HTC’s Sense UI running on top. It’s running Sense 2.1 Messenger which is optimized for a “messaging” device, in this case the “Facebook Phone” . Sense 2.1 Messenger also brings the quick unlock buttons to the HTC Status that you’ll find on the HTC Sensation 4G and the HTC Evo 3D which both use Sense 3.0.
The best part about the HTC Status is the price. You’re looking at $49,99 with a new 2 year agreement on AT&T. The phone will be available Sunday July 17th at AT&T Corporate stores and select retail partners.