Check out our review of the HTC First Facebook phone.
After the announcement of the new Facebook Home software, it was revealed the app would not only be available through the Google Play store, but also on a selection of smartphones as standard. The first, and so far only phone to offer Facebook Home pre-loaded, is the newly announced HTC First.
Introduced by HTC’s Peter Chou, he described the First as the phone which will, “Bring mobile and social together,” while AT&T’s Ralph De la Vega called it, “The best Facebook Home experience on mobile, right out of the box.” It’s also the phone we’d already seen in a leak earlier today, and its appearance finally puts an end to the months of speculation surrounding such a device.
The First’s specification seems to match those leaked in relation to the the HTC Myst, as it features a 4.3-inch 720p touchscreen, a dual-core, 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, 4G LTE connectivity, and of course, Facebook Home. Other specs include 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage memory, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0 and a 5-megapixel camera. On the subject of taking pictures, the HTC First will also be the first phone to come with Instagram pre-installed. According to Peter Chou, as reported by PhoneArena, the First will get some exclusive features not seen in the downloadable Facebook Home app, such as email notifications popping up in Cover Feed.
HTC’s First will come in a choice of four colors: White, black, red and pale blue. It’s available only with AT&T for $100 on April 12, however you’ll be able to pre-order one later today if you’re really keen. Quite who will do so is another question, as the more powerful Samsung Galaxy S3 is available for the same price, and Home will be available for it as a download from Google Play. There have been no official announcements concerning an international release for the HTC First.
Although the HTC First is the, um, first phone to feature Facebook Home as standard, a slide was shown during the launch event listing some of the other hardware manufacturers and interestingly, networks ready to partner up with Facebook. While no official news has come out, UK network EE and its Orange sub-brand appeared, indicating HTC could already be preparing to release the First in the UK. In the future, it looks like we can also expect Facebook Home to come installed on smartphones from Sony, Samsung, ZTE, Lenovo, Huawei and Alcatel. But for now, HTC has the jump on its rivals.
Updated on 04/05/13 at 07:00am by Andy: As we predicted, EE in the UK has put up a registration page for news updates on the HTC First’s impending arrival, and confirmed it will be an exclusive with the network. No price or release date is mentioned, but according to Pocket-Lint, it’ll be out this summer and will connect to EE’s 4G LTE network.
Article originally published on 04/04/13 at 11:00am.