HTC First Featuring Facebook Home! Yes, since early last year, rumors of a Facebook phone have been swirling and while public opinion of the impending launch of such a device was mixed.
One thing was for sure, Facebook was interested in expanding beyond software and proving its relevance in other areas, mainly hardware. Well those rumors have been confirmed with the HTC First, an Android smartphone that is by all intents and purposes a Facebook phone.
It’s odd that a company which has had such a close relationship with Microsoft would pick a competing operating system to launch their latest effort on. But seeing Microsoft’s strict control over Windows Phone, we’re not completely surprised.
HTC First Brief Review
HTC First Unboxing Video
HTC First Design
Looking at the phone, it doesn’t strike you as a premium handset. But yet it doesn’t look or feel cheap either.
The HTC First straddles the line between mid-range and high-end devices, but both HTC and Facebook clearly have an idea of who this pone is geared at and we think the fact that the phones dimensions.
Overall minimalistic design are meant to place more attention on the phones software and not necessarily the hardware.
HTC First Specifications
The first thing you’ll notice is the phones 4.3-inch display which is 720p and carries a cool 341ppi, with phone size 4.96 x 2.56 x 0.35 (in).
- The phone weighs just over 4.3oz and is a mere 0.35-inches thick.
- On the inside you will find a Qualcomm sourced dual-core processor clocked at 1.4GHz
- 1 GB LPDDR2 RAM, 16GB internal storage
- 5 megapixel camera, 1.6 megapixel front facing camera
- LTE, microSIM and Beats Audio
HTC First Software
- Although the phone runs Android Jellybean, Facebook has their own UI skin over Jellybean which is dubbed Facebook Home.
Facebook Home is not only a skin for Android, but a suite of apps that tie into some of Facebook’s core functionality. The whole purpose of Facebook Home is to put people above apps.
- Instead of seeing the latest information from your most used apps, you see your friends status updates, check-ins, latest photos and other stuff that is being shared with you.
- Facebook chat carries deep integration as well.
HTC First Performance
Although you wouldn’t expect to see the greatest benchmarks from this phone, we have to say that the HTC First performs surprisingly well. It is a pleasure to use and is overall snappy.
Every once in a while we did have slight hiccups but we get that from every device, including our much loved iPhone 5.
- Camera : The 5 MP camera rare camera with 1080p Full HD video recording and 1.6 MP BSI front camera (ultrawide angle) is adequate and while not the greatest thing ever, it is more than capable of replacing that old point and shoot you have gathering dust.
- LTE service : On AT&T’s network proved to be good and we consistently got speeds of 5-12Mbps which is a lot better than most of AT&T’s DSL speeds.
- Battery : Battery life was somewhat disappointing as we barely made it through the day on a single charge. While we do admit we were using it pretty heavy, we also have to note that the reduced battery life is probably due to all the Facebook apps which constantly check for updates to alert you off.
HTC First Facebook Smartphone Hands On Video
Conclusion About HTC First
While we will stop short of declaring the HTC First as our next Android phone. We are glad to say that HTC and Facebook took an idea that we were very skeptical of at first and turned it into something that is somewhat enjoyable to use. And that’s coming from a guy who doesn’t check his Facebook more than 3 times a week.