When the idea of Facebook introducing its own phone sometime last year, Facebook denied the allegations and the idea of the company actually having a phone dedicated to providing its social networking services was preposterous. Today, however, after days of rumors and leaks, it is official that a Facebook Phone will be hitting the stores. The phone, however, will be a HTC handset running Android operating system with Facebook’s special interface software dubbed Facebook Home. HTC have done a great job keeping the HTC First, as the phone is called, a secret.
The Facebook phone is actually the first handset to fully embrace Facebook and a social network in general in entirety. Mark Zuckerberg introduced the phone but did not fully reveal all the specs and features but we know enough. The phone is a mid-range handset that targets average smartphone users and boasts of a normal-sized 4.3 inch screen with an impressive 1280 x 720p SLCD3 screen and running on a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor. Memory-wise, the phone has 1 GB of RAM and either 8 or 16 GB of internal memory.
Other specs include a rear 5 megapixels and front 1.6 megapixels cameras and will come with Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean operating system but with Facebook Home interface. The phone will of course come with all the features that mid-range Android smartphones come with including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, 4G LTE and GPS with A-GPS.
The phone obviously is everything Facebook, from the design to the software it runs – well, except the hardware. I must say though that it has quite impressive specs for a social networking phone, especially the 720p high definition display and the 1.6 GHz front camera perfect for video conferencing. What may be disappointing though is the 5 megapixels rear camera which to me is a little too dismal for taking pictures out there to upload and share on Facebook. Anyway, for the price of $99 the phone will be retailing for on AT&T, it is quite impressive.
Facebook follows in the footsteps of Amazon which has proven that there is business in coming up with own device and focusing on selling content rather than making money off the hardware. HTC First will be available on AT&T for $99 starting April 12th and as Facebook confirmed today, HTC First will not be the only device the company will be introducing into the market. Facebook promises an array of devices to come in the near future – including Android smartphones and even tablets.
Facebook Home though will be installable on other Android smartphones in ‘a few weeks’. Would you install Facebook Home on your current Android smartphone when it is available and would you buy a Facebook phone if the price is subdivided enough?