The new HTC First with deep Facebook integration has finally revealed. Compared to the previous HTC-Facebook tie up devices such as the HTC Salsa and ChaCha, HTC First offers a refreshing take on a official Facebook phone experience.
Let’s start with the new HTC First specs. It is powered with a new mid-tier Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 that’s running on dual-core 1.4GHz with 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. At the front there’s a 4.3″ 720p HD display with a 1.6MP ultrawide front facing camera and there’s a f/2.0 5MP camera at the rear with a wide angle 28mm lens.
You’ll get the usual connectivity features such as NFC and LTE but the supported bands are limited to LTE 850 and 1900MHz only. It is juiced up with a non-removable 2,000mAh battery and runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
In terms of colours, the HTC First is available in Black, White, Red & Blue and it will be exclusive to AT&T in the US while in Europe it is launching with EE and Orange. So far there’s no word on availability for the rest of the word. You can check out the full specs of the HTC First device over at HTC’s product page.
So what’s new with Facebook Home? Since it is running on Android, it isn’t an entirely new mobile platform but a customised Launcher for Android which puts up Facebook first. So instead of looking at the usual widgets and app shortcuts the moment you wake your screen, Facebook Home showcases your friend updates upfront with Cover Feed that lets you flip through photo updates. Similar to instagram, you can like your friend’s image posts by double tapping. It would be interesting to see how this fares in real life against the likes of HTC BlinkFeed and Windows Phone Live Tiles.
Facebook Messaging has become more integrated as well and they have introduced chat heads which allows you to continue that messaging experience regardless of what apps you’re running. This is useful especially if you’re helping a friend to check on something and you can give answers on the spot without switching back to Facebook’s messaging app. Of course, Facebook isn’t doing this for free and it is said that Ads will be appearing on Facebook Home but details of how this would appear is still unknown.
Existing Android users too will be able to experience Facebook Home as it will be offered for download on Google Play on 12th April onwards. It is said to be available for various 720p display handsets such as the HTC One X, One X+, One, Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S4.