The Facebook Phone. For a while it was just one of those mythological phones that was real, then not real, confirmed, then denied, and for a time forgotten about. The idea seemed interesting, but was it really needed? Was it practical?
I've had one of these so-called "Facebook Phones" that eventually came to fruition, the HTC Status. I was skeptical when I first received the phone. 'So, it's basically a phone with a Facebook button planted on it in the most random spot'. That was my initial thought. After a day of use, though, I can actually see the practical value in the design of this phone and I've even had moments of 'Wow, that's so much easier to do than it is on other phones!' Here are a few things I've taken note of.
- I know the Facebook button seems a little gimicky, at least it did to me, but it's actually been implemented well. It's a concept that would be hard to mess up. Instead of swiping through pages or planting an icon on your homepage, you simply press one button that is always in the same spot that will take you directly to a window where you can quickly enter a status update. Simple, easy, effective.
- The phone also comes with other widgets geared toward social networking; however, these widgets are actually available on any phone with HTC Sense, so there's nothing special there.
- I've had no problems with the keyboard so far. The keys are plastic, which I usually don't like, but they're not too firm and the spacing is perfect. As far as I can tell, there is no virtual keyboard.
- The small screen is not as much of a problem as I thought it would be. My main issue is that if you choose to use one of HTC's custom widgets, you can only fit one widget per page and only eight pages are available. Other widgets that you've downloaded or smaller HTC widgets don't follow this rule so you can fit multiple personal widgets on each page or you can not use widgets at all and keep a few pages set aside for the typical app grid.
- As usual, HTC Sense is beautiful and extremely accommodating. HTC has done a fantastic job of customizing every aspect of the UI to fit the small screen. This is not a half-way done effort. HTC did their homework with this phone. As an added bonus, all Sense features are available so you can download more themes and skins from HTC. This feature is not available on every new HTC phone in the U.S.
- One last note on the small display, I've had some problems with a few apps. When I opened the Quadrant Standard app, it automatically went into landscape mode and I couldn't make it change. I hope this doesn't happen with most apps.
- I haven't tested out the camera at all yet, but I appreciate the fact that it ships with a 5-megapixel autofocus camera with a flash as well as a front-facing camera. Considering the somewhat mid-ranged nature of the phone, HTC easily could have played cheap with this feature and slapped on a 3-megapixel camera with no flash.
- Again, no real test results on battery life, but I'll keep it in mind for the full review.
So that's all I've got for now. Keep your eyes open for the video review and the written review!